Press Release

The BBC and the Computer History Museum co-host 'Revolutionaries'

Mountain View, California  |  September 14, 2015

BBC World Service and the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, California have come together to bring the thoughts and experience of revolutionary innovators in AI to a global audience on September 24, 2015. In a special radio recording of 'Revolutionaries', at the Computer History Museum, the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones will be joined by Artificial Intelligence Scientists Eric Horvitz and Cynthia Breazeal and a public audience, to discuss their work and how 'machine-led intelligence' is set to change the world.

There is both excitement and anxiety around the accelerating growth in artificial intelligence. Driverless cars; humanised computerised systems and robots are, we are told, about to change our lives or steal our jobs. This conversation will explore the speakers' sense of the real state of the science of AI, as well as discussing both past breakthroughs and those about to come.

”We are so honoured to be partnering with the BBC World Service on this important Revolutionaries program, featuring two of the leading figures working in Artificial Intelligence” said Carol Stiglic, VP of The Computer History Museum and Revolutionaries series creator. “The discussion will be wide ranging and will include a look at how robots might enhance and complement humanity.”

Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor BBC World Service says: “What is being dreamt of, devised and developed by the new technological gurus of Silicon Valley is changing everything. Understanding the thoughts, motives, values and ethics of the scientists, entrepreneurs and developers shaping that new world is vital for all of us. The “Revolutionaries” series of talks at the Museum of Computing is a great way for our global audience to gain that insight. Is artificial intelligence artificial at all? It's designed, equipped and devised by humans, so let's understand what those humans are doing and find out what they really hope to achieve.”

A radio recording of Revolutionaries: Artificial Intelligence will be broadcast across the world by BBC World Service on 3rd and 4th October.

About the panel

Eric Horvitz is Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research. He leads the Microsoft's main Redmond Laboratory and is former President of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). Dr Horvitz has many a number of innovations in the field of computational perception, reflection and action. His work has had critical applications in human decision making in space exploration, healthcare systems and traffic. In December 2014 Dr. Horvitz made a landmark gift to Stanford to fund a century-long study of the effects of artificial intelligence on society.

Cynthia Breazeal is founder and Chief Scientist of the social robotics firm Jibo, and Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at MIT's Media Lab. Dr. Breazeal is a pioneer and leader in social robotics and human robotic interaction. Her company has developed what is being called the world's first family robot ready to go in people's homes next year.

Rory Cellan-Jones is the BBC's Technology Correspondent, covering technology for television, radio and the BBC Website. He is also presenter the BBC World Service's weekly technology programme Tech Tent. Rory has been a reporter for the BBC for a quarter of a century, covering many of the world's biggest business and technology stories in that time. He blogs regularly on “dot rory”, the BBC's popular technology blog, and is a prolific tweeter, you can follow him at @BBCRoryCJ.

About the Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, California, is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history as the world's leading institution exploring the history of computing and its ongoing impact on society. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, and moving images.

CHM brings computer history to life through large-scale exhibits, an acclaimed speaker series, a dynamic website, docent-led tours, and an award-winning education program. The Museum's signature exhibition is “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” described by USA Today as “the Valley's answer to the Smithsonian.” Other current exhibits include “Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2”, “IBM 1401 and PDP-1 Demo Labs”, and “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles.” The Museum's IBM 1401 Demo Lab and PDP-1 Demo Lab offer visitors a glimpse into the past, an extraordinary opportunity to experience historic systems at work.

For more information and updates, call (650) 810-1059, visit, check us out on Facebook, follow @computerhistory on Twitter, and read the Museum blog @CHM.

About BBC World Service

BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster, delivering a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 210 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. BBC World Service offers its multilingual radio content to partner FM stations around the world and has numerous partnerships supplying content to news websites, mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices as well as TV channels. In the U.S, BBC World Service English radio content is distributed by American Public Media™ (APM). For more information, visit

Press Contacts

BBC: Penny Crook

CHM: PR Team
(650) 810-1059


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