Robots and Avatars is a site I’ve recently come across that has some great vodcasts about robotics and artificial intelligence that you should check out. Here’s the introductory episode with Prof. Noel Sharkey, professor of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield. Contrary to singularity folks like Kurzweil, Sharkey sees sentient human-level A.I. as far off as thousands of years, pointing to the very limited nature of the current state of the art despite decades of research. Drawing an analogy to puppets without strings, he makes it clear that seemingly intelligent or autonomous robots really aren’t what they appear. He is also on the front lines in the battle against robots as babysitters, having co-written an excellent paper (.PDF) on the dangers of robotic nannies. Don’t miss the handful of other interviews available at the source link below.