Jedi Counsel Podcast 87 – Bladerunner, Diagnostic Tests, & Empathy with Dr. Ben Balas

Hello, human and replicant listeners! This week’s episode included special guest, Dr. Ben Balas, who has a Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. We talked about the 1982 movie, Bladerunner, and Philip K. Dick’s Book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? We delved into the topics of assessment and testing in psychology through discussion of the Voigt-Kampff and Boneli Reflex Arc tests. We chatted about the complexities of diagnosis for low base rate phenomena and then talked about the fact that technological advances don’t always yield superior tools (e.g., in the case of lie detector tests). We also talked about a recent Atlantic article by Ed Yong on psychopathy. Dr. Balas spoke with us about the Turing Test and provided some history on its development, and then we spent time focused on the themes of empathy and uncertainty throughout the book and movie. We hope you enjoyed this episode – we had a lot of fun making it for you! Contact us on Twitter if you have any specific topics you’d like us to talk about! Thanks for listening! We are grateful for your support!

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