The dry wit of the evil artificial intelligence GLaDOS, voiced with perfect acerbic delivery by actress Ellen McLain, is one of the high points of the Portal video game series. Now GLaDOS has found new purpose as a teaching tool via NASA to discuss the differences between nuclear fusion and fission energy, with McLain returning to provide the distinctive voice. Make no mistake about it, even though this is about learning, GLaDOS is still very much evil!
Check out the full video below.
Here, GLaDOS discusses the different properties of the two energy sources to two hapless computer technicians who have been hired to hook up the A.I. to one of NASA’s servers. The video provides the information in an extremely accessible way and redefines “edutainment” as it dishes out the education just as easily as it does the wry humor we’ve come to expect from the science-driven A.I.
The video was produced by the education & public outreach department of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, focusing on STEM education. Hopefully this is just the first in a series of videos starring the maniacal computer program, as this was just an absolute joy to watch. Be sure to stick around till the very end, you’ll be thankful you did!