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FT Tech Tonic

We are in the midst of a digital revolution, where the line between our physical world and cyberspace is blurring. Tech Tonic is the show that investigates the promises and perils of this new technological age. This season, FT innovation editor John Thornhill takes us into the emergency rooms, city centres and even cruise ships where tech innovation is solving some of the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, as he explores what this tech-driven world means for us all.

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  • 01.03.2021
    47 MB
    19:44
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    The future is here now

    Our lives are increasingly moving from the offline to the online world, leaving a long trail of data in our wake. These data can be used to wield economic and political power, and to define us as communities and as individuals. What are the opportunities and risks? Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times. Produced by Liam Nolan. Sound Design by Breen Turner and Louise Burton, with additional production by Oluwakemi Aladesuyi. The editor is Aimee Keane, and the executive producer is Cheryl Brumley. Original music was composed by Metaphor Music. Review clips: NASA, Reuters, Computer History Museum, BBC, Thames TV/Freemantle, CBS. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 26.02.2021
    1 MB
    00:46
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    A new season of Tech Tonic

    The show that investigates the promises and perils of our digital age is back with a new season. FT innovation editor John Thornhill will take us into the emergency rooms, city centres and even cruise ships where tech innovation is solving some of the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, as he explores what this tech-driven world means for us all. Tech Tonic returns on Monday, March 1. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    44 MB
    31:13
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    AI research and big tech

    John Thornhill talks to David Barber, director of the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence in London, about how academic researchers can work with business and the wider community to create the best outcomes for society. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    32 MB
    22:28
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    Niklas Zennström and Tom Wehmeier on the state of European tech

    Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype and Atomico and Tom Wehmeier, Atomico partner and author of The State of European Tech report, talk to the FT's John Thornhill about whether Europe is becoming a tech hub. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    37 MB
    26:20
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    Dave Ferrucci on teaching computers to think

    Dave Ferrucci, CEO, founder and chief scientist of Elemental Cognition, talks to Richard Waters, the FT's West Coast editor, about his efforts to train computers to use language to reason. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    34 MB
    23:47
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    Google's Kate Brandt on sustainable tech

    Kate Brandt talks to John Thornhill about Google’s drive to minimise and offset the energy used in its operations and supply chains, and about its environmental insights explorer which helps cities find ways to reduce their carbon emissions. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    38 MB
    26:46
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    Digital technologies and the developing world

    Economist Stefan Dercon tells John Thornhill about the findings of a research project he led, showing how, used wisely, technology can enable development, rather than just replace labour and put people out of work. Read his report here See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    35 MB
    24:46
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    ENCORE: Jeni Tennison on open data

    John Thornhill talks to Jeni Tennison, chief executive of the Open Data Institute, about her work in helping to develop best practice for the use and sharing of data, and about how Brexit will affect Britain's data economy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    44 MB
    31:04
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    Scott Kupor on VC funding

    John Thornhill talks to Scott Kupor, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz, about his book Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, about the conditions needed to grow tech companies and the potential drawbacks of a venture capital dominated market. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    32 MB
    22:49
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    Rana Foroohar on taming big tech

    John Thornhill talks to FT colleague Rana Foroohar about her book Don’t Be Evil - How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles - And All Of Us See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    43 MB
    30:32
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    Stuart Russell on losing control of AI

    John Thornhill discusses how to make artificial intelligence safe for humans with Stuart Russell, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of new book ‘Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control’. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    31 MB
    22:03
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    Jaan Tallinn on AI safety

    John Thornhill talks to Jaan Tallinn, founding engineer at Skype and Kazaa, about his subsequent career as a tech investor and his concerns about AI safety. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    36 MB
    25:11
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    Wanted: work for humans

    Madhumita Murgia discusses what happens when robots can do most of the work humans do with Calum Chace of the Economic Singularity Club, Mike Wooldridge, professor of Computer Science at Oxford University and Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    28 MB
    19:54
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    What kind of art can AI produce?

    Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy puts his theories about creative AI to the test before a live audience at the recent FT Weekend Festival in London. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    40 MB
    28:01
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    John Maeda on designing the future

    Design guru John Maeda tells Tim Bradshaw why he thinks a diversity of viewpoints and listening to what consumers want will be more valuable to the companies of the future than creating the next breakthrough technology. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    34 MB
    23:54
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    Sarah Chan on neural interfaces

    Bioethicist Sarah Chan contributed to a report this month on neurotechnology by the UK’s senior scientific academy. She talks to John Thornhill about the potential health benefits of neural interfaces but also the difficulty of regulating the commercial use of devices that interact with our brains. Read the Royal Society's report here All FT stories will be free to read on Wednesday September 18th when there will be a 24-hour paywall freeze. Here are a couple of recommendations to get you started: Neural interfaces should upgrade, not degrade, humans How China dodged a trade war recession See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    34 MB
    24:10
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    Alice Bentinck on harnessing tech talent

    Alice Bentinck, co-founder of Entrepreneur First, tells John Thornhill about her mission to harness the entrepreneurial talents of a new generation of people from diverse backgrounds. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    37 MB
    25:42
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    Improving decision making through AI

    Vishal Chatrath, chief executive and co-founder of Prowler, tells John Thornhill how his company is helping to improve decision making in the worlds of finance and logistics. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    43 MB
    30:07
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    Priya Lakhani on AI's power to transform education

    Priya Lakhani, founder and chief executive AI company Century Tech, talks to John Thornhill about her mission to improve the life chances of students around the world using AI-assisted learning. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    35 MB
    24:20
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    Nicolas Berggruen on democracy in the digital age

    John Thornhill talks to the billionaire investor and philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen about his book: Renovating Democracy: Governing in the Age of Globalization and Digital Capitalism See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    51 MB
    35:26
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    Ben Goertzel on benevolent robots

    Ben Goertzel talks to John Thornhill about his work for Hanson Robotics, the company that created the robot Sophia, about SingularityNET, the blockchain-based AI marketplace he founded, and about his belief that artificial general intelligence, transhumanism and benevolent robots are not too far in the future See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    43 MB
    30:15
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    Frances Arnold on directed evolution of enzymes

    Nobel laureate Frances Arnold talks to Anjana Ahuja about her pioneering a work harnessing the power of nature to engineer enzymes, her long career and the challenges faced by women in science. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    40 MB
    27:57
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    Digital printing for the fourth industrial revolution

    Joseph DeSimone, chief executive of Carbon, talks to Richard Waters about the manufacturing technique he invented that can craft objects in seconds using the power of light and digital projection systems See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    46 MB
    32:24
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    Directing innovation towards sustainable growth

    John Thornhill talks to economist Mariana Mazzucato about her work to promote collaboration between governments and companies to direct innovation towards sustainable and inclusive growth. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    44 MB
    31:02
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    Paul Clarke on robotics and digital twins

    Paul Clarke, chief technology officer at the online grocery Ocado, talks to John Thornhill about how the use of robotics, machine learning and digital twins is taking the business to a new level and even helping to plan the cities of the future. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    43 MB
    30:21
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    Jennifer Doudna on gene editing

    Jennifer Doudna talks to Richard Waters, the FT's San Francisco bureau chief, about how she discovered the CRISPR Cas-9 system and how it is transforming the world of gene editing. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    36 MB
    25:33
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    John Browne on engineering the future

    John Thornhill talks to Lord John Browne, former chief executive of BP, about his book: Make, Think, Imagine on engineering and the future of civilisation. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    45 MB
    31:53
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    Nathan Jurgenson on social media and the selfie

    Nathan Jurgenson, sociologist at Snapchat’s parent company Snap, talks to Tim Bradshaw about his book The Social Photo and about how the smartphone camera is changing the way we communicate See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    42 MB
    29:24
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    Eric Topol on making healthcare more human

    Hannah Kuchler talks to American cardiologist Eric Topol about his book Deep Medicine, which looks at the potential for artificial intelligence technology to help free up doctors to spend more time with their patients. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    1 MB
    00:50
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    New season starts on Monday

    Tech Tonic, the podcast that looks at the way technology is changing our lives, is returning for a news season starting on Monday 17th June. We’ll be talking to Eric Topol, the US cardiologist, about the ways in which the work of doctors can be enhanced by AI, Nathan Jurgenson on social media and the selfy, and John Browne, former head of BP, on engineering and the future of civilisation, and many more. So tune in next week See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    35 MB
    24:21
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    Andrew Ng on building an AI workforce

    Artificial intelligence expert Andrew Ng talks to John Thornhill about his concern that AI technology is concentrating wealth in the hands of a few and why we need to spread AI skills and understanding across society. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    33 MB
    23:22
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    Rana Yared on investing in fintech

    John Thonhill talks to Rana Yared, a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments, about how technology is transforming the banking industry. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    38 MB
    26:49
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    Marcus du Sautoy on creative AI

    John Thornhill talks to Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy about his book: The Creativity Code: How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    33 MB
    23:02
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    James Vlahos on voice technology

    Elaine Moore talks to American journalist James Vlahos about the chatbot he created to keep the memory of this father alive and about the potential uses and misuses of voice technology. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    35 MB
    24:23
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    Peter Schwartz on automating the brain

    Peter Schwartz, senior vice-president of strategic planning at Salesforce, futurist and author, talks to John Thornhill about the impact on our society of the next wave of technology. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    36 MB
    25:14
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    Tim Berners-Lee on reshaping the web

    John Thornhill talks to Tim Berners-Lee about the achievements of the world wide web which he invented 30 years ago, what he thinks has gone wrong and what he is doing to help fix some of these problems. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    36 MB
    25:31
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    Jack Conte on crowdfunding for creators

    John Thornhill talks to Jack Conte about Patreon, the platform he invented to help creative artists receive a steadier income from modern-day patrons. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    35 MB
    24:43
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    Jeni Tennison on data ethics

    John Thornhill talks to Jeni Tennison, chief executive of the Open Data Institute, about her work in helping to develop best practice for the use and sharing of data. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    37 MB
    25:45
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    James Williams on the attention economy

    Former Google employee James Williams talks to John Thornhill about his book: Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy and why he turned to philosophy to try to understand how the tech industry is undermining our free will. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    38 MB
    27:03
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    Shoshana Zuboff on surveillance capitalism

    John Thornhill talks to the social scientist Shoshana Zuboff about her book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, and what we need to do to reclaim the more benign impacts of the digital revolution. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    35 MB
    24:48
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    Will Marshall on mapping the earth

    John Thornhill talks to Will Marshall, whose San-Francisco-based start-up is helping companies like Google and Monsanto, as well as governments and NGOs, to observe day-to-day changes on the earth’s surface using data gathered in space. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    34 MB
    23:38
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    Taavet Hinrikus on disrupting the banks

    John Thornhill talks to Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Transferwise, about shaking up the lucrative money transfer business and how he helped build a tech unicorn that is not only highly valued but is profitable too. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    41 MB
    28:31
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    AI and software's 'singular moment'

    John Thornhill talks to Chris Bishop, director of Microsoft’s Cambridge research lab, about the potential for exponential growth in the development of software, thanks to machine learning. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    43 MB
    29:55
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    The risks and rewards of gene-editing

    Robin Lovell-Badge, developmental biologist and geneticist, talks to FT science columnist Anjana Ahuja about the gene-edited babies controversy in China and about the potential for new gene-editing techniques to transform the treatment of diseases like cancer and muscular dystrophy. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    45 MB
    31:27
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    Vivienne Ming on solving human problems

    John Thornhill talks to Vivienne Ming, a theoretical neuroscientist, entrepreneur and artificial intelligence guru about her work in trying to make technology work for the benefit of humans See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    40 MB
    27:54
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    Diego Piacentini on GovTech

    The former Amazon executive tells John Thornhill how he applied the lessons he’d learnt at the US technology company to help transform Italians’ experience of dealing with government. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    44 MB
    30:57
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    Trust in the digital age

    John Thornhill talks to the academic and author Rachel Botsman about the evolution of trust in the digital age and the way technology has undermined our faith in institutions See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    36 MB
    25:26
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    Graphcore's next generation chip technology

    Nigel Toon, founder and chief executive of Graphcore, talks to John Thornhill about the chip technology his company is developing and its potential to speed the advance of machine learning. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    50 MB
    35:23
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    What robots can teach humans

    John Thornhill talks to Maja Pantic, Professor of Affective and Behavioural Computing at Imperial College in London, about her work testing the boundaries of human robot interaction. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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  • 12.11.2020
    37 MB
    26:21
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    Making the most of work chat

    Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of San Francisco-based Slack tells John Thornhill how his fascination for technology that facilitates human interaction came about. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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