Cover image of Babbage from Economist Radio
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Rank #7 in Tech News category

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Tech News

Babbage from Economist Radio

Updated 6 days ago

Rank #7 in Tech News category

News
Tech News
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Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Read more

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

iTunes Ratings

196 Ratings
Average Ratings
176
9
4
1
6

Excellent

By Chicharonnes - Jul 14 2019
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I always learn something. The stories are engaging and easy to understand.

Current and informative

By lingua203 - Jun 13 2019
Read more
This podcast will keep uou up to date with current innovations.

iTunes Ratings

196 Ratings
Average Ratings
176
9
4
1
6

Excellent

By Chicharonnes - Jul 14 2019
Read more
I always learn something. The stories are engaging and easy to understand.

Current and informative

By lingua203 - Jun 13 2019
Read more
This podcast will keep uou up to date with current innovations.

Listen to:

Cover image of Babbage from Economist Radio

Babbage from Economist Radio

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

Named after Charles Babbage, a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Babbage: Thin-skinned

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Nokia attracts bids for its HERE mapping service and tests of a few brave mice suggest space travel could be terrible for the skin For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 27 2015

7mins

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Babbage: Inspectors' gadgets

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New technology used by nuclear weapons inspectors and 3D printing buildings on Earth and in outer space For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 02 2015

11mins

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Babbage: AI and IA

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Ad-blocking software has reached the mainstream and is going mobile, and handheld robots begin to marry what both man and machine do well For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 03 2015

9mins

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Babbage: Libra takes a pounding

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Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, has suffered setbacks in recent weeks, as the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg appears before a congressional committee to defend it. The Economist’s technology editor Tim Cross explains what’s at stake. Also, how a giant timber mill in Finland is leading the way in sustainable forestry. And Damian Bradfield, chief creative officer of WeTransfer, on how ethics and the internet can coexist. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 23 2019

21mins

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Babbage: Thinking with your tentacles

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The secret to the intelligence of the octopus lies in its genome and scientists explore how big data disrupts the principle of anonymity For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Aug 12 2015

11mins

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Babbage: Megatech: Technology in 2050

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This feature-length episode dives into the technology that will shape our world over the next decades. Host Kenn Cukier and The Economist's Executive Editor Daniel Franklin are joined by experts in artificial intelligence, cyber-security, healthcare and warfare to discuss how technology will transform many aspects of our lives For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 17 2017

31mins

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The World in 2018: Technology and us

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In the final episode in our six-part series, we look at the scientific and technological advances that will shape the coming year - from algorithms that can make judgments about us online, to robots that are more effective than humans in the work place. Cathy O'Neil, author of "Weapons of Math Destruction" and Shane Wall, the Chief Technology Officer of HP join our hosts.

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Feb 14 2018

25mins

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Babbage: Insane in the methane

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What is causing the rising rates of methane in the atmosphere? Also, how an amphibious life for the Bajau people has led to unique evolutionary traits. And the excitement around the Gaia space probe’s latest data release. Hal Hodson hosts

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Apr 25 2018

16mins

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Babbage: What lies beneath

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Radar scans reveal an enormous site of underground stone monoliths near Stonehenge and subterranean plant seed banks could save harvests and lives in the face of climate change For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Sep 09 2015

10mins

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Babbage: Sunset and sunrise in the Kuiper belt

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Scientists fit living cells with lasers to track what they get up to and New Horizons gets a stunning final look back at Pluto For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 29 2015

11mins

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Babbage: The promise and peril of AI

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Artificial intelligence—the technique of using data and algorithms to make decisions as well as (or better) than humans—is on track to become a mainstream technology, on a par with electricity or computing. But in order to flourish it needs to overcome several challenges. From privacy and market concentration, to safety and explainability. In this week’s show Kenneth Cukier speaks to some of the leading experts in the field about the benefits and risks of AI, and why it is so important that we deploy the technology. Guests include Yoshua Bengio, Andrew Ng, Ajay Agrawal, Catherine Havasi and Stuart Russell

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 09 2019

28mins

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Babbage: Atomic vision

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Hackers threaten the "internet of things", and scientists use atomic microscopes to observe and control chemical reactions in real time For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 15 2015

11mins

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Babbage: Thinking deeply

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Alphabet's artificial intelligence company DeepMind doesn't make a profit, so why it is arousing long-term interest? Dr Pedro Alonso from the World Health Organisation explores advances in the fight against malaria. And the amateur enthusiast who found meteorite dust in the gutter For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Dec 14 2016

15mins

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Babbage: Big data versus privacy

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Data is becoming the world's most valuable resource. Governments use it to monitor and control their citizens. Corporations use it to persuade consumers to buy their products. But as machine learning and algorithms advance, will people still be able to harness the power of big data without losing too much individual privacy? Music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK).

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

May 02 2018

31mins

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Babbage: Quantum leaps and bee-conomics

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Computer companies are harnessing the power of quantum mechanics and why the majority of bees have no economic value For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 17 2015

9mins

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Babbage: Civilian drones take flight

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Most drones today are either cheap toys or expensive weapons. But innovative commercial uses are emerging in the middle, says our deputy editor Tom Standage. Also, physicist Geoffrey West on his theory of scale and how it relates to cities. And do pollsters deserve their bad reputation? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jun 15 2017

18mins

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Babbage: Hacking the hackers

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The Hacking Team gets hacked, exposing alleged illegal activities, and NASA's New Horizons probe flickers back to life as it approaches the planetoid Pluto For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jul 08 2015

9mins

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Babbage: Lots in space

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The race is on to launch satellites to connect the entire world to the internet. We talk to psychologist and geneticist Robert Plomin, about his career and his latest book. And, is the fax machine facing extinction? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Dec 12 2018

20mins

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Babbage: Conversational computers

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When will computers truly be able to understand what we are saying? We discuss with our guest, Amazon's Alexa. Also, long-distance electrical supergrids could flood the planet with renewable energy For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Jan 11 2017

18mins

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Babbage: Of machines and men

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Elon Musk's new venture Neuralink wants to meld computers with the human brain. We explore how this concept could lead to artificial memory. Also, a paralysed man is able to use his own arm again after chips were implanted in his brain. And a new glove lets people detect deadly toxins with touch alone For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Mar 29 2017

17mins

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Babbage: Now I’ve learned my ABC’s

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After the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, step back from their roles at Google’s parent company Alphabet, who will really be in charge? Israeli venture capitalist Chemi Peres on the ways innovation can lead to peace. And, cases of Malaria are no longer in decline — what needs to happen to reignite the fight? Kenneth Cukier hosts 


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Dec 04 2019

22mins

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Babbage: AI: The end of the scientific method?

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Researchers are using artificial intelligence techniques to invent medicines and materials—but in the process are they upending the scientific method itself? The AI approach is a form of trial-and-error at scale, or “radical empiricism”. But does AI-driven science uncover new answers that humans cannot understand? Host Kenneth Cukier finds out with James Field of LabGenius, Demis Hassabis of DeepMind, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, tech venture capitalists Zavain Dar and Nan Li, philosophy professor Sabrina Leonelli, and others.

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For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 27 2019

22mins

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Babbage: Reality check

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Virtual reality continues to make people sick. Will the technology ever take off and is it designed for women? Leo Murray, from “Riding Sunbeams”, on using solar power to propel future commuter journeys. Also, how slippery toilets could reduce water-use. Alok Jha hosts 


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Nov 20 2019

23mins

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Babbage: Private patients

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Google has teamed up with US-healthcare provider Ascension to access patient data without them being notified. What are the privacy concerns and implications for digital healthcare? And, how will 3D printing change the way we build everything from skyscrapers to spaceships. Also, Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and author, speaks to Kenn Cukier about the future of science education and space exploration.


Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:

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For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Nov 13 2019

28mins

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Babbage: Designer genes

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How far away are “designer babies” from being a reality? Host Kenneth Cukier explores the ethical questions around the applications of a genome-wide association study. Journalist and author Gaia Vince on how “cultural evolution” shapes society. Also, a solution to the problem of “concrete cancer

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Nov 06 2019

23mins

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Babbage: Home o’Sapiens

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Scientists believe they have located the ancestral home of one of humanity’s early ancestors—in northern Botswana. Tom Siebel, a Silicon Valley veteran and the founder of C3.ai, explains how digital transformation stops companies from going extinct. And, host Kenneth Cukier takes a trip to the Natural History Museum in London to learn about bias in species collection

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Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:

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For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 30 2019

23mins

Play

Babbage: Libra takes a pounding

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Read more

Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, has suffered setbacks in recent weeks, as the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg appears before a congressional committee to defend it. The Economist’s technology editor Tim Cross explains what’s at stake. Also, how a giant timber mill in Finland is leading the way in sustainable forestry. And Damian Bradfield, chief creative officer of WeTransfer, on how ethics and the internet can coexist. Kenneth Cukier hosts

____________________

Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:

www.economist.com/radiooffer

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For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 23 2019

21mins

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Babbage: Cough up

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Over the past two decades the Global Fund has fought the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, but now many in the field fear its progress is under threat. The founder and CEO of language-learning app Duolingo, Luis von Ahn, on his plans to help the 750m illiterate adults in the world learn to read. And, why net-zero carbon emissions targets are measuring the wrong thing. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Oct 16 2019

25mins

Play

Babbage: The promise and peril of AI

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Artificial intelligence—the technique of using data and algorithms to make decisions as well as (or better) than humans—is on track to become a mainstream technology, on a par with electricity or computing. But in order to flourish it needs to overcome several challenges. From privacy and market concentration, to safety and explainability. In this week’s show Kenneth Cukier speaks to some of the leading experts in the field about the benefits and risks of AI, and why it is so important that we deploy the technology. Guests include Yoshua Bengio, Andrew Ng, Ajay Agrawal, Catherine Havasi and Stuart Russell

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Oct 09 2019

28mins

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Babbage: Steak and Chips

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As the trade war intensifies, China wants to reduce its reliance on imports of foreign computer chips. Could open-source technology solve its problems? Also, new research on red meat pits statisticians against nutritionists. And Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, on the ethical dilemmas that come from powerful new technology. Kenneth Cukier hosts


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Oct 02 2019

26mins

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Babbage: Carbon sucks

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Scientists are experimenting with different ways to reduce the amount of carbon being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. Nilay Shah, of Imperial College London, explains how carbon capture and storage works. And, Wang Jian, a tech chief of Alibaba, on how data can be harnessed to make cities more efficient. Plus, three low-tech innovations that could make a big difference to sustainable living. Kenneth Cukier hosts


Additional music by Chris Zabriskie "Divider" (CC by 4.0)


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Sep 25 2019

25mins

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Babbage: Climate. Change

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As global leaders prepare for the UN climate change summit next week, we debate what changes individuals can make today to help limit the effects of climate change. The Economist’s environment editor, Catherine Brahic, hosts a roundtable with Christiana Figueres, who convenes Mission 2020 to reduce global carbon emissions; Ed Davey, a director of the Food and Land Use Coalition with the World Resources Institute; and Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change in the school of engineering at Manchester University



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Sep 18 2019

25mins

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Babbage: Taxis for take-off

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Flying taxis could soon become commonplace in cities if operators can overcome strict regulations on their use. Journalist Rebecca Fannin explores the future of technology giants in China. And, how can the sound of sand reveal its source? Kenn Cukier hosts

extra music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK)

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Sep 11 2019

24mins

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Babbage: Innovation around innovation

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Innovation: it’s more than just a buzzword that companies use when trying to sound dynamic. But what does it actually mean? Some entrepreneurs and economists like Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen think that it needs to be studied as a science of progress. How can pulling together thinking about this help innovators of the future? And what are companies doing today to try and change the way we work? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Sep 04 2019

27mins

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Babbage: Oh, grow up

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Investors are ploughing hundreds of millions of dollars into vertical farming. Could towers of vegetables help feed the world’s growing population? Also, how studying gravitational waves could unlock the deepest mysteries of the universe and prove Einstein wrong. And, network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi explains the science of professional success. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Aug 28 2019

22mins

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Babbage: Gut Feeling

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How can understanding the link between gut bacteria and Autism Spectrum Disorder help scientists develop a treatment? Broken heart syndrome, or Takotsubo, is a serious condition that can be caused by the death of a loved one. Scientists have recently discovered a possible link to cancer. Also, could re-training the brain combat chronic breathlessness? Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Aug 21 2019

21mins

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Babbage: A cure for Ebola?

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Two treatments for Ebola have emerged from a clinical trial in Africa. Scientists estimate that sea-levels across the globe will rise by 50cm or so in the next 80 years; in some places they could go up by twice as much. Are governments and businesses prepared to deal with the rising tides? And, as face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it. Kenneth Cukier hosts

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Aug 14 2019

20mins

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Babbage: Meno-Pause

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Can pioneering surgery help delay the menopause and how will it impact women's lives? And, Clara Vu, of Veo Robotics, explains some of the challenges of designing “cobots”, robots that work collaboratively with humans on manufacturing tasks. Also, should people have the right to choose to know if they are a carrier of a hereditary genetic disease? Alok Jha hosts

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Aug 07 2019

20mins

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Babbage: Hot as hell

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Record-breaking heatwaves are becoming routine and they are killing people. But many of the potentially life-saving solutions are both low-tech and low-cost. Governments should be doing more. Also, we visit Lake Chad in the Sahel to understand how climate change can fuel conflict. And, droughts or floods, heatwaves or cold snaps, just how responsible is humanity for extreme weather events? Catherine Brahic hosts

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Jul 31 2019

28mins

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Babbage: Return of the king

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Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has reclaimed its crown as the world’s most valuable listed company. What can other firms learn from its reboot? Also, Reshma Shetty, cofounder of Gingko Bioworks, explains the potential of synthetic biology to harness – and transform – the power of nature. And, British ethicists put police use of artificial intelligence on trial. Alok Jha hosts

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Jul 24 2019

18mins

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