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Rank #184 in Technology category

Technology

Digital Planet

Updated 24 days ago

Rank #184 in Technology category

Technology
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Technological and digital news from around the world.

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Technological and digital news from around the world.

iTunes Ratings

96 Ratings
Average Ratings
76
12
2
3
3

Technology at its best

By World Traveler Expert - Mar 02 2016
Read more
Great. Engaging and educational.

Too much spin and not enough tech news

By KevinICdesigner - Aug 05 2014
Read more
Way too chatty. More technology news please and less opining on the social implications in your opinion. Focus better please!

iTunes Ratings

96 Ratings
Average Ratings
76
12
2
3
3

Technology at its best

By World Traveler Expert - Mar 02 2016
Read more
Great. Engaging and educational.

Too much spin and not enough tech news

By KevinICdesigner - Aug 05 2014
Read more
Way too chatty. More technology news please and less opining on the social implications in your opinion. Focus better please!
Cover image of Digital Planet

Digital Planet

Latest release on Dec 01, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 24 days ago

Rank #1: Why is AI so far from perfect?

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A special episode looking at AI – why it still is far from perfect? We discuss what would happen if you took a driverless car from the streets of California and put it on roads in a developing country, why deep fakes are so difficult to detect and how the images that are used to teach machines to recognise things are biased against women and ethnic minorities.

Picture: Driverless Cars, Getty Images

Dec 31 2019

38mins

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Rank #2: Iran internet shutdown continues

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Iran internet shutdown
Iran is now almost entirely offline as authorities try to stem the spread of protests that started last week. The government increased fuel prices by as much as 300% and since people took to the streets online access has been restricted. We find out the latest from online monitoring group NetBlocks.

US Election emails unsafe
Agari was the company that uncovered and confirmed that the webserver the email that ‘hacked’ Hilary Clinton’s campaign came from Russia. They have now conducted a poll and found that only Elizabeth Warren out of all the potential presidential candidates has secure emails. This matters not only from a data security point of view but also from a voter and donor point – the company has found that voters are less likely to vote for a candidate with a data breach and that donors are less likely to give money.

Hate speech control using tech
Hate speech that incites violence or hate against vulnerable groups has long been a problem in human societies but has more recently been weaponised by social media. The current system means the direct or indirect recipient needs to complain. The alternative approach is to develop artificial intelligence to identify potential hate speech and put the post in quarantine until either the direct recipient has agreed it should be deleted or has read it and agreed it should be allowed.

Cargo Ship tech
Our reporter Snezana Curcic has travelled across the North Atlantic Ocean in a bit of an unusual and adventurous way – on a cargo ship. With only eight hours of Wi-Fi allowance per week, Snezana filed this story on her journey from Liverpool to New York on the Atlantic Star. She looks at the tech on board and how this hugely competitive and complex industry is adapting to the digital age to survive. Even e-commerce leaders, like Ali Baba and Amazon, are heavily investing in ocean cargo services and stepping up their game.

Picture: Protests in Iran over increasing fuel price, Credit: European Photopress Agency

Nov 19 2019

38mins

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Rank #3: Humanitarian drone corridor in Africa

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Humanitarian drone corridor in Africa
Sierra Leone has just launched West Africa’s first drone corridor – it’s a dedicated channel of airspace for medical delivery drones. UNICEF is part of the project and already has three other humanitarian corridors open globally.

Wikipedia untagging of women
Dr. Jess Wade from Imperial College London is continuing her mission of getting more female scientists onto Wikipedia, however a few days ago many of her entries were marked as not notable enough to be included. This was done anonymously by another Wiki editor. We hear from Jess and Wikipedia’s Katherine Maher.

Cats detecting earthquakes
Could cats detect earthquakes? Yes says Celeste Labedz a seismologist at Caltech – if they are fitted with a motion tracker device. It’s purely a theoretical idea as she explains on the programme.

Smart tattoos
Smart ink that changes colour could lead to medical smart tattoos that monito conditions like diabetes. Harrison Lewis has been finding out more.
(Image: Drones for good. Credit:UNICEF)

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Dec 03 2019

46mins

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Rank #4: Google bug bounty hunters

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Google’s offering up to $1.5m to anyone who can identify bugs in its new chip for Android smartphones. This is a especially high reward but Google’s just one of a host of big well-known companies running bug hunting programmes. But is this the best way for big business to protect its new tech?

AI in Africa
Does Africa need a different approach to AI – yes according to Professor Alan Blackwell of the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University in England. He’s just started a sabbatical year across Africa working with AI experts – we spoke to him on the first leg of his trip at the Bahir Institute of Technology (BIT) in the North West of Ethiopia.

Wi-fi on the bus
Being online when travelling on the bus in parts of Kenya and Rwanda is not new, but now it is also possible in parts of South Africa as BRCK launch their public internet service there.

Nanotech tracing stolen cars
Around 143,000 vehicles worldwide were reported as stolen in 2018 according to Interpol. In the UK, only half are recovered. Now nanosatellites could be a new tool in retrieving stolen cars. Digital Planet’s Izzie Clarke has more.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

(Photo: Google webpage. Credit: Getty Images)

Nov 26 2019

40mins

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Rank #5: South Africa power cuts

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South Africa Power Cuts
Is South Africa facing a blackout? Power cuts across the country are now happening regularly as the country struggles with demand for electricity. There’s even an app that tells you if your lights are going to stay on today, or tomorrow. Professor Keith Bell from Strathclyde University explains why this is happening.

Plasmonics - computing with light
Fancy computing with the speed of light? Well for the first time this is possible thanks to research at Oxford University. Scientists have managed use light to store, access and now process data on chip. The research could significantly increase processing speeds at data centres, not only making computing faster but saving significant amounts of energy.

Land of Iron
A National Park is usually synonymous with nature and wildlife. Perhaps not the obvious place to find a technology story, but in North Yorkshire in the UK a project is underway that is using technology in many different forms to bring a forgotten history back to life. Our reporter Jack Meegan has been time-travelling for us. Jack finds out how the park’s industrial past can now be seen thanks to technology.

World Wise Web
Digital Planet gets a sneak preview of a brand BBC new tech podcast. On World Wise Web, teenagers from around the world get the chance to talk to the technology pioneers who have shaped our digital world.
(Photo: Township Homes, South Africa. Credit: Getty Images)

Jan 07 2020

43mins

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Rank #6: Repairing Voyager 2

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Scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been working flat out over the last week repairing Voyager 2. The spacecraft is about 18 billion kilometres from Earth, so sending a command to it takes 17 hours.

Alexa: save my life please
Could personal assistants like Alexa and Siri save your life? Research in the journal BMJ innovations has assessed how good the top four voice assistants are at giving sound medical advice – the results were mixed.

Drones mesh it up in Vietnam
Managing a natural disaster like a flood is so difficult because often there are many unknowns - responders urgently need real time information on water levels in the swollen rivers for instance. Installing monitoring kit across long stretches of river is expensive and the sensors need replacing regularly. So how about deploying a squadron of drones to pick up the data instead? That has been happening in a trial in Vietnam. Dr Trung Duong, at Queen’s University Belfast tells us more.

Purrfect robots
Do you need a robot that can work in the dark or a dangerous environment? Give it whiskers! After all, some bristles and a snout work well for the likes of dogs, mice and shrews. So researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK have spent hours watching whiskers in the wild and are now switching the twitching to robots in the lab.

(Photo: Voyager spacecraft. Credit: Nasa)

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Feb 11 2020

44mins

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Rank #7: Covid-19 cyber attacks rise

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Cyber criminals are exploiting the pandemic to send fraudulent emails and deploy all kinds of tools to steal our money, our contacts or our identities. Armen Najarian, the chief identity officer at email security firm Agari, updates us on the latest coronavirus driven cyber-attacks including scammers pretending they are emailing from the WHO or CDC.

Can the internet cope with the massive increase in demand?
Jane Coffin, SVP, Internet Growth from the Internet Society is an expert on internet access across the world. We ask how is the network holding up with so many more people now working remotely and what is its resilience for the future?

3D Printing cochlear implants
Gareth and Bill visit Dr Yan Yan Shery Huang at the biointerface group at the University of Cambridge. During the interview in her lab her team prints a 3D cochlear implant. It’s part of a growing field using 3D printing to improve medical care and aims to ultimately personalise cochlear implants allowing the patient to hear much more naturally than current implants allow.

(Image: Malware Detected Warning Screen. Credit: Getty images)

Presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert comment from Bill Thompson.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Mar 31 2020

40mins

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Rank #8: Coronovirus tech handbook online

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In these unprecedented times of a global pandemic many people are working or studying from home, doctors are facing new challenges, so medical equipment is in short supply – how do deal with this? Perhaps check the coronavirus tech as a shared open source online document where anyone can post their experiences or advice.

Open source tech for COVID-19
A 3d printed ventilator that could be used for COVID-19 patients could be ready by the end of the week. An open source project has led to a collaboration of IT professionals and engineers to work on the project.

Developing responsible AI
Cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell joins us on the programme to talk about developing AI safely and responsibly. She’s cofounded an innovation institute - the 3Ai Institute at the Australian National University and is looking for new students from around the world to apply.
(Image: Coronavirus tech handbook. Credit: Newspeak House)
Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Mar 17 2020

36mins

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Rank #9: A digital tracker that monitors new surveillance

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Tracking our digital rights
From the moment governments around the world realised the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, many have implemented digital tracking, physical surveillance and censorship measures in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus. We hear about a digital tracker which will monitor new surveillance and if it is having an effect
Working from home when your work is in Space
Most people in countries experiencing a Coronavirus lockdown are working remotely, but what happens when your work is based in Space? The European Space Agency has sent most of it's staff home, we hear from Professor Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor at ESA, about how this is going.

SETI has gone home
SETI@home is a scientific experiment, based at UC Berkeley, that uses internet connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You could take part by running a free programme that downloads and analyses radio telescope data. But no more, the experiment is ending on March 31st. US Science reporter Molly Bentley tells the story of searching for ET from home.
(Image: Digital tracking. Credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Mar 24 2020

35mins

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Rank #10: Internet and journalist reporting freedom curtailed

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Bolsonaro’s tweets deleted
Our South America reporter Angelica Mari tells us about the daily pot banging protests against the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, but it’s now not only the people trying to silence him. Social Media platforms have removed some of his posts as they have been, according to them, spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

Internet and journalistic freedoms restricted
The Index on Censorship, the global freedom of expression organisation has been charting restrictions on the internet and on journalists, via an interactive map online. Rachael Jolley is editor-in-chief at Index and joins us on the programme.

Ubongo – remote learning the African way
As many schools around the world close their doors, more and more learning is shifting from the classroom to the home. 17 million households in twelve countries across sub-Saharan Africa are now benefitting from Ubongo – the TV, radio, online and mobile learning platform. Iman Lipumba of Ubongo explains how it works.

Culture in Quarantine; sacred music at Easter
Twenty musicians in the famous Tenebrae vocal ensemble have recorded an Easter recital for television, despite socially isolating all over the world. Quite a challenge for the singers, their conductor Nigel Short and the production company Livewire Pictures. Jan Younghusband BBC Music Head of Music TV Commissioning explains how it all happened.
(Image: Index on Censorship. Credit: IndexOnCensorship.org/Google Maps )

The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert comment from Ghislaine Boddington.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Apr 07 2020

42mins

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Rank #11: Tech tracking Australian fires

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An app is helping Australian’s stay safe during the Bush fires. Fires Near Me was created by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and we hear how it works from journalist Corinne Podger. Also the WICEN HAM Radio operators who are providing emergency communications when mobile masts and internet connections are disrupted and measuring air quality using low power networks.

Safer motorbike taxis in Rwanda and the DRC
How do you ensure that the motorbike taxi you are hailing in Kigali or Kinshasa will get you home safely? Using an app that has data on the driver is one big step to having a safer journey. Gareth Mitchell finds out about Cango who collect data about their drivers to rate how safely they ride.

Digitising Natural History
The famous Natural History Museum in London has only a fraction of its collection on show. To ensure all their specimens are correctly catalogued, the museum is now digitising their collections. Harry Lampert has been finding out how technologies like machine learning are helping to get more and more specimens online.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

(Photo: Fires Near Me app. Credit: New South Wales Rural Fire Service)

Jan 14 2020

43mins

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Rank #12: Supercomputers seeking solutions for Covid-19

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Supercomputing power for Covid-19 solutions
The world’s most powerful supercomputers are being used for urgent investigations into the Sars-Cov-2 virus. Professor Peter Coveney from the UCL Centre for Computational Science is part of this consortium of hundreds of scientists across the globe, and tells Gareth how this phenomenal amount of computer power is already trying to identify potential treatments and vaccine candidates for Covid-19.

Hot and Cold Cognition
Gareth and Bill meet Professor Barbara Sahakian at Cambridge University to discuss her work on hot and cold cognition. Cold cognition is the mechanics of AI. Hot cognition is what humans do so well – being able to empathise. So if we are to take AI to the next stage eg. interactive care robots, it is the hot cognition that needs to be developed – the social and emotional side of AI.
Digital Radio Mondiale
DRM is the sister standard to DAB. DAB has taken off in the UK and other developed countries, but it is DRM that is becoming more popular in the developing world – India, Pakistan, China are all using it. Recently Brazil added their support for DRM. The key with DRM is that it digitises everything so we don’t need a new infrastructure for it and it can even act as a backup in disasters when other forms of communication fail.

Presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert comment from Bill Thompson.
Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

(Image: Supercomputer. Credit: Getty Images)

Apr 14 2020

44mins

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Rank #13: Covid-19 makes tech events go virtual

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Major events around the world are being cancelled as the COVID-19 virus spreads across the globe. Despite significant falls in new cases in China and South Korea many tech conferences and meetings are being moved to virtual space instead. We hear from the International Communication Association who have cancelled their annual conference in the physical world and are now moving it online.

Regulating the internet
As Covid-19 spreads so does misinformation about the virus online. Dr.Jennifer Cobbe from Cambridge University joins us in studio to discuss how to combat this.

Fashion and AI
Clothes online and on the high street are increasingly being ‘designed’ by AI, according to Alentina Vardanyan from the Judge Business School in Cambridge. She is speaking at the Cambridge Science Festival about how machines could be taking the creativity out of the latest fashion trends.

Banana disease app
A new app is helping banana plantation owners and workers treat and manage diseases. Now farmers in Africa and South America are using an app to diagnose disease, scientists are using this data to monitor and map the spread of the infection.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

(Image credit:Getty Images)

Mar 10 2020

43mins

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Rank #14: Internet shutdowns cost $8bn in 2019

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The cost of the major internet shutdowns in 2019 has been estimated as $8bn according to a report by the Top10VPN website, with WhatsApp being the platform that is blocked most often.

Twitter bots and trolls on bush fires
Could the latest orchestrated social media disinformation campaign be unfolding in Australia. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have been analysing thousands of tweets and found some concerning activity. Could paid for trolls be behind tweets suggesting that arsonists are responsible for this year’s bush fires?

Indigenous language keyboards
The United Nations has just declared an International Decade of Indigenous Languages. It is to begin in 2022, so we have been finding out about getting indigenous languages onto a device – and it isn’t always as hard as you think.

Worm robots
Robotic worms might be soon being used to sniff out people as part of search and rescue operations. Our reporter Jason Hosken has been to the lab where they’re developing chemical sensors that could help trace people who have perhaps been trapped under rubble following a natural disaster. The robotic worm could end up assisting, or reducing the need for, specially trained sniffer dogs.

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

(Photo: Internet shut down in India. Credit: AFP)

Jan 21 2020

45mins

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Rank #15: Drones dealing with locust swarms

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Trials are taking place to manage the massive locust swarms in the Horn of Africa and the Indian subcontinent with drones. Using them to collect real time data allows scientists to predict where the insects might fly to next.

Irish data centre power problem
Amazon has just announced plans to build another data centre in Ireland. It’s just one of about 60 data centres that are putting a huge demand on electricity. According to a report by the Irish Academy of Engineering 30% more electricity will be needed by 2030 to keep these data centres running. But where will it come from if Ireland is to meet its carbon emission targets?

More data leaks in India
A new data privacy bill has been passed in India, but with hundreds of millions of individuals having their data leaked last year alone, will this new bill ensure data privacy? BBC data journalist Shadab Nazmi has exposed a number of information security blunders in India and explains what has been happening.

Acoustic camera
Imagine that you could only hear specific sounds in certain parts of a room. So an intensive care nurse would only hear the beeps from the medical bay of their patient? This might be possible as scientists at the University of Sussex in England are splitting sounds, focusing them into beams and even bending them. Our reporter Hannah Fisher has been there to explore.

(Photo: Large swarms of desert locusts threatens Kenya"s food security. Credit: Dai Kurokawa/EPA)

Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Feb 04 2020

43mins

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Rank #16: Ethiopia’s new law banning online hate speech

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Ethiopia’s online hate speech law
Disseminating hate speech online in Ethiopia could now land you with a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of $3000US, but the new law has proved controversial. Julie Owonp, Excutive Director of Internet without borders explains their concerns.

Kivuwatt
Rwanda has an ambitious plan to go from half of the population having electricity at the moment to everyone within the next four years. Digital Planet has been given access to one project that aims to be a key part of that expansion. In the depths of Lake Kivu – one of East Africa’s great lakes – there’s methane and they’re burning the methane to generate electricity. Kivu is one of Africa’s so-called ‘killer lakes’, because the gases it harbours could be deadly for the thousands who live on shore. Burning some of the gas could help make it safer. Gareth Mitchell reports from the floating barge that is supplying 30% of the country’s electricity.

Carnival 4.0
It’s Carnival week in Rio and this year for the first time celebrations have gone fully hi-tech with augmented reality floats, QR Codes and RFID tags tracking costumes and smart bands monitoring the health of performers. But there have also been warnings about facial recognition. Brazil-based journalist Angelica Mari has been following proceedings. And joins us on the programme.
(Image: Vector illustration of a set of emoticons. Credit: Getty Images)
Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Feb 25 2020

38mins

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Rank #17: Will digital sobriety help reduce energy use?

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ITU emissions standard
The UN ICT agency, the ITU, wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half in the next decade. It’s the only way that the ICT industry is to stay in line with the Paris Agreement and its target of limiting global warming to one and a half degrees. The new technical standard announced by the ITU says renewable energy and digital sobriety are the best way of achieving these cuts.

Domestic violence AI
AI could help police forces determine who might be the most at risk of domestic abuse. A new study from the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE in London, suggests that by using already available data about individuals AI could help police decide which emergency calls they need to prioritise.

Circulo safety app
A safety app that is used only in dangerous situations is helping female journalists stay safe in Mexico. The Circulo app allows users to check in and tell up to six contacts at a time that you’re safe OR raise the alarm if you’re in danger.
(Photo: Wind turbines. Credit: Getty Images)

Mar 03 2020

35mins

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Rank #18: Internet partially restored in Kashmir

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Internet in Kashmir partially back on
Following a court ruling in India, the internet has been partially restored in Kashmir. There is still no access to social media but the Indian government was forced to allow some access. Mishi Choudhary, founder of the Software Freedom Law Centre in New Delhi updates us on the situation.

Pigeonbot
Imagine a robot that’s as graceful as a swooping and gliding bird. It could get into crowded environments where drones currently can’t be used. The latest research, published in Science Robotics, into flying robots delivers just that. Laura Matloff from Stanford University in USA is one of the team who designed PigeonBot and joins us on the programme.

Will Brazil become a data colony?
Brazilians are neither happy with the way in which companies handle their personal data or trust them, according to a new survey by IBM. Sau Paulo based Technology Writer Angelica Mari explains why there are growing concerns that soon private companies may control most citizen’s data.
(Photo: Kashmiri youth hold placards during a protest against an Internet, SMS and prepaid mobile services blockade. Credit: EPA/Farooq/Khan)
Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

Jan 28 2020

33mins

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Rank #19: Feminist chatbots

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Why the tone of chatbots matters and how a feminist perspective can help use them to address online problems such as bullying and trolling.

We look at some of the methods used to try and scam you, particularly the increasingly sophisticated emails sent to businesses to try and get them to part with their money.

We have a drive in a LIDAR enabled electric car, a new development in Autonomous vehicles

And the perils of misleading data, why clear and accurate data is so important to a huge variety of global issues such as adequate clean water or food supplies.
(Image: Chatbot female robot holding a speech bubble symbol. Credit: Getty Creative Stock)
Producer: Julian Siddle

Feb 18 2020

46mins

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Rank #20: New Phone in China? Scan your face…

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Mobile phone users in China will have to submit to 3D face scans to get a sim card. Technology ethicist Dr Stephanie Hare and New York Times Asia correspondent, Paul Mozur, discuss how this will affect citizens’ privacy, and whether China is alone in making this decision.

Petr Plecháč from the Institute of Czech Literature uses a piece of software that can identify people by the pattern of their written language. Gareth speaks with him about Shakespeare’s Henry VIII and the likelihood of John Fletcher co-authoring this key text.

Reporter William Park takes a go at being a virtual burglar. He investigates a game that is allowing researchers to understand what thieves do during a break-in, with the aim of understanding their moves and decision making.

A technique that allows people to check how computer neural networks make decisions about image classification may help to reduce mistakes by AI in medical imaging. Dr Cynthia Rudin explains why bird identification was the perfect model to test the computers’ abilities – and check them.
(Image: Facial recognition with smartphone. Credit: Getty Images)

Presenters: Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson
Producer: Rory Galloway

Dec 10 2019

42mins

Play