Some of the best discussions about contemporary technologies happen outside the office and beyond the bookcase—in podcasts. Podcasts are home to some of the best conversations about technology and all the good it does for our world. The episodes compiled here tackle big, interesting questions, and provide the perfect long-flight (or longer layover) entertainment.
“The Future of Work” from FT Tech Tonic
This episode, hosted by innovation editor of the Financial Times, John Thornhill, wrestles with the question of machinic advancement in the workplace: what happens to displaced professionals and workers when machines take their jobs? Will “artist” become the most sought-after career? Or will we live in a dystopia like the one imagined by Pixar’s Wall-E—with everyone lapsed into nonstop virtual reality? Tech investors Kai-Fu Lee and Joi Ito explore the big questions.
Listen here: http://podcast.ft.com/2017/02/08/the-future-of-work/
“Our Computers, Ourselves,” from Invisibilia
This NPR podcast is co-hosted by three women—Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alix Spiegel—and takes its name from the Latin word for “invisible things.” It’s all about those impossible-to-see forces that alter human behavior: ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and of course, emotions. This episode asks: Are computers fundamentally changing human character? Listen as the hosts weave together cyborgs, bullies, neuroscientists, and police chiefs to garner seemingly random perspectives to illustrate whether or not human closeness to computers is changing the human species.
“Don’t fear superintelligent AI,” from TEDTalks Technology
In this episode (which you can stream as audio or video), scientist and philosopher Grady Booch argues that we needn’t be afraid of superintelligent and unemotional AI. Booch suggests the artificial intelligence can be taught rather than programmed to share our basic human values. Don’t have an existential crisis about AI, he warns. Instead, think about all ways AI might enhance and improve human life.
Listen or watch here: https://itunes.apple.com/bt/podcast/tedtalks-audio/id160904630?mt=2
This podcast grapples with some seriously cool questions. In this episode, host Jonathan Strickland explores authentication: how it works and where it’s headed. Why is it so important to today’s digital revolution? And how are engineers developing new ways to make sure private information stays as secure as possible? Check out this episode for the details—or try out any of their episodes for interesting in-the-moment discussion of the newest tech phenomena.
“The Delightful History of Steam Technology,” from How Stuff Works
Get your history fix from this podcast, which features some of the weirdest technological explorations in the podcast world. This particular episode claims that one of the coolest human developments of all time was learning how to use steam as power. After all, steam made the Industrial Revolution possible. In many ways, our modern-day technology obsession began with the advent of steam engines—even today, 88% of America’s electricity comes from steam turbines. It’s a truly world-changing technology, so how come we don’t know more about it?
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