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Raw Data

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Hacking (BYTE)
In the world of computer science, being a hacker means you know what’s up, and you have street cred. Outside of technology circles, though, hacking is more associated with things like data breaches, ransomware, and malware. So where does the term come from, and why does it have different meanings to different people? In our conversation with Meredith Broussard, a professor at New York University, we explore the roots of hacking, and what it says about society’s relationship with technology today. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Machine Learning (BYTE)
It’s 2019, and machine learning is everywhere. It might not be Skynet, but it can still sound a little scary. If the robot apocalypse isn’t around the corner, what is? We talk to Kantwon Rogers, a lecturer at Georgia Tech and frequent guest of the show, to demystify this increasingly omnipresent technology. We learn about about how the heck machine learning actually works, how it’s being used to improve our lives, and what should be keeping us awake at night when it comes to this powerful technology. (Hint: It’s not because of killer robots. Not yet...) Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Memory (BYTE)
What exactly is memory? And why is it so important to how our devices work today? Friend of the show and Georgia Tech computing lecturer Kantwon Rogers breaks it down into bits and bytes — and hints at what kinds of clouds the future may bring. BONUS: Andrea offers up her global solution to solve the issue of tailgating. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
The Answer Machine
Google has become our yellow pages, our atlas, our library, our medical consultant, our shopping guide. Which means it is, basically, a giant, virtual confession booth. It knows our most intimate secrets and our most mundane desires. Which has some really amazing upsides; we get a smorgasbord of answers in milliseconds. But behind the scenes of every search, there’s a bidding war going on. Whoever wins that war has the power to shape not just how we spend our money, but also, perhaps, our political views, and maybe even our will to live. We talk to Patrick Berlinquette, a search engine marketer and certified Google partner, about how our searches are, literally, for sale, and get some perspective on the world of digital advertising from NYU’s Vasant Dhar. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Algorithms (BYTE)
Simply put, we (humans) can’t possibly process all of the data in the world, which is why computers are so useful — and why algorithms have become so necessary. In this mini-episode, we go back to the basics. We talk to Georgia Tech computer programming lecturer Kantwon Rogers, a self-declared “eternal optimist,” who breaks down where algorithms came from and where they might be taking us.  Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Your Data Are Showing
What could someone learn about you from your location? What about your Facebook likes? What about just...your face? You’re probably thinking — not much. But Stanford researcher Michal Kosinski says that even superficial data have the potential to expose some of the most intimate details of our lives. Kosinski’s research is provocative, and he has a track record of drawing attention to unexpected risks that come with digital technologies. He argues we live in “a post-privacy” world, and he says the sooner we admit to that reality, the sooner we can start working to improve it. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Power from the People (Post Trump, Pre-2020)
Originally broadcast in March 2019, this episode has a new introduction, with an update on the Trump administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.  At the birth of the United States, the new nation faced a problem. How do you make a crazy new idea — power coming not from a king, but from the people — a reality? There was no handbook; the framers of the Constitution had to just kind of make it up. They landed on the idea of a census. You count the people in each state, and apportion power thusly. A great idea, and certainly a totally new one. But also one that, over the centuries, led to a multitude of unforeseen crises. It turned out that keeping representative democracy on the rails required some technical innovations — and led to the invention of a magnificent, and very significant, machine.  Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Power Lines, Post SCOTUS
Originally broadcast in May 2019, this episode has a new introduction, with an update on the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision on partisan gerrymandering. The United States is a pretty divided country; which may just feel like an inevitable product of our times. But it turns out there’s one partisan tool, in particular, that bears at least some of the blame. It’s something that is used behind closed doors, and that, thanks to the power of software and data, has turned into an ever more powerful partisan weapon. One that has now gone so far that some are saying it’s subverting democracy. And without any intervention, there’s no reason to think the situation will change for the better. Has our democracy crossed a line? And if it has, what is to be done? Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Conspiracy Tyranny
If the rise of despots around the world seems bewildering, especially given our unprecedented access to information in 2019 — therein might lie the very problem. A new kind of propaganda has taken hold, one that relies on too much information, instead of too little. In Part III of our mini-series on Russian disinformation, we take a look at how Vladimir Putin, leveraging 21st-century technology, engineered a media climate rife with conflict and conspiracies at home, and then took the strategy global. Not only to our shores, but to places around the world. And with deadly results. We talk with journalist Peter Pomerantsev about his early warnings around Russia’s new menace, how it plays to the advantage of authoritarians — and how we now see their techniques put to use by politicians in the United States. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Kinetic Effects
We know that Russia has been honing its tools of disinformation since the Cold War, but how did Soviet Era sabotage make the jump into the digital age? How have imposters on social media caused real-world tumult? In Part II of our miniseries on Russian interference, we get into the mechanics of it all, by taking a look at two specific instances when Russia tested out its disinformation strategy inside the United States. Renee DiResta and Kate Starbird, leading experts in the burgeoning field of digital misinformation, bring us up to speed on how Russia honed their misinformation campaign in the lead up to the 2016 election.  Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Dezinformatsiya
Russians posing as Americans. Wild conspiracy theories about political figures. Outright fabrications. All part of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections, certainly. But it turns out this kind of disinformation has been around for decades, since the early days of the Soviet Union. It’s just gotten a lot more powerful, thanks to tech and social media. But to understand what is happening now, we have to understand how we got here: the end of communism in Russia, the rise of democracy, and, ultimately, its demise at the hands of the man behind all this modern-day manipulation — Vladimir Putin. We get a front-row seat to the story with former ambassador to Russia — and a guy who knows about disinformation on a very personal level —  Michael McFaul. First of a three-part series. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Climate and Behavior: Warmer Means Worse
Climate change is already reshaping the natural world, but how does it affect human behavior? Economist Marshall Burke is part of a growing field of scientists uncovering interactions between global warming and humanity. The connections are vast: wars, violent crime, suicide rates, and income inequality. The emerging research may have the power to help us adapt...if we choose to pay attention to it. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Power Lines
The United States is a pretty divided country; which may just feel like an inevitable product of our times. But it turns out there’s one partisan tool, in particular, that bears at least some of the blame. It’s something that is used behind closed doors, and that, thanks to the power of software and data, has turned into an ever more powerful partisan weapon. One that has now gone so far that some are saying it’s subverting democracy. And without any intervention, there’s no reason to think the situation will change for the better. Has our democracy crossed a line? And if it has, what is to be done? Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Titan vs. Titan: A.I. & the Race for Global Supremacy
There’s an epic struggle under way: a challenge to lead the world in A.I. — artificial intelligence. But this space race for the 21st century doesn’t seem to be getting enough attention from at least one of the world’s superpowers — the United States. Futurist Amy Webb tells the story of the world’s leading artificial intelligence companies, and the struggle between East and West in her new book, The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans & Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity. We learn about China’s growing dominance in A.I., and how U.S. companies, in spite of stunning technological innovation, might someday fall behind. What’s at stake is nothing less than the future of power, governance, and freedom. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Weaponized
When we think of killer robots, images of the Terminator, Robocop, and other dystopian movies often spring to mind. These movies usually don’t end well (for the humans, at least). So it seems crazy that we would even consider building machines programmed to kill. On the other hand, some argue that autonomous weapons could save lives on the battlefield. We are not yet living in a world killer robots; but we might be getting close. What goes into the decision to kill? How can we possibly program robots to make the right decisions, given the moral stakes?
Power from the People, Part II: A New Kind of Machine
At the start of the 20th century, the United States Census Bureau was in a bit of a pickle. The electric tabulating machines that had saved the census in 1890 worked beautifully — but they were expensive. And there was only one source: Herman Hollerith (an inventor who helped lay the foundation for IBM). So the census decided to go into business for itself. They started up their own machine shop to, essentially, copy Hollerith’s device. This decision set off a cascade of events that, by the 1950s, set the stage for one of the most important moments in tech history — the birth of an entirely new kind of machine. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Power from the People
At the birth of the United States, the new nation faced a problem. How do you make a crazy new idea — power coming not from a king, but from the people — a reality? There was no handbook; the framers of the Constitution had to just kind of make it up. They landed on the idea of a census. You count the people in each state, and apportion power thusly. A great idea, and certainly a totally new one. But also one that, over the centuries, led to a multitude of unforeseen crises. It turned out that, to keep representative democracy on the rails required some technical innovations — and led to the invention of a magnificent, and very significant, machine. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Meet Raw Data
On Raw Data, we take a look at the new source of power in the 21st century: data. Whoever controls data has power. But is this making things better? Worse? Raw Data is a show about how information becomes power. Find out more at rawdatapodcast.com
Reckoning
Silicon Valley and Washington DC have a showdown when Zuckerberg goes before Congress. Silicon Valley has grown powerful because it advances a vision for how technology will set us free. So what’s missing from the Silicon Valley story?
Inevitability
Technology is an almost god-like force that acts upon all of humanity. What does it actually want?
Democracy
Can democracy survive the internet? What country will take the lead in shaping our online environment – and how?
Gatekeepers
The tech giants that control the internet have destroyed 20th century institutions and challenged the role of an independent press. Whither the 4th estate? Susan Athey, Frank Foer.
All the World's a Stage
Within 15 years, social media has become the dominant force shaping the Valley. What does it mean for individuals around the world and for society at large to be publicly performing in so many aspects of our lives? Andrew Smith, Alice Marwick.
The Garage
Silicon Valley reveres garage start-ups and the myth of the entrepreneur. But, in the wake of the dotcom crash, power dynamics shift. Have the entrepreneurs, these quintessential American characters,captured too much power? Steve Blank, Sarah Lacy.
Land of the Free Dotcom
Netscape’s IPO electrifies the dotcom era, and “New Economy” proponents insist that cyberspace will redefine the rules of prosperity. The data economy is born. Guests: Fred Turner, Kevin Kelly, Lou Montulli, Rosanne Siino, Tim Wu.
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Podcast Details
Started
Sep 16th, 2015
Latest Episode
Oct 3rd, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
51
Avg. Episode Length
27 minutes
Explicit
No

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