Raw Data

Raw Data

www.rawdatapodcast.com
A podcast about how information becomes power


Technically Sweet
Nov 21 • 27 min
Chocolate is beloved by…well, most humans, it would seem. But this sweet treat that, for many of us, brings instant happiness, has a nasty secret: most of the world’s cocoa comes from a place where child labor, and sometimes even enslavement, is rampant.…
Training Computers to See
Nov 14 • 17 min
Over the past few decades, computer vision has held the promise of making the world a better place, from aiding the blind to helping doctors better analyze medical imagery. But as it turns out, teaching computers to see has some unintended consequences.…
The Worst Cyber Attack (For now)
Nov 7 • 19 min
In June 2017, something weird — and very alarming — started happening at a company in Copenhagen. It seemed that hackers had shut down the company’s network, and were demanding a ransom. But it turned out this was no ordinary cyberattack. What unfolded…
How We Found Ourselves
Oct 31 • 24 min
Get out your smartphone, and you can almost instantaneously know where you are — and find out how to get where you want to go. Which, when you think back on the history of human navigation is…pretty astounding. How did we come to hold such immense power…
About Us, But Not For Us (Repost)
Oct 29 • 29 min
Originally broadcast in April 2019. As we approach the end of 2019, the Financial Times recognizes Shoshana Zuboff’s “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” as one of the best business books of the year. Shoshana Zuboff doesn’t mince words when it comes to…
Prediction (BYTE)
Oct 24 • 10 min
When humans predict something, it’s basically an educated guess, based on our experiences. When a machine makes a prediction, it uses data and math. And we are increasingly relying on machine prediction to help make decisions in everything from banking to…
The Digital Divide
Oct 17 • 27 min
Imagine a life without the Internet. No email, no Instagram, no texting, no Google maps, no Netflix…what would you do? A “normal” life would be next to impossible. But huge numbers of Americans face this very problem. Access to high-speed Internet is…
Hacking (BYTE)
Oct 10 • 12 min
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…
Machine Learning (BYTE)
Oct 3 • 18 min
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,…
Memory (BYTE)
Sep 26 • 12 min
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:…
The Answer Machine
Sep 19 • 27 min
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…
Algorithms (BYTE)
Sep 12 • 13 min
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…
Your Data Are Showing
Aug 29 • 25 min
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…
Power from the People (Post Trump, Pre-2020)
Jul 18 • 31 min
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…
Power Lines, Post SCOTUS
Jul 11 • 30 min
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…
Conspiracy Tyranny
Jul 4 • 19 min
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…
Kinetic Effects
Jun 27 • 19 min
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…
Dezinformatsiya
Jun 20 • 36 min
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,…
Climate and Behavior: Warmer Means Worse
Jun 6 • 27 min
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,…
Power Lines
May 13 • 27 min
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,…
Titan vs. Titan: A.I. & the Race for Global Supremacy
May 2 • 25 min
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.…
Weaponized
Apr 25 • 26 min
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…
About Us, But Not for Us
Apr 11 • 28 min
Shoshana Zuboff doesn’t mince words when it comes to the data economy. According to Zuboff, author of the recent book *The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, *our very souls are at stake. But the seeds of surveillance capitalism were planted rather…
Power from the People, Part II: A New Kind of Machine
Apr 4 • 19 min
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…
Power from the People
Mar 21 • 27 min
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.…
Meet Raw Data
Mar 7 • 2 min
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
Jul 26, 2018 • 35 min
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
Jul 19, 2018 • 28 min
Technology is an almost god-like force that acts upon all of humanity. What does it actually want?
Democracy
Jul 12, 2018 • 21 min
Can democracy survive the internet? What country will take the lead in shaping our online environment – and how?
Gatekeepers
Jul 5, 2018 • 26 min
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
Jun 28, 2018 • 38 min
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
Jun 21, 2018 • 24 min
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
Jun 7, 2018 • 36 min
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.
The Triple Fence
May 31, 2018 • 33 min
In the post-Watergate era, two academics battle the NSA and establish the technology that protects our online information. Cryptography remains a fundamental tool, but can it save us from entering a post-privacy world? Guests: Michal Kosinski, Whit…
The Looking Glass
May 24, 2018 • 39 min
The Valley comes of age as the center of innovation and personal computing. Doug Englebart delivers the Mother of All Demos. Steve Jobs makes a fateful visit to Xerox PARC. On The WELL, people learn what it means to socialize online. Guests: Leslie…
Drop City
May 17, 2018 • 36 min
Inspired by cybernetics and LSD, Stewart Brand creates the Whole Earth Catalog as a how-to manual for the commune movement. The catalog articulates a philosophy of tech idealism and individual empowerment. Guests: Fred Turner, John Markoff, and Kevin…
Valley of Heart’s Delight
May 10, 2018 • 30 min
Before tech, there were orchards in the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” Federal funding for Cold War research changes everything, and the semiconductor industry brings silicon to the Valley. The Traitorous Eight create Fairchild Semiconductor. And the…
Monument to a Dead Child
May 3, 2018 • 37 min
The seeds of Silicon Valley were sown long ago. The Gold Rush, the railroad barons, the founding of Stanford University, and myths of the American West still echo today.
Prelude
Apr 26, 2018 • 6 min
Introducing the series. Silicon Valley’s power: how did we get here?
Season Finale: The Legal Codes
Jun 26, 2017 • 32 min
How are algorithms and data science making their way into the American criminal justice system? The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, and it’s clear from the statistics that minorities – most notably, black Americans –…
Meddling
May 18, 2017 • 30 min
There are A LOT of unanswered questions right now about Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Whether it’s actually hacking into the DNC servers or more subtly spreading misinformation online, there’s widespread meddling afoot. Online information was…
Newer Money
Apr 1, 2017 • 32 min
It’s been a minute since we’ve checked in on the world’s favorite cryptocurrency – Bitcoin! And man oh man is there a lot of upheaval in Bitcoin-land. The price is soaring, the SEC is debating, and other crypto-coins are on the move. Will Bitcoin and…
Propaganda Armies
Feb 24, 2017 • 34 min
Let’s face it – there’s a lot of bulls**t flying around on the Internet. But where is it all coming from? This week, we tackle fake news, propaganda, and misinformation from a few different angles. We talk to BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman, who was one of the…
A New Day in Hollywood
Jan 30, 2017 • 27 min
There are massive changes underway in Hollywood – and a lot of the disruption is being driven by big data. In this week’s episode, we’re taking a deep dive into the ways companies like Netflix and Amazon are mounting a threat to the traditional studio…
Attention is Money
Dec 20, 2016 • 30 min
On the Internet there’s a never-ending, epic battle to catch – and keep – your attention. We don’t really think about it much, but attention is a precious and personal resource, and these days the name of the game is to monetize your attention through…
Data Confidential
Dec 13, 2016 • 24 min
It’s nearly impossible to know if you’re having a truly private, unmonitored conversation today. Big data and online communications open the door for widespread surveillance. But even if you feel like you personally have nothing to hide, surveillance is…
Gold or Pyrite?
Nov 29, 2016 • 24 min
Welcome to Season 2 of Raw Data! There’s been a lot of buzz about big data in the past few years. The success of companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon has helped fuel the growth of second generation data companies seeking insights in data like…
Upon Reflection: Season 1
May 24, 2016 • 28 min
We’ve reached the end of Season 1 of Raw Data! (Don’t worry, there’s a second season coming soon.) In this episode, producers Mike and Leslie break from the usual format, and sit down in studio for a conversation with Worldview Director Brie Linkenhoker.…
Episode 11: So… What’s On Your Mind?
Apr 5, 2016 • 28 min
Language is a window into our minds. So with all the digital text trails we’re creating these days, what can we learn about our inner psychology, mental health, and well-being? In this episode: how Twitter language correlates with heart disease, what…
Episode 10: Love
Mar 21, 2016 • 32 min
LOVE!! Why is it so hard to find?! The seemingly endless options of online dating should make it easy, right? Is there data that can predict lasting love? Argh!! Maybe we just haven’t digitized the right information yet? Who knows. So many questions.
Episode 9: The Digital Afterlife
Mar 2, 2016 • 27 min
What happens to our data when we die? Digital estate planning is becoming an increasingly important topic, though many of our laws have not yet caught up. These days, we leave behind entire histories of our lives online, which can hold both monetary and…
Episode 8: All the News That’s Fit to Feed
Feb 11, 2016 • 35 min
How do you get your news – and how do you think your news gets to you? The pathway of information flow involves layers of decisions that in many ways are opaque. So are we achieving the universal access to all knowledge that the early Internet idealists…
Episode 7: The Big Data of Nature
Jan 27, 2016 • 34 min
As we hear over and over again, environmental issues are mounting, and the stakes are huge. So how might big data be used to tackle the issues of sustainability, climate change, habitat loss, and species extinction? And even more than that, can it offer…
Episode 6: Under the Influence
Dec 21, 2015 • 24 min
Are we addicted to the Internet? Is it even appropriate to use the language of addiction about smartphones and other digital devices? After all, tech companies intentionally appeal to human nature – our desire to connect with others, our boredom, our love…
Episode 5: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Data
Nov 23, 2015 • 32 min
Elections and political messaging are changing in the new media landscape. Campaigns are using big data to target voters with better precision, and tech companies are making decisions behind the scenes about how political information is being presented to…
Episode 4: New Money
Nov 3, 2015 • 25 min
Cryptocurrencies could revolutionize money and finance. But even more than that, they symbolize how trust is changing as we increasingly rely on technology rather than traditional institutions - like banks and governments - to handle some of our most…
Episode 3: The Hippocratic Algorithm
Oct 19, 2015 • 26 min
Big data is revolutionizing health and medicine, from genomics to wearable technologies to precision health. But is our medical care system prepared for algorithms that can diagnose us and make decisions about treatment? And even more than that, what will…
Episode 2: Work in the Crowd
Oct 5, 2015 • 22 min
What is the future of work? Today, all of our careers are being transformed by big data, from how we find it, to how we collaborate with others, to how our professional reputations are shaped. We explore both the opportunities and risks of moving our work…
Episode 1: Uploaded
Sep 15, 2015 • 22 min
Welcome to Raw Data! In this first episode, hosts Mike Osborne and Leslie Chang explore how normal, everyday digital footprints can reveal surprisingly intimate facts – like whether your parents are divorced, and whether you own a gun. This podcast is…