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Babbage from Economist Radio

Author: The Economist

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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.

235 Episodes
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Babbage: Designer genes

Babbage: Designer genes

2019-11-0600:24:56

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” For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Babbage: Home o’Sapiens

Babbage: Home o’Sapiens

2019-10-3000:24:32

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_________________________Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:www.economist.com/radiooffer_________________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Babbage: Cough up

Babbage: Cough up

2019-10-1600:27:21

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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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
Babbage: Steak and Chips

Babbage: Steak and Chips

2019-10-0200:27:19

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____________________Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:www.economist.com/radiooffer____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Babbage: Carbon sucks

Babbage: Carbon sucks

2019-09-2500:26:302

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 hostsAdditional music by Chris Zabriskie "Divider" (CC by 4.0)____________________Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:www.economist.com/radiooffer____________________ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Babbage: Climate. Change

Babbage: Climate. Change

2019-09-1800:26:143

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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Babbage: Taxis for take-off

Babbage: Taxis for take-off

2019-09-1100:24:59

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 hostsextra music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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 For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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Comments (1)

David Mears

Great show. I'd be more likely to download episodes if the titles were less geared towards assonance/wit and more towards telling me the topic of the episode.

Oct 21st
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