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Exponential View with Azeem Azhar
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Exponential View with Azeem Azhar

Author: HBR Presents / Azeem Azhar

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How will the future unfold? What is the impact of technology on business & society? As technology reorders the world in which live, who will be the winners and who will be the losers? Join Azeem Azhar, curator of the Exponential View newsletter, in deep conversation with the world's leading thinkers and practitioners exploring these and other important questions.

The views expressed on this podcast are those of its hosts, guests, and callers, and not those of Harvard Business Review.
125 Episodes
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Kim Stanley Robinson, the legendary science-fiction novelist, has a private utopian hope: “to dodge a mass extinction event.” He joins Azeem Azhar to explore his recent novel, The Ministry For the Future, and what it would take for institutions, individuals, and emerging technologies to save millions of lives.
Facebook serves 34 percent of the world’s population and decides who to block and what to censor. How should governments regulate this startling power? Nick Clegg, the UK’s former deputy prime minister and now vice president of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how governments might reassert control in the exponential age.
Visa processes more than 500 million transactions every day. How is the world’s largest digital payment platform adapting to new technologies and fresh competition? Charlotte Hogg, executive vice president and CEO of its European operations, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the evolving ecosystem of digital payments.
From predictive policing to automated credit scoring, algorithms applied on a massive scale, gone unchecked, represent a serious threat to our society. Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, director of Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency and Accountability at Twitter, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how businesses can practice responsible AI to minimize unintended bias and the risk of harm.
The Coming AI Hackers

The Coming AI Hackers

2021-06-0937:471

AI hackers are coming, and it’s not just our computer networks at risk – our laws and regulations are also vulnerable. Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned security technologist and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how humans have always exploited loopholes in rule-based systems, and how that will change as AIs become more powerful.
Could we have a financial industry without banks or brokers? That’s the vision of decentralized finance – or DeFi – in which financial products are built from tamper-proof digital smart contracts interacting with blockchains. Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of Chainlink, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the promise of this emerging sector to bring greater transparency, control, and yield for both customers and businesses.
AI can offer a new type of competitive advantage, but entrepreneurs need to know what it is and how to unlock it. Ash Fontana, author of The AI First Company and managing director at Zetta Venture Partners – a firm that exclusively invests in early-stage AI startups, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the risks and rewards of applying AI to business problems.
Using forests to offset a company’s carbon emissions has been dismissed as “greenwashing.” But Diego Saez Gil argues that a verifiable and transparent global market in carbon credits is a vital tool to mitigate climate change. In part 2 of their discussion, he joins Azeem Azhar to explore how his company, Pachama, uses technology to connect farmers and ecologists with climate-conscious corporations in an effort to evolve the global carbon marketplace.
How do we build a market for carbon offsets that is both trustworthy and effective? Diego Saez Gil, co-founder and CEO of Pachama, believes he has the answer. In part 1 of the conversation, Diego joins Azeem Azhar to explore how AI, satellites, and LiDAR can be leveraged to verify the conservation efforts of farmers, NGOs, and governments and help lay the foundation for sustainable work against climate change.
Kenneth Cukier, senior editor at the Economist, and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the University of Oxford, argue that because AI systems have no causal model of the world, they lack the human capacity for imagination and decision-making. Azeem Azhar explores their contention that we should not rely on AI to provide solutions to our problems. Rather we should systematically challenge how we frame our problems in order to produce breakthrough insights and innovations — then use AI to help enact those solutions.
In less than a decade France has gone from tech backwater to the startup engine of the EU. It recently celebrated its 12th company to achieve a $1 billion valuation and is well on the way to President Macron’s goal of “25 unicorns by 2025.” Kat Borlongan, director of La French Tech, joins Azeem Azhar to explore how her government taskforce has been working to effectively drive growth in the French startup scene.
Turning a corporate climate pledge into reality is a complex endeavor. Watershed, a software startup co-founded by Christian Anderson, is committed to using data to cut corporate emissions fast. In conversation with Azeem Azhar, Christian shares the challenges of putting this dream into practice.
The Future of Meat

The Future of Meat

2021-04-2138:511

Livestock is responsible for 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Could meat grown in labs offer a sustainable – and palatable – future? Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of cultured meat start-up Aleph Farms, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the biotech, ethics, and economics of making beef without cows.
AI is not just code and algorithms. It’s an industry built on a global network of resource extraction, human labor, and data collection. Kate Crawford, senior principal researcher at Microsoft Research and research professor of communication and science and technology studies at USC Annenberg, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the far-reaching impacts of AI and to consider the urgent case for proper governance and regulation of the industry.
IonQ is the first company solely focused on quantum computing to go public, with its quantum computers accessible via the cloud today. The company’s co-founder/chief scientist Chris Monroe and president/CEO Peter Chapman join Azeem Azhar to explore how they turned cutting-edge research into a scalable product. They also discuss the engineering challenges that remain before quantum systems not only surpass the fastest supercomputers, but also become widely available.
Meltem Demirors, Chief Strategy Officer at CoinShares, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the potential and politics of cryptocurrencies: from the ideological origins of Bitcoin to the new wave of decentralized financial products that could disrupt traditional finance.
Atlassian, the enterprise software innovator, is helping to drive disruption across the world of work. Co-founder and co-CEO Scott Farquhar joins Azeem Azhar to explain how, during a global pandemic, they nearly doubled the size of their workforce, why the workplace will never be the same after Covid-19, and what the implications are for companies and employees who increasingly operate remotely, asynchronously, and in flatter hierarchies.
The Architects of AI

The Architects of AI

2021-03-1743:571

Cade Metz, technology correspondent at The New York Times, joins Azeem Azhar to discuss his new book Genius Makers. In it, he tells the story of the pioneers who brought AI out of academic labs, sparking a Big Tech arms race and transforming our everyday lives.
What are universities for? Are they an elite pipeline for elite jobs, or can they meet the needs of societies transforming amid technological advances? Azeem Azhar explores the role of higher education in research, innovation, and progress with Geraint Rees, Dean of Faculty of Life Sciences at University College London and a leader of their AI strategy.
Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of the self-driving technology startup Aurora, joins Azeem Azhar to explore the state-of-play of self-driving technology, the criticisms the tech must address, and the huge challenges to be overcome before we trust a computer to drive our kids to school.
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Comments (8)

Rajiv Aserkar

Supply Chain digitization is the need of the hour. Thisbis a very timely podcast.

Nov 26th
Reply

Luana Arch

really excellent conversation

Jun 27th
Reply

Mahsa kousha

Excellent conversation!

May 12th
Reply

Luana Arch

Great podcast, just frustrating the guest being interrupted several times.

May 3rd
Reply

gg

You cut the guest off a few times towards the end of the interview

Apr 8th
Reply

Aydin Kurt-Elli

Very interesting discussion but was very concerned at the implication of something Missy said re the B737max scandal. She said some carriers don't buy the same training packages for their pilots. The B737max is aerodynamically unstable, so a fundamentally flawed airframe. The MCAS and single AoA detector are flawed design and implementation problems. All compounded by Boeing not disclosing the MCAS even existed to carriers/pilots in the POH/training materials. This is criminal and raises the question, how can pilots trust a Boeing POH again in the future? This was not a choice by foreign carriers, but a decision imposed by Boeing to avoid the regulatory implications of disclosing the system. They applied the fail fast, fail often principle to try and catch up with Airbus and the failure cost lives.

May 23rd
Reply

Rick Bryant

an excellent uncomplicated interview and discussion regarding the future of health care and technology

May 6th
Reply

Oguz Bayram

great talk that drived me to think more consciously about the tech

Feb 7th
Reply
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