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FT Tech Tonic

Author: Financial Times

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We are in the midst of a digital revolution, where the line between our physical world and cyberspace is blurring. Tech Tonic is the show that investigates the promises and perils of this new technological age. 


This season, FT innovation editor John Thornhill takes us into the emergency rooms, city centres and even cruise ships where tech innovation is solving some of the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, as he explores what this tech-driven world means for us all. 



132 Episodes
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The digital revolution will be shaped by whoever controls our data. What does this mean for consumers and businesses? Tim Bradshaw, the FT’s global tech correspondent, looks at the increasing power of ecommerce giants. The idea of a few big companies controlling the market is an uneasy one for many so has the pandemic finally created the impetus to rein in the power of Big Tech? Hosted by the FT’s innovation editor, John Thornhill. Produced by Camille Petersen. Sound design and mixing by Breen Turner. The executive producers are Cheryl Brumley and Liam Nolan. Review clips: C-SPAN, Reuters, US Department of Justice, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institution.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
About 1.4bn students in more than 130 countries have spent parts of the past year adapting to learning online. The crisis has put the education sector into overdrive, and accelerated the way we use technology to study. For adult learners, distance learning offers a cheaper and more flexible alternative to the university degree. Are online qualifications about to gain greater credibility and create more flexibility in the job market, or is this surge in digital education a passing fad? The FT’s San Francisco correspondent Patrick McGee speaks to edtech innovators who are rethinking traditional degrees and a trucker who learned to code. Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times. Review clip: "I adore my Commodore 64" advert (1983, music by Terry Bush). Produced by Camille Petersen, with additional producing and editing by Oluwakemi Aladesuyi. Sound design and mixing by Breen Turner. Original music was composed by Metaphor Music. The executive producers are Cheryl Brumley and Liam Nolan.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Early in the pandemic, Taiwan legally gathered location data from more than 600,000 of its citizens to stem the spread of coronavirus. South Korea, another east Asian democracy, has similar legal measures in place. How far are those of us who live in democratic societies willing to trust "big government" with our data? The FT’s Greater China correspondent Kathrin Hille speaks to Taiwan's digital minister Audrey Tang and the country's former deputy prime minister Chen Chi-mai about this data-driven approach to solving a public health emergency. Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times.  For insights on Asia's booming tech scene, here is a free sign up to our #techAsia newsletter: https://www.ft.com/newsletter-signup/tech-asia The producer and editor was Liam Nolan. Sound design and mixing was by Breen Turner, with additional audio editing by Howard Shannon. Location sound was recorded by Aki Chen. The executive producer was Cheryl Brumley. Additional reporting by Nicolle Liu in Hong Kong and Edward White in Seoul. Emma Zhou in Beijing helped with translation. Original music was composed by Metaphor Music. Review clip: CNN.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Could a piece of high-tech cloth keep Covid-19 patients out of hospital and allow them to be monitored at home? The FT’s pharma and biotech correspondent, Hannah Kuchler, reports on the wearable technology changing healthcare during the pandemic, and examines what it means for the future of patient care. Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times. Produced by Liam Nolan. Sound Design by Breen Turner and Louise Burton. Aimee Keane is the editor and the executive producer is Cheryl Brumley. Original music by Metaphor Music.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Our lives are increasingly moving from the offline to the online world, leaving a long trail of data in our wake. These data can be used to wield economic and political power, and to define us as communities and as individuals. What are the opportunities and risks? Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times. Produced by Liam Nolan. Sound Design by Breen Turner and Louise Burton, with additional production by Oluwakemi Aladesuyi. The editor is Aimee Keane, and the executive producer is Cheryl Brumley. Original music was composed by Metaphor Music. Review clips: NASA, Reuters, Computer History Museum, BBC, Thames TV/Freemantle, CBS.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The show that investigates the promises and perils of our digital age is back with a new season. FT innovation editor John Thornhill will take us into the emergency rooms, city centres and even cruise ships where tech innovation is solving some of the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic, as he explores what this tech-driven world means for us all. Tech Tonic returns on Monday, March 1.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
AI research and big tech

AI research and big tech

2019-12-1631:391

John Thornhill talks to David Barber, director of the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence in London, about how academic researchers can work with business and the wider community to create the best outcomes for society.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype and Atomico and Tom Wehmeier, Atomico partner and author of The State of European Tech report, talk to the FT's John Thornhill about whether Europe is becoming a tech hub.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Dave Ferrucci, CEO, founder and chief scientist of Elemental Cognition, talks to Richard Waters, the FT's West Coast editor, about his efforts to train computers to use language to reason.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Kate Brandt talks to John Thornhill about Google’s drive to minimise and offset the energy used in its operations and supply chains, and about its environmental insights explorer which helps cities find ways to reduce their carbon emissions.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Economist Stefan Dercon tells John Thornhill about the findings of a research project he led, showing how, used wisely, technology can enable development, rather than just replace labour and put people out of work. Read his report here  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
John Thornhill talks to Jeni Tennison, chief executive of the Open Data Institute, about her work in helping to develop best practice for the use and sharing of data, and about how Brexit will affect Britain's data economy.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
John Thornhill talks to Scott Kupor, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz, about his book Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, about the conditions needed to grow tech companies and the potential drawbacks of a venture capital dominated market.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
John Thornhill talks to FT colleague Rana Foroohar about her book Don’t Be Evil - How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles - And All Of Us  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
John Thornhill discusses how to make artificial intelligence safe for humans with Stuart Russell, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of new book ‘Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control’.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
John Thornhill talks to Jaan Tallinn, founding engineer at Skype and Kazaa, about his subsequent career as a tech investor and his concerns about AI safety.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Madhumita Murgia discusses what happens when robots can do most of the work humans do with Calum Chace of the Economic Singularity Club, Mike Wooldridge, professor of Computer Science at Oxford University and Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Mathematician Marcus du Sautoy puts his theories about creative AI to the test before a live audience at the recent FT Weekend Festival in London.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Design guru John Maeda tells Tim Bradshaw why he thinks a diversity of viewpoints and listening to what consumers want will be more valuable to the companies of the future than creating the next breakthrough technology.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bioethicist Sarah Chan contributed to a report this month on neurotechnology by the UK’s senior scientific academy. She talks to John Thornhill about the potential health benefits of neural interfaces but also the difficulty of regulating the commercial use of devices that interact with our brains. Read the Royal Society's report here All FT stories will be free to read on Wednesday September 18th when there will be a 24-hour paywall freeze. Here are a couple of recommendations to get you started: Neural interfaces should upgrade, not degrade, humans How China dodged a trade war recession  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (5)

Theresa Bedeau

excellent channel!

Sep 11th
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Michael Morgan

Great podcast thankyou! I just boughts Reich's book on Audible.

Jul 31st
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Argha Bhattacharya

Very interesting.

Apr 19th
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David Long

trance house

Mar 4th
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Victor Gasp

wow!! this episode with Y.Noah abt data ruling the world was just great!!! @Johnthornhillft asking the best questions, as usual. Highly recommend.

Feb 24th
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