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Tech Can't Save Us

Author: Literal Humans

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Tech Can't Save Us explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of tech. Hosted by Paul David and William Gadsby Peet, Co-Founders of Literal Humans

Each episode we invite an expert from a specific sector of tech for a no-bull**** chat about how technology can make us better people, how it can enhance life on earth for all creatures, but also how tech can harm society, and what we can do to fix it.

Through open conversations with representatives from brands like Adidas, Google, Buffer, Facebook, and smaller emerging companies like myNexus and The Black Men's Book Club, Tech Can't Save Us aims to give an honest insight into tech and the Tech for Good sector – what it's doing well, and what could be improved.
83 Episodes
The digital lifestyle has subtle implications for our mental well-being—and not all of it is negative. Studies show that online therapy, for instance, can be just as effective as its in-person counterpart. Consider the duality: technology both challenges and aids mental health. The hosts of Tech Can’t Save Us discuss the intricate relationship between technology and mental health and invite Ashleigh Tennent, Co-founder and CEO of More Happi to share her journey of creating an online space for coaching in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
The evolution of technology has turbocharged user experiences. Yet, not all that glitters in the tech world ensures a satisfying UX. As AI and personalisation become game-changers, how do they influence the digital landscape? Paul, Will, and Savena discuss the dynamics of user experience and call on insights from experts Dan Hyde and Alex Blondin, co-founders of Everything Is User Experience in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Your thoughts fuel our podcast's evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
Digital payments have undergone transformational changes over the years. While they offer unmatched convenience, concerns about security persist. Could the rise of cryptocurrencies herald another major shift? What societal impacts can we anticipate from these trends? Paul, Rebecca, and Savena discuss the evolution and future of Digital Payments in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us.
August saw the rollout of the UK's Online Safety Bill, sparking debate and concern among tech giants. Meanwhile, the space race heated up with India's Vikram Lander aiming for the moon, shadowed by Russia's Luna-25 mishap. Could the cosmos be the next tech battleground? As regulatory challenges mount on Earth, might tech leaders look to the stars? Paul, Rebecca, and Savena discuss the interplay of online safety regulations and celestial ambitions in this episode of Tech Can't Save Us. Your thoughts fuel our podcast’s evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
Bootstrapping and VC funding offer unique growth paths for businesses. While bootstrapping celebrates autonomy, VC funding boasts rapid scaling opportunities. What factors dictate the ideal choice for B2B startups? Economic conditions and evolving VC trends suggest alternatives. Paul, Rebecca, and Savena discuss the intricacies of bootstrapping versus VC funding in this Tech Can't Save Us episode. Your thoughts fuel our podcast’s evolution. Participate in our survey and share your feedback here.
In 2010, high-frequency algorithms helped trigger a severe market crash, vaporizing roughly $1 trillion in a matter of minutes. Today, the volatility associated with the stock market has inspired banks such as JPMorgan to use machine-learning applications in some of their buy-side trading strategies. What is the role of automation in the world of wealth and investment management, and how is the rise of robo-advisors shifting the ground beneath our financial feet? Paul, Will, and Rebecca are joined by Steven Wang, founder and CEO of dub, to discuss wealth, investment, and the tech that’s taking finance to new heights.
Gone are the days when Food Tech was an unfamiliar subject introduced to you in high school. Today, UK adults judge a restaurant by its presence on social media, the number of robots in the European food tech industry is well over 30,000, and over 50% of Brits call food delivery an essential part of their lives. How has technology integrated with food over the years, and what are the consequences of this increasingly close partnership? Join Paul, Will, and Rebecca, along with Alex Bond, CEO of Fresh Check, as they explore the fascinating world of plates and pixels.
It’s been a fascinating four weeks for tech nerds—from the launch (and decline?) of “twitter-buster” Threads, to Twitter’s own CEO sunsetting the bird in favor of “X”, we’ve had a month that’s practically begging for a review. That, combined with the recently celebrated ‘Fintech Day’ (1 August), makes the foundation of this week’s pod—with your resident humans Paul, Will, and Rebecca. 
91% of leading businesses have ongoing investments in artificial intelligence—and that number just went up by the time you read this sentence. There’s no denying that AI is shaping up to become the revolution of the decade. What does this mean for employment? Will AI assist us or kick us out of business? What benefits and threats does it pose to the job market? And most importantly, can adaptability (arguably our most human trait) help us thrive alongside AI to achieve what was once impossible? Suspected androids Paul and Will discuss.
With 33% of college students in the US taking at least one online course, it’s safe to say that we’re turning over a new leaf in global education. What are the benefits and trade-offs of online learning? Is the UK doing enough to make it as equitable as possible? And can our newest old friend, AI, step in to help revolutionise the future of learning? Catch Paul, Will, and Rebecca discussing these questions in a thought-provoking episode of TCSU.
Why do almost half of women in tech drop out by age 35? Does diversity in tech matter? Can government-led initiatives really make the tech sector more diverse — and if not, what are the alternative solutions? Rocío Medina van Nierop — co-founder and CEO of Latinas in Tech — joins us to answer these questions and more. To learn more about the incredible work Latinas In Tech is doing visit
In a world driven by rapid technological advancements, the future holds both excitement and uncertainty. Join us as we explore the intersection of technology, society, and our shared future. We delve into the coolest tech breakthroughs across various industries, discussing whether technology can save us from our most pressing challenges, such as the threat of climate change and poverty. From traditional business verticals to new technologies like the Metaverse, and Web 3, we question the boundaries of what's possible and look at the challenges and opportunities ahead. We also examine the interplay between innovations that can make an impact and those that can generate profits, plus the significance of government investment in addressing this issue. One intriguing avenue we explore is whether artificial intelligence (AI) has a place in an agency built on the concept of human-to-human connections. We talk about how our agency is navigating the growth of AI, using it to add some firepower to our work while keeping our engagements authentic and meaningful.  Still, on the issue of AI, we’re joined by Suhair Khan, the founder of Open-Ended, a cross-disciplinary lab and AI incubator. Suhair shares her inspiration for starting the organization and sheds light on the common challenges faced by creative technologists.  We finish off the chat with Suhair’s aspirations, her views on the need for holistic ecosystems to make a bigger impact, and some talk about an Open-Ended conference happening later this year on the future of intelligence. There will be free tickets for those who can’t afford them, so be sure to stay tuned for more! You can connect with Suhair on Instagram: (where she likes replying to messages) and learn more about the work the Open-Ended team is doing at:
This week, Will and Rebecca discuss the Oceangate Titan submersible disaster that killed five people — including the company’s founder, Stockton Rush — and what we can learn from it about the need for regulation in tech.  Despite numerous warnings from industry experts and a lack of regulation, Rush pushed ahead with the fatal expedition, reflecting a prevailing attitude among super-rich entrepreneurs that they know better than anyone else.  Will and Rebecca discuss the barriers to regulation, whistleblowers, and what really lies behind moves towards tougher regulation in the EU and UK. Are dark forces at play? And whose interests are really being served? There are obvious parallels between the Titan disaster and the tech industry — the conversation around the regulation of social media has been going on for a couple of decades, and more recently, AI has come under the regulation spotlight.  How can we strike a balance between regulation and innovation in tech and ensure regulations guarantee ethical and privacy standards? Is regulation always good, or does it stifle innovation and serve hidden agendas? Tune in for Will and Rebecca’s takes on these issues and more. 
In this episode of Tech Can’t Save Us, we’re joined by Dami Hastrup, the Co-Founder and CEO of Moonhub, a virtual reality (VR) training platform that helps teams gain and retain knowledge through interactive VR scenarios. Before welcoming our guest, we take a moment to celebrate London Tech Week, exploring the dynamic landscape of the UK's VR and AR market, plus what lies ahead in this rapidly growing and ever-evolving space. We also delve into the UK’s strategy to lead the future of web technology and the tightening regulation around AI.  We’re then joined by Dami, who tells us how he founded Moonhub after discovering that the training experiences he had during his internships and actual work were inconsistent. Dami highlights, “But there was one thing that was consistent, and that is people didn't remember anything… You'd spend so much time training but people just didn't remember anything.”  This realization sparked the birth of Moonhub, a platform designed to deliver training in an immersive and captivating manner, while also offering valuable data and insights regarding individual performance within these environments. We jump into the distinctive features that set Moonhub apart from other solutions in the market, and Dami lets us know that a lot of what the company does is based on a patented scoring system, which provides very valuable data. Our conversation shifts toward the significant contributions made by Moonhub's co-founders, leveraging their diverse skill sets to propel the company's overall success. Then, we talk about how Moonnhub is addressing any potential ethical concerns surrounding the use of AI, as well as how the company remains attuned to the evolving needs of different industries, consistently updating its training modules to meet industry standards.  As we wrap up our chat, Dami shares his journey in the tech space, what Moonhub hopes to achieve in the future, and how important it is for startup founders to be able to adapt and learn at breakneck speed in order to survive.  To  learn more about Dami and the work the Moonhub team is doing, visit the following links: Dami’s LinkedIn: Moonhub website: 
Tech Can't Save Us returns for its highly anticipated third season! Joining our resident wizards Paul and Will is our new co-host, Rebecca Headman. With her extensive experience as a podcast producer and expertise in social media and PR, Rebecca has successfully elevated numerous brands and businesses in her career. Together, the trio kick off the third season of the podcast by examining the London tech scene three years after Brexit. Our conversation begins with a look at the gradual decline of London as an appealing hub for tech startups and the consequential rise of France as a potential candidate to replace its position. Currently, France's tech startups have secured over €10 billion in funding, while London's tech startups have raised over £50 billion, placing London in the lead. However, there are various social, economic, and political factors that may jeopardize London's standing. Will initiates the discussion by highlighting a concerning trend: "We've witnessed a 20% drop in VC funding for London's tech sector amidst economic downturns, such as the Contra ENEOS situation. In contrast, France has experienced an 8% increase."  As the conversation progresses, our trio explores the growing options for alternative tech hubs within the UK, including Manchester, Edinburgh, and Leeds. Paul introduces the concept of a generational shift, which has prompted tech workers based in London to migrate to other parts of the country. "London is exerting tremendous pressure on individuals, pushing them to explore these emerging hubs. They are taking their talent and knowledge with them, and companies are either following suit or wisely predicting this trend and hiring accordingly," Paul explains. Finally, we discuss some valuable guidance and insights to assist tech startups in thriving within this unstable economic climate. Will and Paul share their best insights on this matter, offering a much-needed push in the right direction. As the tech industry continues to evolve, adaptability and innovation become paramount, and strategies for long-term success become more important than ever.
Ai-jen also holds the titles of next-generation labor leader, author, and leading voice in the women's movement. Plus, she’s an award-winning organizer who has spent over two decades organizing with women who work in the care economy doing childcare, aging and disability care, and cleaning. We start our conversation by looking at a piece on domestic worker health and safety protection, which revealed that in one study, 51% of all survey respondents had been pressured by their employer to work in hazardous conditions. Furthermore, approximately 85% of respondents reported workplace injuries that caused chronic back, shoulder, arm, and leg pain. Highlighting how technology can improve health and safety for domestic workers and all workers facing these sorts of conditions, Ai-Jen says, “When we think about how technology in this period has been utilized, it's really been about designing for convenience and efficiency for a consumer. It hasn't been designed to enhance the quality of work and life for workers. And so, if it were deployed in that direction, miracles could happen.” Ai-jen also shares how she wishes that the tech space would put a bit more focus on addressing the safety issues care workers face in the workplace. “There's so much talent that's being deployed towards a little bit better food delivery app experience. And I just think we need to deploy that talent, that creativity, that design logic, that sense and spirit of innovation to how we make life better for everyday people,” she explains. We then explore the general underappreciation of caregivers and domestic workers a bit more, before diving into what governments, countries, and organizations can do to combat this, as well as why there is almost societal neglect of such important roles. Stressing the importance of care roles, Ai-jen talks about why Harvard economist Larry Katz refers to care jobs as ‘triple dignity jobs.’ “[It’s] because they’ve enabled dignity for the workers, the people who rely on this care, and family members who are just stressed out and pressed dealing with this issue,” Ai-jen tells us. As our conversation progresses, we discuss what can be done to prevent worker mistreatment, and Ai-jen tells us about her work with the NDWA. When asked about her personal journey that led to her positions at NDWA and Caring Across Generations, Ai-jen admits she has no idea how she got there, but she expresses her excitement to be a part of all the meaningful work. The conversation concludes with a discussion of Ai-jen's biggest industry frustrations and an enlightening lighting round in which we get to know her on a more fun, cheeky level. To find out more about the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Caring Across Generations visit the websites: National Domestic Workers Alliance: Caring Across Generations:
This week, Nina Mohanty, CEO and co-founder of Bloom Money, joins Paul in the studio. Paul and Will first saw Nina on a panel at the SIFTED Summit in 2022 and have been fangirling ever since, so we had to get her on the show. Nina is the American-born daughter of an Indian father and Taiwanese mother who grew up in Silicon Valley and is now a fintech founder. Paul and Nina bond over their experiences working for Obama (as senator and president, respectively) before jumping into the first article about the $800 billion sent as remittances in 2022.  “There are so many more ways to send money abroad today,” Nina explains, adding that the proliferation of remittance companies is making sending money home more accessible. She points out that rising remittances also reflect the growing numbers of migrant workers, refugees, and asylum seekers that will only continue to grow in the coming years.  The second article is about Bloom’s participation in Tech Nation’s Libra program that supported underrepresented founders in the UK tech sector. Nina laments the demise of Tech Nation; both she and Paul came to the UK on a Tech Nation visa. “It was separate where it needed to be separate and inclusive where it needed to be as well,” says Nina, referring to the balance between safe spaces for underrepresented founders and inclusion in wider Tech Nation events that Libra offered. Although Nina has mixed feelings about such initiatives, “I will always root for these programs because there’s such a lack of diversity still, and we see really abysmal numbers for VC funding in both the US and UK.”  The third article is about how mobile money services are powering financial inclusion for women. “One thing that has jumped out at me is the state of being time-poor,” Nina says. “For some people, time is literally money.” She explains how Bloom helps people save time so they can do something more productive — or more enjoyable.  The conversation segues into Bloom Money and the concept it was founded on — “a savings club that is popular in the global South” — before the usual lightning round. Tune in to hear what Nina thinks is the evillest application of tech and her predictions for the future.  To learn more about Nina and Bloom Money:
Tong, who is a computer scientist by training, was once an investment banker, and she also founded a machine learning company, which she grew to 40 people before exiting. First, we look at a Bloomberg article that shows that roughly 56% of North American-based investors expect to allocate capital to fund managers who invest significantly or exclusively in women-founded businesses. Tong agrees that the number of initiatives to invest in women has increased, but the reality is not so encouraging. “To quote [the] most recent State of European tech report from Atomico, unfortunately, only 1% of funding [went] to women founders in Europe last year, which was reduced from 2% a year before. So that's not as positive,” she clarifies. Tong believes that changing the status quo requires considering three elements: empowering women to enter entrepreneurship, technology, and VC from the time they are in school; investing more in managers from diverse backgrounds and female mentors; and bringing in more female angel investors and limited partners (LPs). The discussion then shifts towards getting more women into venture capital, as well as some of the challenges Tong has faced throughout her career, often as the only woman in the room. "So far, one of the [biggest] challenges is the [limited] focus on providing funding to diverse fund managers, who can then invest in more diverse founders," she observes. She also adds that childcare is another challenge, particularly when women want to occupy demanding top positions. We finally turn to what inspired Tong to found Pact, the various layers of meaning behind the cool company name, and the company's ultimate goal. As we wrap up, Tong shares her personal journey in the tech and VC spaces, and as always, leads us into the lightning round. Tong explains that human bias is one problem she believes tech can’t solve, and she offers some insightful advice on balancing profit and purpose. To learn more about Pact, visit the website: You can also reach out to Tong to get more insights about getting into VC on LinkedIn:
We start off by diving into a piece on a report from LADBible that states only 35% of Brits support cannabis legalization. Stephen believes that the public is still neglecting cannabis because they are unfamiliar with the plant and it is seen as a negative influence on society. Through Prohibition Partners, he clarifies, “we have a chance to really catch up on this wonderful plant and really get to understand the benefits cannabis can do for us in society as a medicine, food, ingredient, and material.” The podcast continues with Stephen discussing the relationship between cannabis and technology. Specifically, he mentions the high demand for the tech around the plant in the B2B marketplace. “There’s already [an] explosive demand for cannabis, and companies and markets are trying to respond as quickly as possible and trying to be successful in tech platforms to facilitate that demand.” He adds that these tech services and platforms are essential, especially for his industry, because they help provide security, transparency, and trust for the people.  We dive deeper into Stephen’s interest in spreading awareness and reliable information on the importance of cannabis. He believes he will have a much “wider impact for generations” by presenting the case for the legalization of cannabis.  As the episode continues to explore Stephen's experience of technology, leadership, and corporate life, we also discover his goals and hope for cannabis in the future.  To find out more about Stephen and his work, check out: His LinkedIn: His Website: 
The conversation kicks off with an article by USA Today that highlights how Gen Z makes up a large proportion of the LGBTQ+ community. Billie explains that this generational shift towards many more people identifying as LGBTQ+ is great for tearing down societal structures and spurring innovation in the finance space; it’s essentially giving Daylight an ever-expanding audience to serve. “What it really indicates is more and more people in the younger generations are thinking about societal structures and expectations of things like heterosexuality and monogamy, and [they are] discarding them and saying, ‘I don't want to do that,’” she tells us. She adds, “and it's exciting for us, because that means we get to build things with that in mind, like, what does the joint bank account look like when there are three of you in a throuple?” Our discussion moves to where the inspiration for Daylight stemmed from. “So, my lightbulb moment for Daylight was talking to my co-founder, and essentially getting user-interviewed about my experiences as a trans woman in the US accessing financial services.”  It wasn’t an easy journey for Billie. “I had to not only spend a whole bunch of time and money getting my name updated, legally, but then I had to take that document that essentially says, ‘Hi, I'm a trans person, this is my old name, this is my new name, please don't discriminate against me and give me a card’ to every single financial institution that I banked with.” As a result, Daylight’s mission shaped into helping the LGBTQ+ community navigate these complexities so they can live their best lives.   Billie then tells us about Daylight’s success stories (including how they got to advocate for the trans community’s data protection and privacy at the White House), some interesting innovations the platform has, as well as Billie’s personal journey with tech and the biggest frustration she encountered in the industry. We finish with the lightning round, where we discover her game-changing piece of tech and what she considers to be the evilest application of tech. To learn more about Daylight, visit the website:
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