Baratunde Thurston: "How To Do a Data Detox In a Zillion Easy Steps"
For our second episode, futurist, comedian, and activist Baratunde Thurston joins the podcast with a word — and then some — on big data, big tech, and his own data detox. In his story "How To Do a Data Detox In a Zillion Easy Steps," Baratunde takes us through his jarring encounter with the hoard of personal information collected by the 300+ apps on his phone. That's right, 300 apps with digital records of his photos, notes, contact lists, minute-to-minute location, and more, all for the benefit of big tech's bottom line. Because "the next big things — artificial intelligence, machine learning, speech and facial recognition — will be powered by more of our data," Baratunde explains, it is essential that each of us reckon with how and how much of that data is collected. "We're the raw material for the next phase in computer science." After reading his story, Baratunde and host Manoush Zomorodi chat about his deep dive into hefty terms of service documents to write the essay, why big tech deserves a second chance, his new tech manifesto, and how data detoxing can feel like having an argument with your significant other.