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Talking With Alice About Tech Sh** [TWAAATS]

Andrew Strait and Alice Thwaite

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Talking With Alice About Tech Sh** [TWAAATS]
Talking With Alice About Tech Sh** [TWAAATS]

Talking With Alice About Tech Sh** [TWAAATS]

Andrew Strait and Alice Thwaite

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About Us

Do you want to understand how various technologies might impact society? Enjoy Alice Thwaite and some heavyweight guests talk about the biggest issues. This is a light-hearted podcast which makes simple some of the most complicated subjects in technology regulation and ethics. And yes, we know that anyone who rhapsodises about politics, society and technology is a bit of a triple A tw*t. So that's what we called ourselves. Join us!

Latest Episodes

Women in Tech

EOnly 18% of tech roles are held by women in 2019. Has anything changed for women working in the industry in a post #MeToo era? I’m joined by Abadesi Osunsade and Jo Kerr to discuss what it is like to work and commentate on tech. These are two wonderful women. Abadesi is the founder of Hustle Crew, NonTechTech, co-host of Techish podcast and the author of new careers advice book, “Dream Big Hustle Hard: A Millennial Woman’s Guide to Success in Tech”. Jo is a consultant for charities and non-profits who want to change how they work through digital. Links to ideas mentioned in the podcast Safiya Noble – Algorithms of Oppression – a fantastic book on a lack of diversity in tech and the consequences of this. A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians – by Vox Send us messages You can contactAbadesi on Twitter hereandJo on Twitter here. I am on Twitter@alicelthwaiteand my email is alice [at] twaaats [dot] com.

45 MINJUN 24
Comments
Women in Tech

The Ethics of Payments

EPaying for basic goods and services is very different now to even 6 years ago. We can pay via contactless payments and our mobiles. We shop online and mainly use debit and credit cards to do this. Even market stalls carry devices for taking card payments and the high street is going cash free. But what does this mean for our society? Have you thought about the ethics of payments and the new structures which are gaining power? Joining me, Alice Thwaite, for this episode are Brett Scott and Jo Kerr. Brett Scott is an author, journalist and financial campaigner. He is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, and collaborates with a wide range of groups on monetary systems, banking reform, alternative currencies, financial activism, digital finance, blockchain technology, hacker culture, and technology politics. Jo Kerr is aconsultant for charities and non profits who want to change how they work through digital. Her practice includes executive ...

36 MINAPR 30
Comments
The Ethics of Payments

Political Engagement in Digital Democracies

ESo what is political engagement? Traditionally, it’s meant turning up to cast a ballot in elections, maybe running for the council and joining a party. But in a digital age it means a lot more. We can readily sign petitions, communicate and build movements on social media, speak directly to our MPs online and watch a live stream of what is being debated in Parliament. Theresa May has even turned herself into a Youtuber in the last few days [let’s see if that continues]. There are sites which claim to fit your policy ambitions to the policies of the political parties to help you vote. There are grassroots organisations like More United and Citizens UK which help you construct local campaigns to fit the causes you care about. This is all very well and good, but it seems that politicians are unwilling to take advantage of these new communicative techniques. They can also be gamed by malicious actors. The petition to cancel Brexit and Article 50 received over 6 million signature was q...

36 MINAPR 10
Comments
Political Engagement in Digital Democracies

What is Chinese Social Credit?

EChinese social credit is perhaps the most famous policy to come out of China in recent years. In the West, we tend to criticise and fear it, but we don’t really know what it entails. So, in this episode, we want to actually learn what social credit is all about. Is it really a thinly disguised veil for the actions of an authoritarian state? Or is it actually a practical means for understanding whether you should loan someone some money. I’m joined by Adam Knight who is an independent researcher covering the intersection of public and private actors in the regulation of the Chinese internet space. He is also the cofounder of China e-commerce advisory company, TONG Digital and freelance producer with Al Jazeera English. He’s got a lot on his plate. Sam Johnston joins me to probe Adam. He’s an ex-technology consultant who is writing a book about freedom of speech. Contact information My email is alice [at] twaaats [dot] com and my Twitter is@alicelthwaite. Sam is @samuelbjohnston a...

43 MINMAR 19
Comments
What is Chinese Social Credit?

Moral Panics and the Internet

EAt the end of February 2019, the UK experienced a large moral panic about a fake story. It was rumoured that there was a ‘challenge’ targeted at children which encouraged them to harm themselves. This challenge was called Momo. It was a hoax. Yet schools sent out advice as to how to protect children from Momo, and even the BBC published warnings. For this episode we’re looking at moral panics and the internet to see if we can learn why this happened. Warning – this episode does discuss themes of suicide. If you are in need of support please do contact the Samaritans on 116 123. I’ve got 3 amazing guests with me for this episode. Gemma Gronland is a researcher at UCL, specializing in how public sector workers enact their duty to report children at risk of radicalization, which has at its heart questions around child protection and managing children’s online lives. Siddarth Venkataramakrishnan is an FT journalist by day and an internet subculture hunter at night, focussing on th...

36 MINMAR 11
Comments
Moral Panics and the Internet

Should Internet Access be a Human Right?

EAre we at a stage where access to the internet should be a human right? Join Alice Thwaite, Vidushi Marta (Article 19) and Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy) to talk about human rights! It’s true that the internet is the facilitator for many human rights. A couple picked out from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights are: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to work, right to education and the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community. We rely on internet access for many of these things in a modern world. Some states actually switch off the internet, or social media platforms, to stop protestors and riots. Bloomberg reported that in January alone there were internet shutdowns in 4 African states: Sudan, Gabon, Zimbabwe, DR Congo. For example, in Sudan, there was a shutdown on social media as protestors called for the President, Omar al-Bashir to step down. In DR Congo, the whole country had no internet for 20 days following a contes...

30 MINMAR 4
Comments
Should Internet Access be a Human Right?

The Ethics of WhatsApp

Whatsapp is a platform which is widely used, and widely exploited. This is a podcast of two halves. The first will talk about disinformation on WhatsApp. You may have heard about fake news in India, but disinformation is spread in other countries too. For this discussion, we focus on Brazil. In the second half we’ll talk about how bankers and the finance industry is misusing WhatsApp. Although most banks have banned the app, bankers continue to use it because it is so simple and effective. However, this means they may be giving client data away, and perhaps more importantly (at least, from societies point of view), their conversations cannot be audited. As always, I’ve got two wonderful guests with me. Charlotte Wood, who specialises in innovation, finance and FinTech. For her day job she is Head of Innovation at a financial organisation. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first class degree in Neuroscience, followed by a year of Management Studies. I’m also wi...

34 MINFEB 24
Comments
The Ethics of WhatsApp

The Rights of the Dead

The dead may well outnumber the living on Facebook within the next 5 decades. These people could be tagged in a photo, friend requested or wished a ‘happy birthday’. What kind of rules should be set here? Should your account be deactivated? Can someone else claim your username after you die? So there are platform specific issues around death. But there are also a whole host of services cropping up which Carl calls ‘the digital afterlife industry’. These include information management services, which help families cope with how digital assets (I assume like photographs, messages etc) are handled after death. Then we have posthumous messaging services. The company might send you an email, and if you don’t reply, they assume you’ve died. You can then arrange for other people to get specific messages when you’re dead. Online memorial services commemorate the deceased’slife in many interesting ways. ‘Re-creation services’ look to recreate the person who has died using their dig...

33 MINFEB 14
Comments
The Rights of the Dead

Facial Recognition Systems

EToday we’re talking about facial recognition systems. These are technologies which can recognise and analyse your face. Used for both identification (i.e. on Facebook in photos, on security doors with restricted access) and for reading emotions (i.e this film makes you happy, this product makes you sad), they are becoming more and more common, and perhaps without you even noticing it. I’m joined by Dr. Lisa Murphy, a clinical fellow at Public Health England, who wants to use technology to improve population health, clinical care and NHS operations. She is also a fellow at Newspeak House, which is a community in East London which we all make fairly regular use of. I’m also with Rula Awad, thefounder of AIPoli. She is an advocate for information and algorithmic transparency, particularly when it comes to political and social content. Rula has built facial recognition systems in the past, and so can give us insiders knowledge on how bias is perpetuated throughout these systems. Faci...

32 MINFEB 6
Comments
Facial Recognition Systems

Are You In A Relationship With A Machine?

EWe interact a lot with machines. Whether we’re using our mobile phones, giving Alexa commands or even playing with a (sex) robot), we’re now giving these devices more intimate information than ever before. In a way, this means that we might feel like we are in a private relationship with them, but the reality is that a lot of corporations hold this data. But we’ve always had a relationship with machines. We’ve found dildos that are 28,000 years old, we’ve fantasised about cars and statues, and sometimes our social status depends on the machines we own and interact with. So what really has changed? For this episode I’m joined by Tulsi Parida and NikaMahnič.Tulsi cares about reducing digital inequality and promoting responsible/inclusive technology. She has worked in startups in India and the States that look at the intersection of literacy and tech. Tulsi recently completed an MSc at the Oxford Internet Institute, where she studied mobile learning in emerging markets through a...

31 MINJAN 21
Comments
Are You In A Relationship With A Machine?
the END

Latest Episodes

Women in Tech

EOnly 18% of tech roles are held by women in 2019. Has anything changed for women working in the industry in a post #MeToo era? I’m joined by Abadesi Osunsade and Jo Kerr to discuss what it is like to work and commentate on tech. These are two wonderful women. Abadesi is the founder of Hustle Crew, NonTechTech, co-host of Techish podcast and the author of new careers advice book, “Dream Big Hustle Hard: A Millennial Woman’s Guide to Success in Tech”. Jo is a consultant for charities and non-profits who want to change how they work through digital. Links to ideas mentioned in the podcast Safiya Noble – Algorithms of Oppression – a fantastic book on a lack of diversity in tech and the consequences of this. A new study finds a potential risk with self-driving cars: failure to detect dark-skinned pedestrians – by Vox Send us messages You can contactAbadesi on Twitter hereandJo on Twitter here. I am on Twitter@alicelthwaiteand my email is alice [at] twaaats [dot] com.

45 MINJUN 24
Comments
Women in Tech

The Ethics of Payments

EPaying for basic goods and services is very different now to even 6 years ago. We can pay via contactless payments and our mobiles. We shop online and mainly use debit and credit cards to do this. Even market stalls carry devices for taking card payments and the high street is going cash free. But what does this mean for our society? Have you thought about the ethics of payments and the new structures which are gaining power? Joining me, Alice Thwaite, for this episode are Brett Scott and Jo Kerr. Brett Scott is an author, journalist and financial campaigner. He is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money, and collaborates with a wide range of groups on monetary systems, banking reform, alternative currencies, financial activism, digital finance, blockchain technology, hacker culture, and technology politics. Jo Kerr is aconsultant for charities and non profits who want to change how they work through digital. Her practice includes executive ...

36 MINAPR 30
Comments
The Ethics of Payments

Political Engagement in Digital Democracies

ESo what is political engagement? Traditionally, it’s meant turning up to cast a ballot in elections, maybe running for the council and joining a party. But in a digital age it means a lot more. We can readily sign petitions, communicate and build movements on social media, speak directly to our MPs online and watch a live stream of what is being debated in Parliament. Theresa May has even turned herself into a Youtuber in the last few days [let’s see if that continues]. There are sites which claim to fit your policy ambitions to the policies of the political parties to help you vote. There are grassroots organisations like More United and Citizens UK which help you construct local campaigns to fit the causes you care about. This is all very well and good, but it seems that politicians are unwilling to take advantage of these new communicative techniques. They can also be gamed by malicious actors. The petition to cancel Brexit and Article 50 received over 6 million signature was q...

36 MINAPR 10
Comments
Political Engagement in Digital Democracies

What is Chinese Social Credit?

EChinese social credit is perhaps the most famous policy to come out of China in recent years. In the West, we tend to criticise and fear it, but we don’t really know what it entails. So, in this episode, we want to actually learn what social credit is all about. Is it really a thinly disguised veil for the actions of an authoritarian state? Or is it actually a practical means for understanding whether you should loan someone some money. I’m joined by Adam Knight who is an independent researcher covering the intersection of public and private actors in the regulation of the Chinese internet space. He is also the cofounder of China e-commerce advisory company, TONG Digital and freelance producer with Al Jazeera English. He’s got a lot on his plate. Sam Johnston joins me to probe Adam. He’s an ex-technology consultant who is writing a book about freedom of speech. Contact information My email is alice [at] twaaats [dot] com and my Twitter is@alicelthwaite. Sam is @samuelbjohnston a...

43 MINMAR 19
Comments
What is Chinese Social Credit?

Moral Panics and the Internet

EAt the end of February 2019, the UK experienced a large moral panic about a fake story. It was rumoured that there was a ‘challenge’ targeted at children which encouraged them to harm themselves. This challenge was called Momo. It was a hoax. Yet schools sent out advice as to how to protect children from Momo, and even the BBC published warnings. For this episode we’re looking at moral panics and the internet to see if we can learn why this happened. Warning – this episode does discuss themes of suicide. If you are in need of support please do contact the Samaritans on 116 123. I’ve got 3 amazing guests with me for this episode. Gemma Gronland is a researcher at UCL, specializing in how public sector workers enact their duty to report children at risk of radicalization, which has at its heart questions around child protection and managing children’s online lives. Siddarth Venkataramakrishnan is an FT journalist by day and an internet subculture hunter at night, focussing on th...

36 MINMAR 11
Comments
Moral Panics and the Internet

Should Internet Access be a Human Right?

EAre we at a stage where access to the internet should be a human right? Join Alice Thwaite, Vidushi Marta (Article 19) and Areeq Chowdhury (WebRoots Democracy) to talk about human rights! It’s true that the internet is the facilitator for many human rights. A couple picked out from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights are: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to work, right to education and the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community. We rely on internet access for many of these things in a modern world. Some states actually switch off the internet, or social media platforms, to stop protestors and riots. Bloomberg reported that in January alone there were internet shutdowns in 4 African states: Sudan, Gabon, Zimbabwe, DR Congo. For example, in Sudan, there was a shutdown on social media as protestors called for the President, Omar al-Bashir to step down. In DR Congo, the whole country had no internet for 20 days following a contes...

30 MINMAR 4
Comments
Should Internet Access be a Human Right?

The Ethics of WhatsApp

Whatsapp is a platform which is widely used, and widely exploited. This is a podcast of two halves. The first will talk about disinformation on WhatsApp. You may have heard about fake news in India, but disinformation is spread in other countries too. For this discussion, we focus on Brazil. In the second half we’ll talk about how bankers and the finance industry is misusing WhatsApp. Although most banks have banned the app, bankers continue to use it because it is so simple and effective. However, this means they may be giving client data away, and perhaps more importantly (at least, from societies point of view), their conversations cannot be audited. As always, I’ve got two wonderful guests with me. Charlotte Wood, who specialises in innovation, finance and FinTech. For her day job she is Head of Innovation at a financial organisation. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first class degree in Neuroscience, followed by a year of Management Studies. I’m also wi...

34 MINFEB 24
Comments
The Ethics of WhatsApp

The Rights of the Dead

The dead may well outnumber the living on Facebook within the next 5 decades. These people could be tagged in a photo, friend requested or wished a ‘happy birthday’. What kind of rules should be set here? Should your account be deactivated? Can someone else claim your username after you die? So there are platform specific issues around death. But there are also a whole host of services cropping up which Carl calls ‘the digital afterlife industry’. These include information management services, which help families cope with how digital assets (I assume like photographs, messages etc) are handled after death. Then we have posthumous messaging services. The company might send you an email, and if you don’t reply, they assume you’ve died. You can then arrange for other people to get specific messages when you’re dead. Online memorial services commemorate the deceased’slife in many interesting ways. ‘Re-creation services’ look to recreate the person who has died using their dig...

33 MINFEB 14
Comments
The Rights of the Dead

Facial Recognition Systems

EToday we’re talking about facial recognition systems. These are technologies which can recognise and analyse your face. Used for both identification (i.e. on Facebook in photos, on security doors with restricted access) and for reading emotions (i.e this film makes you happy, this product makes you sad), they are becoming more and more common, and perhaps without you even noticing it. I’m joined by Dr. Lisa Murphy, a clinical fellow at Public Health England, who wants to use technology to improve population health, clinical care and NHS operations. She is also a fellow at Newspeak House, which is a community in East London which we all make fairly regular use of. I’m also with Rula Awad, thefounder of AIPoli. She is an advocate for information and algorithmic transparency, particularly when it comes to political and social content. Rula has built facial recognition systems in the past, and so can give us insiders knowledge on how bias is perpetuated throughout these systems. Faci...

32 MINFEB 6
Comments
Facial Recognition Systems

Are You In A Relationship With A Machine?

EWe interact a lot with machines. Whether we’re using our mobile phones, giving Alexa commands or even playing with a (sex) robot), we’re now giving these devices more intimate information than ever before. In a way, this means that we might feel like we are in a private relationship with them, but the reality is that a lot of corporations hold this data. But we’ve always had a relationship with machines. We’ve found dildos that are 28,000 years old, we’ve fantasised about cars and statues, and sometimes our social status depends on the machines we own and interact with. So what really has changed? For this episode I’m joined by Tulsi Parida and NikaMahnič.Tulsi cares about reducing digital inequality and promoting responsible/inclusive technology. She has worked in startups in India and the States that look at the intersection of literacy and tech. Tulsi recently completed an MSc at the Oxford Internet Institute, where she studied mobile learning in emerging markets through a...

31 MINJAN 21
Comments
Are You In A Relationship With A Machine?
the END