title

The Digital Human

BBC Radio 4

62
Followers
94
Plays
The Digital Human

The Digital Human

BBC Radio 4

62
Followers
94
Plays
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About Us

Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world

Latest Episodes

Faceless

Johnathan Hirshon works in PR and marketing and describes himself as ‘The Faceless man' because he’s managed to keep his face off the internet for over twenty years. This may seem extreme but Neda Soltani explains how one online photo of her face, meant she had to leave her family, country and profession. Artist and curator, Bogomir Doringer whose archived and curated thousands of faceless images off the internet talks about how technology is not only choreographing the way we use our faces but persuading us to hand over our biometric data with our use of apps that change the way we look. . Artist Zach Blas is interested in queer culture and has created masks using biometric data from minority groups, to push back on the possibility of people being categorised by biometrics. Zach uses masks to show that facial recognition technology can be disrupted. Stephen has been trying to do just that. Stephen is from Hong Kong and spent the summer protesting against the Extradition bill. He ...

28 MIN2019 NOV 26
Comments
Faceless

Messiah

Aleks Krotoski explores how the culture in Silicon Valley led to a growth in the cult of personality and asks if it's gone too far. This kind of worship has been hot housed in Silicon Valley ever since Steve Jobs burst out of his garage and onto the scene. Here, we take a look at how Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and others are now regarded as charismatic high priests in a new dark age. And when our need for meaning collides with our reverence for progress and technology, we end up putting these tech leaders on a pedestal. Have we finally found the messiahs we've been looking for? Producer: Caitlin Smith

28 MIN2019 NOV 19
Comments
Messiah

Devotion

When a homeless man was accidentally killed by a train on the 11/08/18 in The Dalles, Oregon, no one realised how many people it would effect. The man was a computer programmer called Terry Davis and he was on a mission from God. He'd designed an entire operating system called Temple OS and according to Terry its creation had been a direct instruction from God himself. As a fellow programmer explained it, 'you can imagine how over time one man might build a house, but this is like building a sky scraper, on your own!' And this was all done while Terry battled a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Aleks Krotoski searches the emails, web posts and live streams to piece together the life of a remarkable individual who's work touched so many and is now celebrated not just as a technological achievement but an artistic one. Producer: Peter McManus Researcher: Elizabeth Ann Duffy

28 MIN2019 NOV 12
Comments
Devotion

Character Witness

Gangs are territorial, every street, every block is mapped out according to who’s in charge, where. It’s still true today. But now that the internet is where we do so much of our social lives, gangland has also gone online. Territory isn’t just where you physically operate, but where the mind wanders as well, but what happens when staking out territory online is then used as evidence to convict you in the real world? In this episode, we’re looking at what this means for the people caught up in gang warfare, how a social media profile can keep you safe but at the same time be used as a character witness against you. Featuring former gang members and gang mediators from Chicago Aleks finds out how social media along with poverty is trapping young people in fractured communities, into a cycle of violence and revenge. Produced by Kate Bissell With thanks to YBH Honcho for the use of his music

28 MIN2019 NOV 5
Comments
Character Witness

Uncomfortable

The internet has facilitated an explosion in opinion. Some people's views you'll agree with, other's you'll find abhorrent. How do we manage that in a pluralistic world? Is reaching for the mute button the best way to get through the day? Or is it about calling people out and making an example of them online? Aleks Krotoski dips her toe into the world of microaggressions, safe spaces and asks if we’re really in the middle of a free speech crisis.

28 MIN2019 OCT 29
Comments
Uncomfortable

Animism

Aleks Krotoski explores our anxieties around AI and automation. Comparing western philosophy to that of the east, she'll ask if some of fears around technology are cultural. Much of western thinking is still strongly influenced by Christian traditions which places humanity at the top of the tree of creation. We rebel against anything that challenges that. Whether it be Galileo telling us we're not the centre of the universe or Darwin telling us we're nothing more than shaved monkeys. It can be argued that the invention of AI is just that sort of challenge to our supremacy. But in Japan they see things very differently; Shintoism leads to a philosophy without the Christian hierarchy. In their 'creation' everything is alive and connected to everything else. Just like the modern digital world. What can we learn from looking at technology differently. Producer: Peter McManus

39 MIN2019 OCT 21
Comments
Animism

Between

Our personal space is like an invisible sphere around us, reaching from our bodies at the centre to the tips of our fingers. Ironically, this is also where many of us keep our phones - the windows that lets us see into the rest of the world - and the door that lets the rest of the world into our personal space. What’s the best way to control who comes in, and what do we need to do when we want to close it? Produced by Kate Bissell

29 MIN2019 JUL 9
Comments
Between

Ghoul

Violent content online has rightly been condemned. Yet while we criticise those facilitating the supply we rarely talk about the demand. Aleks Krotoski asks who views it and why.

28 MIN2019 JUL 2
Comments
Ghoul

Cameo

Social media is about stories, and what's more interesting - to you at least - than telling your own? When you post, you're building a narrative: this is who I am and this is what I like. You're creating your very own movie, pulling in a range of characters. Then you've got stage sets and let's not forget the bit parts; those people who dip in and out of your life and provide endless story fodder. But what happens when you discover that it's you who has in fact been cast in the cameo role in someone else's social media story? We hear from the unwitting extras: from the seat mates on a plane caught in a publicity storm after a woman posted about the apparent beginning of their great romance, to a man who helped his neighbour and ended the subject of her tweets. So what does this mean for personal autonomy, having a voice, and the limits of the stories we can or should tell online? Does the digital world blur the boundaries between what stories are yours to tell? Aleks Krotoski explor...

28 MIN2019 JUN 25
Comments
Cameo

Obsession

Zachary, Stina and Andrea do not suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder but they all became stuck in obsessional loops after being triggered by an event in their lives which left them looking for answers. Their obsessions left them all with compulsions to watch and research others online, to seek the certainty they craved to stop the hurt they felt,. But Andrea learnt that "You'll never find the answers you're looking for, but end up chipping away at yourself." For her she believed her obsession and compulsion became a form of self harm. Emma Stone is the Director of the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research at the University of Bedfordshire who explains how being engaged in a repetitive behaviour such as online stalking, in which the only reward is getting to look at someone online without getting any reciprocal energy back is not something that is going to raise your self-esteem. From her experience Andrea learnt that once you take something from online to offline you real...

28 MIN2019 JUN 18
Comments
Obsession

Latest Episodes

Faceless

Johnathan Hirshon works in PR and marketing and describes himself as ‘The Faceless man' because he’s managed to keep his face off the internet for over twenty years. This may seem extreme but Neda Soltani explains how one online photo of her face, meant she had to leave her family, country and profession. Artist and curator, Bogomir Doringer whose archived and curated thousands of faceless images off the internet talks about how technology is not only choreographing the way we use our faces but persuading us to hand over our biometric data with our use of apps that change the way we look. . Artist Zach Blas is interested in queer culture and has created masks using biometric data from minority groups, to push back on the possibility of people being categorised by biometrics. Zach uses masks to show that facial recognition technology can be disrupted. Stephen has been trying to do just that. Stephen is from Hong Kong and spent the summer protesting against the Extradition bill. He ...

28 MIN2019 NOV 26
Comments
Faceless

Messiah

Aleks Krotoski explores how the culture in Silicon Valley led to a growth in the cult of personality and asks if it's gone too far. This kind of worship has been hot housed in Silicon Valley ever since Steve Jobs burst out of his garage and onto the scene. Here, we take a look at how Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and others are now regarded as charismatic high priests in a new dark age. And when our need for meaning collides with our reverence for progress and technology, we end up putting these tech leaders on a pedestal. Have we finally found the messiahs we've been looking for? Producer: Caitlin Smith

28 MIN2019 NOV 19
Comments
Messiah

Devotion

When a homeless man was accidentally killed by a train on the 11/08/18 in The Dalles, Oregon, no one realised how many people it would effect. The man was a computer programmer called Terry Davis and he was on a mission from God. He'd designed an entire operating system called Temple OS and according to Terry its creation had been a direct instruction from God himself. As a fellow programmer explained it, 'you can imagine how over time one man might build a house, but this is like building a sky scraper, on your own!' And this was all done while Terry battled a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Aleks Krotoski searches the emails, web posts and live streams to piece together the life of a remarkable individual who's work touched so many and is now celebrated not just as a technological achievement but an artistic one. Producer: Peter McManus Researcher: Elizabeth Ann Duffy

28 MIN2019 NOV 12
Comments
Devotion

Character Witness

Gangs are territorial, every street, every block is mapped out according to who’s in charge, where. It’s still true today. But now that the internet is where we do so much of our social lives, gangland has also gone online. Territory isn’t just where you physically operate, but where the mind wanders as well, but what happens when staking out territory online is then used as evidence to convict you in the real world? In this episode, we’re looking at what this means for the people caught up in gang warfare, how a social media profile can keep you safe but at the same time be used as a character witness against you. Featuring former gang members and gang mediators from Chicago Aleks finds out how social media along with poverty is trapping young people in fractured communities, into a cycle of violence and revenge. Produced by Kate Bissell With thanks to YBH Honcho for the use of his music

28 MIN2019 NOV 5
Comments
Character Witness

Uncomfortable

The internet has facilitated an explosion in opinion. Some people's views you'll agree with, other's you'll find abhorrent. How do we manage that in a pluralistic world? Is reaching for the mute button the best way to get through the day? Or is it about calling people out and making an example of them online? Aleks Krotoski dips her toe into the world of microaggressions, safe spaces and asks if we’re really in the middle of a free speech crisis.

28 MIN2019 OCT 29
Comments
Uncomfortable

Animism

Aleks Krotoski explores our anxieties around AI and automation. Comparing western philosophy to that of the east, she'll ask if some of fears around technology are cultural. Much of western thinking is still strongly influenced by Christian traditions which places humanity at the top of the tree of creation. We rebel against anything that challenges that. Whether it be Galileo telling us we're not the centre of the universe or Darwin telling us we're nothing more than shaved monkeys. It can be argued that the invention of AI is just that sort of challenge to our supremacy. But in Japan they see things very differently; Shintoism leads to a philosophy without the Christian hierarchy. In their 'creation' everything is alive and connected to everything else. Just like the modern digital world. What can we learn from looking at technology differently. Producer: Peter McManus

39 MIN2019 OCT 21
Comments
Animism

Between

Our personal space is like an invisible sphere around us, reaching from our bodies at the centre to the tips of our fingers. Ironically, this is also where many of us keep our phones - the windows that lets us see into the rest of the world - and the door that lets the rest of the world into our personal space. What’s the best way to control who comes in, and what do we need to do when we want to close it? Produced by Kate Bissell

29 MIN2019 JUL 9
Comments
Between

Ghoul

Violent content online has rightly been condemned. Yet while we criticise those facilitating the supply we rarely talk about the demand. Aleks Krotoski asks who views it and why.

28 MIN2019 JUL 2
Comments
Ghoul

Cameo

Social media is about stories, and what's more interesting - to you at least - than telling your own? When you post, you're building a narrative: this is who I am and this is what I like. You're creating your very own movie, pulling in a range of characters. Then you've got stage sets and let's not forget the bit parts; those people who dip in and out of your life and provide endless story fodder. But what happens when you discover that it's you who has in fact been cast in the cameo role in someone else's social media story? We hear from the unwitting extras: from the seat mates on a plane caught in a publicity storm after a woman posted about the apparent beginning of their great romance, to a man who helped his neighbour and ended the subject of her tweets. So what does this mean for personal autonomy, having a voice, and the limits of the stories we can or should tell online? Does the digital world blur the boundaries between what stories are yours to tell? Aleks Krotoski explor...

28 MIN2019 JUN 25
Comments
Cameo

Obsession

Zachary, Stina and Andrea do not suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder but they all became stuck in obsessional loops after being triggered by an event in their lives which left them looking for answers. Their obsessions left them all with compulsions to watch and research others online, to seek the certainty they craved to stop the hurt they felt,. But Andrea learnt that "You'll never find the answers you're looking for, but end up chipping away at yourself." For her she believed her obsession and compulsion became a form of self harm. Emma Stone is the Director of the National Centre for Cyberstalking Research at the University of Bedfordshire who explains how being engaged in a repetitive behaviour such as online stalking, in which the only reward is getting to look at someone online without getting any reciprocal energy back is not something that is going to raise your self-esteem. From her experience Andrea learnt that once you take something from online to offline you real...

28 MIN2019 JUN 18
Comments
Obsession
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