show episodes
 
Synthetic Society explores our future technological society, with each episode featuring interviews with leading experts, political figures, and entrepreneurs, discussing and teaching us about complex issues. Hosted by disinformation researcher Tom Ascott. With a focus on AI, technology and the internet, the show gives insight into many of the legal, social and regulatory problems that we are all facing together. Synthetic Society is part of the #Ai2021 campaign, a public engagement campaign ...
 
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show series
 
Tom Ascott speaks to Giedrimas Jeglinskas, NATO Assistant Secretary General, and former Vice-Minister of Defence of Lithuania. The pair discuss what role NATO plays in information ecosystems and how NATO can help combat disinformation, as well as how diversity and inclusion can generate new and creative solutions and the importance of diversity in …
 
Can we make our data stronger, safer, and more secure by pooling it together? This week Tom Ascott speaks to Astha Kapoor, Co-Founder and Director of the AAPTI Institute in India. They discuss how new ideas of data unions, data co-ops and data stewardship are providing a model for how citizens can come together and collectively bargain with the sta…
 
What is time? This week Tom talks to Emily Thomas, a philosopher of time and travel, about how time and technology interact. They discuss how the timeline affects how we perceive time, if going on Twitter is like going on holiday, and the different ways technology might let us have experiences outside of time. The pair also give an overview of the …
 
This episode Tom speaks to Areeq Chowdhury, the founder and director of WebRoots Democracy. WebRoots was a think tank focused on progressive and inclusive technology policy which ran for almost seven years. The pair discuss digital voting, facial recognition software and if social media companies should pay a user-based tax to fund digital literacy…
 
Should we treat characters in games the same way we treat real people? Is it ethical to run over someone over in Grand Theft Auto? And what about us, does it say something about our moral character if we spend all day in our underwear playing games? This week Tom Ascott speaks to Sebastian Ostritsch, Assistant Professor at Stuttgart University, abo…
 
What would a world look like if it was made by AI? This week Mitchell Baxter, Director at Lazy Monday Games, explains how AI helps in designing video games. He and host Tom Ascott talk about where the technology is now, the challenges in balancing unique and bespoke art with generative assets, and the assistance that new technology offers to artist…
 
This week Tom Ascott talks with Kate Devlin a Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence at King's College London and author of Turned On. The pair discusses the ethics and morality around sex robots and they touch on artificial intimacy, algorithmic attraction, and tackles the thorny question of should you say thank you to Alex…
 
Platforms could replace their metrics based on engagement and growth with metrics based on happiness, community strength and wellbeing. In this episode, Tom Ascott talks to Christine Jakobson, a tech ethics researcher, and consultant, about how platforms can respond to the growing issues of disinformation and online hate to create a more friendly t…
 
Islamophobia has been wielded as a weapon to draw support from right wing actors as well as to disenfranchise Muslim populations. In this episode Zahed Amanullah, a Resident Senior Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, explains how Islamophobia has been refined, amplified and duplicated into a process that is being used globally. He and h…
 
It’s taken us ten weeks but it’s finally time to address the elephant in the room: cryptocurrency! This week Erica Stanford, founder of the Crypto Curry Club and author ‘Crypto Wars: Faked Deaths, Missing Billions and Industry Disruption’, talks Tom Ascott through everything crypto. The episode starts with the basics of Bitcoin and ramps up to comp…
 
The internet has been a platform for creating new tools and engaging platforms. But these innovations are also being used by those who would seek to perpetrate violence against women. In this episode Vaibhav Sahgal, a Senior Manager at The Economist Intelligence Unit, explains the problems that women face online and what solutions are on the horizo…
 
In a future where it is increasingly difficult to tell authentic from synthetic, Anna Bulakh, Policy Advisor at Reface, gives a thoughtful roadmap to upcoming digital policy. She highlights the importance of baking safety and security into apps to future proof against any malicious use. Follow Synthetic Society on Twitter. Follow Tom Ascott on Twit…
 
This week host Tom Ascott talks to Walter Pasquarelli, AI Readiness & Data Policy Lead at Oxford Insights. Walter is the lead author for the ‘Government AI Readiness Index’, and the two of them discuss what it takes for a government to be AI ready, whether AI is levelling the playing field for less developed countries and if we governments should b…
 
Lockdown has seen a surge in conspiracy theories, and as the world starts to emerge from another lockdown Katy Murray talks to Tom Ascott about what we can learn from conspiracy theories. She breaks down how a conspiracy theory forms, how they function and how they get in to our information ecosystem. Follow Synthetic Society on Twitter. Follow Tom…
 
In technology we trust, or do we? This week Dr Allison Gardner, co-founder of Women Leading in AI and lecturer at Keele University, talks to Tom Ascott about the problems inherent in technology and the pair try to establish where the line is between tech solutionism and real ways that technology can benefit our lives. Follow Synthetic Society on Tw…
 
This week host Tom Ascott speaks with Olivia Gambelin, AI ethicist and Founder of Ethical Intelligence. As a philosopher by trade, Olivia walks us through what it means to apply ethics to the problems that AI has thrown up. AI is giving us the ability to improve much of our work, and we can apply philosophical tools, such as moral reflection to mak…
 
Deepfakes, images in which a person has their face replaced with someone else’s, pose a unique set of problems to society. In this interview host Tom Ascott talks with deepfake expert Henry Ajder about where deepfakes are causing the most philosophical and policy problems right now as well as the creative, emotional and artistic benefits this techn…
 
Since the US election electronic voting has come under more scrutiny than it ever has before, despite not being as recent as is sometimes thought. In this episode Sonya Anderson, a Senior Partner at Smartmatic, talks Tom Ascott through how end-to-end electronic voting works, why this is such an important issue and if you will ever be able to vote i…
 
As technology, AI and the internet weave themselves deep into our societies, Synthetic Society is here to help you untangle and understand the mess. Listen to interviews with leading experts, political figures, and entrepreneurs, guiding us through complex issues. This week our guest is Lord Clement Jones, and we’ll be talking about if technology i…
 
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