show episodes
 
Startup insider Kent Lindstrom explores the reality behind the Silicon Valley headlines as he sits down with the established veterans and up-and-comers who are shaping the way we view the world online and beyond. Topics include technology trends, startups, Silicon Valley politics, women in silicon valley and more. Learn the histories of each guest and be enlightened by their area of expertise. New episode released each Tuesday at Noon, Pacific Time.
 
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 ...
 
The Women in Business and Technology Podcast was created to showcase interviews with prominent women in business and tech roles and their allies, and coverage of programs disrupting inclusion in the workplace. Whether you’re just starting out in the tech industry, strategizing on how to get your next business role, or managing a woman for the first time, we’ll provide some great insights to support a great career and broader inclusion.
 
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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…
 
Brad Feld’s latest book (with David Jilk) is “Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche (A Book for Disruptors)”. Those familiar with Brad’s “Feld Thoughts” blog, will find the unexpected title – unsurprising. While reading Nietzsche (um, yes) Brad noted that his favorite personality was a “free spirit: An obsessed individual with a vision of the future and …
 
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 …
 
Auren Hoffman is one of the most connected people in Silicon Valley. In a place where the currency of the land is connections – Auren is near the top of the heap. Auren is a Founder and CEO -- He founded SafeGraph in 2016, and previously founded LiveRamp, which is now public (NYSE: RAMP) – a leading data platform. Auren is also an investor – he has…
 
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…
 
In Silicon Valley enormous wealth and huge need sit side by side. The gap is bridged in large part by an important organization – Silicon Valley Community Foundation (“SVCF”). SVCF manages more than $10 billion. In this episode Nicole Taylor, SVCF’s CEO, tells us where the money comes from, where it goes, and the practical issues of giving to suppo…
 
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…
 
Avi Loeb is author of the book “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth”. It’s a story you can hardly believe, once you hear it. But here it is -- the story of the day in 2017 when telescopes around the world started tracking an object in our solar system. It was moving in such a way that scientists around the world came t…
 
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…
 
Big Vape is a nicotine-high of a book: An intense ride-along with the story of the rise of Juul. The story begins innocently – a couple guys don’t want to quit smoking, but also do not want to suffer the ill effects of cigarettes. They start Juul, and its rise – the massive wealth created, the social phenomenon, and the arrival of Big Tobacco -- ar…
 
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…
 
Ryan and his dad are one of only two father/son NFL players to both win Superbowl rings. Today Ryan a venture capitalist at the firm he founded, Next Play Capital. His many co-investments include Hippo, ByteDance (TikTok), Flexport, Hims, Impossible Foods, Peloton, (IPO), and Rubrik among others. We’ve covered a lot of paths to becoming a VC on Som…
 
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…
 
Ali Tamaseb pulls the curtain back on the myths about billion-dollar startups – and he does it with data. That’s not surprising for a guy who is a partner at DCVC, the multi-billion dollar venture firm focused on deep tech. Ali is a scientist turned engineer who works on a broad spectrum of areas ranging from computational health/bio to cybersecuri…
 
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…
 
Suneel Gupta is author of the book “Backable: The Surprising Truth Behind What Makes People Take a Chance”. Backable tells Suneel’s journey from first-time entrepreneur to being named “The New Face of Innovation” by the New York Stock Exchange. Suneel’s ideas have been adopted by firms like Greylock and Google Ventures, and he served as an Entrepre…
 
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…
 
David Bohnett founded GeoCities in the 1990s, well before the internet attained its current ubiquity. GeoCities became publicly traded on NASDAQ and was acquired by Yahoo! Inc. in 1999. In a 2007 article, the Wall Street Journal described it as a Facebook prototype and noted, “Back then, entries were known as home pages, not profiles. But the basic…
 
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…
 
Kara Nortman is a Managing Partner of venture firm Upfront. Upfront famously hosts the “Upfront Summit” – a hard-to-describe, but massive confab of celebrities, entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders held in Los Angeles. Kara is a founding member of All Raise – you’ve heard about All Raise a number of times on Something Ventured. She’s also …
 
In their new book “WORKING BACKWARDS: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon” (St. Martin’s Press, February 9, 2021.) Bill Carr and Colin Bryar share Amazon’s secrets. They had a front row seat for most of Amazon's history, and they are sharing what they learned in their new book. Not only is Amazon one of the most valuable companies in …
 
Amy Nauiokas is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anthemis, a leading digital financial services investment firm. Anthemis manages nearly $1 billion. Amy is also Founder and Chair of Archer Gray, a media production and content company. Straightforward for a venture capitalist, right? Except maybe for the TV/Movie company she also runs. But …
 
Vern Howard’s story is remarkable. Vern was a math prodigy who left high school early, when he tested into Virginia Commonwealth University to study Computer Science and Math. He paid his way through school by teaching math and serving as a janitor on campus. He went on to sell men’s suits, which taught him the art of selling. After joining Capital…
 
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