32 episódios

Technological and digital news from around the world.

Digital Planet BBC

    • Tecnologia

Technological and digital news from around the world.

    Feminist chatbots

    Feminist chatbots

    Why the tone of chatbots matters and how a feminist perspective can help use them to address online problems such as bullying and trolling.

    We look at some of the methods used to try and scam you, particularly the increasingly sophisticated emails sent to businesses to try and get them to part with their money.

    We have a drive in a LIDAR enabled electric car, a new development in Autonomous vehicles

    And the perils of misleading data, why clear and accurate data is so important to a huge variety of global issues such as adequate clean water or food supplies.



    (Image: Chatbot female robot holding a speech bubble symbol. Credit: Getty Creative Stock)


    Producer: Julian Siddle

    • 46 min
    Repairing Voyager 2

    Repairing Voyager 2

    Scientists at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been working flat out over the last week repairing Voyager 2. The spacecraft is about 18 billion kilometres from Earth, so sending a command to it takes 17 hours.

    Alexa: save my life please
    Could personal assistants like Alexa and Siri save your life? Research in the journal BMJ innovations has assessed how good the top four voice assistants are at giving sound medical advice – the results were mixed.

    Drones mesh it up in Vietnam
    Managing a natural disaster like a flood is so difficult because often there are many unknowns - responders urgently need real time information on water levels in the swollen rivers for instance. Installing monitoring kit across long stretches of river is expensive and the sensors need replacing regularly. So how about deploying a squadron of drones to pick up the data instead? That has been happening in a trial in Vietnam. Dr Trung Duong, at Queen’s University Belfast tells us more.

    Purrfect robots
    Do you need a robot that can work in the dark or a dangerous environment? Give it whiskers! After all, some bristles and a snout work well for the likes of dogs, mice and shrews. So researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK have spent hours watching whiskers in the wild and are now switching the twitching to robots in the lab.

    (Photo: Voyager spacecraft. Credit: Nasa)

    Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

    • 44 min
    Drones dealing with locust swarms

    Drones dealing with locust swarms

    Trials are taking place to manage the massive locust swarms in the Horn of Africa and the Indian subcontinent with drones. Using them to collect real time data allows scientists to predict where the insects might fly to next.

    Irish data centre power problem
    Amazon has just announced plans to build another data centre in Ireland. It’s just one of about 60 data centres that are putting a huge demand on electricity. According to a report by the Irish Academy of Engineering 30% more electricity will be needed by 2030 to keep these data centres running. But where will it come from if Ireland is to meet its carbon emission targets?

    More data leaks in India
    A new data privacy bill has been passed in India, but with hundreds of millions of individuals having their data leaked last year alone, will this new bill ensure data privacy? BBC data journalist Shadab Nazmi has exposed a number of information security blunders in India and explains what has been happening.

    Acoustic camera
    Imagine that you could only hear specific sounds in certain parts of a room. So an intensive care nurse would only hear the beeps from the medical bay of their patient? This might be possible as scientists at the University of Sussex in England are splitting sounds, focusing them into beams and even bending them. Our reporter Hannah Fisher has been there to explore.

    (Photo: Large swarms of desert locusts threatens Kenya"s food security. Credit: Dai Kurokawa/EPA)

    Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

    • 43 min
    Internet partially restored in Kashmir

    Internet partially restored in Kashmir

    Internet in Kashmir partially back on
    Following a court ruling in India, the internet has been partially restored in Kashmir. There is still no access to social media but the Indian government was forced to allow some access. Mishi Choudhary, founder of the Software Freedom Law Centre in New Delhi updates us on the situation.

    Pigeonbot
    Imagine a robot that’s as graceful as a swooping and gliding bird. It could get into crowded environments where drones currently can’t be used. The latest research, published in Science Robotics, into flying robots delivers just that. Laura Matloff from Stanford University in USA is one of the team who designed PigeonBot and joins us on the programme.

    Will Brazil become a data colony?
    Brazilians are neither happy with the way in which companies handle their personal data or trust them, according to a new survey by IBM. Sau Paulo based Technology Writer Angelica Mari explains why there are growing concerns that soon private companies may control most citizen’s data.



    (Photo: Kashmiri youth hold placards during a protest against an Internet, SMS and prepaid mobile services blockade. Credit: EPA/Farooq/Khan)


    Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

    • 33 min
    Internet shutdowns cost $8bn in 2019

    Internet shutdowns cost $8bn in 2019

    The cost of the major internet shutdowns in 2019 has been estimated as $8bn according to a report by the Top10VPN website, with WhatsApp being the platform that is blocked most often.

    Twitter bots and trolls on bush fires
    Could the latest orchestrated social media disinformation campaign be unfolding in Australia. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology have been analysing thousands of tweets and found some concerning activity. Could paid for trolls be behind tweets suggesting that arsonists are responsible for this year’s bush fires?

    Indigenous language keyboards
    The United Nations has just declared an International Decade of Indigenous Languages. It is to begin in 2022, so we have been finding out about getting indigenous languages onto a device – and it isn’t always as hard as you think.

    Worm robots
    Robotic worms might be soon being used to sniff out people as part of search and rescue operations. Our reporter Jason Hosken has been to the lab where they’re developing chemical sensors that could help trace people who have perhaps been trapped under rubble following a natural disaster. The robotic worm could end up assisting, or reducing the need for, specially trained sniffer dogs.

    Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

    (Photo: Internet shut down in India. Credit: AFP)

    • 45 min
    Tech tracking Australian fires

    Tech tracking Australian fires

    An app is helping Australian’s stay safe during the Bush fires. Fires Near Me was created by the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and we hear how it works from journalist Corinne Podger. Also the WICEN HAM Radio operators who are providing emergency communications when mobile masts and internet connections are disrupted and measuring air quality using low power networks.

    Safer motorbike taxis in Rwanda and the DRC
    How do you ensure that the motorbike taxi you are hailing in Kigali or Kinshasa will get you home safely? Using an app that has data on the driver is one big step to having a safer journey. Gareth Mitchell finds out about Cango who collect data about their drivers to rate how safely they ride.

    Digitising Natural History
    The famous Natural History Museum in London has only a fraction of its collection on show. To ensure all their specimens are correctly catalogued, the museum is now digitising their collections. Harry Lampert has been finding out how technologies like machine learning are helping to get more and more specimens online.

    Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz

    (Photo: Fires Near Me app. Credit: New South Wales Rural Fire Service)

    • 43 min

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