Between Worlds is a technology podcast that takes you over the horizon and beyond borders, to bring you the global thinkers, innovators and troublemakers whose ideas challenge the world as we know it. From a courtyard cafe in Paris, to a busy sidewalk in Tokyo - each week futurist and global nomad, Mike Walsh, will share his personal conversations with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, recorded live in the field.
AI Genomics. Is this the future of health? Jo Bhakdi
- What if within the span of the next decade, we could live for an additional ten years or more? A hundred years ago, advances in infection control and public health led to a near doubling of the human life span. For us to achieve a similar feat today, we will need more than just scientific breakthroughs. Despite the rise of AI, powerful computation platforms and new discoveries in genomics, there is still a gap between everyday medical practice and technological innovation.
Algorithms, AI and the alignment problem with Brian Christian
Brian Christian is one of my favorite writers on AI, with a unique perspective that is very much at the intersection of computer science and philosophy. He is the author of the acclaimed bestsellers ‘The Most Human Human’ and ‘Algorithms To Live By’, which have been translated into nineteen languages. A visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, he lives in San Francisco. His latest book, and the subject of this interview, is ‘The Alignment Problem’.
Disinformation wars, robot uprisings and differential privacy with Harper Reed
A US election is far more than just a struggle for the most powerful job in the world, they also provide a glimpse into consumer attitudes and emerging technologies designed to influence opinion. It was during the 2012 US election, for instance, that social media, online data and e-commerce profiling was leveraged for the first time to create a hyper-targeted, digital political campaign, that ultimately swept the Democrats into power. My guest this week, Harper Reed, was intimately involved in that strategy, having served as CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign, where he was the first to bring the mentality and connective capabilities of the tech industry to the political stage.
How Mastercard uses their innovation lab to co-create with their customers with Ken Moore
Despite all the talk about fintech disruption - banking, finance, and payments remain highly regulated industries with well-established competitors who are not standing still - even in this moment of rapid change and digital reinvention. Mastercard is one such company. They created Mastercard Labs as a way of co-creating and innovating with their customers. The idea was to turn external signals into opportunities, and in' doing so, de-risk' them for their clients and for the rest of the organization. So, for example, they are working on quantum computing with IBM. They have established their own proprietary blockchain and several AI projects and were behind the Apple Card's tokenization, which allowed it to work without the standard 16 digits.
To learn more about how Mastercard manages their innovation portfolio, I spoke with Ken Moore, who is the Chief Innovation Officer at Mastercard and also Head of Mastercard Labs. Ken is responsible for the company's R&D initiatives globally. Prior to joining Mastercard, he was a Director at Citibank, where he established Citi's first Innovation Lab and subsequently expanded it globally to create a network of collaborative innovation centers across the company.
The future of education with Dr Shawn Smith
This new age of smart machines will still need humans - but arguably, they will need to be ones who can think, create and make decisions in very different ways than the workforce of today. As with the first Industrial Revolution, reinventing education will be a priority going forward, especially if we are to survive the automation-led shakeup to jobs. To find out what it might take to transform schools and learning, I spoke with Dr. Shawn K. Smith , an education futurist and chief executive officer of Modern Teacher. Shawn also sits on the board of The Futures Institute, an organization dedicated to providing global insights on complex local problems.
Using AI in the war against fake news with Tim Tangherlini
Professor Tim Tangherlini calls himself a computational folklorist. Like many fields of research lately, folklore is a field where both the tools and objects of study are being profoundly reimagined by AI. I came across Professor Tangherlini's work after reading a research paper that he and his team published on using AI to study the structure and dissemination of conspiracy theories. Their research points the way to strategies that might defeat fake news by explaining how the elements of a conspiracy narrative come together and how they can also quickly fragment if some key parts are removed or challenged.
Incredible insight every time.
The conversations between Mike and his guests are completely fascinating - no matter the topic, I gain something from every episode. A must listen!
What we need to be thinking about
Digital Disruption Everywhere
Mike Walsh does an excellent job dissecting the impact of modern technology in all industries one episode at a time. His access to global industry leaders makes every episode insightful and unique.