6 episodes

Tech Tank is a bi-weekly podcast from The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From racial bias in algorithms to the future of work, Tech Tank takes big ideas and makes them accessible. 
 
In a series of roundtable discussions and interviews with technology experts and policymakers, moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West unpack tech policy debates and highlight new data, ideas, and policy solutions.
 
Sign up to receive the TechTank newsletter for more research and analysis from the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings.

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Tech Tank Brookings Institution

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Tech Tank is a bi-weekly podcast from The Brookings Institution exploring the most consequential technology issues of our time. From racial bias in algorithms to the future of work, Tech Tank takes big ideas and makes them accessible. 
 
In a series of roundtable discussions and interviews with technology experts and policymakers, moderators Dr. Nicol Turner Lee and Darrell West unpack tech policy debates and highlight new data, ideas, and policy solutions.
 
Sign up to receive the TechTank newsletter for more research and analysis from the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Is There a Way to Keep Schools Open Safely?

    Is There a Way to Keep Schools Open Safely?

    Early in March, the COVID-19 pandemic began burning a furious path across the U.S., shuttering schools and sending 50 million students home. Some of the nation’s largest public school districts, including New York City and Los Angeles, were the first to close their doors for the remainder of the academic year.
    Many parents were forced to become educators for the first time in their lives. And school districts quickly tried to become fully equipped for distance learning - an experiment that laid bare the digital divide in America, and exposed a modern inequality exacerbated by the virus. 
    As the effort to reopen schools happens across the country, one thing is certain: All will be forced to navigate this new normal in education while still in the middle of a public health crisis. But what does reopening look like, and how can it happen safely? And how will it evolve as COVID-19 remains uncontained in America? 
    With the school year well underway, we need answers, good answers, and fast.


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    • 52 min
    Will Disinformation and Voter Suppression Help Trump Win Reelection?

    Will Disinformation and Voter Suppression Help Trump Win Reelection?

    With the 2020 presidential election about to take place, concerns about foreign interference, disinformation, mail ballot snafus, and voter suppression remain high. Already, there have been major phishing attacks against leading campaigns and Facebook has removed hundreds of thousands of fake accounts operated by foreign entities. With countries such as Russia, China, and Iran having a major stake in the outcome, what should U.S. election officials be doing to safeguard the election? Are American policymakers prepared for what likely will be the most important election in decades? 
    In this episode, Brookings experts Elaine Kamarck, Chris Meserole, and Darrell West identify the major threats to our election system, highlight lessons learned from 2016 that could help protect voters, and discuss whether disinformation and voter suppression will enable President Donald Trump to win reelection.


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    • 40 min
    Should Trump Ban TikTok and WeChat?

    Should Trump Ban TikTok and WeChat?

    On June 20th, President Donald Trump showed up in Tulsa, Oklahoma for his first campaign rally after a three-month hiatus. Before the rally, the Trump campaign bragged about the million tickets that had been pre-requested. But when the rally started only 6200 people showed up at the arena, and the President addressed a sea of empty chairs. Politically active young people used TikTok to encourage others to reserve tickets but not show up, thereby forcing Trump to play to an empty room.
    Soon thereafter, President Trump released an Executive Order banning Chinese applications TikTok and WeChat in the United States and ordering TikTok’s sale to an American company. He argued the companies could release personal data to the Chinese government and therefore represented a national security threat. TikTok now is in talks with Oracle for the sale of its American operations.
    In this episode, we address the broader issues represented by these presidential actions and whether they signal a trend toward a fractured internet divided by national boundaries and security fears. If the President makes good on his order to ban these applications or force TikTok to be sold to a US firm, will the concept of an open, borderless internet vanish? These are the crucial questions that will shape the future of the internet and U.S. tech policy.

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    • 45 min
    Congressman David Cicilline on Why We Need a Glass-Steagall Act for the Internet

    Congressman David Cicilline on Why We Need a Glass-Steagall Act for the Internet

    In 1932, Senator Carter Glass and Congressman Henry Steagall joined forces to pass a new banking law that divided investment from commercial banking. They argued there was an inherent conflict of interest in banks performing both activities and that it was harmful to consumers. As we move into the digital world, there are firms that perform a number of different business functions and there are questions whether this hurts consumers and creates unfair advantages for particular firms.
    Over the past year, the House Antitrust Committee has held a series of hearings and heard complaints from businesses about unfair practices by large internet platforms. In a recent hearing with CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, subcommittee chair David Cicilline outlined a number of abuses.
    Now the subcommittee is finalizing its report, and Congressman Cicilline sat down with Brookings Vice President Darrell West for a candid conversation about problems in the digital economy and why America needs Glass-Steagall legislation for the internet. He explains why large internet platforms have unfair advantages and harm small and medium-sized businesses. He says it is time for Congress to enact new rules of the road for the digital economy.  


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    • 26 min
    How Has COVID-19 Transformed Work, Education, and Healthcare?

    How Has COVID-19 Transformed Work, Education, and Healthcare?

    As the pandemic spring has turned into the pandemic summer—and with no sign of abating once fall arrives—Americans are beginning to grapple with how the disease will change daily life forever. Across the country, empty streets and empty office towers don’t just mean a change in how we work—entire communities have relocated to new places.
    “Reopen the economy” has entered the pantheon of American political catchphrases. And while white collar workers may reap the benefits of a post-COVID world—one in which employers recognize that—with a powerful enough internet connection, anyone can work from home—blue collar workers won’t see those benefits. 
    But it’s not just in the workplace. Medicine and education are also being rethought in real time. Come September, school will look radically different than it did a year ago—but who are the students that stand to gain from at-home learning? How can we ensure that all students—regardless of race and family wealth—can thrive while learning digitally? And how do we make sure that doctor’s appointments conducted over the internet are accessible to everyone who needs care? 
    One day the pandemic will end. But before that happens, we need to make sure that the world it leaves in its wake is a just and equitable one. Finding the answers to these questions is the first step.
    In this episode, CTI Senior Fellow Darrell West hosts a conversation with Annelies Goger, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program, and Makada Henry-Nickie, a fellow in Governance Studies. The three discuss how COVID-19 is impacting employment, healthcare, and education during pandemic-related shutdowns and how its effects may be felt in these areas long after the virus subsides.


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    • 48 min
    How Can We Fight Racial Bias in Technology?

    How Can We Fight Racial Bias in Technology?

    Algorithms are the tools by which the modern world plans, programs, and conducts itself. But they’re also the tools by which the modern world perpetuates racism in the digital age. If algorithms are going to rule technology, and therefore, our lives, how can we ensure they rule fairly?
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    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

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