19 episodes

We talk to technology creators, regulators and dreamers from around the world to learn how complex technologies may shape our environment and societies in the years to come.

The Algorithmic Futures Podcast Liz Williams and Zena Assaad

    • Technology

We talk to technology creators, regulators and dreamers from around the world to learn how complex technologies may shape our environment and societies in the years to come.

    S02E09: Robotics, Entrepreneurship, and Art, with Damith Herath

    S02E09: Robotics, Entrepreneurship, and Art, with Damith Herath

    In our final episode of season 2, we are grateful to be joined by Damith Herath, Associate Professor of Robotics and Art at the University of Canberra. Damith is a multi-talented roboticist with a long history of working in the art world, and an interest in understanding how to shape human-robot collaboration in real-world environments. During our conversation, Damith talks to us about how his innate drive to experiment with electronics and robotics led him from an entrepreneurial childhood in Sri Lanka to the forefront of robotics and automation research in Australia. 
    Credits:
    Guest: Damith Herath (University of Canberra)
    Co-hosts: Zena Assaad and Liz Williams
    Producers: Zena Assaad, Liz Williams, Robbie Slape, Martin Franklin (East Coast Studio)
    Acknowledgements:
    A special thanks to the ANU School of Cybernetics for lending us the use of their podcast studio for this recording.
    Transcript: 
    A full transcript of this episode is available on our website:
    https://algorithmicfutures.org/s02e09

    • 53 min
    Navigating autonomous weapons systems and responsible military technology, with Lauren Sanders

    Navigating autonomous weapons systems and responsible military technology, with Lauren Sanders

    What does responsibility look like in military contexts – and how do you think about encoding it in autonomous military technologies with the capacity to harm? In today’s episode, we explore this topic from a legal perspective with the help of Lauren Sanders. Lauren is a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland with expertise in international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and domestic counter-terrorism law. She is also host and editor of the Law and the Future of War podcast. 
    Episode Credits:
    Guest: Lauren Sanders
    Co-Hosts: Zena Assaad and Liz Williams
    Producers: Zena Assaad, Liz Williams, and Martin Franklin (East Coast Studio)
    This episode is rated explicit because the topic of discussion may not be suitable for young listeners.
    For the full episode transcript, visit https://algorithmicfutures.org/s02e08 

    • 52 min
    Exploring the nuclear mindset, with Veronica Taylor, Ed Simpson, and Will Grant

    Exploring the nuclear mindset, with Veronica Taylor, Ed Simpson, and Will Grant

    In this episode, we explore the “nuclear mindset” – a term being thrown around in discussions about Australia’s plans to acquire conventionally-armed, nuclear powered submarines as part of the AUKUS trilateral partnership between the US, UK, and Australia. With the help of Veronica Taylor, Will Grant, and Ed Simpson, guest co-host AJ Mitchell and I explore what a nuclear mindset might look like, and discuss how we can help train a new generation of nuclear technology creators, regulators and dreamers approach their work with the care needed to make use of nuclear technologies safely, responsibly, and securely in an Australian context. 
    Along the way, we talk about Australia’s already lengthy history of working with nuclear technologies, tricky considerations like how to manage nuclear waste (even for widely accepted applications like nuclear medicine), and far more in this wide ranging and transdisciplinary discussion. There will be lessons in this episode for anyone who designs, manages, or regulates technologies used in safety-critical applications – including those enabled by artificial intelligence. 
    Episode Credits:
    Host: Liz Williams
    Guest co-host: AJ Mitchell
    AJ Mitchell is a Senior Lecturer in the ANU Department of Nuclear Physics and Accelerator Applications. He is the convenor of the ANU Graduate Certificate of Nuclear Technology Regulation, does research in fundamental nuclear structure and applied nuclear science, and is a passionate educator and science communicator. He is also actively involved in teacher-training projects in Timor Leste and leads a program with the University of Yangon in Myanmar to build teaching and research capacity in physics.
    Guests:
    Veronica Taylor, the Professor of Law and Regulation in the School of Regulation and Global Governance (or RegNet) at ANU. She is former Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, is a member of the ANU Steering Group on Nuclear Technology Stewardship, and is one of the chief investigators for the newly awarded Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Radiation Innovation.
    Will Grant is Associate Professor in Science Communication at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, which is based at ANU, and is a prolific writer and contributor on the interaction between science, politics and technology. He is also a member of the ANU Working Group on Nuclear Technology Stewardship. Will has some fantastic podcasts of his own: The Wholesome Show, G'day Patriots and G'day Sausages.
    Ed Simpson is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU Department of Nuclear Physics and Accelerator Applications, Nuclear Science Lead for the ANU Research School of Physics, and is one of the few nuclear theorists I know who can hold his own in laboratory settings. He is heavily involved in nuclear science education here on campus, has experience in government through service as an Australian Science Policy Fellow, and is also a Chief Investigator on the new Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Radiation Innovation.
    Producers: Liz Williams, Martin Franklin (East Coast Studio), Zena Assaad
    Acknowledgements: A special thanks to the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS)for allowing us to use their recording studio for this episode.
    For the full episode transcript, visit: https://algorithmicfutures.org/s02e07/ 
    Regarding the explicit rating: This episode mentions nuclear weapons and weapons testing, and also talks about the use of nuclear propulsion for Defence. If you don't wish to discuss these topics with small children, it may be worth saving this episode for another time.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    How to shape technology (and society) with equity and inclusion in mind, with Tracey Spicer

    How to shape technology (and society) with equity and inclusion in mind, with Tracey Spicer

    Our episode today features Tracey Spicer, award winning journalist, author, and social justice advocate who begins this episode with a story from her own life: her son, after watching an episode of South Park, declared “Mum, I want a robot slave.” This declaration prompted Tracey to begin a seven-year journey exploring how society shapes the technology we surround ourselves with, and how technology in turn shapes us. Her findings are documented in her latest book, Man-Made, which was published by Simon & Schuster earlier this year. Tune in to hear more about Tracey’s latest book, her work as a journalist and social justice advocate, how technology is changing journalism, life as a working parent, and so much more. 
    Please note: We discuss some of the realities of work for women. This occasionally touches on topics that are not suitable for young listeners.  
    Credits
    Guest: Tracey Spicer
    Hosts: Zena Assaad and Liz Williams
    Producers: Zena Assaad, Liz Williams, and Martin Franklin (East Coast Studios)
    Theme music: Coma-Media

    • 47 min
    Safeguarding the Future: Responsible AI Use in Education and Beyond, with Simon Chesterman

    Safeguarding the Future: Responsible AI Use in Education and Beyond, with Simon Chesterman

    You have probably heard of ChatGPT – the generative AI language model that is already transforming work and education. In this episode, we explore the many potential benefits and challenges ChatGPT and models like it pose for education and law with the help of Simon Chesterman, author of We, the Robots? Regulating Artificial Intelligence and the Limits of the Law, David Marshall Professor and Vice Provost of Educational Innovation at the National University of Singapore, Senior Director of AI Governance at AI Singapore, and Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law. This episode has something for everyone who is interested in understanding how we can sensibly make the best use of generative AI models like ChatGPT while mitigating their potential for harm.
    Credits:
    Guest: Simon Chesterman
    Hosts: Zena Assaad and Liz Williams
    Guest co-hosts: Tom Chan, Matthew Phillipps
    Producers: Tom Chan, Matthew Phillipps, Robbie Slape, Zena Assaad, Liz Williams, Martin Franklin (East Coast Studios)
    Theme music: Coma-Media
    Thank you to the ANU School of Cybernetics for allowing us to record Tom and Matthew’s audio in their studio.
    Transcript:
    For the full transcript of this episode, visit: https://algorithmicfutures.org/s02e05 

    • 1 hr
    How the oak tree flourishes in the cheese grater of innovation, with Kate Devitt

    How the oak tree flourishes in the cheese grater of innovation, with Kate Devitt

    What does human flourishing have to do with human-machine teams? And how do we meaningfully engage stakeholders in consultations about some of the most challenging problems of our time? Listen in as we explore some of these questions with Kate Devitt, co-founder and CEO of BetterBeliefs – a platform for evidence-based stakeholder engagement and decision-making – who also happens to be an internationally recognized leader in ethical robotics, autonomous systems and AI. 
    Credits:
    Guest: Kate Devitt
    Hosts: Zena Assaad and Liz Williams
    Producers: Zena Assaad, Liz Williams, Martin Franklin (East Coast Studios)
    Theme music: Coma-Media
    We would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which this episode was recorded, and pay our respects to Elders past and present. 
    Content notes:
    We have chosen to list this episode as explicit because of some discussion of warfare.
    For the full transcript, visit https://algorithmicfutures.org/s02e04

    • 52 min

Top Podcasts In Technology

Boston Consulting Group BCG
Cool Zone Media
Lex Fridman
Jason Calacanis
BG2Pod
BBC Radio 4