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Babbage from Economist Radio

The Economist

Named after Charles Babbage a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Named after Charles Babbage a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.
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Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

The Economist

Description:

Named after Charles Babbage a 19th-century polymath and grandfather of computing, Babbage is a weekly podcast on science and technology. Host Kenneth Cukier talks to our correspondents about the innovations, discoveries and gadgetry making the news. Published every Wednesday on Economist Radio.

Language:

English


Episodes

Babbage: The promise and peril of AI

10/9/2019
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Artificial intelligence—the technique of using data and algorithms to make decisions as well as (or better) than humans—is on track to become a mainstream technology, on a par with electricity or computing. But in order to flourish it needs to overcome several challenges. From privacy and market concentration, to safety and explainability. In this week’s show Kenneth Cukier speaks to some of the leading experts in the field about the benefits and risks of AI, and why it is so important that...

Duration:00:32:04

Babbage: Steak and Chips

10/2/2019
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As the trade war intensifies, China wants to reduce its reliance on imports of foreign computer chips. Could open-source technology solve its problems? Also, new research on red meat pits statisticians against nutritionists. And Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, on the ethical dilemmas that come from powerful new technology. Kenneth Cukier hosts ____________________ Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio...

Duration:00:30:30

Babbage: Carbon sucks

9/25/2019
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Scientists are experimenting with different ways to reduce the amount of carbon being emitted into the Earth’s atmosphere. Nilay Shah, of Imperial College London, explains how carbon capture and storage works. And, Wang Jian, a tech chief of Alibaba, on how data can be harnessed to make cities more efficient. Plus, three low-tech innovations that could make a big difference to sustainable living. Kenneth Cukier hosts Additional music by Chris Zabriskie "Divider" (CC by...

Duration:00:26:12

Babbage: Climate. Change

9/18/2019
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As global leaders prepare for the UN climate change summit next week, we debate what changes individuals can make today to help limit the effects of climate change. The Economist’s environment editor, Catherine Brahic, hosts a roundtable with Christiana Figueres, who convenes Mission 2020 to reduce global carbon emissions; Ed Davey, a director of the Food and Land Use Coalition with the World Resources Institute; and Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change in the school of...

Duration:00:25:53

Babbage: Taxis for take-off

9/11/2019
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Flying taxis could soon become commonplace in cities if operators can overcome strict regulations on their use. Journalist Rebecca Fannin explores the future of technology giants in China. And, how can the sound of sand reveal its source? Kenn Cukier hosts extra music by Chris Zabriskie “Divider” (CC by 4.0 UK) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:24:57

Babbage: Innovation around innovation

9/4/2019
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Innovation: it’s more than just a buzzword that companies use when trying to sound dynamic. But what does it actually mean? Some entrepreneurs and economists like Patrick Collison and Tyler Cowen think that it needs to be studied as a science of progress. How can pulling together thinking about this help innovators of the future? And what are companies doing today to try and change the way we work? Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:27:51

Babbage: Oh, grow up

8/28/2019
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Investors are ploughing hundreds of millions of dollars into vertical farming. Could towers of vegetables help feed the world’s growing population? Also, how studying gravitational waves could unlock the deepest mysteries of the universe and prove Einstein wrong. And, network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi explains the science of professional success. Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:22:52

Babbage: Gut Feeling

8/21/2019
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How can understanding the link between gut bacteria and Autism Spectrum Disorder help scientists develop a treatment? Broken heart syndrome, or Takotsubo, is a serious condition that can be caused by the death of a loved one. Scientists have recently discovered a possible link to cancer. Also, could re-training the brain combat chronic breathlessness? Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:21:49

Babbage: A cure for Ebola?

8/14/2019
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Two treatments for Ebola have emerged from a clinical trial in Africa. Scientists estimate that sea-levels across the globe will rise by 50cm or so in the next 80 years; in some places they could go up by twice as much. Are governments and businesses prepared to deal with the rising tides? And, as face-recognition technology spreads, so do ideas for subverting it. Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:20:31

Babbage: Meno-Pause

8/7/2019
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Can pioneering surgery help delay the menopause and how will it impact women's lives? And, Clara Vu, of Veo Robotics, explains some of the challenges of designing “cobots”, robots that work collaboratively with humans on manufacturing tasks. Also, should people have the right to choose to know if they are a carrier of a hereditary genetic disease? Alok Jha hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:21:14

Babbage: Hot as hell

7/31/2019
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Record-breaking heatwaves are becoming routine and they are killing people. But many of the potentially life-saving solutions are both low-tech and low-cost. Governments should be doing more. Also, we visit Lake Chad in the Sahel to understand how climate change can fuel conflict. And, droughts or floods, heatwaves or cold snaps, just how responsible is humanity for extreme weather events? Catherine Brahic hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:28:34

Babbage: Return of the king

7/24/2019
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Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has reclaimed its crown as the world’s most valuable listed company. What can other firms learn from its reboot? Also, Reshma Shetty, cofounder of Gingko Bioworks, explains the potential of synthetic biology to harness – and transform – the power of nature. And, British ethicists put police use of artificial intelligence on trial. Alok Jha hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:19:32

Babbage: The next giant leap for mankind

7/17/2019
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This week marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11 moon mission. Is humankind about to return there? And what do the next 50 years of space exploration hold? The task of moderating a platform with over two billion active users is a daunting one. Brent Harris, Facebook’s director of governance, explains his plans. And the science behind the search for the reddest red yet. Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:24:01

Babbage: How tech is my valley?

7/10/2019
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China is promoting a tech district that it hopes will be a serious contender to America’s Silicon Valley. Hal Hodson, The Economist’s technology correspondent, visits the new hub. Lord John Browne, author of “Make, Think, Imagine”, on how advancements in engineering and artificial intelligence will eventually affect civilisation. And, what do hydrogen molecules sound like? Some innovative students have developed “molecular music.” Kenneth Cukier hosts. Music provided by Ilkley Grammar...

Duration:00:22:51

Babbage: DeepMind games

7/3/2019
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The child chess prodigy who created a computer that outplays human grandmasters—Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind, explains how games are a testing ground for algorithms and what real-world challenges he hopes to tackle with artificial intelligence. And, what can AlphaZero, the chess-playing computer, teach human players? Kenneth Cukier also speaks to the chess players Dominic Lawson, Natasha Regan and Matthew Sadler about the future of machine intelligence and its interplay with human...

Duration:00:20:57

Babbage: Curing the big sea

6/27/2019
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Researchers hope to use disease-fighting genes found in whales to help find treatments for cancer in humans. Airliners that mix batteries and fossil fuel could dominate the skies in the future. And, are people more honest than they think they are? Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:20:37

Babbage: Facebucks

6/19/2019
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Facebook wants to create a global digital currency—what could possibly go wrong? Also, why billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, founder of Blackstone private-equity firm, is donating £150m to fund a humanities centre at Oxford University. And, what can be done to increase public trust in artificial intelligence? Kenneth Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:20:48

Babbage: Space invaders

6/12/2019
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The business opportunities from small satellite technology are infinite: from an ‘ambulance’ which rescues malfunctioning spacecraft to devices that can measure the oil level in a tanker from space. Are we on the verge of making gene-editing technology safer? And, 50 years after man set foot on the moon, Oliver Morton, senior editor and author, predicts the future of humans’ relationship with lunar exploration. Kenn Cukier hosts For information regarding your data privacy, visit...

Duration:00:24:53

Babbage: Fusing the future

6/5/2019
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In this week’s Babbage, Alok Jha investigates the organisations and companies trying to crack a technology that could solve all of the world’s energy problems in a stroke—nuclear fusion. From Iter, the world's largest collaborative fusion experiment, to private start-ups racing to be first, could the long-promised dream of nuclear fusion - to provide clean, limitless, carbon-free power - finally be about to come true? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:20:51

Babbage: Rash behaviour

5/29/2019
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The measles resurgence around the world has been blamed on parents refusing to vaccinate their children but is vaccinating children enough? Also, how a new glove for humans is teaching robots how to feel. And Kenneth Cukier asks Carl Benedikt Frey, economic historian, what can be learnt from the industrial revolution in today’s world of automation and robots. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

Duration:00:20:45