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The Digital Human


Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world

Popular episodes


Nov 15 • 29:00


Nov 8 • 28:45
There are many ways in which the taint of prejudice, outdated ways of thinking and plain old human error can enter our artificial intelligence systems. The weakest link is always where the sticky handprints of humans are most visible.

To train AIs, systems need two things: computer vision, to precisely identify images, and machine learning algorithms. But they also need a ...


Nov 1 • 28:32
We've all had experiences of our attention wandering, usually at those moments when we most need to concentrate.

But, in our productivity-driven society, are we placing too much emphasis on paying attention and failing to recognise the benefits of more unstructured thought processes? After all, focus comes at a cost. With numerous demands on our attention, it's all too easy...


Oct 25 • 28:52
If you want to send a message without any chance of it being intercepted then end-to-end encryption services are the way to do it. Governments and intelligence agencies can’t even intercept these messages, without compromising the phone they’re sent or received on, because the tech companies themselves don’t even have access.

In the pursuit of protecting people’s privacy,...


Oct 18 • 28:55
Aleks Krotoski explores the relationships between social media content creators and their audience, asking how does it get complicated when money starts to change hands.

These are often described as para-social relationships. Ones were the audience knows a lot about the content creator and they know next to nothing about the viewers. This can lead to misunderstandings and ...


Oct 11 • 28:55
We all cheat at least a little bit, some of us in family games of monopoly others on their taxes. Aleks asks if the digital era has made that easier; with less apparent consequence and therefore more tempting? If that's the case where does that lead us.

Why for example would people hack the language learning app Duolingo to achieve an entirely meaningless high score, just ...


Jun 28 • 29:18
Aleks Krotoski explores what it's like to be 'villain of the day' on social media.

It seems every day an individual rightly or wrongly becomes the object of the online world's condemnation. What's that like and what motivates people to pile on? Are the criticisms always made in good faith or is there something more complex going on with what the critics are trying to signal...


Jun 21 • 28:50
Dr Charu Smita, a media researcher in Delhi explains how as the social contract between middle class Indians and the Government, to provide medical assistance, crumbled, people realised they'd need to mobilise to help save lives.

Anirudh Deshmukh is a musician from Mumbai and when the second wave of Covid hit India and he saw the urgent tweets and posts from people searchi...


Jun 14 • 29:10


Jun 7 • 28:07
Aleks Krotoski talks to the children of those lost to Qanon conspiracies. Many have sought support and advice in online forums where they exchange stories of estrangement and bereavement unable to prevent their parent falling further down the rabbit of outlandish plots, twisted ideas and political extremism.

For many experts Qanon behaves like an authoritarian cult demandin...

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