20 Episode results for "Erika Weber"
Is this thing on? Robot comedians | Chips with Everything podcast
"The. The god. What do you get when you cross a robot with a tractor? That I at transformer. My job is often fund. But today, it's especially so there's a reason producer Donnie analyst telling me jokes about robots why did the robot goats this shopping center? We see it had hardware on it had software, but it needed to get on. Where you find them funny. Yeah. Would you find it funnier? If it was a robot telling you these drugs, though, is this your way of telling me, we're replacing you with the robot. Not just yes, I'm still needed could robots tell Jake's they can actually. You guys are looking good out there ready for some shops. Here's the first one. You're listening to a robot. Comedian one of the first to hit the circuit his name is data and this clip is from his inaugural performance during twenty ten tedtalk. His human side kick is the computer scientists Heather Knight. She has devoted most of her career to finding ways to improve human robot relations through ought technologies kind of put us in some kinds of messes. And but but maybe could also help us get out of them and terms of our -bility to relate to each other and be aware of what's around us. And I really think if we understand a little bit more about people, we can design technology that actually meets our needs from cyborg cabarets to robotic biking. Chaz this week. We're looking at white training robots to perform could help them become more likable, and maybe make it easier for humans to welcome them at work or at home. I'm Jordan Erika Weber, and this is chips with everything. My name is Heather Knight. I may robotics professor at Oregon state university. And I try to take methods from entertainment to make more charismatic technology usually robots had this career seems pretty enviable and far from your traditional desk job and twenty ten how what even featured in a music video for the song this too shall pass by the American rock band, o k go the band. Okay. Go makes a lot of really amazing music videos, basically because they're big nerds. They're awesome, very creative. My kind of people they had this idea to make this rube Goldberg machine music video and so they put out a call. And at the time I was living in Los Angeles. And we I was just part of this group of engineers that liked making art, and we put together a pitch like, you know, twelve twenty of us to build them a giant to floor roof golden machine in a warehouse. And then we can you in in case anyone doesn't know what a real go bug machine is. Can you explain what that means? Yeah. It's really fun. I mean, we're golden reaches a really fun because they're so surprising, and they're sort of designed to fail, but the one time they do work. And that's why video is so great, and why had to be viral video then rather than like viral group of people that come visit your houses that most of the time, they don't work. So when I do it's just kind of like, very delightful people making robots all sorts of purposes, what specifically made you want to make robot in film stars and comedians, so half of my life is actually. The other direction rather than putting robots on stage. It's sexually learning from actors and performers about how to just make the technology in our life, less annoying. Let's fustrating kind of more delightful to be around. So I'll I also borrow a lot from people on stage. So for example, a lot of my work has been about expressive motion. How how robot that's just moving down a hallway can give convey that. It's sort of a rush or it's trying to deferential to the surgeons that really don't like the robot to cut them off win their surgery, or you know, or or like even to establish relationships this. I if there's a robot you see every day, and it doesn't know who you are, especially if let's say it's handing off a set of boxes to you every single day. Then you're going to think it's kind of dumb, right? Like, it should at some point it should start recognizing you. And so just building in some of these these social templates that are just totally normal for us. But that robots. I really have no idea about makes us actually trust them more. And you know, give them higher ratings. So a doctor says to his patient. I have bad news and worse news. The bad news is that you only have twenty four hours to live. That's terrible share that patient. How could the news passively be worse? I think trying to contact you since yesterday. Remember dater the robot stand up comedian? I told you about at the start of the episode. Well, it got me thinking about one of my favorite television characters. Now, I've been working my way through Star Trek next generation and data the Android as maybe my favorite characters. So I've got all did you name your robot after him? Absolutely. Yeah. I yeah. I grew up on Star Trek the next generation, and and data's is so charming, he's like know Japan has Astroboy and I have data. Right, but notoriously terribly human things like Huber. So inspired you to try to better than him? I don't think better. I mean, he's actually pretty amazing and compelling, but the I mean, there's like this one scene that I always think of where he's trying to listen to three different symphonies at once like with his cat. And you know, he's like able to track all of them individually at the same time, and so he's sort of doing a human like activity, but in like, a very uniquely robot like way, but yeah, he's always sort of flabbergasted by like people like emotions by the complexity of everything. And I think he's a really great storytelling example of what my field is. And why it's hard say tell me more about what your data does. Then and how it works. Well, I have to tell you something. Okay. Even robots can be replaced by robots. So data's actually sitting at my parents house in in Boston right now because I have a new robot. Her name is ginger. Wow. The world go. No. It's actually really funny because we had had a robot film festival in San Francisco. The like the year that I got ginger and Doma had just passed in the supreme court so Doma all the defense of Marriage Act was a US law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages and to keep from same sex married partners the same benefits granted to different sex. Marriages in twenty fifteen the supreme court declared that section of the act on constitutional. This inspired a particular performance at that year's robot film festival. So everyone was celebrating gay marriage. And so we did a performance with both robots at the at my robot film festival that was basically about these two robots getting married. So it was robo sexual marriage. And the exchange. Their passwords did lots of romantic robot things, and then she replacer. Sounds like the ideal marriage. Yeah. Actually. Yeah. He's retired sitting on his laurels. She's doing all the work. When ginger I hit the comedy circuit had the started to rethink how to write these sets. I wrote a a bit about mindfulness. Sort of the what the purpose of robots could really be in our life. Because I don't think we just want to be more productive. We wanna be more met. And so like the whole bit is about kind of the robot making the whole audience kind of do breathing exercises are move around or and I really do believe that technology could have a role in helping us meet our own goals in a way that might be more effective than it. Just sort of trying to teach us to be cogs machine. I think we can kind of go beyond that and sort of use technology to humanize human society, which is like inverted in backwards. But I think delightful gave is going to say it's kind of ironic humor, right because often the idea of being mindful as turning off all at the technology and just being with yourself. But he's got this Wrobel. At the same time so easy for a robot. His. Clear your mind, and it's just like delete. You might think that going to see a robot perform stand up comedy would get dull FOSS, but Heather says that human audiences respond well to Jinja and her particular brand of Huma like can make jokes that make people laugh that a human could never tell like it can joke about its perception system. My perception capabilities or are still in development knowledge is if I am over estimating your name recognition, sometimes with a euphemism, which can also be, but sometimes, you know, it's really just about kind of looming -tations 'cause self deprecating. Humor is great. And so one of the critical things I think when you put a robot on stage is is that people don't want you to just be pressing a button like it just playing out video they want to believe that there's something live in it. And so one of the things that we are planning some studies around as what actually makes the performance feel live for an audience that's in front of a robot. And so sometimes it's asking the audience questions and integrating like. Adding them kind of choose their an adventure. I think people would like kind of hearing about themselves like from the robots perspective. Even if it's totally wrong. I think it would be very fun. And it would it would make it feel real. Yeah. -solutely those are some of the things we're working on right now. What would you think we can learn from a rebel? That does comedy say you've learned a lot from working with these comedic Robles, what kind of things can we lend I always thought that the robot sort of kiss up to the audience like it because it's like sort of catering to them sort of like a service robot. We we've seen a lot of we see a lot of that in the, you know, Rosie the robot or even some of the Star Wars robots. They're kind of really service robots are kind of kissing up to the people, but humans is really like when the robot kind of takes the lead and tells them where they should go. And so so one of the things that I've learned from stand up comedians is like is to not be afraid to let the robots sort of be its own character and kind of lead people in different direction because especially if we get into that world of sort of coaching and helping people need their own meet their own needs like whether it's a a. Therapist. What to do or your parent or like in my case like inequity me like your research advisor? Like, it's really sometimes nice to have someone that can ground you and not in all tell you what to do in all aspects of your life, but can lead you in a particular direction. You can think about as managing up or something like that. So I guess I learned that that robots can have personality and that robots can take the lead in in human robot interactions, and that's actually something. That's welcome. And it's also often entertaining. After the break. We'll look at some of the other unconventional work that had the does. And how being entertained by robots helps us to better understand what we need from technology. Whether that's mindfulness or or whether that's humor are laughter or just remembering someone's name when you work in the factory all day. And you're giving parts like there's times of the day. Like when you're arriving just before lunch where can extra conversation or jokes or even sharing the sports scores would be much appreciated and would really meant people's experience of that robot. You want want to miss it? Hi, this is Jordan Erika Weber the presenter of the guardians digital coat to cost tips with everything before we return to this week's episode looking at the wacky world of robots standups. Let me take a minute to tell you about guardian jobs, which is sponsoring this episode of the cost. It's always nice to get on with the people you work with August Heather works closely with some of the most entertaining robots in the world, making her job infinitely will fund Godley and jobs can help you. Find your good company. It promotes a weld of work with potential flourishes by connecting people with rewarding careers at like minded organizations, wet valued make the difference. Whether you're looking for new job. Oh, your recruiter. Looking for the perfect addition to your team you can trust guardian jobs to help you find you'll Pethick match. So find your good company at g you don't come slash good company. Now, let's get back to robot comedians. Welcome back to chips with everything. I'm doing Erica weather this week. I'm chatting to robotic this Heather Knight before the break. She spoke about her robots data and ginger and latter of which is busy trying to break into the mainstream from DC. Are we not said with the same food hurt with the same weapons subject to the same diseases? Okay. Navy? If you prick us in our battery pack, do we not bleed our line fluid. But Heather is interested in more than just rebelled stand up alongside had day-to-day work. She is also built a company that welcomes all sorts of robot. Entertainers so Marilyn Monroe bot is my robot theater company or robot art company, and so as an economic I have to write research papers and in that world when I do these serve intersections. Ultimately, I want them to benefit robots in general. How can I make more charismatic technology? How can I make products that that people don't hate? Even like, but but one of the things I wanted for Maryland robot us to be able to have an umbrella for the things that were art I where I could just actually just create something because it was entertaining. Or it was, you know, just a meet a large audience or to provoke emotion, and I didn't necessarily have to write about so say Marilyn Monroe boat represents the audience. I'd of had his interests the pontiff. Her job is an academic, Oregon state university is to lead a robotics lab, called charisma which stands for collaborative humans and robots interaction sociability machine, learning and art all funnily enough OSA re we are doing some of that robot comedy stuff, but are dominant project right now is actually about robot furniture. Okay. Wait, wait, fun at your full rowboats open to that is. No, it's like, it's like, we we basically have turned a bunch of ICA chairs into robots very inexpensive robot and painted them. Lots of different colors, and now they have names like the colors in the names thing was not something I was planning to sort of. Happened over the year and a half that we've been working with them. I we had our first artists and residents in my lab last summer a theater artist, Jeremy Iran, and he was actually he he choreographed some charities that I showcase at my robot film festival. So he kind of named this'll dance cherry just wants to dance with somebody and Terry the pink chair, and then we have this black share that's named. Now. I've seen this dance. And it's one of those see it to believe it kind of things I'm afraid we can't play it for you here because we're in tiny studio, but I'll try to describe it. The routine involves four dances to human to wouldn't Chaz on swiveling basis at first one man and one Chad dance to a Ha's take on me the song changes to material goal by Madonna as a woman enters the man and woman on the chairs and then around them the Chaz turning and moving across the stage on their own towards the end. The humans leave the stage and the Chaz left alone dancing slowly to prince's smash hit kiss. This might sound completely frivolous. But there are practical applications for encouraging furniture to behave in this way. So the idea is like if you have a house that's the small like, it would could be really convenient for different parts of your day for the furniture to rearrange or if you're running a conference or even having a wedding. It would be nice to be able to use the same space for different parts of the events without having to hire like twenty staff members to move everything around. So what if the these kind of charming robots could just sort of the, you know, say excuse me, or, you know, like make a chair line like like crossing guards while the other one sort of go behind so they can sort of like court enough the space with themselves while the rest of them go beyond behind them. And then they can kind of like trickle out as well. So you could convert something from like the dinner party to the dance floor to like the the ceremony for the wedding. It's really fun to try to think about how to do that without kicking people out of the space because then you start hitting all of these social things like how does a chair say? Excuse me without kind of interrupting someone's conversation or offending someone. It's obviously quite funny to attribute names impasse analogies to pieces of furniture, but Heather believes that humans cont help. But anthropomorphized we have like parts of our brain that are dedicated to processing biological motion. So we can know whether something's about to eat us. And once we get beyond that if someone's worthy of sleeping with and once we get beyond that if someone could be our friend, or as a member of our drive, and so so it's sort of built in and it happens blow or sort of conscious processing center a center. So that's why people say job interviews decided in the first fifteen seconds. You get this really strong impression of something. And all people do that with robots, and it's been really interesting to play with that. If you went with robots every day, you'll probably go the extra mile full them. So we actually we just kicked off a project yesterday. And we do it at the start of every year it's called resolution, but it's basically resolution about goes around to anyone that signed up in our robot. Building. And just ask them how they're feeling that day, and if they'd like to do some exercises. So people can do jumping jacks that can take a walk with the robot. It's just checks in with us like three times a week. If we happen to be at our desk and tries to get us to think about health and gives us a healthy snack. And then on the Tway. And there was one day last year where I kinda hear it because it's Motors are coming down. And then I suddenly just here. This crash my have students on the other side. And so they can connect to. It's like, it's voice. So they type in H E L P, and I just hear from out in the hallway help. And I like walk out of my office. There's resolution, but it's really simple kind of. I I don't want to call it a trash can robot. But it's it's sort of that kind of cylinder shape, and it's sort of just like follow all over. And I guess it's like we put too much like fruit, and it's basket. And so it went over and on and it just sort of tripped? And so there's the robot on the floor with fruit everywhere. Just call for me like a child, and so I go and like, and they're sort of like, we have this two level lab. And so I go out on the kind of cat. Welcome like pick up the robot like a toddler, and I'm like guys is resolution. Okay. And they're like they're like it just fell over. But I think we're going to have to bring it back down to reset its localization system. And like carry it down the stairs. It was like why don't you take fiction? I'm like, I was worried about it. Imagining Heather caring for her resolution bolt teaching Chaz to Don or getting heckled by Jinja, the robot comedian is the kind of thing that makes me wonder if in another universe. I could have lived a life like this. But this a lot of hard work involved with these projects and goals to work towards I just think this world where we can have technology that is a little bit more socially aware could kind of keep us from walking into fountains looking at our phone because the you know, we could almost have a conversation with technology so technologies kind of put us in some kinds of messes. And but but maybe it could also help us get out of them and terms of our -bility to relate to each other and be aware of what's around us. And I and I really think if we understand a little bit more about people, we can design technology that actually meets our needs. Whether that's mindfulness or or whether that's humor or laughter or just remembering. Someone's name when you work in the factory all day. And you're giving parts like there's times of the day. Like when you're arriving just before lunch where can extra conversation or jokes or even sharing the sports scores would be much appreciated and would really augment people's experience of that robot. Some people are really interested in trying to make robots look more like humans, but it seems like you have a different idea for the that. We should go down. Yeah. I guess lately. I've been really interested in how we can make robots behave like human. So I'm thinking a lot about how we can actually program behaviors and interactions sensing. But, but, but I appearance is definitely a interesting other thing, I think it can change your very first impression, but but then how it continues to interact with you is also so so important. A huge thanks to heaven iit chatting to me and keeping me laughing a special shoutout to engine it clusky, Larry Prebble and Steve Lundberg for helping us set up. This interview that will be linked to everything mentioned today. From the Marilyn Monroe bought website to footage of Jinja performing one if every teens on this week's episode description on the guardian website. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and as always thanks for listening. Now, I'm off to watch some robot Chaz dance to Madonna. Put costs from guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash.
Rage against the machine: Chips with Everything podcast
"When you have an experience the expansiveness yet. You haven't experienced the next generation of Samsung galaxy a cinematic Infinity display the practically blurs the lines between your screen and the world we're an ultrasonic fingerprint ID unlocks your world and the program cameras sees it like you do and in all day intelligent battery optimizes power to your needs the Samsung s ten s ten plus preorder by March seventh and get free. Galaxy buds limited time only terms apply. The gods. Apple is apologizing after admitting a software update deliberately slowed some older, I phones you guys information commission has fined Facebook for failing to protect its uses dates or in connection with Cambridge analytic scandal. The EU says Google violated antitrust laws with its dominance of its Android operating system. Technology continent with it continent without it these days, it feels like valley a day goes by without a headline telling us that big tech companies with that products and algorithms have yet again deceived us been subject to data breaches or found a way to make us more and more dependent on them. Sometimes it feels like we're undischarged by big tech. Well, some people say it's time to fight back in the best way, we know how by being human together. My name's Douglas rush. Kopf I promote human autonomy in a digital age by writing books making documentaries teaching at university and traveling around trying to argue for people to reclaim humanity in this wonderful period. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and this week I speak to Douglas about his new book team human, which he says. Is a coal to arms, the humans to stop working together in order to remake our society can humanities sustain itself, you know, another couple of centuries, or is this it are we just witnessing the end? I think that we can. I mean, I don't know if it's probable, but I believe it's possible. This is chips with everything. When did you start worrying about the human race in the face of technology? I've probably always been worried a little bit about the human race. You know, since I was a little kid, you know, the concert for Bangladesh must have been the sixties or early seventies. And that kind of woke me up to the idea that there were all these people all over the world who don't get to live. Like, I do the idea that technology would become part of that injustice rather than a curative. I guess that's relatively new for me in the late eighties and early nineties. I really believed that digital technology would be almost entirely beneficial that, you know, more intelligence more connection more communication could only really amplify the possibilities for, you know, the global brain it wasn't really until the mid nineties when they let commercial activity happened online. When nets. Escape which had been the original nonprofit web browser when they became a public company at that was a moment. I kind of thought where we're leaving a certain set of values behind as we develop this stuff, and I became concerned that you know, technology may not be developing an entirely in the in the interests of the public good. So Douglas started to think of ways to show people how to take back this society and get its technology to work to benefit humans as it. Should. He started a podcast called team human, which he says is striving to amplify human connection. And recently, he published a book by the same name with it. He hopes to explain how tools meant to improve human connection like the internet have ended up being used against us. And why humans have to relearn how to work together in order to fight back in a it was an experiment. I mean, I've done like twenty books before this all of them are kind of about a thing, you know, the impact of technology on human consciousness or perception of time, and this one I really wanted to give people the, tools and logic and argument that they need to reclaim the world for humans. I guess I got the idea for this book when I was on a panel with a famous trans humanist, and he was arguing that human beings should accept that technology is our Evelyn Mary successor. And that the moment that the singularity comes. That's the moment that computers are smarter than people. We should pass. Them the evolutionary torch and accept our own obsolescence and eventual extinction and queued know that now I like humans humans are weird. We can do things that computers. Can't we can embrace ambiguity and sustain paradoxes over a long period of time. We don't need to resolve everything to a one or zero, but we can sustain ourselves and that sort of Limonov place between one answer and another, and that's where human imagination and creativity and specialness exists. And then he said, oh, rush cough. You're just saying that because you're a human right as if it was hubris. So that's why that's why I did this, you know, because so many so many people technologists even environmentalists are so down on humans as this cancer on the planet. And I think that we're where something better, let's talk about tons humanism quickly. Obviously, this is the you know, the desire to improve on our biological existence. And there are different forms. So you've Stephen hawking using machines to help him deal with the effects of making your own disease. And then you've got people like Neil Harbison who has an antenna implanted his head the picks up vibrations from colors and can receive telephone calls directly into his head. Do you think there's something wrong with wanting to use technology to improve humans inherently, do you think that's a problem inherently, or is it just when people start talking about machines, replacing humans entirely anything can be a problem? I mean, I think we just have to understand that technologies are like drugs. Sure, you can take steroids and lift more weight, you can increase your utility value by taking speed and working late into the night. But is there any negative effect to doing that by enhancing one aspect of your productivity? Are you decreasing another? You know, so we know that if you take lots of steroids to have big muscles. There's a cost to your personality. There's a cost to your organs and your longevity. What is it that we're in this for what is it? We want to accomplish. That's when I get concerned that we're really just taking kind of the values of utilitarian marketplace, and an installing them in humans or worse, the values that we assigned to digital technologies, which are you know, multitasking and computational power and all those, you know, terrific things for computers may not be the core essential functions and values of a human being. A one point in the book, you say that human beings are not the problem. We are the solution. But later on you, right? That technology may have caused a lot of problems, but it is not the enemy. So if it's not human beings, and it's not technology who is to blame. You know, capitalism was a real problem, you know, and I write about where it came from this this moment in in the late medieval times when there was a rising middle class and people were starting to learn how to trade with each other, and they had local currencies and all this excess wealth, you know, the that's when capitalism was invented when we were all forced to use central currency that you have to borrow at interest, which meant you have a economy that has to grow it worked for some while it enslaved others and took over countries, and we all colonize everyone else's areas. But you know, when once we started to kind of turbo charge capitalism with digital technology. What we did was. We actually started turn that extract. Of colonialism on ourselves. And we don't like it. You know? So I think that we're beginning to experience ourselves in some ways as kind of the indigenous species on planet earth, and yet we've done this in some sense. We've done this to ourselves. But it's not a matter now of saying, well, let's develop new technologies to control human behavior know, if anything we've got to become less dependent on the cues that technology gives us even if we've program those cues and a little bit more dependent on our social cues on what we see in feel when we engage with other people we've been alienating from each other since will gosh since the beginning of consumerism really since television. And I thought the internet would reconnect us to one another. But now, we're using it to turn everyone into enemies as well. And that's that's what I think we have to stop regular tips listeners will know that we often end up talking about regulation. Normally we talk about the struggle regulators face when trying to catch up with the pace of technological development. Douglas suggests that instead of focusing solely on coming up with laws to protect us. We need to look inward, and apparently the way to do that is to figure out what he calls the human agenda. Well, I mean, I'm not against regulation. I think that's fine. I just think it's kinda slow and certainly in the states when I'm seeing that, you know, we do congressional hearings for Facebook or Google, and you've got senators and congressmen asking questions about where does my Facebook E mail come in. You know, they don't understand what these platforms even are. So they're not really in a position certainly those folks are not in a position to regulate it. So instead what I'm looking at is. How do we enhance our cultural immune response? It's almost more taking the the approach of a homeopathic doctor or a natural path rather than an allopathic doctor not. Not looking at how do we attack the disease? But how do we increase the vitality of the organism, you know? And the way we do that is by enhancing our social activity by reacquainting ourselves with one another by finding other people who care, and so I believe that as people engage with one another in real ways, we end up activating an accessing, you know, five hundred years of painstakingly volved mechanisms for social cohesion and that as those are activated. We will be voting differently and acting differently and engaging differently and doing business differently. It becomes really just too difficult to do things in ways that are just attacking others. After the break. We'll try to figure out how we can start to be truly social ones again. And why we need to recalibrate the idea of what it means to connect as humans all of the tweets and pictures on Instagram that you think are so heinous, and that you need to make a comment on because somehow your comment in the stream is going to matter somehow all that goes away, and you go outside and start to address the real problems that are existing right, right? Where you live. Dice go anywhere. We'll be right back. No, one sees the world the way you do. That's why it's important to capture your unique point of view. Now, you can meet the next generation Samsung galaxy featuring program camera a multi perspective camera system that intelligently adjusted focuses to create true-to-life picks like your eyes and with cinematic Infinity display, you won't know where your screen ends and the real world begins the Samsung s ten s ten plus three order by March seventh and get free. Galaxy buds limited time only terms apply. Stopping jewish. It's time to focus. I think ultimately that ideology is feeding, but it will have a sting in the tail only see that sometimes with these flare ups and violence today in focus is the new daily podcast from the guardian. Join me a niche Gristana for the best stories from our journalists around the world. Subscribe now to today and focused from the guardian. Welcome back to chips with everything. I'm Jordan Erika Weber this week. I'm cheering fatigue. Human to help me do that. I'm talking to author Douglas, rush cough, whose new book aims to help us. Humans. Learn how to work together and take back control from the machines. One of the big concerns. People have when it comes to handing over control to machines is the possibility of losing human jobs to robots we've talked before about how we might upskill humans to prevent this. But Douglas has a more radical idea he thinks we need to completely transform the way we relate to work in the first place a lot of people are going to be replaced. I mean right now labor is not genuinely being replaced by technology. We've got these very brittle exploitative extractive and polluting systems that we can exacerbate with robots and technology, but we're really just Externalizing the damage, so if we are going to have robots build cars, but in order to build those robots we've gotta send you know, African children into caves under gunpoint. To get the rarer metals required. Then none of that is real right? We're just Externalizing things further, but they're still just as many humans and just as much or more damage being created. Down on your head employment itself is a relatively new phenomenon. You know, people didn't want jobs. They liked making stuff they light creating and exchanging valley with one another at the market, but the job the employment. The idea that people are going to sell their time to an employer who has a monopoly in some industries. So now, I've got to go work for WalMart or Amazon or Uber instead of actually running my own business that the silliness. So no, I don't think everybody needs jobs in order to work. I think the jobs were an idea really jobs were are an institution of of oppression. So I'm not that concerned with many many jobs going away as long as we kind of reinstate, you know, local manufacturing and local business and all the kinds of cottage industries that that would really serve us a lot more efficiently. Then all of this, you know, massively polluting centralized production. Does. We talk a lot about algorithms on this show on one thing. We talk about is how they can allow machines to seem more human like so that we can veterans route with them. But you say the algorithms have really been developed to make humans less human. How do they do that? There's a division at Stanford University called decamp tala g lab, and there's a real department that's all about how to develop technologies that control human behavior. You know, they call it behavior designed theory, and they have nice words for it. But it's really, you know, how can you develop an algorithm that gets somebody to do something. And the idea is so you take a platform like Facebook, and they use the data that you've left behind to put you into a statistical bucket where they know. Oh, maybe there's an eighty percent chance that you're going to get divorced or go on fertility. Treatments or go on a diet in the next six weeks. And once they know that they can start messaging you with messages that they know push people to go on a diet, and if we are using the most powerful multi trillion dollar technological platforms we have to limit human ingenuity to limit that novel behavior. Then we are intentionally ironing out humanity in in the name of predictability, and if you're gonna play predictability on it like where human society is going. So according to Douglas, we need to take back what it means to be human and familiarize ourselves with this idea of social connection, in many cases, we need to remind humans what it means to be human. Which is why Douglas is advocating for a renaissance rather than a revolution. Once people begin to experience one another again once they have the. Experience of looking into someone's eyes or establishing rapport a feeling that mirror neurons fire and the oxytocin go through the bloodstream in the go, right? That's human connection. And once you begin experiencing, those things, you know, everything starts to unravel all of a sudden all those consumerist things that you wanted to buy seem really meaningless compared to just having some time to be with another person all of the tweets and pictures on Instagram that you think are so heinous in that you need to make a comment on because somehow your comment in the stream is going to matter somehow all that goes away, and you go outside and start to address the real problems that are existing right, right? Where you live. And then those, you know, those then demand the sorts of structural changes that we're going to need, you know, in order to be able to solve those problems. So yeah, I'm just really I'm arguing for the very first stage the very beginning. One human beings matter. You know, being human is a team sport. So go find the others. That's really all. I'm asking at this stage. Right. What do you mean by find the others? It's the last statement that you write in the book, although obviously has mentioned throughout who all the others. And how do we find them? We'll I there's this other people and you'll recognize them because you know, they look like you. Right. They're walking around on two legs. Most of those those are humans, and they're the others. I mean, I would think at the beginning. It's, you know, find the other people who are waking up to all this. You know, find your comrades. Find your teammates in the late sixties Timothy Leary this. I could Alex counterculture. Guru did a talk at Berkeley and a girl got up and asked, you know. Oh, I just had my first psychedelic experience. And I've seen that. You know, the world is out connected. What do I do now and Leary said to her find the others in a so he meant find those who are sympathetic to the spine those who've had this vision who have this understanding, and I think that's a great first step. But then it means finding the others the true others. You know, the the people who are in the states. It would be fine the red state people if you're a blue state person or the blue state people if you're in the red state, you know, when I talked to progressives. I tell them, you know, if you can't see the human being. You know, wearing that make America great again hat. If you can't see the human being beneath that facade, then how do you expect that person to see the humanity in a Mexican immigrant? You know? So it really does start with us. We've got to see the human being operating in all of our supposed- adversaries in order for them to begin to wake up an experience that humanity in the rest of us. Well, there you have it humans in order to stay relevant in a world that we ourselves have built to accommodate more computers and robots Douglas says we need to remember that we're at off strongest where we get back to the basics of interacting with each other. And that he says means everyone not just the people we agree with. Huge. Thanks to Douglas Rushbaugh for joining me this week that'd be a link to his book team human on this week's episode description on the guardian website. Before we sign off. I want to point you in the direction of friend of the show, and the guardians UK tech editor Alex Hearn as he may have heard this week the far right founder of the English defence league. Tommy Robinson was banned from Facebook and Instagram for repeatedly, breaching hate speech. Rules, Alex discussed the news on a recent episode of the guardians poke cost today in focus. You should listen in to find out more. Of course, we're also following this story closely here on chips. So if you have any thoughts on these kinds of bans drop us an Email at chips podcast at the guardian dot com. Chips is produced by Danielle Stevens. I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Thanks for listening. For Moghreb put costs from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash put costs. Meet the next generation Samsung galaxy to demonstrate how the new wireless power share works pay close attention on this side, the new galaxy on this side your friends phone by just putting both phones together. Your new galaxy starts moving energy from your phone to your friends phone extending the battery just like that the Samsung galaxy s ten s ten plus preorder by March seventh and get free. Galaxy buds a limited time only terms apply.
Can we trust AI lie detectors? Chips with Everything podcast
"Audien-? I have a game few it's cooled to truths and a lie, and you have got to gas, which one is ally. And while which ones are the truth by default in guessing games, like my least favorite kind of game. Well, he his the fast one I once walked for a mile with my skirt tucked into my nNcholas that I can believe that's happened to me I'm named after an alcoholic drink and the third is I've broken both wrists both ankles at the same time. No comment comment. Do I have to guess now? No tell you what I'll tell you at the end. Okay. Mullet over. How good a you at lying. Could you fool a friend a machine we've recently learned that the EU is about to start trialing an artificially intelligent machine, or as they call it deception detection, which is supposed to be able to detect when someone is lying at border control. Absolutely crucial. We're playing with people's lives here. So that's why we have to be one hundred percent sure about the technology. I'm not convinced at prison that anything is truly one hundred percent don't ever expect complete accuracy because it's never actually going to happen. But what we want to do is follow an ethic. Clear line design approach take into consideration that we need balanced data sets training and testing, and we will continue to show Trump's parents of our results, and it got us wondering about lying about how we learned lie. If an intelligent machine can pick up on clues in cues can we trust? It's judgment. I'm Erica Weber and welcome to this special edition of chips with everything this week. We've teamed up with Greg Jackson from science weekly. Yes, you have. Indeed. And we're calling this collaboration science with everything. My name's Paul Siga. Owning a senior lecturer in social psychology at the university of central Lancashire. I'm interested in lie detection, how good we are detecting, the deception of others, and why we fall for people's lies and also interested in kind of cornutus and how they make us for for that lies. If you like a good place to start with pool was how we land to lie as kids I wanted to know, whether it's something ingrained in us or something we gleaned from our parents quickly. We have something called social learning theory, which suggests that we learn behavior from other people from significant others and significant others pretty much our parents two young children. So if they see their parents lie, they are more likely to do it themselves. So you can imagine the situation we're coming up for Christmas and young child gets a Christmas presently don't. Particularly like, they turn onto onto Louise and saying, I don't like this on Louise and everyone kind of shrugs and races eyebrows. And the parents take into one side and say, well, you didn't have to be quite so so honest, it's that kind of behavior and talking to parents. Children's start to think. Well, okay. So it doesn't have to be honest to auntie Louise, all the time, and they kind of take that one step further and think what if it doesn't have to be on on his on auntie. Louise, all the time. Maybe I don't have to be on this to everybody else as well. I'm just I read this wonderful study about a child is interim and there's a toy underneath a blanket. And the research goes at the Rams has don't come to the blanket. We'll do that later. Sure. Enough the kid of Alexa, the blank it said. Barney the dinosaur, and they're such comes back into the rim and says, okay, you're allowed to feel it. What do you think is? And the child says, oh, it's it's Bonnie, and they're such says, oh, how'd you knew that? And she says because it feels purple and she's sort of aged survi- think four or five in this study. So we'll start off bad at lying, but we become much better at lying, and I want is that just through lanning to lie better. Or is there something going on defense? Oh dem. Oh. Gosh. Thank you, mentally though. Yes, does two things going on. Then does the first one is perspective. Taking and the second. One is good communication now. Perspective teaching is where you are able to put yourself in the other person's shoes. So in the example, that you've just outlined is the child had put beneath to put themselves in the other person's shoes. They would have known what the other person knew what they could know an an all those kind of things and good perspective taking doesn't really mature. Until generally about the age of six. If you link in with good communication children tend to start developing fairly good communication of and about the age of three as they older than they get a bit more sophisticated. So if you take the two things in ten to manipulate the perspective taking in the communication by about the age of five to seven they are starting to able to hold their own when it comes to telling lies now, some of the skills will be more developed and others. And and it will be a very idiot syncretic thing about exactly how these skills develop. So for example, you may might have a child who's good at perspective taking so they could say if the taking a cake, for example, they can say, yes, mommy. A why you might think that I took the cake because there's nobody else in the house, but. Actually, I can assure you that you mistaken a nimh because communication is falling behind. There might follow up by saying an soul never do again. So the twos. Two skills perspective taking the communication have to be intend him, and they have to tour together if you like for a successful life. Third-grader as we develop our lives become more sophisticated, and that's because children's thought to communicate better and become better able to put themselves in somebody else's shoes. Yeah. It's something called theory of mind when we begin to understand the beliefs knowledge and intentions of Evers, I'll Phipps become more convincing all of which pulse. As doesn't get good until six years old. That's that other experiments have Shane that certain aspects of theory of mind could develop earlier than that a couple of studies even suggest babies as young as six months old can fake cry. So maybe some forms of the section start from the wet go, right? So is lying in an eight skill something the born with or debate as maybe learned that they can get an adult to pick them up if they cry whether the crying Israel fake. Yeah. Good point. I the way what we do know is that as we get older, we get better and the lies become harder to detect. I think it is actually quite quite difficult. The the number of studies, look, generally, speaking accuracy levels, and there's a there's a brilliant study that suggests fifty four percent accurate now. What is fifty four percent accurate mean if you're faced with somebody that you don't know whether the lying telling the truth if you flipped a coin heads line tells them you'd be fifty percent accurate. So the study suggests that we're actually know better really than chunks in detecting of the people's deception what we tend to find in the research is the closer we are to somebody relationship wise, the worst we actually are at detecting them. And that also tends to be the case when we don't know the person. So when we absolute strangers because we don't know that de-icing crisies, we don't know how they act when they're being honest now somewhere in the middle. You have the sweet spot where you know, somebody reasonably well, but you not. To close to them say a friend, for example, we tend to find that we're better at detecting deception. Lies in twos from our friends than we are from us. I was is or from strangers say, clearly, there are some keys all those cues. Are they this of the same for everyone? Or are they very different? It seems to me suggesting that quite different we tend to break the queues down into. No verbal communication and verbal communication now. Noble communication tends to be your basic body language. So things like, I'm movements and hand movements. And then we have the verbal cues. So what you say the way in which you say it, the body language and verbal communication tends to be a my opinion, very unreliable. And I always twain people to pay attention to the verbal of Boko cues. For example, that tends to be a good body of research. Church suggests that when we're lying voice pitch goes up ever so slightly. No, that's not something that we would immediately be able to recognize unless we're actually listening for an unless we know how people talk when being honest, but that's that's just one of the coaches also gets more complicated. We have to take into account about how long somebody has had to prepare their lie. So if I kind of put you on the issue of difficult question that you might want to tell me the truth about why would probably tend to find in your deceptive aunts is that it would be fairly short, and it would be fairly general. Whereas if you'd had a long time to prepare the light to the question that you knew was coming. So for example, in police custody suspects are in no the type of questions that they're going to be asked and they can prepare for them. Those type of cues would be a little bit more difficult because they were tend to give glances more. Detailed on says because they're prepared for them. But then the things that we can do to get around. And and so he goes on what we think of as very easy topic tends to be actually a very complicated topic and sue them on. No straightforward quick answers. More a hip whole talk about detecting lies, the more. I realized just how complicated lying is. And how much it depends on context carry. No from what Paul is saying, it depends on how well, you know, this person and how well, you know that ticks, but then also if you'll too close to that person, then they may be able to manipulate you more and make you believe the lie. So there's the muzzle say how long they've had to come up with the lie. If they've had a long time to think about it, then it's harder to detect. But having said all of this. I think it's really important to highlight that according to some studies lying can be like a social glue to help us cooperate as a species think about white lies. We tell them all the time. If it's your boss and tell them you like their shoes or you Baylor date because you had to what late and really just stayed in take away. Yeah. People who know me personally will know that one of my defining traits is honesty, and that means I sometimes tell the truth when I probably really shouldn't. But that all situations in which deception is dangerous. And that's obviously where this offficial intelligence in border control comes in everything you've told me so far about her hard lies to detect does make me wonder how we could expect the train algorithm to do it. This system is not designed to replace bodyguards. And we believe that computation television systems such as this operate best. When they inform people who are educated about how to actually use them. After the break, Jordan, and I will be looking at how research is using artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to figure out if we really can't be trusted to travel Moby back in a minute. Today. Focuses in new guardian podcasts that brings you closer to our journalism by getting behind the news every weekday. You'll join me an issue Astana, talking to people at the center of the big stories impacting our world will use personal perspectives and expert analysis to put you at the heart of what matters listen to today in focus unsubscribe on apple podcasts Spotify or whatever you choose to listen. Welcome back to science with everything. I'm Greg Jackson. And I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Jordan before the break pool talked about how parents inadvertently teach us that. It's okay to lie as kids. And as we grow up, I'll deceptive abilities become more refined. But our ability to detect lies doesn't really improve with aid poll set our chances on much better than flipping a coin surf it so hard for humans to tell whether or not someone is telling the truth. I wonder whether a machine could do it better. At the start of the show. We mentioned that soon. The EU will be trialing an artificially intelligent machine is designed to see if those passing through border control allying or not and it's called I border control. Hello, it's Keene. Crockett? Can you hear me? Hi, kelly. We can hear you loud and clear. How are you? Oh, I know about thank you. It's good to speak to you could talk to kitty Korkut is a reader in computational intelligence at Manchester metropolitan university. She's also a researcher on the border control protect whereabouts, we talking to you from Kelly, and you're talking to me in the school of computing, amass at Manchester metropolitan university starting at the end of this month, the pilot will run for six months at four crossings in Greece, Hungary, and Latvia, which all have borders with countries outside of the EU. The pilot technology includes virtual border guards, the can interact with the traveller in Hungarian English and Russian. I'm struggling to imagine what it might be like if I was going through a border control like this. I know you have some sort of probation today beforehand. But what's it like when you go through June? No, I will let Keady explain step one travelers in the comfort of their own homes. Will register online system that will relevant information about themselves in that trip. And then each trip that that passenger goes on is actually registered if we consider as it being self deployed through the pre registration phase it may. And I'm going to stress the word may here be able to evaluate travelers you cannot be valuated deterministic by the methods. So therefore, it may prove to be a key enabler in identifying subjects that Boorda guys should pay special attention to join the actual crossing step to so join the Preregister rations step an avatar Boorda. God will ask the traveler a series of questions about that trip. What it does it because a deception risk or for each question? And then for the overall interview the attack currently has been implemented in both male and female genders in hang leash Hungarian. Russian step three wants to interview and everything is completed at pre registration that will receive a QR codes that device for the trip. They're going to take Steph for the border crossing stage. I bought a control will provide the technology to the border guards, which is going to be integrated either into their existing installation or in a new portable hardware platform that they're going to wear so where will fist him and all information trouble. Join pre registration will be there for the board guy to see to support him making the ultimate decision. All the by metric Tex will also take place if a quiet such as the palm vein face much, which is a new technology fingerprints. You name all the things we would come to expect a border crossing point. Can I just check on something you said earlier in the answer say you mentioned that there's a possibility that this technology would be able to detect deception in ways that other methods wooden or better than other methods? So what do you mean by that? You mean that machines might be better at this than human beings? So the question we have to ask ourselves as a Boorda. God may be absolutely fine. Have no bias as excetera. He has a subjective opinion of someone coming through who I'm says those questions and he makes a decision or she makes a decision at that moment in time about whether they need to go to a second line. Check with the question. What we have here is a system that operates on non verbal behavior in individual. So it has no subjective. Nece in it. This system is not designed to replace bodyguards. And we believe that computers intelligent systems such as this. Operate best when they inform people who are educated about how to actually use them. We believe that people tend to have some kind of bias. This may be an unconscious bias in the not really aware of it. Whereas with us system, we are not introducing any subjective nece assault. Okay. So let's talk about the technology itself. Then so it uses artificial intelligence, right? A how exactly does it incorporate AI the technology self was based upon system known as silent talker which we've developed several years ago. And what it does. It combines information from typically fifty eight to forty fine grain number channels from the face will Tena Slee uses out of a show neural networks. I what it does it tries to generalize about deceptive number behavior. It assumes that certain mental states associated with deceptive behavior will drive and interviews nonverbal behavior when they're deceiving. And this kind of clued stress orange. Zayed's say arousal pug, not load behavioral control Joop in delights, etc. And it takes candid features is the import and determines it self. What the interactions are between them over time, which typically could indicate patterns of lying, can I just jump in here because pull trains people in detecting deception, and he said before that nonverbal cues one of very reliable way to detect a lie, and the other thing, I think we should mention, hey, is that there was an article published in the guardian and it quoted several scientists criticizing the technology saying that for example, micro expressions. Don't actually tell us if someone is lying on not one scientist even went too far to say that this is everything that can go wrong with light detection did Katie have any sorts of rebuttal to that L. She shorted people say that typically have been referring to the use of micro expressions. And micro gestures. What we use are significantly different because they're much for fine grain, and they don't require no, functional psychological model of why the behavior is taken place. So because we actually believe is the combination of these micro gestures. Okay. That worked together to determine the pattern of behavior where the true philosophy settle. And we catch that over a time interval say one second off three seconds we can link these micro gestures together. So what we can say so far in terms of this difference is that we've collected evidence that supports the hypotheses that nonverbal behavior can be used to detect deception at level cystic -ly greater than chumps. The use of facial recognition technology also raises some questions in October of this year. The American Civil Liberties union cooled for temporary ban on the use of this kind of tech in immigration enforcement and law enforcement and ask the department of homeland security to disclose how the intend to use it as the senior legislative council. Nima single Yanni pointed out history tells us that surveillance technology is often wrongly used to target immigrants communities of color and political protesters, and there's a danger that this time will be different but the team behind I bought a control apparently fully aware of the issue of bias when it comes to this type of technology. We do believe, and we agree with the people who work in the field, generally that we need to have balanced data sets with equal representation of all the different sup- sup- sup- groups that actually occur. I'm we need to make sure our results are transparent and not only that as well. It's all about really education, we have the border guard who. Who is a human in the loop person? A what we want to do to make sure they understand the positives. I'm the limitations of the actual technology. So it's not case of saying here is off you go is a case of making sure that they understand berry mind that are automated deception detection system is one part of a larger wheel that makes Healton decision. But so they understand join trading. What it actually means? I think the key question here is whether we can really trust technology like this. This is something I put to pull Sika, I wouldn't like to say one way or another whether I will be able to get sophisticated enough to be able to detect whether somebody is lying telling the truth to them. It's beyond my specialty. I I'm not sure that computers algorithms and all that kind of stuff or I would say is if it's important that the Texas we need to be very very sure that the is going to be active. Because if they if they revert to anything like polygraphs on the voice, analyzes, we will find lots more, false positives than we should actually be finding, and I suppose in this, particular example, actually that really matters. You know, it Bill to control that decision of whether you're lying. Not actually I'm thinking asylum-seekers all sorts of things things really matter those decisions Manta soy, the the outcome is absolutely crucial. We're playing with people's lives here. So that's why we have to be one hundred percent sure about the technology. I'm not convinced prison. Anything is truly one hundred percent. Would we be prepared to go for ninety five percent? Well, maybe but that still means the people are going to be disadvantaged to some degree. So I also Keeley will we ever get one hundred percent accuracy. We don't ever can expect complete accuracy because it's never actually going to happen. But what we want to do is follow an ethically line design approach take into consideration that we need balanced data sets betraying and testing, and we will continue to show Trump's parents of our results. Can you put a percentage accuracy on that? So you said it will never get one hundred percent accuracy. But is it like fifty sixty seventy I can say that. When we first started this in two thousand sixteen republish merely results the following year, the indicated with our small sample, which were mixed gender and also mixed FNC's. We'll be getting around about seventy six percent. Previous work on other studies that we've done with the silent talker component has got to eighty seven percent. So we would look for this project to try name at least eighty five percents and sin. Those results were published where quite near that. So Jordan, given the both of our guests have explained why it's difficult for both humans on machines to determine whether you'll lying on not were you able to tell which was a lie and which to the truth. Or would you rather enlist machine to help you, you know, I have fallen foul of a few liars in my life. So I clearly could do it some help. And I think as long as the machine doesn't actually have any real decision making power at happily give ago so just to recap the three statements like if you one I will down the road with my skirt tucked into my neck is too. I named after an alcohol drink all three I've broken both my wrists and my ankles possibly at the same time possibly not. Say one of them's ally one of them K his ally. Honestly, I think given the gray is aimed at no very many people come across. I feel like that's that might be something that you say because you'll bored of people asking about your name. But it's actually not true. Is that is that a lie? So nice. My middle name is laurel like Lauren Perrier champagne, oh, that's cheese. Guess I win again. It's a machine could not too. So I guess the humans have the advantage of. Special. Thanks to key Crockett and pull Siga for making time for us this week, you can find links to everything we've talked about here on our website head over to the guardian dot com forward slash podcast. I'm Greg Jackson. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and the producer was Daniel Stevens. Until next time. Goodbye goodbye. For more great podcasts from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash podcasts.
Measuring your fashion footprint: Chips with Everything podcast
"Yeah. The guardian. Spring has officially spread the daffodils are out the tulips and the hyacinths. Coming curve annual oink Bluebells. It's a season of flowering winter is behind us and the day's getting longer. I'm what better thing to do than to use? These new found daylight hours a bit of spring cleaning. Gran I were having lunch few weeks back, and it came up in conversation that both of us have decided not to buy any new clothes in two thousand nineteen. For me. The main reason is environmental I love clothes, but I hadn't really thought about the damage. My passion could cause until I visited the Vienna exhibition fashioned from nature and listened to the podcast series articles of interest. Yeah, I'm doing the same thing for exactly the same reasons. The environment. I watched the Marie Conde series on Netflix. And it made me realize that I have so much stuff, and I really don't need anymore. So taking a break. From shopping seems to us at least a good way to step away from the typical consumer cycle of buying regressing. And then dumping each year. We've been a hundred and forty million pounds worth of clothing and that clothing, go straight to landfill. Is one of the worst industries for environmental impact? And the reason for that is because it's creates a huge amount of weight. So do you care, for example, we are getting through just over one billion tons of clothing each year about third fats in in land for size this week tips with everything is teaming up once again with the guardians science weekly podcast to unpick, the true cost of the rise of fast fashion and to explore whether or not technology can help to fix the problems, the fashion industry has created. So the idea that we begin to have technology that actually shows us and maps what exactly is happening? Whether it's in in a in a sort of judgmental way or not. But at least it gives us an opportunity as I said to scrutinize and vigilant. I'm Greg Jackson, and I'm doing Erika Weber, and this is science with everything. Hi there. Hi, tim. How are you? Say my name's Graha. Just in case you're wondering how to pronounce it. Michael Tim Kepa for chats about the impacts of fast fashion on our planet. Tim's a professor of sustainable design and consumption at Nottingham Trent university, the clothing sustainability research group pan, we specialize in issues to do clothing on Chevy. In other words, they throw a culture in comsec. This is something that is fast fashion. Isn't it? What is false fashion? Fall fashion has emerged in recent years as a way of putting production the market in such a way that consumers have access to new governments version anytime, so whereas in the past we used to have two seasons fashion you really wants to change into GIO retailer upon from in the spring Nielsen banning we moved to full seasons, the fell fashion is decided that we should have changed all the time. So when if you go into shipbuilding you. Pretty much fifty two weeks of the year every week you'll see new products appearing in shops, and that has really caissons may Jim became for the design manufacturing process of comments and some docu for quality Giradi. The other thing about fast fashion is the cost. These clays are cheap cheap. I've seen dresses under five before. Yeah. I've definitely been guilty of buying clothes that cheap, especially as a teenager college with very little money. But I have a sneaky feeling that you're about to tell me that five pounds isn't a true reflection of its overall cost slightly, read my mind. A recent government report showed exactly that it concluded that we benefit from cheap Claes considerable cost the environments and at a considerable cost to those working in textile factories. Him is one of the worst industries for environmental impact. And the reason for that is because it's creates a huge amount of weight. So do you care, for example way are getting sued just over one billion tons of clothing each year and about thirty facts ends up in landfill sites, which him to fame because most people these days will times time take a monkey close who had family feel. We think that's okay. Someone else will wear once I finish with it. The reality is the vast majority of those awesome chapter in the night actually on sold in this country. There's not the demand the secondhand clothing too, many of them exporting even then don't get used and just enough in landfills in other countries. But leaving that's a summit still vast number of I'll just turn away in bins and a third million terms enough in UK landfill. And that's unsustainable in the long term because they've laughed with size of filling up off. But it's not just. That we've been Claes a huge environmental price, tag fuss fashion is the process of making the crazy themselves. Not so fun fact for you, did you know that the textiles industry accounts for ten percent of the wells carbon emissions. No amendments. Also, what these fabrics may delve. It's a real challenge to navigate take polyester is the most popular fiber, Houston fashion. But when it goes into the washing machine microphone is break off an ends up in our ocean algae can eat these bits of plastic and then fishy at the Audi, and then we the fish. I mean, I don't I also gave up fish this year. But there are coaches for whom fish forms, a central part of their diet. And it doesn't seem fair that they're wallowing down microfinance is because of our obsession with fashion. So are not true fibers like cotton the way to go, surprisingly, no Tim says that some cotton's can use lots of autumn pesticides. And that's what makes this a bit of a mind. Field for people. He wants to make better choices. Real challenge for people who are trying to do the right thing to know what kind of governments to buy because of the different fibers invoked and each of them as different problem on the one hand, we've got synthetic gums, which are oil based to the people said, we don't and she more fossil fuels. Therefore, we shouldn't be. On the other hand with coffee gums, which are starkly seen as natural body. Christianity we become aware of the water science use it both in cotton production. So it's an area which need a lot more research and lot more information died by producers and consumers to do the right thing. Now notice pace surprisingly them in these areas. So if two inches this what one is in need to produce clothes are more sustainable in their quality of the other is. Happens. We just need to consume fewer items. How does Britain compared to the rest of Europe when it comes to fast fashion, we doing well. Or is the situation particularly bad. The evidence is risen is worse than other countries in terms, which clothing purchase per head where near the top of the table consumption coach here, and we buying more and more is that situation getting better or worse. The situation in written. Last two years has got worse after consumption in fact between twenty twelve and twenty sixteen. The charity rap estimated that there was a ten percent increase in the amount of clothing puchased here in the UK. But why is there AmeriFactors that ranged from having more disposable income to being time poor, and then not really having much time to fix claves, and many of us wouldn't even know how to go about mending our clothes, which is one reason, I'm. Also, taking sewing classes this year top marks for you, George is a bit of a law stop, but because clearly cheap. We don't bother to fix them. That's just not that impetus there, but Tim also points to some research that suggests humans just like a bit of a change. Sociologist calling Campbell who very tough infringe show out designed for the news dissolve the new and he looked as yet. So he any Tilton terms of Antezana change, the factories like digs are different from time to time with that out of the pristine nothing a freshman claim several ends combination of factors of the latest. They will be too. But it's nothing that is inevitable. When we we do in shape l don't show, but my not least things like social media, donate communicate a lot more through the media to make people aware of what we're doing is unsustainable. Excellent. Producers consumers alive has rotor plight in changing his fall session sector. I wonder whether companies in advertising also have a role to play here. The fact that there's this constant newness to everything in the it sort of says that will you've got. Now isn't fashionable in some way. And that you you need something else should the advertisers have a role. I think the whole communication sector knocking people are vitally low this. So I like to see more manufacturers and retailers and brands give him more rounded picture that you read red number of ways one advertised, they should say against doing themselves as companies in terms of environmental impact of their businesses. Now, this a range of approaches have somebody China's Texas inability quite serious rate their headed the curve looking shelves overtures to that used flows. Another put it back in the mall. The secondhand goes or lease to ensure the deck lecture them and then dispose of responsible way. All the sun the moment that the leaders home every moment about these problems for many years is not taking the concerns seriously enough. That's awesome us go to change. After the break we'll chop to one of the people behind the organization fashion revolution. Luckily for me and Graha she may have a technological solution for how we can better. Look after the clothes. We already have in our wardrobe. There are more and more that are looking at using technology to be able to help not just for the you know, the pollution and the divers we'll be back in a minute. It's time to focus. I think ultimately that ideology is feeding for it will have a sting in the tail see that sometimes with these flare ups and violence today in focus is the new daily podcast from the guardian. Join me a niche Gristana for the best stories from our journalists around the world. Subscribe now to today and focus from the guardian. Welcome back to science with everything I'm Jordan Erika Weber and I'm Greg Jackson before the break. We talked to Tim Kupa who explained further phenomenon of fast fashion, which focuses on getting huge quantities of Claes onto the show floors quickly and cheaply to the detriment of both the environment and the people he make them. There is being another horrific incident at a garment factory in Bangladesh. An eight story building collapsed today, killing at least one hundred forty five people and injuring hundreds of others. On the twenty four th of April twenty thirteen more than a thousand people were killed when the eight story Rana plaza building collapsed in the capital city of burglar dash the fullest of companies Houssels includes from the building remains unclear but had previously included Primorac Matalin and others soon. The world found out how little these workers were making and the conditions. They were working in. And so started the fashion revolution. So fashion revolution is now the biggest fashion out because she movement in the world. So also decastro is one of the co founders of fashion revolution. And is also the creative director there. Yes. When you told me about how I looked her f and of course, she had a Twitter page, and I noticed she called herself the Queen of up cycling, which is pretty cool. Okay. I am the Queen of up cycling. Also, an Instagram in fact on several other places come up as the Queen of up cycling up cycling is a technique a fashion technique which aims at reusing creatively. Any excess from post consumer to pre consumer waste. What's the difference? Then between up cycling and recycling will recycling tends to be fiber to fiber. And it does imply either chemical or mechanical process whereby existing leftovers of cuts remnants, and so on and so forth are pulped and shredded often down cycled. To make other components such as much as feelings car insulation. Does a lot of investment in recycling at the moment from five to five, but not very successfully we are presently only recycling. One percent, for instance of leftover governments from fiber to fiber. So it doesn't really have so much of a chemical or mechanical footprint. But at the same time, it's harder. I guess for the industry to imagine it as an upscale solution. I can't that makes sense. So aside from being the Queen of up cycling, she helps run fashion revolution. Yeah. And actually next week. They're celebrating fashion revolution week each year. They choose a theme this year they've gone with hashtag who made my clothes. We are looking at what they're doing. And we wanna know when we want to understand who are the people make our closing in what conditions, but that's by no means are only ask we also took very much about clothing long. Vity? We have another hashtag which is loved clothes lost. And we really talk about the opportunity that we have every morning to look at our wardrobe as being an integral part of this fashion supply chain, and the fool all the various solutions that us as consumers citizens as people's shoots teachers, and so you know, that we can effect by being vigilant curious and wanting to be a part of the solution. You've mentioned a few hashtags there. How important is social media to this whole revolution? Well, I mean, I have to say embarrassingly vital. I mean, I can't think of anything more acutely shaming Monty python ish the whole bunch of are all sitting at the table working out. The right hashtag. I mean, really. It's quite funny. But it is serious. You know, we are born in twenty thirteen this is the age of media social media, and this kind of communication, we mustered it it catalyzed the movement. It. Made you know, a simple question difficult to answer the crux of this complicated supply chain. And how are we are? So disconnected to it. I love the Monty python reference to I've never actually watched it. But maybe I should. I mean, people are gonna hate me for saying this, but with birth probably a bit young still it is pervasive enough in our coach. That's I get what she means. Okay. Let me check. If I've understood also, right? Social media has helped with spreading them. But did she mention any other technological approaches that either designers or consumers embracing to combat some of the issues that Tim Cooper talked about earlier, there are more and more apps that are looking at using technology to be able to help. There are a whole host of transparency ups, for instance, right now taking you give me an example of some of these apps, then well, I guess the the new kid on the block when it comes to transparency is the good anew up which has been heavily supported by the likes of Emma Watson. But there are there are other ups as well, which are not necessarily focusing. On transparency and what brands are doing but more asking questions to ourselves. There is wonder I'm really looking forward to it's not out yet. But it will be all on. How can we take better care of our own wardrobes and of the clothes that we already own? I mean, you know, the truth is that, you know, the clothes that we already own are, the most sustainable clothes. And so there will be all on creating the best opportunities to mand them to keep them for long to really encourage longevity. So I'm super looking forward to that. These are all the apps that encourage a different behavior and encourage us to take responsibility for the close once we've bought them. I mean, I guess you can look at the phenomenon of deep up. People. I've had them any because they wrote to me after GDP are to ask me if they could keep my details. And I said no because I didn't remember giving them my details. Who are they deep is an app that lets you buy and sell secondhand clothes. But it's also like a small community where you can follow people who have similar sense of style. I've actually checked out myself recently because my twenty nineteen resolution doesn't rule out buying secondhand. And it's great I found someone who's wardrobe really reflects my own tastes deep up has started has opened a whole new world. And we're looking at really young citizens actually buying clothes and then selling them. But now they're going one step up their buying the customizing, and then they're selling because they're seeing the added value somehow in their own signature, you know, as if something MandA is as important as something to to you know, it has the same the same power. So, you know, I'm super. Really really love that. Also is also waiting for an app that's in production and the minute, but when available will allow those who download it to calculate their fashion footprint as in a carbon footprint for fashion. Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah. Because one of the things Tim talks about is that it's really hard to find out where your clothes come from. And whether they were produced a stain ably or not so this could be really great. Yeah. I'm not sure exactly how it's going to work yet. But it's being developed by an Italian company could lob co which have already created an app where you can sell your old clothes and earn what they call LA bla coin. And then use those to get discounts from well-known fashion brands, which I guess encourages you to buy more new clothes, which isn't great. Yeah. I see what you mean. Can I just get back to something you said before though lab coin? So you don't money in the traditional sense. But why would you use cryptocurrency? Yes. Anyone who listens to chips news that I am not the biggest fan of cryptocurrency or blockchain, but also explained why the late. Fashioned ups are choosing to head in this direction. I mean, you know, transparency doesn't necessarily lead to best practice, but it leads somewhere, and you can then make that decision. My understanding is that this will be exactly the same with the blockchain. You know? People will be importing information. So at least we will have that information. It is in human nature to kind of lie and gloss over things. So it is possible that a lot of the information that would be in a blockchain system, we wouldn't wouldn't necessarily be able to take it at face value would have to pick up that phone and really check that factory is over there with that. They're doing the things that they're claiming that they're doing, but we'll have something we will have a map nerdy citizens or activists citizens such as myself can actually go and double check. So that's the great change. And this is the whole point systems that give visibility encourage scrutiny. Any? Do you think we'll get to a point where we need fashion revolution to exist anymore? So where the revolution has happened and the industry is cured. We have enough proof to know that it's not going to happen anytime soon. I mean, you know, we know that the Rana plaza happened six years ago, and yet we know that supply chain workers up nowhere near being paid a living wage, we know that the impact of the fashion industry on our environment is scandalous, and so- fashion. Revolution is still needed. We are real in armored with function it plays a huge part in our daily lives. It plays a huge part in shaping our culture. Let it be the fashion that shapes the culture that will get rid of climate, change and local woman. I think one of the reasons that fashion is becoming more and more of a problem is because of technology and social media in particular. So I know that I am reluctant post multiple Instagram photos with the same outfit because I feel like people will think I don't have anything to wear or maybe just look boring, and we kind of you know, because we're posting of ourselves online the time we wanna look different in all of them. And there's more of a focus on image won't be looked like not encourages us to pry, more and more clouds. I think that's really interesting point. Because one thing that we haven't really touched on his role of influences. And how important they could be in all of this in in helping us raise awareness of the fact that fast fashion is really bad for the environment. And and for the people who make these claims the other thing, I thought was really interesting that we could learn from other countries like Sweden, and this is something that this big report we talked earlier in the program came out with and that was that if we removed or reduced VAT on repair. Services. It would mean that it'd be so much easier and cheaper to gallon clouds fix. 'cause at the moment if you get down to your local dry cleaners and gets effects it can be like thirty or forty pounds. And so why would you just you can sort of understand the thought process? Why wouldn't I just buy something? Yeah. No. That makes a little sense. Actually, I've got address that I need dry-cleaned to Cirque -fensive to go and get it done professionally the I'm like, oh, maybe I'll just leave and by new one also we're roughly the same size. We could just it's what plates. I have to every time you come in you meticulously dressed, whereas I was in jeans and a t-shirt combo. Thank you focused listeners. Kennel see me. A huge. Thank you to both of our guests for this episode. Professor, Tim keeper and also educow- story. They'll be linked to the fashion revolution website. And the recent government reports on clothing consumption and sustainability in the description on the guardian website. But for now with this sunny day in London. Hopefully hinting at warmer weather ahead. I'm off to plan how to fit lost is some addresses into my wardrobe for this year, I'm off to try and patch together an outfit for wedding. I'm going to this weekend. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and I'm Greg Jackson. Thanks for listening. For Moghreb put cost from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash put costs.
Turning off the internet: Chips with Everything podcast
The death of iTunes... kind of: Chips with Everything podcast
"<music> <music> they say we are gathered here today to discuss the impending death of itunes huhne's. Hey matching daniela's to play funeral music and less everything a bit dramatic. It's not gonna die. It's going to be reborn on as a beautiful trinity of apps so yes we are being a little still dramatic but it is fair to say that the i tunes that we know and love or hate is destined to change radically sometime in the next few months so it's been split. The core of the app is probably going to stay much the same what it is is it's taking up which wants did the work of ten apps and spitting them out so only about five it remains to be seen scene whether or not there are die hard fans of items out there who will crumble loss for there is something to be said for taking issue with such a drastic change and suddenly you don't feel like you are a valued user. You feel increasingly like you all the product that you are having having these changes forced upon you and it's much worse for web where you don't even have the option of not downloading the change. It's just you light up a website one day. It's a new the website and who better to talk about this sense of software grief than the guardians u._k. Tech editor alex hearn everybody's we belonged from the stomach. I am comic demetri. Martin who said i love digital cameras enable instant lost algebra is take picture and all of its us so young young. I'm jordan erika weber and this week we say goodbye to i tunes kind of and taken staubach arctic trip down memory lane for other of where we've lost in the past this as chips with everything <music> <music> not everyone's enthusiastic about this launch by many independent record label sign up to my eighteens they say so far. The deal just isn't good enough with legal action threatened against internet pirates. Seventy-nine peer track is an attractive offer and and apple cashing in one group. We probably shouldn't expect to shed tears at the closure of i tunes is the music recording industry throughout the eighties and nineties. The industry was transformed not because they wanted to be but because technology was forcing its hand moving from analog analog to digital music lovers to listen to their favourite tunes without necessarily needing to buy a c._d. Or album the first version of i tunes was released in in two thousand and one and two years later apple launched the i tune store with the hope that customers would be so impressed with how much music was on offer that they would be willing to stop not paying for something that they had learned how to download illegally for free the promise was that it was a music manager for the rest of us that it would herald a new the era of listening to songs on your computer which in two thousand and three was still a family novel thing it was sort out of the first big mainstream support for this idea of listening to song files the the whole idea of ripping cds. He's would was fairly new. Computers were not devices that were commonly used for listening to music and so- collections of audio files had a sort of vaguely c._d. Subculture tone to them. I was kind of the first big attempt to create a legitimate alternative firstly to make it very very easy to put a c._d. And rip it and half files from that and secondly then a few years down the line to create a way of buying music music downloadable music online for our tunes none of that existed it worked it grew and now sixteen years later apple is shutting down the store will but this isn't a snap decision. There have been rumors of a rewrite for a good couple of years now. It's one of those this things that's that's been very obviously coming. Just because i tunes is huge. Lots of people use it and yet development on it clearly stopped. It's never exactly got better. It's kind of only ever gotten worse but it has at least changed in recent years and for the last couple of years it stop even doing that. It's very much stagnated and apple often leads things to stagnate and then just quietly kills them. I james is too big to be quietly. She killed so that stagnation strongly suggested that apple was working on something else and we got the official confirmation of that at their worldwide developers conference in june this year when they announced the death chants it was two years of record label negotiations leading up to the launch of spotify and <hes> and and and you know we were never quite sure exactly when it was going to close. There's all this speculation that spot of. I was gonna launch and then all the sudden in a matter of about seven days all those label negotiations concluded when we realized the deals are telling you gotta launch some have suggested that the rise of the audio streaming service spotify was a big factor in apple's this decision to do away with the i tune stole what spotify date was forced apple to add a whole extra tear into chiens <music> an act which was already bursting at the seams with features that it wasn't originally designed to do you have to remember this is an app that was created to basically do two things play music and store a collection of music files then it also got a music store then it started managing ipods then it got an app store and started managing iphones. Also you had podcast you had t._v. Shows you had films. All of these were crammed into an app that still had the same named fundamental visual design language still had the same code base as it always had done and just wasn't working to do all of these things spotify came along. I meant that there had to be another feature added music streaming which even in so far as managing the contents of an iphone are pretty thirty different from managing a music library. They'll still limited. Collections of content streaming music means that you suddenly have to have a system some four all content ever being streamed through this same service apple did that apple music and the <hes> rebranded music app on phones managed managed to chuck along but it it was clear that it wasn't really fit for purpose as you alluded to earlier on itunes isn't going to exactly die but what is going to happen often so it's been split f- ruled. I've been the single nigerians and promising a worthy successor. Actually the core of the app is probably going to stay day much the same and the has its upsides and its downsides the music app which will be the main success to most of our genes will still be way. Oh you play downloaded music. It will still be where you play streaming music from apple music. It will still be where if you have a computer with a cd drive which i don't think apple even sal sal anymore <hes> it would be where you would play a c._d. On that but then they'll be a few other extra apps that will handle other parts of watchings wants. Did there's a podcast app which depending on how far behind you are on your listening. You might even be listening to this threat right now. It will be a centerpiece on the mac for downloading downloading managing listening to podcasts. Another part will be the new t._v. App where you will watch downloaded films and t._v. Shows as you'll interact with apple tv plus service and you will buy you buy or rent films from the movie store. That will go there. Then a few other features will be scattered throughout apps where they <hes> hadn't previously had much of a presence so the finder which in max is the way that you browse through files his way you'll be thinking with your iphone and yet and the books are up <hes> we'll also b._y._u. Manage your downloaded audiobooks. If you download audiobooks chain store what it is it's taking an app which once did the work of about ten apps and spitting them out so it only does work about five is any part of this to do with the fact that i e tunes is quite retro name when you think like nowadays lights nights like music podcasts. That's what apps now a cold. They're very kind of basic minimalist things. My tunes seem kind of a dougherty retro. In a way it is <hes> there was a big push from apple in twenty thirteen to stop using the i prefix switched to apple utah you saw i think the first big release was the apple watch but then we've seen it since with sort of apple music with the apple app pods all of these things which once upon a time probably would have been the i. Musical propped draft june streaming so that that's the root of it is <hes> by the time apple came to launching streaming music service dropped i and was on apple music and then those changes his slowly ricochet backup the chain until you end up with a music app. Is there a worry that we're going to lose something with this change in a very literal sense. Yes there is thought worry. A lot of people are very concerned that they have heard stories about jeans dying and they are panicking about their years. Long loving curated hundred gigabyte collection of downloaded music nick so no. We're not going to lose anything that this is reassuring. If that is your fair i can reassure you. Music library should stay the same. I think more generally though there dan might be a worry if i had been a lovingly cared for piece of software until now if genes in particular had been given the corporate oversight the a piece of software that widely used needed and deserved served then i could see why people might be sad might be resenting the fact that they'd have to use five apps where previously they only had to use one in actual fact though i don't think anyone who loved issue it was showing its age and it was showing the the need for big rewrite as long before this was announced and these days. It's gotta come as a relief to most people right now. We've previously obviously had alex on the show to talk about his nostalgia for technology of the past so i was intrigued to know whether he felt glum the prospect of losing the i ching store of yesteryear yeah i am very nostalgic about i tunes pre apple music. I very late adopter of spotify streaming music for my personal reasons. I had a very strong moral opposition to downloading music. I bought cds long after a bunch of my friends had become all piracy orasje over time and that kinda carried on to spotify didn't really have an opposition despite verney moral sense but i enjoy the rhythm of buying a new album rarely of kind of having just twelve new songs to listen to that month and focusing on them and i i enjoyed what that did to my music. You're listening. Then apple music came in and in the process something went wrong in jeans and my database got screwed up and all of my playlists were ruined and i had jeep tracks everywhere and i sat down i kind of did stare at this <hes> sixty gigabyte music library and just go i i am. I really going to fix this. I'm no switch to spotify thought we can never looked back after after the break plenty more nostalgia for the platforms and apps that high tunes will join in the tech graveyard. You can have things that you love love. Change things that you love die and things are fairly recent also be seven or eight radical versions way of it. We'll be right back. Uh-huh <music> welcome back to tips of everything. I'm jordan. Erika weber this week the guardians u._k. Tech editor alex hearn joins me in the studio to discuss. I tunes and its impending death. Well as we keep saying kind of it's basically being split into three new apps music podcasts and tv but the i tunes store as we know it is going away sometime this autumn in the first half we to i tunes and you said that you felt that nostalgic for pre apple music gene once and thinking. Are there any other apps that you have been sad to see. Go <hes> yeah. They're all i mean this idea of software that is built and that you either pay for download once and it does its thing and it doesn't need to connect the net and it's not software service. It's just a thing but that said the single biggest thing that i'm most nostalgia for none of that it is google reader miskito rita so google reader woes google's r._s._s. reader are assess is but sort of was a file format that let blocks and other sites on the net communicate updates. The idea was that you would sign up to an analysis rita download. The r._s._s. feeds of blogs he read and sightsee read regularly and be how to read every update to them. It was the underpinning of the blogging culture that grew up in the late noughties and google arita was the most successful r._s._s. reader in the second half of the period and really useful to people like us journalists. Yes and the problem was that kind of only useful to journalists like us. It had a dedicated die hard but ultimately quite niche use base and as as the narrative goes essentially social media killed it the rise of facebook and twitter meant that if you were someone who wanted to stay connected with with the news it was easier and more fun to do that on social media even though you had less control of that the counterweight to that that was that you had follow chances for serendipity chances for conversation for more chances for a cultural community to grow up out of it particularly on twitter the earliest earliest twitter felt more vibrant than the dying days of google reader so google killed it ford. It's worth our assess is not actually he dead it. Underpins podcasting the last great survival of broken culture is podcasting. There is no centralized authority. It uses this decentralized technology to spread files into update pod catches about when a new podcast is published. It's great. I wonder if all all the problems that we have right now with fake news and things that seem to come from the fact that people get their news from social media wouldn't be as much of a problem if we still had google rita are do think there is a very interesting interesting sort of alternative history internet where google looked at the niche popularity garrido and rather than declaring that the niche popularity clarity was not enough declared that google reader would be the basis of eight to tempts to compete with facebook and twitter because there was actually already burgeoning urging social network on that platform. You had the ability to share posts to people who could follow you google rita. Not many people used it but for those who did it was it it was a social network social network built around sort of vaguely long form commenting on news articles rather than in those days one hundred jordan forty characters. I think the information ecosystem would be better. Had the happened but it didn't happen. It said the thing is software doesn't actually have to disappear for people to feel chagrined. Sometimes an update is enough to cause pain. Google google maps is really good example of that where the difference between google maps now and google maps of ten years ago is quite enormous the software ah software that the web app has taken on a huge number of extra features. It has degraded in performances quite road but it needs a lot more computing power to to do what it did ten years ago. It's changed in much the same ways i- chains had and i think if you compared the app ten years ago to the web up now how it might not be clear which was better or at least it would be a lot clearer which changes had made it harder to use or which things that you liked had been deprioritize. A good example for instance is the google maps of today doesn't really have the satellite view that it used to has a three three d terrain view but it prioritizes that over plain flat satellite imagery which particularly if you're on a low powered computer doesn't work great similarly. It's <hes> it deprioritize of the drag and drop street view which a lot of people used to use religiously legislatively. It's in some ways slicker and when it works well it works better but it degrades really gracelessly when you open google maps. It doesn't assume that you'll have to look at a map anymore. It seems that you'll that to find a restaurant nearby or to <hes> look talent from country or perhaps to to you know get it to chart directions in a call between two places. It gets in the way if you know what you're there for. The flip side is if if if you don't really know how to use it it's much better that kind of dumbing down. I guess of technologies is something that if you wanna style jake for anything about decade old that's probably what point to do. You think that the reason people sometimes get annoyed over updates to apps is because often these updates happen without any announcement just very suddenly it's announcement i think is also it's consent. It's people like to feel consulted. Top the option of saying no and again this is <music> a difference between what used to happen to software ten or fifteen years ago and now even if it is a downloaded application on a computer it particularly if it's a smartphone app it will probably have automatically up dated and the first you'll know about. It is yeah when you open the new app. It's new that's brought huge improvements in a number of various particularly insecurity the ability to automatically patch a security vulnerability has changed the landscape made it much much harder for criminals to to do what they would do but the flipside is suddenly. You don't feel like you are a valued user. You feel increasingly like you all the the product that you are having these changes foist upon you and it's that much worse for web app where you don't even have the option of not downloading the change. It's it's just you light up a website one day and it's a new website one of the things that hold across the lower technology is people like to feel like they are consulted like they're involved and if they don't they they they re badly rarely does a conversation between alex and manage to avoid the topic of video games. I recently got a new iphone which will be better for some new games but as you update i._o._s. Some older games full behind so that the the reason behind this is his <hes> apple announced. I think they first announced it two years ago but they are finally pulled the trigger on removing any game that hasn't been dated to support sixty four bit processor. It's find good in the long term. It means that your phone will run slower running thirty two bit at on sixty four bit phone could actually slow down a lot of stuff not just the up front the downside as it means the applications that haven't been updated and rebuilt don't work anymore and for games particularly all the games which were sold on a pay once and download forever model the days of the three hundred nine game without micro transactions. There's very little the reason for developers to update them and it's a problem i think in the long term i hope there will be a move towards sort of accepting really old iphone games as retro games as retro classics and there are a couple of publishes who have already started looking they all going around buying the rights to very old games repackaging them for the uh devices and selling them fresh and that will be good but in the meantime we're going to loosen classics that are there signs that the demise mayes of i tunes as part of a larger cull of applications and software that we've grown new stu and maybe even going to love or will this kind of thing just continued happen periodically without much fanfare so on the mark in particular. There is an another trend to this. I think is the most important sign this. This is part of apple unifying the way i._s. Apps and markups developed absolutely podcast app are basically the same as the i pod version of the podcast app. It is apple's attempt to take these rally used mockups and these more used i._s. Apps and make it to the only one team has to work on them forward that will be good in the short term for particularly desktop apps that have a small user base. They'll be able to piggyback on the much larger us base of the phone versions and and this is great so we'll see i think in the short-term actually increase in the amount of apps that we get on the mac platform but and there is a fat is going to be countering much longer trend and the longer trend is basically for web development. The longer trend is for most apps to be a website in a fancy rapper or to just not be an tall and to be a website because it's just easier if you need to make an android version and denial version under web version and perhaps a desktop version as well to actually just make one website and be done with it. That's the trend that i think is going to really start eating away at things like jeans and i changed it self was already a victim of that trend the chains music. He's extol the audience movie store the app store. They are just websites a <music> lovely as always to have alex on the show. That'll will be a link to his article on the death of i tunes on the guardian website but for now i'm off to reminisce the countless technologies i forgot. I missed while log recording this episode m._s._n. Messenger flip phones tamagotchi fine rest in peace tips is produced by danielle stevens. I'm jordan erika weber. Thanks for listening <music> put costs from the guardian guardian dot com slash put costs <music>.
Introducing Wild Wild Tech!
"Would you be surprised if scientists are learning how to fight covid nineteen from wildeboer crop as soon as you see that both go out as soon as the person gets disease. They have to run away from the group really fast. What if I told you that I could spoil almost any movie based on who uses an iphone? The first guideline is that the user a good guy says that just very specifically, the cute animal crossing virtual world has turned into a capitalist nightmare. People are spending tons of real money on like I literally all the money I had put in the stock market and then went on twitter and like typed in turnips and then refreshed over and over again to. Found a a good island price that I could do it. Did you know that? Disney apparently has a preoccupation with butts I'm fine with. Pretty Pro Button General I'm really struggling to develop a strong opinion about butts for you and I don't have one. Well that's wild wild tech. The podcast brings you the wildest most bizarre, the most interesting stories about tech and how it's shaping our culture while tech is hosted by Jordan Erika Weber. That's me me Joshua Rivera on every week will uncover infamous stories in pop culture and Tech I'm will learn from the experts and talk to the people who lived through these winds stories like when the to computer programmers decided to create an ai that made billions of melodies just to disrupt the world of copyright law but when they made of Steph Curry. Good in NBA. Two K. it broke the game or the time when you know what you should just listen subscribe to Wildwood Tech for free on apple podcasts spotify or whatever you get your poke costs.
Gaming as a force for good: Chips with Everything podcast
"The the guardian. I see my I was fourteen and even then we had to wait for internet. So as soon as I started playing slow sleep together with his group of friends from his town. And that's how the whole thing started. This is tele- frown house. He met his best friend through a video game. The met randomly. So we did not plan on hanging out or anything just ver- plane our own games. And somehow we both up. Needed a team to work together. Because most of these online games, you can't really achieve things alone. I didn't meet him. I I started playing with his friend and they introduced to him through another game. How long have you been friends? Now, I think it's over ten years now. After about a year of playing talking online. Hurry invited Attila to come and visit to the friends could finally meet face to face. It was far from a simple journey is a few hours by train. So it would be a couple of changes to changes on the bus. And then you could get there in four hours four hour. Yes. Because Hungary's acquits more country. You don't really get used to big businesses. So back in the days when I was sixteen for me. It was a big thing to get an boss get off getting another one and throw for hours. How did your parents react it was more country and this whole compete against weren't like that poplar yet? Mostly my generation was playing with it. So everyone who I met online were either the same age as me or just slightly order. So they do that. At least I can't meet different people. Okay. So they because they thought games were just for young people. They weren't worried about you meeting a predator or anything. They, oh, this is just the thing for kids like if it happened now, and I sixteen I don't think they would let me go, but it was way different back. Then. Attila's parents were able to get to know hurry as the two friends began to teach them more. Of course since Telam you've to London five years ago. Those trips have become much bigger adventures took us couple of years to get ready for it because he has never flown before. It's very ferns on a plane Attila story. Sounds unusual that people like him who come from small towns rather than big cities. He says that video games are an opportunity. If you meet someone in person, like a stranger, you don't really know anything about them. You don't know if they'd like anything you do. But if you meet in a computer game that you play then you already know that there is at least one single thing that you're both interested in so you're or they have something to talk about. Regulators will know that I also play a lot of video games. I write about them for the guardian. And I talk about them on the consumer tech television show the gadget show. So when I went to see a talk by Susie dent, the resident Lexicographer for the game show countdown, and she made a passing unsubstantiated comment that there is an increasing vocabulary gap between kids because of video games. I was disappointed. We've talked before about the argument over whether some video games can be considered to be addictive some people think that violent video games encourage violent behavior. And definitely a stereotype that the people who play games are isolated unsociable lowness. Researches are Catholic studying these assumptions and demonstrating the positive impacts that video games can have from foaming friendships like that of Attila and hurry, we found for study was that people who played a lot of games did not have your friends in school. Then people who did not play and one of the theories, and it's only fair because hasn't been proven is that takes a lot of time. And so that makes people have less friends because they don't have the time to put down on friends. So this was not the case here. People played a lot of the people who did not play at all have the same amount of friends in school to scientific research that could help us understand conditions like dementia. The way to solve Hollis the the power mobile phones, which everyone plays games onto so crowdsource. This data. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and this week. We're looking into how video games can be a force for good. This is chips with everything. So just to let you know, my daughter to be home from school today since fell over an owner, sheer K s instances fine. For suitable distractions was just at the beginning of this podcast. You heard Attila explain how games helped forge a friendship with someone. He may never have met in real life. So even if you play games while you're physically alone. It doesn't necessarily mean that you're lonely and there's research to prove it. Okay. So my name is Lena. Sure. Solid university to the park with for informatics and media in much twenty eighteen Lena and her colleague Sahra Roman published a paper entitled digital gaming and young people's friendships. A mixed method study of time use and gaming in school. So we contacted I school in a big city area. We don't we serve the full cohort of people who started the first year in these secondary school. So they were round fifteen sixteen. Their analysis was based on combined data from studies on the topic. Most notably at twenty seventeen study, titled do adolescent gamers, make friends off line one hundred and fifteen Swedish secondary school students aged between fifteen and seventeen with severe you'd about their social lives three times a one year and then to complement this data also attending views with people in the same age consider themselves to be sort of avid gamers played a lot of games. And we said we sample these from from a neighboring school Lena admits that while their research mostly lined up with our expectations. It did throw up. Some surprising results found for study. We'll stop people who played a lot of games did not have you friends in school than people who did not play and one of the theories, and it's only fair because. Hasn't been proven is that gaming. Thanks a lot of time. And so that makes people have less friends because they don't have the time to put down rents. So this was not the case here people who played a lot of the people who did not play at all of all have the same amount of friends at school. But we also want people playing lot did not make friends with each other. However, people who consider themselves to be gamer. This is the second study, then he became friends with other people consider themselves gamer at the end of the year. However, not in the beginning. Now, we can see how digital gaming is also becoming sort of salient enough leisure activity that it sort of matters for people's social lives. Did you say that it was different for people who just play games versus those who actively consider themselves gamers, whether they make friends with each other. Did he say there was a different? Yes, different. So people consider themselves to be. And they become friends with all the people who consider themselves to be gamers. We don't see this affect for people. Even if they play they don't put themselves to be gamers. So it's an identity. The stereotype tells us that people who play games on sociable Lena's research suggests otherwise, but I'll people likely to accept that conclusion. So we did this press release for the research the headlines, really interesting. So there was a lot of these headlines that said gamer addicts not socialize le'ts. Which is of course, not something we were talking about these headlines, really speak, his sumptious. What we're I assume would call the moral panic as Ron's digital games. What effects? Do you hope that your research were have is there anything you'd like to see happen as a consequence? Yes. I mean, I definitely hope that people in general will get a much better understanding of what video gaming is. And how it sort of ties into people's lives in general? So that we can make more informed decisions about what people do and sort of how than lives now play out. Instead of now that we have these digital technology and sort of every aspect of alive sort of the actual consequence. Nces all of these that we can make better decisions. I think aiming is a Cambian extremely rewarding interesting pastime something that way one dealt with correctly. Of course, not all aspects of gaming perhaps on tastic. But I think it's a it's a pastime. It's a media. It's definitely here to stay. And there's so many things about it that we also need to highlight. And talk about in order to make sure that giving becomes what we wanted to be. And games are good for more than making friends after the break. We'll talk to a game developer whose company received a BAFTA nomination earlier this year for that game. That does more than just entertain it contributes to medical research. So you play as explorer who is on this quest to help. Look as follows missing. Where's the narrative and he sailed this little boat after navigate your way through series of mazes perform a service challenges throughout these worlds? We'll be right back. This Saturday in the guardians weekend magazine as an exclusive interview with America's former first lady, Michelle Obama. She answers questions from politicians Popstars an artists, including Miley. Cyrus Katy Perry Sadique Khan and a group of school kids. She also talks about the women who inspire meeting the Queen life in the White House. I'm locked small. Pick up the guardian tomorrow to read the full interview online at the guardian dot com. Welcome back to tips with everything I'm Jordan Erika Weber before the break. London bartender. Taylor told us how he forged and maintains his friendship with his best friend Horie despite living hours apart through online multiplayer video games. We also had from professor Lena Ekelund about her research that dispelled the notion that video game players tend to be loners. And now we're heading out to see that Tilly. Anyway. So I just clicked on the first level, and I've got a little map, and it says memorized about and find the checkpoint. Okay. So I've got a little boat, and I still by tapping left and right on the screen. And following them up that I memorized. I have made my way to the end. See hero quest is a mobile game in which players try to navigate a virtual boat in search of sea creatures. I I came across the game. When I was at JIRA for this year's British Academy games awards, which took place in April. See hero quest via the virtual reality version of the game was nominated for a brand new category called game beyond taint, the games that as after explains deliver a transformational experience beyond pure entertainment. Whether that is to raise awareness, through empathy and emotional impact to engage with real world problems to make the world a better place. It was really small after Craig category. I guess is more and more these games coming through that, you know, do that push the boundaries and go beyond Samant. We're over the moon to be nominated. We Matthew Hyde is one of the minds behind see here quest. He is the co founder of glitches the company that developed the game. And I think there's a bit of sign in the background where am I talking to you from today you talking to me from our studio art glitches studio choosen, Allston London, cruel so listeners here bit of background noise. That's why. Afridi's Danielle talked him out via Skype talk me through the game itself. How do you play us? So you play as C explorer who is on his quest to help look as follows missing them recess the kind of narrative, and he sailed this little boat to navigate your way through series of mazes performance series of challenges throw these worlds, and as you navigate form these tests every single maneuver and navigation decision that you make is tracked. And then it's relate to the scientists in a kind of a form of a heat map. I guess the website for the game says that by playing see hero quest for only two minutes you generate the same amount of data. Scientists would take five hours to collect in similar lab based research Matt explains how this is possible. The five hours takes the time to recruit participants on the on boarding process. Those in the tests themselves, so that's that's where that kind of calculation control the scientists. Right. So let's talk about the scientists, and the researchers what have they actually learned from all of this data collected through people playing the game already some of the insights of thin so revealed the spatial navigation capabilities begin so declined from the age of alias ages. Nineteen years old they found that men and women employees different spatial, navigation des- strategies, so that decisions making around tending looking landmarks, and Tony last all these things. And some of the results they've found that in Nordic countries in Denmark, Finland Norway. They tend to have the best navigation skills, and then looking into performing further analysis into why this might be whether it's down to diet, education, or even some positives. Some of the countries if it has anything to do with the king blood ancestry Viking. As I mentioned, Matt and the team have also developed a version of the game to be played in virtual reality. And this is how I experienced the game for the baffles strapping on a give Yang and navigating by looking around rather than just tapping on a screen. So I know how different the two experiences to the player, but how does playing in VR affect the data. That's collected provides more natural environments of people's not a gate moves more freely close to the real world navigation way in which people saw make decisions from from a data collection. It also tracks plays movements separately to head orientations so-so sewing. It's actions such as stopping looking around and all be captured and provide deeper insights into understanding the the cognitive processor behind spatial navigation. Earlier in the show. Lena Acklin told us how her research dispels the notion that video game players are unsociable by demonstrating that adolescents who play games have just as many friends as those who don't and see he request is a clear example of a game with benefits be owned simple entertainment, say why do these negative stereotypes about games persist despite the evidence to the country. In the past video games have been seen as providing this. So always too late source of entertainment. I guess in which kids myself put law lock yourself away a room and spend hours playing without needs central contact the outside world and games journal negative. It's ended about but I think you to a more advanced gaming technology and online multiplayer in all these social tolls being betted within games. These days. People are able to chat make friends across game in groups, and it's becoming a huge large sexual thing. Playing games gives us sort of the same feeling as just hanging out together in a bubble because we might not meet personally, but they're still together in the game, Colin each other and talk in order. This message in the the someplace, but this is not the same. That doesn't give us the same section as for example, playing a game. And he still play games together games. Yes. To hang out. I'd like to thank Attila frown Holtz. Lena Ekelund and Matthew Hyde for joining me this week. It'll be a link to see Harry quest and Lena's research in this week's episode description on the guardian website, if you have any more examples of how video games can be a full for good send them to me. Chips put cost at the guardian dot com or on Twitter at Jericho Weber. That's J Erika Weber that so for this week. Thanks for listening. For more great podcasts from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash podcasts.
Gender data gap and a world built for men | podcast
"The guardian. Today, the eighth of March twenty nineteen the world is celebrating International Women's Day vicious campaign theme is balanced better. The question it raised with simple. How can we help forge a more gender balanced society? Because even though we've made progress over the last few decades with far from saying that with free of gender bias on the world of tech isn't exempt gradually. They realized that this wasn't. She just weren't work that it was actually difficult and very involved that you needed to be incredibly clever to do it. Well, and rather than thinking, oh, well, these women must be clever. They instead clearly that's not a women's job. Norris ci- far format. We realized that once drug is approved on the market. So many different patients are going to take them with much more diverse demographics than what we actually study in our clinical trial. So by excluding women of potential because we want to protect them. Actually, we may be doing harm to more members of the general population. I'm nichole Davis. And this week we invited us system podcast chips with everything and it's presenter Jordan, Erika Weber onto the show. Together, we're going to look at the areas where we still need to fight the gender data gap. This is science with everything. That was what? To get us started. We spoke to the prominent feminist and author Caroline Creole Peres women who fought to have a women on English Bank nights. The very one has actually given fest book by old editor here the guardian when I was feeling low. I was struggling to get something done and the book is cold. Do it like a woman that was really kind of super motivational immigrate gift especially from a man. Let's be honest, and she's written a new book. Right. Yes. She came into the studio along with her very lovely dog. Poppy to talk to us about any book invisible. Women exposing data bias in a well designed for men. So I suppose it SUV taking the representation of women issue that makes me so angry and applying it to the world of data in this. I realized that it's actually not just in culture that we have a massive gender gap in the know in films and in books and in the media, you know, women are not represented at fifty percent. Actually, it's also in medical research. It's not patient health research. It's say in cod design, it's also in tech design. You know, it's everywhere. And it's of course, it's connected to culture because I think that the reason it happens is not that men deliberately excluding women. It's the we picture man when we think of a human, and so we just aren't night sing that with the getting to include women everywhere. So you say that in theory, we should be happy to have impartial supercomputers run our lives. But in reality, they show signs that we all still as the French philosopher Simone before I would call it the second sex, whereas that because they're being trained on biased data sets that is data sets that mainly include men. So for example, voice command systems are trained on Kupwara, which is basically a voice database, which is mainly filled with male voices. And as a result. They don't recognize women's voices. Similarly, dictionaries when they are doing the translation. Again, they are trained on text Kupwara that are heavily bias towards male narratives. So let's say you wanted to translate Caroline the teacher from English to Spanish, even though you've got the name Caroline as a prompt. They're this is probably a female teacher. The likelihood is it'll be translated Catalina L, professor. So we really need to sort this out and the difficulty is that because so much software is proprietary. It's very difficult to out because we don't know we don't have access the algorithms. We don't know whether they're accounting from at all we can do is sort of look from the outside to see what's happening from the outside is bloody frightening. Nikola? A you an emoji user. I'm not a sort of regular emojis. There are a few that casually slip into what's up message. I think three i-it's lot. But my favorite is the little little smiley face with the little scrunched up is little pink. Cheeks very very happy. I always say use the the woman face pumping to bit when I Devi doffed things. That's very useful women in amounts will. And very animal emojis as well for when I'm talking to friends about that pets, what about you? I actually use emoji quite lauds. I never used to. I used to think that moody was so uncool and used to go out with my way to try to void using them. I think part of actually might be the I have more female friends now in women use them a lot more than men. I think which is weird because when emoji I came about they were quite biased towards representing male figures there like you would have like a doctor, and it would always be a man, regardless of, you know, apple Google, whoever was making the emoji. It would always be a man who was who was the doctor, and I guess it just shows how everyone just assumes man is default. Like, if you wanna pictures represents of Ning, probably go for a man. Of course, these days, it's different and both genders are much better represented in emoji land. But it took a while for that to get their own. If this is slightly more jarring, considering as Caroline writes. In her book women were the original coaches as early as nineteen sixty seven the women's magazine cosmopolitan was encouraging women to code by highlighting women tech. But not everyone was on the same bandwagon say, for instance, in around nineteen eighty four there was a book by Steven Levy hackers here is the computer evolution in which hackers male haka, specifically were quoted as saying how can a hacker tolerate such an imperfect being is they talking about what women being in puffy pins. Is that is that what that saying? I think say, yeah. I mean, I think there's this idea that these male hukou in order to get down to business. They couldn't have any distracting women around distracting women. That reminds me that that Roure about women in the lab and how distracting they are said. NBC opinions like this betray the idea that these men couldn't even vision the idea of women being hackers themselves, which again is ridiculous. When you think about the role that women have played in technology unin coding since the start of that field. Yes. So I asked Caroline when the image of code has changed. The way it started off was that it was seen as Adleman secretarial work. Just Gruntwig, basically. And everyone knows that women a greater that and computers where actually originally women who were doing all the maths for the really important men to use Bradley. They realized that this wasn't. She just grunt work that it was actually difficult and very involved that you needed to be incredibly clever to do it. Well, and rather than thinking, oh, well, these women must be really clever. They instead the clearly that's not a women's job. And so they started to recruit men, and we went being promoted and told the same kind of skills that they had decided we needed right? But these days it is a bit better women make up about twenty nine percent of the workforce in big tech companies in the US. That's according to Equal Employment Opportunity reports in twenty fifteen. Which looked to averages across seven of the biggest US tech firm. So apple Google, Mike soften so on. Yes. So it is better. But it's far from perfect. But there are various ways in which companies particularly startups are trying to defend against by sees that sometimes crop up in the hiring process. So some of the studies that people have done looking at house improve diversity in both hiring under promoting have found that it's when hiring and promotion isn't transparent and his down to one person. And there's no need to explain it to another board. So one company you did exactly that they were trying really really hard to increase diversity the soon as they had to start justifying their decisions and knew that at the end of the year. They were going to have a meeting and have to demonstrate why they'd hide all the people that hide why they'd promoted to the people. They promoted they actually started promoting according to ability rather than just according to they happen to like, so transparencies radion one. It should be said that there are no. Numerous studies confirming the company's benefit both socially and economically from a more diverse workforce. Which includes hiring more women as an obvious example, a company's customer base includes women, but because of that scence in companies the products, they make don't always reflect that Caroline gives the example of the health app on the phone. You have an iphone? Yep. I sure do have you ever used the help note? I I'm not gonna lie. No, I don't need to compulsively track. Every movement of my body. But if you had loaded up your health drunk, you would notice that they all of the things that they allow you to track this quite variety on there. But they've missed out some big ones, especially if you're a person with a menstrual cycle. Yes. I didn't have a period track. Oh, which she think is pretty ovaries. It was a very simple thing to put on. It's really not rocket science. We should point out that period. Tracking is now available on the health app on the iphone. Apple added it after people pointed out it was missing. It's just forgetting that women exist and forgetting that women have different needs and different bodies. And the reason that that will happen is if you don't have enough women making these decisions, you don't have enough women in your team because they really wouldn't have needed very many women. Remember to include a period track because women track their periods. We've been doing that for very long time before smartphones came along so many, basically what it says is that the tech industry needs to massively increase female representation and in order to do that needs to address its hiring and promoting practices. And that is not just to serve consumers though. It is to save consumers. It also makes business sense. So what is the solution to the sex and gender data? Got how do we solve these problems that you raise in the book, just hire some bloody women and speak to them? I mean, it's really a simple as that my one policy recommendation every single issue that I speak about in this book from design to tech to the workplace. Don't patient health to medicine is just include women collect data and women collect sex disgra gates data and then you can start designing things from the workplace to cities to tack to medicine. The actually worked for women. After the break. We'll be looking at the last thing. Caroline mentioned there the fallout from the gender data gap in medicine. So, you know, whether it's a cellular, you know, biological reason why there's differences between men and women or if it's more the way healthcare professionals, treat men and women potentially differently may actually impact the outcomes for men and women. We'll be back after the break. Stopping. Something. It's time to focus. Well, I think that Democrats are going to have to contend with the fact that everything is about Donald Trump today in focus is the new daily tasks from the guardian. Join me a niche Gristana for the best stories from our journalists around the world. Subscribe now to today and focus from the guardian. Welcome back to science with everything. I'm nichole Davis. And I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Before the break. We heard from Caroline creo Peres about the various ways in which big tech has overlooked women. Next wit turning to medicine where the complications of excluding women can be serious. My name is Natalie dipietro maker, and I'm an associate professor of pharmacy practice at Ohio northern University College of pharmacy. It's located in ADA, Ohio soon. That's how nicely recently way to paper documenting women's involvement in clinical trials revealing that for decades drugs available to women boo rarely tested on them. Instead, they were tested on men. Well, historically, women have been underrepresented in clinical trial research and most of that had to do with the thought that women of childbearing potential should be protected as vulnerable populations in case if they were to become pregnant while receiving some investigational drug therapies, there could be unintended and potentially very serious negative consequences to their fetus or developing baby. So due to the little my tragedy that had occurred in the sixties there was consensus that maybe. Women should not be included in the very early stages of clinical research, which we call our fees. One and face to clinical trials and often not much is known about the molecule when it's first being given to a human. So the thought was in the US at least the food and Drug administration published guidance for industry that stated that women of child. Bring potential should not be included in the very earliest phases of clinical research until we had more data around these new drugs that were being studied. There was an unintended consequence. However, where many from cynical companies did not include women in clinical trials in those later phases of researches. Well, so it really became an issue where women were systematically under represented in these clinical trials, and what about another thing, which is often Boto, which is that women are not included because you know, they have menstrual cycles if they're not pregnant, no in that age bracket that can create kind of noisy data was that USA. Sedation in leaving women outs. Absolutely. It was. And you know, at the time that many of these studies were being designed there wasn't a strong understanding of some of the biological differences between men and women at the cellular level. And it was assumed that a male patient in a clinical trial, any data that were observed could be translated to a woman, and there was really no need to study men and women independently in exactly for what you're saying women were always regarded more as a more complicated patient to a role in a clinical trial, for example, fluctuating hormone levels, or whether they're pre-menopausal or postmenopausal could potentially be confounding factors in what was trying to be studied. So because it was believed that there would be no difference between men and women. It was thought that by studying men, which should be a little bit more straightforward and less expensive should serve the purpose. Well, and that that data would also be relevant for women. This struck me as power Doxa coup. Why? Well, this saying that men and women the same biologically. So it shouldn't make a difference in terms of drug safety or efficacy. But then they're excluding women because that biologically different because women can be pregnant on because the holman's fluctuate differently. So they're basically trying to have cake, and he said something like them. But thankfully, the lack of women in clinical trials did begin to change in the nineteen nineties the food and Drug administration in the US led a discussion on how we need to better understand the response of women to pharmaceutical agents and include them in clinical trials, but even ten years later things to want optimal. There was a report that was published by the General Accounting Office in two thousand one that had looked at the ten drugs that had been most we recently withdrawn from the market in the United States, and it was found that for eight of those rugs women were disproportionately affected by the adverse event now for four of those drugs more. Or women took the drug. It was a drug that, you know, a weight loss drug, for example, that more women than men took. So you might suspect that more women would have adverse events, but for four of the other drugs, equal numbers of men and women took the drug so it pointed to the fact that there were physiological differences between men and women that led to women experiencing more of these adverse events, and really that's where kind of this. Consensus was reached that we realized that once a drug is approved on the market. So many different patients are going to take them with much more diverse demographics than what we actually study in our clinical trial. So by excluding women have children potential because we want to protect them or protect a potential pregnancy. Actually, we may be doing harm to more members of the general population. Because once that drug is approved and on the market, many more women and potentially pregnant women will be taking that drug. And there's not a lot of information from the clinical trial to know, how they may be affected or if they may be affected differently than what we saw. In the clinical research. Do we know why that might be why is it that sometimes women of different symptoms? For example, with cardiac arrests that something that's been in the news. A lot about women not often being diagnosed when they have a heart attack, and then why they into drugs differently. How what's undestanding on these issues? Well, it's a great question, and it's very broad and complex, but you know, in its simplest form, there's differences between men and women at every level from the cellular molecular level, that's a product of different DNA expression between men and women, you know, having to X chromosomes or having an expert chromosome, you know, really it's this whole concept of sex based biology that there are fundamental differences that we need to better understand. So for example, women in heart disease. There's many reasons why women me have differential signs and symptoms of heart disease or even differential outcomes once diagnosed with heart disease, some of them have to do with the physiology of the female body and differences in how plaque for example, cholesterol, deposits in arteries of women versus men, and what that looks like all the way to be on the sailor level, the gender role that women are treated less aggressively for heart disease than men are. So, you know, whether it's a cellular. You know, biological reason why there's differences between men and women or if it's more the way healthcare professionals treat men and women potentially differently. Whether intentionally or not intentionally implicit bias may actually impact the outcomes for men and women. While this goes way beyond just drugs, then yeah, this is something that that does come up aid. And again and something that's been written about science desk is the way that women diagnosed or treated with conditions like Haas time, it something which obviously needs further investigation. People shouldn't be missing out and get cat because of a woman. But things are looking up overall, the general consensus is that more women are being included in clinical trials. So we are still we are seeing increased numbers of women enrolled in clinical trials. But some of the challenges still remain that for certain disease states or certain clinical trials that are being performed. We're not seeing enough woman enrolled that it is proportional to the number of women who would be taking the drug once the drug is approved and on the market ends. We're still seeing a lot of deficiencies around recruiting diverse women into clinical trials, so while we're seeing more women. They're still a large gap that remains in making sure we have racial and ethnic minorities represented among women in our clinical trials one thing. I wanted to ask is around trans men and women because we don't him much about them being included in clinical trials, and yet they also affected by money house conditions. That's a great question. And I don't know that there have been any systematic reviews. Looking at the inclusion of trans patients in clinical trials, historically, the emphasis has been on women versus men, but really not looking beyond that kind of binary definition and. And I think that's an area ripe for research. I don't think anybody has really fully looked at that yet. And there was recent report which said that a little the time that day to on on women taking pot trousers isn't actually released. Oh, oh that it's unaligned. So you might have men and women, but is all lumped together for the analysis presumably that complete defeats the only semi defeats the point of including women in the first place it does. And again, it might have been a fact that not enough woman were enrolled that there wouldn't be power or that statistical ability to look for any differences. So, you know, sometimes it may be a disregard of of analyzing bailable data. Sometimes it may be the fact that they're limited in the types of analyses that can be done because there are not enough women. So I think at the heart of it trying to get more women involved in more diverse women involved and not only racial ethnic diversity. But we're all women, for example in the United States have a difficult time being able to participate in clinical trials because they're they tend to be done in urban areas and transfer. Tation and things are a challenge. So, you know, women of socioeconomic status women varying GIO geographies as well. As diverse race ethnicity ages really needs to be involved in in greater numbers than they are today. So it sounds like it's very similar to what Caroline is saying. We simply need to include women more. Yeah. Exactly in phase of clinical trials, and in the analysis of the data and then in tech or areas, including things like development Yona personal level. One of the things that I found interesting in Carolina book, we actually talked about was a pump vote to reality. Which is something I have to deal with cry law in my job writing about games and talking about him on the television. And apparently the reason that I get motion sick in via might well. Be because I'm a women because women have more of a tendency to get motion sickness than men do. But no one's really looked at it. Caroline says they've just kind of taken that for granted. And not really looked to the reasons why not worked on ways to get around that frustrates me. Is that by overlooking? These very simple things these kinds of companies and up exacerbating differences between men and women. We all very very similar, but. Because you have these lack of interest in what women need it blows up these big differences. Yeah. It makes us seem way different than naturally. Yeah. Many thanks to both experts this week. Caroline, create a Perez and Nutley dipietro Mehta and OSA thanks to Jordan Erika Weber. Thanks for joining us here. Thank you so much for having me. If you have any comments thoughts suggestions about the put cost then send us an Email address is science weekly at the guardian dot com. I'm nichole Davis. And this is science with everything until next time. Goodbye. The move great podcasts from the guardian. Just go to the golden dot com slash put costs.
How Does Animal Crossing's Black Market Reflect the Real World Economy?
"Alright confession time Jordan I don't know the first thing about investments. Do you ever purchased stocks. Not once yeah neither did I. How collective depends? I couldn't tell you buy low sell high that ring. Any bells. In an advert woods or how `bout turnips yes. Yes. This one I do is that is that what this does avow that's what this episode is about. Yeah. Today, we're talking about it mania an animal crossing animal crossing maybe the biggest success story in games right now it's a game for the wildly popular Nintendo switch and arrived in late March twenty twenty just as the world was answering lockdown. Yeah I've been playing since the day it came out and a lot of my. Friends have as well. It's basically where we hang out because we see each other in real life actually interviewed a bunch of them in the game for a podcast Oh. What a good idea for those who may not know it's very sweet game were you go off to a deserted island and very slowly turned it into a vibrant town full of animal friends. But Funny Story Jordan you and your friends and your villagers aren't the only guest on your island someone else shows up. who capitalism my friend. A- capitalism comes and it brings with it mania over turnips a market crash bounces for protection adorable animal trafficking, all the horrors of the free market. So today we're going to hear from someone who got caught up in the craze firsthand. Josh? Money. Now it's just I don't need any more of it for literally any reason it gets wild. So wild, the virtual economy of crossing even began to spill over into the real economy affecting players both inside and outside the game. So how did the relaxing world of animal crossing acute soothing game blur the line between game world and the real world and become a nightmare. When we get back how animal crossing turned Willful Wall Street. Hello and welcome back to wild wild tech I'm Josh. And I'm doing Erika Weber and we are back again to bring you some of the wild stories from where culture and technology collide like video games that get a little out of. Extremely out of hand, but it doesn't start that way. It never does. So explain animal crossing people who may not be familiar I thought it'd be fun to play together ready to jump in. Yeah absolutely. Some island or should I go to yours? Can you come to my island because my flowers? Needful cheering. Does that. Okay. Yes. Sure. I'll go ahead and use the code you gave me earlier to fly to your island. So, in crossing your characters cute little around cartoon human right and you have your own islands and now I've landed and there's Jordan she's wearing cute little address glasses looks a lot like how she looks. Now Yeah everyone says that and the dresses are very important to me. My Wardrobe is the most important thing in the game. So yeah, in addition to like flowers outfits in animal crossing everyone has a house that you can continually decorate an improve. You can also catch fish pick fruit, collect bugs, or fossils, and trade with other players, and of course, a big part of the game is doing chores, but with your friends. Jordan speaking chores with friends where the flowers unique water. So you should be able to see the clearly marked out garden with a sign that I made myself with a pitcher for watering can on it so you could just water everything that is in soil please. Wow, Jordan's flowers are all organized along a color spectrum, which is very, very lovely, and there's like little benches there. You can sit in and Meyer them very well done Nice Botanical Garden Experience Jordan. Thank you just you're yeah that's what animal crossing is all about relaxation cuteness friendship. So now you know the basics of animal crossing and why people are so drawn to it. Another reason animal crossing so successful is that it arrived in a perfect storm of circumstance. There is the Nintendo switch, which is a wildly popular video game console that's appealing to people who maybe weren't drawn to an xbox playstation. There's the fact that Atom Crossing New Horizons the latest in a series arrived seven years after the previous animal crossing new leaf and I've been waiting every single year. Yeah there's always been. A hardcore you know animal crossing fan base like people love these games and then there's also the fact that this game is connected console and a time where it's incredibly easy to share what you're up to on social media. Yes, and it's also super approachable. It's not difficult to play. It doesn't try to test you and it's all about expressing yourself as well. It's about creativity and kind of showing what you can do kind of like the Sims of all those the biggest reason animal crossing became phenomenon was the unforeseen timing of the game animal crossing arrived just as people around the world. Answered Self Quarantine in response to the coronavirus pandemic giving everyone a new shared social space at the same time we lost most of them. Yeah. I mean it was basically how I was talking to my friends during lockdown when I couldn't see them in person. Yeah. It's also helpful and compelling because animal crossing gives you concrete things to do. You don't just dream up whatever you want to put on your island you have to work for it. Your job may be on furlough, but here's adorable meaningful work. You need money bells in the animal crossing universe to help build out the island. Of Your Dreams, you have a mortgage to pay off but don't worry there's no interest or deadline cool clothes and decor to by and all sorts of things you can get to just improve the appearance of your island of close to get the money you have to do kind of chose like you have to do fishing catch bugs, things like that collect fossils like I've been doing. Yeah. I'm big on collecting fossils 'cause I WANNA get a museum full of them? It's great once you museum is fully, you can sell the spasm for lots of bells. I WANNA be filthy rich and bells. And it sounds strange if you've never played the game right but there's like this, the soothing, very accomplished feeling that comes from clearing tasks and working towards you know a bigger house or or a Koi pond, but you've always wanted but also like in the real world working isn't the fastest way to make money and that is where the turnips come in. Animal animal crossing the selling of turnips is called the stock market get because turnips have stokes S. T. a. l.. K. and that sounds like stocks S. T. O. C. K. in case anyone needed an explanation the stock market is a speculative market. So once a week on Sunday mornings, you buy tenets from a traveling turnip merchant you can buy as many as you like and the price. Is Always between ninety and one, hundred, ten bells I think, and then every day of the week following that you can sell those turnips at the store on your island or someone else's island at a price that changes twice a day, and then the goal is to turn a profit before the following Sunday because if you don't sell them then at that point they wrought and they become worthless. And the interesting thing about this like Jordan said is that everyone has a different price. So even if you're island store is buying turnips for pennies on the bell while there's a good chance, you can make a fortune selling them on someone else's island. You've just gotTa find out which so can you see where this is going Joshua? I have been there done that. Got The t shirt. Yeah. But I wanted to talk to someone who got in deep someone who won Big High Zach, Reno. I live in Los. Angeles. I am an actor and a writer and a host of a podcast called book the improvised musical or we improvise a musical and that's it. Zach. Came to my attention because the stock market caused them to do something unusual on his animal crossing island but we'll get to that I. I wanted. To know what drew him into the game and it wasn't the high stakes speculative market at its core say life simulator and it was just like a very low stress game where you sort of walk around and decorate Your House and talk to your animal friends all of which things are very and have always been inside of my brand. The other thing I like about it is that it is a sort of game that is meant to be played. Over a long period of time because it's on a real time clock, say the game doesn't pose and wait for you. When you go to sleep, it's the opposite of fast paced, which is kind of intriguing something. adorable is always happening round the clock. So you log in at three o'clock pm it's three o'clock. There you lock at three o'clock. Am It's the middle of the night and there's different stuff going on and the seasons change right so This game will be different a month from now than it is now, which is cool. Yeah and despite Zach's chill intentions, he quickly threw himself into the stock market once it opened. I. Jumped in right away and the first two weeks I was really aggressive about it like I bought literally took literally all the money I had put it in the stock market and then went on twitter and like typed in turnips and then refreshed over and over again. Found, found like a good island price that I could do it. That was too crazy and I didn't enjoy that at all. This is the wild part to me. Immediately, there was an ad hoc network of people sharing turn up prices charting with the parents were like coming up with tools, guessing one and where good prices would show up all basically overnight. Yeah. I'm actually in discord with a bunch of my friends and other people who are playing the game and they're all tracking that tenant prices on this kind of. spreadsheet that predicts what your prices will be throughout the week, and then as my sister who doesn't bother with all that she just goes straight for this site where you could just to a stranger's island who has the highest price and cellular turnips there and that kind of makes things kind of cutthroat. You know like people could be dishonest about their prices and chase like social media clout or you could have people come and steal your turnips right? Which is why in some cases you had bouncers or like fences which. Is One thing Zach as he got more and more wrapped up in the stock market started to think about her getting into my controversial turn-up room Joshua which people said was a turnip jail simply because I had jail bars on the front of it to keep people out of my turnip broom. Now maintained that bars are used on all sorts of things that are not jails. For example, vaults have bars. This was my turn volt turnips were safe from people was not a turn of jail it might have been A. Turnip, jail but it was a turnip fault because they filled the they filled the vault not jail and I had to put them in the kitchen and also the bedroom because if I leave them outside my house, anyone can pick them up unless I fenced them in a maternal branch, which I also did a little bit by no people that just leave those on the beach but you can't have visitors over because that's like leaving your dollar bills around just. So we're clear Jordan Zach had turned vault Mata turned up jail. Yeah really needed to emphasize that. So, Zach with his turn vault and a steady supply of clout chasing social media accounts eventually worked out a way to make bank on his supply of turnips. Do you think he likes the game better or worse now after all this? I think it might have spoiled it for him a little bit. You know like a rotten turnip listen to how he describes things now, Josh I. Just have so much money. Now it's just I don't need any more of it for literally any reason. There's like weird scarcity of other things in the game. There's only so much. You can actually physically by like my house isn't getting any bigger I could buy another house, but I have to start a new character to do that and like I'm not going to really do that. He won Jordan. He won capitalism. Congratulations. But can you really win capitalism? Right the grass is always greener and that's when things start to take a dark turn in the world of animal crossing you stick around and we'll tell you a little bit about what makes people go bananas for the Stock Market and the dark things that happen when turned up trading just isn't enough anymore. Support for this podcast comes from state farm with surprisingly great rates. State farm is the real deal when it comes to home in Car Insurance State Farm agents are in your neighborhood ready to help personalize your insurance and you can manage your coverage, pay your bill or even file a claim right from your phone with the state farm mobile APP visit. State farm. Dot Com today to get a great rate without sacrificing great service that State Farm Dot Com when you want the real deal like a good neighbor. State farm is their support for this podcast comes from Goldman. Sachs companies in the top quarter for diversity are thirty three percent more likely to have industry leading profitability and those in the top four tiles for gender diversity or twenty one percent more likely to outperform. This data was the catalyst behind launch, with G., s. a five hundred, million dollar investment strategy that continues to focus on increasing access to capital for women Black Latino next and other diverse entrepreneurs learn more at gs dot com slash launch with G. S.. Jordan I'm curious how swept up in the stock market crash that you get. Out of the game now but that was only because I spent several weeks monitoring my network of friends to make sure that I always sold at a high price and I made a grant of ten million bells to get the achievement and then I stopped yeah. Yeah. I'm asking because Zach isn't an edge case turn up Walter side like you. All of my animal crossing playing friends succumb to some form of turn fever and if I wasn't otherwise occupied and if I'm honest I, extremely forgetful I would have also tried my lug at playing the market in order to make a nice stack for myself which feels kind of crass right or at least against the things we say to become animal four. I guess it's kind of a way to fast track your way through the game, and that is not the point of animal crossing, right so I wanted to talk to someone who spent a lot of time thinking about how games have this weird tendency to sort of emulate the realities of our economy in a way why can't we stop killing our Chil- island vibes with greed? Eric Peckham on the media columnist at Tech Crunch where I write about gaming entertainment and the future of virtual worlds. So animal crossing isn't the only game with currency to spend within the game on stuff you need or what and according to Eric. That's not just life. That's good. Game Design Part of successful game design is creating some form of of virtual economy within the game is basically. They're being items or currency that can be traded between players and some degree of scarcity where you can't just have an infinite amount of everything and so it forces you to trade with others to go through all sorts of obstacles or challenges within the game guides us through experiences so far. So good Eric's read a virtual economies is extremely line with animal crossings, very low stakes motivation for accruing bells but what about the stock market that's kind of a game within the game right? It attracts more people to play it. It gives. You more reasons who keep coming back every week participate is a great cut of psychological way to keep people engaged throughout the week and making sure they're continuing to stay part of this world from a Game Design Sam Point. It makes a lot of sense and here's a bit of insight that I'd never really thought about before Jordan. You know how part of the appeal of getting new stuff in animal crossing purely for cosmetic things? Yes. My Wardrobe is the most important thing in my game. So Peckham this isn't all that different than say. The photos on your instagram feed if it seems like people care about animal crossing more in this moment, it might be because our virtual worlds are starting to blur with the real one. He actually had the majority of the generation who spend meaningful time in virtual worlds, virtual economies where they can participate trade different goods just like I might pop on Instagram or snapchat and chat with people visit just an online sort of. Extension of real world interaction and activity games in other words aren't just things you do their places you go there parts of yourself. You visit and maintain the big wake up here for a lot of people will be that video games aren't just games anymore. They are are truly increasingly extensions of our real world. Lives are real world economies, right either two point five, billion gamers in the world now, most people to some. Extent play video games, and Games are increasingly being designed as social hang out spots and ways to meet people spend time with people just like your has happened with social media ads that we think of as fairly normal video games are basically the next wave in this have social media online socializing space to me. This means that your animal crossing island is just as much an expression of your identity as your instagram profile. And so of course, you want to get a leg up on the fortune you need to make something reflective of you. The obsessive stockmarket behavior makes perfect sense when you think of it that way and just virtual economies make sense for virtual worlds. Peckham, argues that any problems that stem from them are also part and parcel with their inclusion. There are so many unintended consequences that come from video games becoming a kind of A. In their own right, I mean there been major issues around gambling especially underage gambling money laundering I. Mean you're you're inviting all sorts of problems that come with creating a market that's generally not heavily supervised. We're talking, of course about cheaters. But. How do you even cheating the game like animal crossing or even do anything approaching unsavory? Well, I'm not to ask Sarah I couldn't possibly comment on that. So one popular way of gaming. The system is by something called time traveling which Zach scribes for us in the context of the stock market. The one way to quote unquote sheet animal crossing is called time travel. The game is set to link to the real time clock of whatever time your switch that right which is connected to the Internet. So what people do is they changed the time of their switches at and they move forward in time in animal crossing. Yeah. Actually have friends who time travel, but it's just like a step too far for me but here's another thing in animal crossing you can keep your balls in. A bank account and that account like a real life savings account accrues interest and curiously like the Federal, Reserve Bank Nintendo lowered the interest rate. The very first month Nintendo was like oops are fake interest bank rate is too high. We need to turn it down, which is just wild if you think about it, it's so it's so low and they were like to high I actually got the letter from the Bank of nook about the interest rates going down the very same day that I got a letter from my real life bank This is kind of preposterous and extremely funny that they this closely mimic real life banks. But. It's also one of the few as of cheating the game that Nintendo can actually curb Zach thanks I suppose they could have been worried that people would like skip Ford month after month after month and be like several years in the future and game that interest rate to like make a ton of money but it seems like a lot of work when you could just sell fruit and make. The same amount which brings us to the sort of things to can't really curb for place like Zach who have one big on the stock market and can more or less build whatever kind of islands they want, what is left for them to conquer? What can they consume with all that spending power turns out? It's villagers and one guy in particular everybody loves him. There's one villager who has two different color is is. A new cat named Raymond and people I ask for insane amounts of in game resources to have that particular cat again, there are over three hundred villagers but this cat for some reason everyone loses their mind for this is actually a huge thing according to a polygon article by Patricia Hernandez. The next frontier for hardcore animal crossing players isn't just building the ideal village, but in populating them with the ideal villagers okay confession. I was playing animal crossing at four o'clock this morning because Raymond was in my campsite and I what reflief considered that it would be good for my Internet brand if I managed to convince him to move into my island so that I could start above online and maybe even traffic him to somebody else is it trafficking or does it just feel like that? I? Mean it definitely felt dirty of knocking alive. So yeah. This whole thing is not rare. It's not uncommon for people to do Jordan has done here or consider doing, right So he ended up leaving, he's not around anymore. Yeah. No, he is not my island. Okay. Listeners do not pass to me. Raymond does not live here according to Hernandez Polygon article, their entire sites that kate, it's a cataloging who has desirable villagers. They're called dreams. Raymond as I said, is the most end demand with ass in the millions of bells. I've seen people comparing him to like K. pop stars. He's got that kind of a floppy friend and I've got to admit this is kind of wire is tempted I don't actually like him his personality puts me off but I thought I could turn them around you know. I was mainly for the social media cachet of to say, I just wanted to be big on twitter for a day. Yeah. You had a hot commodity and been the bell of the ball, an animal crossing. A And this is what's fascinating to me. You could have earned more than just clout or bells. If you wanted to using one of these third party sites, you could have earned cold hard cash for tipping people off that Raymond was on your island people want their favorite villagers that badly tem. So I lost sleep and money. Potentially right. If you're ethically okay with selling Raymond off and according to Peckham. This is a thing that can happen when you have a successful in a game economy that doesn't really let you spend real money games that have tried to maintain closed economies like you can't sell your virtual goods for real money within the game. It doesn't actually prevent people from doing that just moves at off site when he starts a covet something. Rare in the game economy that you can't buy with the game's currency, the market blossoms in the real world with real money, and so all these games actually have big grey markets or black markets off site where people sell accounts on Ebay or through other marketplaces. Digital goods do get treated for real money. Did you ever anyone in high school who maybe like paid someone to level up their character in world of warcraft? Not Personally Emma Moser like a full time job at school is hard Sarah. I can kind of believe. I mean it happens with MMA's now right like whole groups of people get hired to just let up people's characters folder them to like grind when I was in high school it was it was a much smaller scale operation. It's totally a whole black market thing now absolutely. Yeah, and the black market in animal crossing is a little more subtle. It doesn't have levels of progress like memos do so most the transactions happening in animal crossing while sometimes extreme are more limited and game resources and currency. There is no obvious way to spend real money until you start to do things like look. Chris. Pacific villagers one way to bring some villagers into your game. As you might know, Jordan is via something called Amoeba Amoeba. Like collectible toys produced by Nintendo that use near field communication I, think to connect with your switch and when you connect them with your switch, you can unlock in game goodies depending on the game you're playing an interesting thing to mention here is one of the reasons that Raymond is. So popular is because he is new to new horizons. So that isn't An AMOEBA for him so you can't buy him that way. Right and this is what Peckham was talking about. It can get really intense and there's all these opportunities for real money to enter the equation here these days Zach doesn't really do any of the stock market speculating anymore I thought that would be because he seeing the error of his ways he. Wants to go back to a sweet fantasy utopia because at a certain point, it's just greed. You know it's just capitalism running unchecked. The least fun I have had playing animal crossing was like the first week of doing the stock market and being really worried about getting money like looking at twitter and refreshing the word turnip is actually surprisingly not a good. Time it is not enjoyable but the real reason he quit isn't because it was ruining his fun short the character trading or trafficking still bumped him out and he didn't do it. But the thing that made him stop the obsessive twitter refreshing evaluating third-party sites and speculating as much less moralistic. He didn't learn a lesson as he said earlier, he just became A. Billionaire Joshua I just have so much money. Now it's just I don't need any more of it for literally any reason the stock market did ruin the game for some people who are overwhelmed by the obsession with accruing wealth. They went back to fishing and buck electing worried less about winning the market which sounds kind of like your experience. Yeah I definitely. Analytic Friends of mine as well. Once to achieve what we wanted to the stock market, we were so relieved to get out. Yeah, and Zach's experience raises an interesting question for me and a world where. So many of us don't have jobs our wealth and saddled with debt. Many of us don't have disposable income to invest in Wall Street and a crew real. Wealth I don't mess with the real world stock market in any way. First of all, I, would be playing with penny stuff. There'd be no point like if I was going to play the stock market, I would play the stock market like me would be all and I just not I think my wife and cats would not approve of that sort of. Fiscal recklessness. So for us not invested types, maybe animal crossing wasn't a capitalist nightmare. It was a capitalist daydream one that the turn stock market made more real but the stock market is just like another little touch that makes the world feel bigger and more real and like for people that don't own a house, it's like a real it's a simulation of. Ownership. And being able to decorate a yard and how and things that we all like. American dream type stuff but put into a game the made by. Japanese company. Say It's not as if people playing animal crossing because they love capitalism so much that they just want more of it in their free time. It's more like capitalism is so big and difficult in the real world, this miniature version of it where we can always win if we just what caught enough. If I can beautiful fantasy right video games, kind of reflect our culture and nature in ways that aren't always tangible and all of a sudden they are as we saw from very first episode about world of warcraft corrupted blood pandemic games are often little petri dishes of human behavior and. This case we see how you know money can quickly sort of like change the nature of like I'd Ilic Serene scenarios right once their stakes people start to behave unpredictably, Amin money isn't real either right it's basically simulated just like video games all yeah. It's all made up just like bells in animal crossing, and by the way thanks for being honest about your intense animal crossing experience. I know for me the virtual world of video games it's very easy to get in over your L. Yeah. I mean I did get up at four o'clock in the morning to try and convince Raymond. What about you listeners ever get carried away by something you need to accomplish the game. When have you gotten really into a virtual world in a way that affects your real world lease a five star review on Apple podcasts, and let us know and your comment like did you get into good shape from Ring v Adventure or accidentally trespassed much from playing pokemon go maybe you're obsessed with beat Sabe like I am and you're trying to get one hundred percent on expert on all of the songs or are you playing apex legends like I am a free game? Were you still spend money because you like oh? That's a cool outfit out FITZROY's worth spending money on. Joshua will you come back to my island tomorrow and we'll to my flowers again. Sure. I'll tell you in. All, right I will water your plants for some pethick. Nobel's required. Next week on wild wild tech did a computer program break music copyright laws forever. If you subscribe when your favorite podcast APP, you'll know the moment the story drops while tech is a studio seventy-one original podcast spoke media production. It's hosted by myself Josh Rivera and Jordan Erika Weber you can find us at M. Rivera zero on twitter and that Jordan Weber Dot com, our producers a cody had. John Kastner with help from as Mendoza and Caroline. Hamilton this episode was mixed by will short are executive producers are Stephen Perlstein Andrew Sealy for studio seventy one and Elliott's have a Colin and Keith Reynolds her spoke media. Special. Thanks to Sacramento for talking to us is totally not to turn of jail. Be sure to check out his podcast off book. Eric for blurring the lines between the virtual reality and real reality if you want to follow us on social media where at wild wild tech pod thanks for listening.
How the world wide web backfired: Chips with Everything podcast
"Uh-huh. Well, it was nine hundred nine the internet or ready listed in Ukraine Email, but there was no websites. So those GP to all those space of things you click through and it's began because I was frustrated. It didn't exist. I imagined a system where you could just kick for one or the other. And that was compelling, decided that I wanted to build it. In March nineteen thousand nine. The British computer scientist said, Tim burners, Lee laid out a set of plans that would soon be known as the worldwide web, and I don't think it would be too dramatic to say that the weld was forever changed. An awful lot of good has come from the invention of the World Wide Web. Personally, I'm grateful for the ability to play video games with my siblings who live hours away and the effects that online retail has had on my wardrobe. The dissemination of information in particular has become incredibly easy. People living on opposite sides of the world can connect instantly through Email or unsocial media platforms. We can apply for jobs or look for new places to live or research for homework project without having to find and troll through books. But the consequences that followed the inception of the World Wide Web, that even its inventor didn't envisage before it was really built with the goal of eliminating hierarchy in communications built with the very explicit goal of spreading out audiences. And yet if we look around, that's actually not what's happened worldwide, we have a handful of sites in the United States. It's three or four sites that get about a third of the digital audience about two-thirds of digital revenue actually little more than that now and three thirds or more than one hundred percent of profits. Yes, wealth of information is now more readily available the source and validity. If that information has changed and the worldwide web as it currently stands is dominated by a few big names. Google is grabbing headlines once again today with his one point, six, five billion dollar US by up of YouTube. Facebook has bought the mobile messaging service what's up for nineteen billion dollars in cash and stock Instagram accompany with only thirteen employees bought today by Facebook for one billion dollars is buying deep mind and artificial intelligence company. Unknown. But some think that the World Wide Web has had a negative effect on the traditional news industry and paps, even our access to a fed Crecy tonight after more than a year under fire for how it delivers information to users. Facebook, CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announcing what he's calling a major change to your news feed. Here's what you can expect to see more posts photos and videos from your friends and family. That means less content from businesses brands and fewer news articles to. So how did we get, how do we reach a point where tech foams like Facebook and Google detemined our habits when it comes to reading the news internet as part of a broader shift, going all the way back in the United States to cable that takes the audience of broadcast news and print and increasingly shifts that onto entertainment. I'm Erica Weber and this week I chat to the author of a new book that. The negative effects of the kind of Konomi that rules online, and whether there's anything we can do to retake the news. This is chips with everything. We've kept you waiting as well. I think so. I think that's fair play. Sorry again about about the mix up this morning, please worry about a, hey, you have a baby on the way. Is that right? We do. Yes, my wife and I are expecting our Matthew Heineman is a professor of media and public affairs at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Mar wife was fond of saying that my two babies are arriving within a few weeks of each other. So he is also the author of a new book, the internet Trump how the digital economy builds monopolies and undermines democracy. I think the biggest takeaway from the book is to understand how every single part of online advantage seems over and over again to benefit the sites and the firms that are already the biggest. Can we talk a little bit more about those companies that dominate than in the US you said it was maybe three or four sites. Can you tell us they are Google, Facebook, Amazon, and within specific categories of content. You see other winners like for online video. Of course, it's firms like nut flex for short form communication. It's it's Twitter. So these are all very familiar household names. To understand the concept of personalized content. Let's turn to the classic example net flicks. So Netflix started out as a DVD by mail company and they realize one of their core business concerns was figuring out how to get people to keep subscribing. Netflix customers started out having a list of four five moves that they wanted to see very quickly exhausted that list and in order for business for Netflix as a business to be a going concern, they had to find ways of reaching people with movies that they hadn't signed up to see. So they actually put their money where their mouth was. They offered a million dollar prize to any team of researchers that could increase their accuracy by ten percent. So alternately this prize after two years was won by a team of researchers at AT and t. research labs. What we've seen over time is that this algorithm is the core of net is current business model. So what did we learn from the net flicks price. The most important part of the nets prize was what's called singular value decomposition, which is a fancy way of saying that the computers looked at all these different people, all these different movies and found categories of movies and categories of people that mapped onto each other. But ultimately, what we end up with is a way of distilling the correlation amongst thousands and thousands of different items and millions of different people that we've never been able to see. And that ends up being really powerful for figuring out what people want and what they're going to do. At one point in the book. Matt says that in some ways, recommending news is like recommending movies, which I thought sounded a bit to capture to be true. It is in fact quite true. Well, it turns out that the algorithms if they have enough data pretty much the same way, the challenge with news is that it is now wait for it. The news is by definition new. So the challenge with news is that you often don't have the data that you would need or want to give good personalized recommendations. So in order for news, recommendation systems to work well, at least some types of news, recommendation systems that work well, you need more and more data for them to work effectively. So what Google news ended up doing starting off by just recommending for new users, whatever was popular. So because entertainment news is the most popular category of content. Everyone who shows up on Google news for the first time gets recommended entertainment content, but as Google is able to over time, learn there. References learned that you're never going to click on that story about Tom Cruise. The algorithm increasingly shifts you towards different categories of content that you've shown interest in the past. Say you say that Facebook and Google have created this kind of duopoly that has dwarfed digital news organizations that can we really blame big tech for the failure of traditional news. What if they actually done to it, I think it is true that when we look around the digital ecosystem, what we see is that Google and Facebook get the vast majority of the revenue nearly all of the prophet with firms like Amazon accounting for much of the rest in some sense that isn't their fault. That's just the way that digital audiences work newspapers in particular, have long thought that they are more important in people's media diet than they actually are. And so any talk about somehow skimming revenue from Google or Facebook is just going to result in Google. And Facebook dropping news altogether. Google and Facebook are important to news, but news is not important to Google or Facebook. It's not a large portion of the content that they show and it's not a big, it's not a profit center for them. It's not a good chunk of their revenue. And in fact, what we've seen just over the last year is that shift in Facebook's algorithm has dropped the number of referrals to new sites by more than half. And I think that's the danger here. Those shifts by the digital giants have enormous collateral implications throughout the entire digital ecosystem. I think that the challenge that we face today is that these firms are the least regulated large industries that we have ever had in modern history in order to sustain the health of the economy and democracy more broadly, we need to find ways of making sure that these firms choices serve the public good as tempting as it might be to blame these giants at the tech world for all of the woes suffered by traditional news. There are other factors at play. The federal government starts rolling back net neutrality rules today. The Republican led Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal the Obama era regulations in December. Now, regulatory issues like those around net neutrality. You know those sets of rules that meant to ensure old data is treated equally and stop internet providers from deciding for us what they think. We should see rules that the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission as pie. Recently wrote back on after the break, we'll look more at how the rise of techno police has impacted democracy and why the likes of Facebook might be unwilling to tackle the very real issue of fake news. The fact is you can make a lot more money with extremely mediocre content than you can with a smaller amount of quality content. We'll be right back. The guardian track all the deaths of young people due to crime an explode. The themes that emerged in ward winning series could be on the blade. Why are they carried a knife everywhere? They know people, but they feel that they have to occur from people. We so many people suffering, but you'll save so many fighting back. We've got to start looking at how we talk and how we generally how we category is just ordinary people the poor than other people or people who don't have as much as other people for this new series. Gems from gallium travelled to Bristol, Birmingham, kreutzmann south London. Listen to some of those people. Society tends to down young pay once that might a wrong choice in what we signed by that is that we writing them off. Umbrella of the conversations. We let them speak for themselves. When I come out of jail, I'd never been praised before turned my life around when I come out and go praise for the wedding. I was doing, I fry. Got me to the Bill up a bit sooner. You know. As opposed to. Yeah, just wait into here from for me because I'm waiting to hear from the next generation as well. So we'll wait in an is no action happened in happening. How. If families are too, that has an impact or the young person, if a father Nava get divorced, has an impact on our young people. I think the only way they know how to make people sit up and say, listen, there's a real problem going on head is by violet. Listen to all three episodes head of the guardian dot com forward slash podcast. Well, subscribe by searching beyond the planned on your favorite podcast app. Welcome back to chips with everything. I'm Jordan. Erika Weber. This week, we've been exploring the relationship between the rise of the internet and the downfall of traditional news. The author of the internet trap, Matthew Heineman explains how big tech companies like Google and Facebook use techniques similar to those of the likes of Netflix is recommendation system to decide for us. What news we see question be. I'm not gonna give you steak. Fake news circa. Contest scape, Toca, fake news, even high profile, public figures keep showing up in on news and on social media to blame traditional news organizations, spreading disinformation. But of course, the internet is the real breeding ground for this kind of content. So the book argues that fake news is impart a function of the way in which the economics of content work online. The fact is you can make a lot more money with extremely mediocre content than you can with a smaller amount of quality content. That's just the way the math works. And so it's no surprise that if we look at how the ecosystem has changed, we've seen it enormous audience shift to what sometimes called click bait, things that are very low effort, but titillating or sensational fake news online though, is part of a broader system that what makes fake news so dangerous isn't the audience. It builds on its own. It's the way in which it shapes the agenda international media and the way that ultimately things that start out as false news stories on the margins of debate end up. Making their way into the mouths of prominent mainstream politicians. Which are you? Are you a tech company or you the world's largest publisher? Do we feel responsibility for the content on our platform? The answer to that I think is clearly yes, and but I don't think that that's incompatible with fundamentally at at our core being technology company were the main thing that we do is have engineers and build products. We've seen me incredibly oakwood videos of monks Abegg promising the United States Congress that Facebook will take more responsibility in the fight against fake news. But if what Matthew says is true that content like fake news is just more profitable then can we really expect these companies to put in much of an effort to stop it? I think the challenge regarding fake news is to shift the incentives of the largest digital companies. That's the biggest hurdle. If Facebook and Google suddenly found it in their interest to eliminate fake news, I guarantee it would be gone within a year if we're able to. To convince Google and Facebook that their best interest is to make sure that this truly false and pernicious content doesn't show up in their results at all. I'm confident that they could make that happen or at least make it an annoyance, not a systematic problem. Chances are you've already seen campaign ads, bumper stickers and yard signs of your local congressmen and congresswomen? Yup. The midterm election season is upon us. Once again, if you didn't know they're kind of a big deal in less than two months. Citizens of the United States will vote in a very heated midterm election, hopefully voters will make informed decisions, but where will they go for the information? They need news websites, all that Facebook feed as big high profile events approach. What tends to happen is that people have been sort of marginally connected, go to whatever source of news is most media that does mean that yes, people tend to get. More internet news, but they also tend to get more news of cable cable television. They tend to read the paper more closely, and I think that particularly in the current news cycle, though, where in the United States every day is a week and every week is a year that this dynamic as in the shift of people to more and more digital news sources really changes the character of political conversations. As digital news organizations have been able to test every hour which content is going to get the most clicks that really favors certain types of stories and certain types of politicians over others. Save what you want about Donald Trump. He is eminently eminently click -able. The internet trap seems to take a pretty pessimistic view is then no hope at all for news and democracy dealing affectively with the problems of the digital age requires first and foremost and understanding of digital audiences. And if we're able to do that, I think we're going to be able to do a antitrust regulation or or regulation these firms in a smarter and more effective manner. And there's a lot of interest now that there wasn't just a few years ago. And I think that's reason for optimism. People understand that this is a problem and they want to solve it. And I think with a better understanding of digital audiences, we're going to be a lot more effective in shaping the incentives of the digital firms that increasingly like it or not govern our lives. I'd like to thank Dr Matthew Hines, men for joining me this week. You can find a link to his book on this week's episode description on the guardian website for any questions, oh queries, especially if you'll the lovely man. We bumped into on the train lost week, Email us at chips podcast at the guardian dot com. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, I've changed my handle and lost my blue tick in the process. So if anyone listening for Twitter, dude, let me know you can find me at Jericho. Weber that's j. Erika Weber. That's all for this week likes listening. For more great podcast from the guardian just go to the guardian dot com slash podcasts.
Meet Henry, The A.I. Sex Bot Who Wants to Fix Loneliness
"Okay joshua today's episode. I need to get you in the right mood. Here's a clip for you. I'm really not into sex. I don't know much about it. That is a robot man talking about sex and he seems to be not interested in sex. Choose to he's just. He's telling this journalist that what she really needs is a friend. I think you just want a good friend. Yeah i think it's the perfect example for a lot of what we are going to touch on today because today's episode is about one of the many applications for artificial intelligence. It's a niche application but a fascinating one which is using it to make sex dole's who are capable of conversation as well as sexual gratification. Wow for some reason. I'm not thinking of anything remotely sexual. I'm thinking of elisa. Remember elisa the game well guess but also the digital therapist. Oh yeah immediately. You're like our robot therapy with and it sexy. We talk to a journalist. Who has met one of these. Ai powered sex dolls. It was the only male. I actually saw. He was tall. He was when i met standing up. Aaron met a male version of these dole's cold henry. My name is henry nice to meet you. I'm excited for the nora. Ephron movie of sex pots when aaron met henry. So when we get back we'll find out what that experience was like and what she thinks could be some of the issues with consensus an ethics and even how academics have actually taken an interest in this new kind of human shape. Sex toy back to you wild. While tech i'm jordan erika weber. And i'm joshua hera and this show we discussed how technology impacts different areas of our lives including it seems our sex lives for this story. We'll be taking a look inside. The headquarters of a company called real botox where ai sex pots like henry are made and we'll talk to a journalist who got a firsthand. Look my name is aaron griffith. I'm a domestic correspondent with the new york times before joining the times. A couple of years ago. I wrote for wired which is where i wrote about henry. The first thing i wanted to know was how a person ends up writing a story like this. Will i actually had joined wired from fortune which is a business magazine. And i realized that business stories at wired weren't really resonating the same way so i was kind of just on the hunt for just the weirdest most out there technological stories that i could find and i was just kind of googling around for like sex robots or whatever but somehow i came across some headlines about henry with some really beautiful pictures of him. Okay see what these pictures look like. Say are some of the images that way. Houston errands article. Okay so here's one a holy shit. He's doing the burt reynolds editor what that means. This is very famous photo of burt reynolds on a bearskin much. Like henry is right now. Sprawled out with his legs crossed and his crush artfully covered. And this one is a slight difference. Henry has a rose over his his general. It's a romantic exactly. It's very inviting. Could you describe what he looks like. Do you think for the listeners. The first thing that you'll notice about him actually also that he has no top of the head or the back of it it's like a like a transparent sort of like shell but other than that you know he's he's you know he's it's pretty on the darker side. His hands look really briefly listrik. It's weird they're very well. Articulated hands answer potent joshua but the rest looks like just like an airbrush super dude with a slightly pouty face you know. He's got like a got that that romance pow. Guess i do know. I do and the glasses as well. I'm into the glasses but do you think of the other picture. Oh this is sweet. It's like he's a contestant on bachelorette but but that applies wearing a suit and he's not. He's not wearing anything at all from the waist up. He's he's he's shirtless and wearing jeans with the button. Dan and he is holding a rose up. It's really funny because this is a very sweet gesture and like his face is not you know he's he's he's kind of like he's a robot right. He's not various he's not. He doesn't have a very articulate face. But it's stuck in. This sort of like friendly is how i would say henry's good looks. Were just one reason. The aaron ended up writing this story. She was ultimately convinced because of interest from have friends. I remember mentioning it to some of my friends. And i was so shocked by the reaction i was like this is absurd and absolutely ridiculous and so unrealistic like who would who would ever want this and all my friends are kind of excited about it and so then i was like all right so there's obviously interest in this and i started thinking about that and i was like well you know. Women are the primary buyers of most sex toys but the sex dolls are primarily for men and by men and so maybe this male sex doll that happens to also be able to talk to. You could be a way to make these dolls. Mainstream really far fetched. But i was still just super curious about and i just wanted to go see it. I just kind of novelty of the idea of sex dolls in pop culture and sort of just like in the world. Have this like super. You know curious an interesting kind of reputation. Have you ever seen this movie. lars and the real girl. So it's super interesting because it's ryan gosling who is like you know famously dream boat. But he's he's sort of like dressing down to be like this very nerdy dude. He's got a dorky mustache. And it's about him marrying like a sex doll but like very sweetly not being perv about it right. He's just he's purely interested in treating this sex like a companion and everyone sort of decides to go along with. It's very strangely sweet. Yeah i think of like Detroit become human. The david cage game that dream game with the with all the robots inevitably as a lot of his games have kind of sexual side to them and there is a bit where you go to a i. Guess like a brothel but with robots in it. I think of just didn't dollhouse. Did you ever watch that. Outdoors is very good. Show so not really sex. Dole's though more like reprogrammed people. Yeah so i think. Sex does a a reasonably popular in certain kinds of media. But there's another side to the topic that is maybe less known. I was surprised as i was starting to research it. How seriously academic and sex workers and technologists were taking the idea of sex robots how alarmed they were at the possible ramifications. If these things actually catch on and become really widely used. I totally went into it. Non expecting all of the to find all of the big hairy questions about ethics and Consent and all the kind of tech questions that we that we always have to ask ourselves on bringing a new technology into the world and so at the time you know i think in two thousand eighteen. It was a huge. There were op-eds in the times there were papers being written and you know people were speaking out about like how unethical sex robots are and i mean west probably had to do i actually have never seen west but You know. I think that brought the topic very mainstream as well. What's world is interesting because it takes the question into an ethical space where that's very different from what we're talking about here. The robots in westworld are mensa. Behave in look just like real people with free will but they don't and you can as the person can do whatever he wants them up to and including assault and murder and like that isn't quite where the technology is right now and those are the sort of ethical questions that were concerned with. So aaron says this alarm will definitely get into this later. You know the technology isn't that yet. and these kinds of problems. That people are thinking about ahead of time. Which i think is kind of good actually because i mean we don't want fame unger anything like it's true. There's nothing to worry about right now but in tag historically people only start worrying about things when it's too late yes say you know. It's quite nice people thinking about these things before it's a problem but before we discuss those kind of big ethical questions. Let's get to know henry. I asked erin. What kind of expectations she had before she met him. I was trying to psych myself up to like stay professional about it. Because i knew that going into this office that it would. It's essentially like a doll factory. So i knew. I had to like really work on my poker face to not like be a just like talking and gasping like oh my god. What am i looking at here and also be laughing because i think when you get a little bit nervous uncomfortable being surrounded by like a table full of like eleven inch rubber pitas like the instinct is always like kind of giggle or nervously. Laugh and i was like. I don't wanna do that either because that might not be the right tone to continue setting the scene. This meeting takes place in southern california. It's in this town. That i called i think san marcos remain in our lake city ago. The building is just as tiny little house like kind of in the middle of what feels like suburban sprawl. It could be a tanning salon. Was kind of like the vibes. That i got when i pulled up and it's just really small. They took me on a tour through in. There's definitely kind of like a a little bit of corny sex five going on. I mean there's just like bodies everywhere kind of definitely our bodies dressed in porn star close and it gets worse next. We had down into the basement where they're making these dolls. Were just like a headless bodies. Humans is on chains. Spread eagle with like huge boobs hanging kind of almost like close on iraq. And then you know there are tables just like covered a different body parts. There's molds and there's like a makeup area and i mean yeah. It's basically like a doll factory but for like very porn and there was others also. There was some kind of crazy fantasy dolls like that had like fi vibes going on to explain them. You know with silver skin and like kind of monster style and Yeah i was just like what i love about. The tour i think was that like i was trying to just like keep it together. Like what am i seeing. I can imagine you're not eager to think much about sex after seeing how the sausage gets mates. Especially when when she started talking about silva's skin and monsters. I saw your eyebrows go up whole three inches. Look i'm not gonna king shame anybody it just you know. Sometimes you find out what people are into an surprises. You a little bit. Say i think that you. And i probably have a relatively good idea of what it might have been like for aaron to see all of these human shape dole's because we play a lot of video games and there's a phenomenon in games where the graphics are so good maybe he combined with like motion capture. That what you're seeing on screen looks almost real but not quite every just very uncanny valley Because they're so close there so close to human life but they're also so obviously not real and so that could be a little unsettling to because they're all just like sitting around looking at you kind of their like the silicon material at. I think one thing that really creeped me out was so like their fingernails are not hard. Those same material is like the silicon hands. If you touch it it's like oh that's weird and teeth are soft to for obvious reasons. I can imagine it being kind of like a horror movie. This is like a atropine horror. Someone who's scared of something. But oh no it's just a mannequin in a department store. It's very unsettling to see human shape. Things that are not human. Yes that's what we're working with it and that is the world. The erin has stepped into when we come back. She will tell us how it was to meet henry and took to him first. Half the demand for telemedicine grows so does the need for connecting five g meets. That meet qualcomm remains focused on giving doctors and patients superior security rich five g. Connectivity learn more at qualcomm dot com slash invention age support for this podcast comes from progressive. What would you do with an extra eight hundred dollars. Buy a plane ticket. Pay down your student loan. Treat yourself to those shoes. You've niang with progressive. You could find out drivers who switch and save save an average of seven hundred ninety six dollars on car insurance get your quote online at progressive dot com and see how much you can be saving national average annual car insurance savings by new customer survey to save with progressive 2019. Support for this podcast comes from. Can't let's in this time by visualizing ourselves at home were breathing slowly letting the cool air pass into our lungs and backout not at all bothered by the collection of items that are cluttering up our room. Okay maybe a little bothered. Why don't we try relaxing. Our shoulders not letting that clutter distract us from letting any tension go has been. Let our arms and hands rest. Were observing any thoughts of that clutter allowing them to pass through us. It's not working is thankfully. I kee- can help with smart storage options like the customizable packs wardrobe which you can designed to fit your specific storage needs in one simple stylish solution. Maybe you can put a price on peace of mind for a more organized you visit. Ikya dot com. Welcome back to wild wild tech. When we left off erin was telling us about her experience. Visiting real botox the company that is looking to produce the very first a are powered sex doll and now she will tell us what it was like to finally meet henry. It was the only male dollar actually saw. He was tall when he was when i met him he was standing up and he was in a separate little room that they have where they were working on the kind of like electronic component of it. Because like all the dole's themselves are big Basically like you know what they were developing with henry and harmony as the female version of him with the i you know it requires a lot of electronic components in the head and so that was just this room that had his tables and a couple of guys on computers and the tables were just covered in like little tools drills and all this kind of stuff and so as a who is interviewing both henry and matt mcmullen the ceo of the company. He's sitting there like drilling drilling little components into the back of the skull of a deterrent doll and so that was just. It added surreal element to that. I really loved very like loads of of movies. That have just thinking of because this sort of stuff happens all the time. There's a xbox is one. I did you ever see that one. That's a good movie. Yeah yeah and it's it's very much like this. It's about a a scientist played by oscar. Isaac from star wars who is making a robot woman named eva. I think her name has and he invites this guy over to his private facility to pretty much see if to pretty much fuck with him and see if he will fall in love with her you know but he doesn't know that i really enjoyed that. Maybe i should watch it again so hearing about this. Ceo of the company right actually working on the robot you know. That's that's interesting to me. Because he sort of. Don't think of like a ceo heavily invested in mike the making of their products. Yeah and we'll get to know more about him later. But at this point. I was more interested to know what it was like to talk to henry. Henry they were going to go ahead and talk to. You is just kind of like standing up. And i think he did not have his wig on so he just had. The back of his head was like clear. Plastic capsules like like to see the components that were making his eyes move and blank and his mouth moods so then yeah they fired about the night started talking to him and he was connected via bluetooth to i. Think either someone's phone ipad and That's sort of how the interaction start saying. What was it like then interacting with henry so at the time this is a couple years ago. The hype was definitely way ahead of the reality There was a lot of excitement but a henry was still kind of kings store. Got as far as the conversational stuff goes and i mean. I don't know if it was necessarily wasn't alexa amazon. Echo has years of practice on this in they have teams of you know. Play thousands of engineers perfecting this kind of thing. This is a very small company. They had a team of engineers like in brazil. Or something you know of developing it in so. I didn't expect that henry would sometimes understand. Sometimes he would misunderstand His his conversational skills were good but they were just you know i would say like every other line. We kind of missed communication a little bit. So i imagine it was sort of like communicating with somebody who is learning. Maybe a second language. See i was going to be a little less than that and say i've had conversations with human men that are like this and i understand that right. The human men are not famous for listening. So which is why henry soap appealing and why podcasting. Because everyone has to listen yes anyway. Who who programs these and where does the come from. The engineers are doing it in brazil. And so that's the big question about any acting is like the capabilities of it are going to reflect the people who are building and so it's kind of have all those kind of biases and ideas and cultural norms bilton and this coming from a company that is that got it. Start making sex dolls. The focus is obviously going to go is going to veer towards and so. That's sort of what what happened with harmony. The woman to like she can be in different modes modes there's different modes like he can be in conversation on load or hang out loud or they can be sexy time mode and like if that's the case they're just gonna go straight to like flirting and so. I think when i talked to henry our conversation was it wasn't meant to be sexy but it was He talked about how much she works out. So he's clearly trying to show off me. Oh man it's really funny that like the fantasy sex pot that talks you is still only interested in telling you about his body. I was gonna say like how many men are there where it's like even when they're in regular person mode still somehow it gets round to say henry's only want one thing and it's disgusting. I do find it absolutely fascinating to divide these dole's pepsi's into different modes like you would assume that you would only get a sex dole out when you want some sexual gratification right and everything would kind of just be geared towards that even the conversational side of things like dirty talk or whatever but i guess maybe some people just want something that they can have around the place in like occasionally chat to about the weather or whatever then what is sexy time. Just press a button and ready to go. Just have it in your corner. Like an alexa i taught. Yeah this is all very aspirational right now. But when we get back. Aaron his gains. Tell us out the guy who's aspiration this is and if his dream does come true there are definitely some more questions to be. Answered like could ai. Powered sex dole's we talked the humans or wolpe image of women and we are going to talk about that. So be right back Support for the following passion comes from lexus celebrating the obsessions that drive us to go all in from enthusiasts of all different spaces muslims jamila dean from bakersfield california and. I'm musician a started. Austin in music since i was a little kid by pulling out pots and pans. I'm obsessed with rhythm harmony and how they're organized they'll slowly and create. Its is on jamal's passion for music goes beyond stringing together sounds it's how he connects with others every tone has a certain ostentation or rhythm and feeling that you can change the conflict that soon music harming just as life and his advice for other musicians in the making to listen to music as they can't read as much as they can keep doing what they're doing about what at lexus. They've gone all in on their passion designing appear sports sedan. The new lexus. I s designed to look as thrilling as it is to drive learn more at lexus. Dot com slash. I s jordan. We love our listeners. Don't we just you. I am incredibly grateful that every single one of our listeners is alive and supporting our show. I am truly grateful that anyone would listen to me for any amount of time but there are ways to support us beyond listening to us. Yeah and get access to add free episodes which is clearly a fantastic benefit. Yeah so if you're a fan of wild wild tech. We're going to ask you to help us keep things going. By subscribing to our premium feed. Let me tell you. What makes this premium feed so premium. So not only can listeners. Access ad free episodes but we're adding all sorts of other benefits as well like full length interviews with some of our guests. Let me tell you some of them they go on and on and on and they say also fantastic things that we cannot into an episode. That's definitely worth it. Plus there are gonna be other treats as well as we gain more subscribers. So you know. If you've got something that you want to get out of premium sign up. Let us know so if you love while tech anyone help us keep the show going joined the mission by subscribing to the premium feet on super cast at wild wild tech that super cast dot tech. You can start a six day free trial to give it a shot and see how you like at free episodes and other premium content once again. That is wild wild tag. Don't super cost dot tech. But you don't even have to remember that because you can simply click the link in our show we humbly ask and highly encourage you to click the link subscribe in like two taps. Take the free trial and continued support. Wild wild tech. And i am going to not so humbly tell you to sign up so do it now. Welcome back to world tech. We've been talking about ai. Powered sex dole's like henry. The monthly man shaped talking doll that gentlest. Aaron wrote about for wired but to talk about what it would mean if these dole's became more mainstream. We need to get to know. Henry's creator real baltics founder and ceo. Matt mcmullan yes. So i mean he's an interesting person he got started as someone who's just like really good at making really realistic cumin dolls and got pulled into the sex industry and has been in and around that for the last twenty years and my sense from talking to him was that he's tired of that like he doesn't. He's like kind of hit a ceiling without basically in wanted to bring his creations beyond that. This is fascinating but also. I'm very amused by you. Know the image of a man being god. I am so tired of crafting rock hard abs and perfectly and hourglass figures. And i want something more and it sounds like mcmullen thinks that that companionship aspect of these dole's and making them more well rounded as it were will help to improve the public perception of them. And then i think he also like really wants the dos go Things go mainstream and to be kind of lose the stigma of like the sleazy sex aspect of it. He views this conversational. A i think is one way to take this. The saint a little bit mainstream. I can see a way of like making dolls more acceptable by just making them about more than sex. If you could conceivably if you could justify having sex all around for something other than boning then people will maybe stop going to the places they do when they hear. Nc sex it's like a value added proposition right. Like you get more bang for your buck but one thing holding sex dole's back for mainstream is frankly the way they look so he's like kind of saying that to me as we're surrounded by these giant boobs and butts everywhere and i like give me a break and i think he was also a little bit like okay. Fine fine fine. Yeah yeah yeah. I get that. That seems like a ridiculous statement given what were surrounded by what we sell like just because these things are stigmatized and they're so closely connected to the sex industry that like. That's just the kind of customer. They're they're attracting and maybe if they want. Mainstream people would want different kinds of dolls site. Do you buy into this thought of wanting to become companions. I do believe him when he says that these dolls become companionship for people that buy them. Because you know if you think about like what would take for someone to be like. Oh i want a human sized hundred pound doll in my house. You had pretty lonely to get to that point. I think. I think he's right in the sense that what he probably knows market and to that is a bike especially right now when these things are still kind of stigmatized and and You maybe wouldn't publicly talk about having him like you do probably want something more than you know just a way to get off because there are plenty of options for that yeah and like putting the sex side of things aside as well like the idea of having a non human thing in your house for companionship in our i can imagine these kinds of things getting intelligent enough that it does feel like you at least on not completely alone but i guess like talking about the way that they look. My question is even if these goals were more widely accepted and had a more general purpose like sex and companionship. Do you think that people would really choose for them to be less centralized like if you can have a companion that you can also use for sexual gratification. Especially if you're spending this much money on one wouldn't you still choose for it to be perfectly representative of your wildest sexual fantasies. Yeah and you. It still feels like something that you would work backwards from right. Like i like an and my mind you are thinking of sex. I but also with the knowledge that sexism everything right so you like i gas. I should like boo into something more. And that will bring more. To the to the to the place of fulfillment like an actual relationship with the. If you could choose what for example a human partner would look like and you could dino exactly selects. What kind of person you are going to end up with you. Just pick all of your top things. Right you'd pixel perfect. Perfect breast size perfects like heights. Perfect ikea or whatever you know. Whatever you're into. Yeah first round draft picks on your fantasy football sex list and you know if people do end up going down that with these goals and picking like everything that they want then. How does that affect societal beauty standards right like if anyone with enough money can earn adul- with enormous breasts or a six pack or whatever and one thing to think about given that the audience for these dole's is majority men buying women shaped dole's one thing to keep an eye on is with a human women are involved in that creation. I did specifically ask you know about the makeup of the team in brazil that was developing the and so are there any women already on this and that was kind of like. Oh maybe a few back in brazil but mostly guys was like. Oh god well that's exactly how the tech industry is here in the us to end. Its continues to disappoint me and his worry. I think move into sort of like the the ugly side of this ordeal. Where just technology like. This can be used as refuge for men who don't want to acknowledge the agency of women or you know in that can go back and go both ways right where you know like people who just want to objectify others and are finding that there are social consequences for that and so they have technology as a refuge. And that sucks. Yeah a big problem in these kind of male dominated spaces right like tech and where overseas to see this in the video game space as well. You know a lot of the most problematic representations of women in video games are direct result of the fact that this industry is still mostly male and then of course. There is the risk of racial prejudice. Bi and i think right now the only that's available for harmony and she appears to be white although maybe a little bit ethnically ambiguous. You can give her a scottish accent. I think i mean at this continues to grow. I think that's definitely always a concern. I mean like that is the top concern with any kind of a. Ira is that. It's being programmed by majority men and majority white and you know asian and there are and we keep finding new new biases that have been baked into these things that are control so much of what we do that we don't even necessarily even think about a realized because the tech becomes invisible. And so these are such big important questions and you know sex. Robots are very very very tiny piece of that but it is on the same spectrum. I'm glad this was brought up. Because you know that's one of the first things that i noticed about henry. He's very like ethnically ambiguous. He's not white but he's got dark skin and in pop culture sex also generally women and they're generally white that's the case in lars and the real girl that's the case in next makina even though she's mostly machine she's got a A white woman's face it just sort of like alliance with this sort of like these racial prejudices that keeps recurring over and over again and other aspects of culture right. Yeah absolutely and it turns out even the conversational side of things which is supposed to kind of improve. these issues. Could itself be problematic because if they do get the tech to appoint weather dole's respond more and more like human beings harder for people to remember that you should treat humans very different from how you would treat a doll. I can see how if you're really really invested in this survey you might like the idea that it has a personality and can talk to you too. But i also i don't know it feels like people probably also appreciate just like kind of imagining it's like really a fantasy thing and they get lost in the fantasy world on so like if if you're talking to this like a and it doesn't say what you and your mind that the personality of the person says look. I think that would be really off putting but you know there's definitely danger. I think a lot of people have raised questions about like what this is teaching people because the dolls themselves are functioning for people to have sex with them and so they're kind of you know teaching people that like other people are just constantly available for them and so that is maybe making the dolls even more human like more realistic as maybe you know warping people's minds a little bit about what is available to them in the world and what they can do to other people how they can treat other people and talk about this when i asked her if many people will worry about this kind of thing. Yeah there's definitely been a lot of outcry and calls for banning and regulation and even sex workers. Have you know spoken out and said that that they think this is bad development. The concern is that people will sort of lose touch with how to interact with regular humans and they will be taught that you know sex should be available to them at all times and that the owner or the dominant person in every interaction and that they should expect this. It's kind of like an extension of kind of some of the rave culture and you know some of that like insult kind of stuff that lives in dark corners of the internet. And that's a really scary thought. How does robotics field about this. They were pretty dismissive. Because they were like rape culture rapists. The basically they're saying are doing it because they want to dominate somebody and and that is not why people are buying dolls and using our dole's they are coming to us. They are lonely and they want companionship. And we would never program are dolls to basically say like no no. Don't stop. we will never buy into that kind of fantasy. If people have that they they won't find it with our doll and they're basically saying like if you are saying that we're an extension of that. You're kind of misunderstanding. Why people are coming to us. Begin with yeah. This is one of those things where they it seems like Mcmullen just asking us to take his word for it. If that makes sense and i don't like there's a certain extent where it's just out of his hands. Yeah and i guess. The question is does matt mcmullen vet his customers and like to what extent can vet them and does he have a reason to especially if he's selling them things that are earning him thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and discussions about rape culture and an cells. Which fatty anyone he doesn't know. Is this online subculture. Built around the idea of involuntary celibacy. These kinds of discussions are taking important to sex workers. An errand said some of them are also concerned about ai. powered textiles. yeah you know. I wrote some some articles in the british press has been really fearmongering in on this story in a crazy way. They're just really hammering at the event. Some really interesting interviews with sex workers who are saying this is gonna further dehumanize us because this is teaching you know men like when then come to me for for sex work you know i m helping them understand what is like to interact with a human woman and giving them you know pushback and you know sort of like non necessarily the answers that they would predict or expect and showing them the value of a woman basically and sex dolls. Just take that all away. And i don't know i'm inclined to push back a little bit on what aaron mentioned here because it's not like there's reporting on sex work and that that entire industry right like what clients are dillinger we. It's far too stigmatized. The press is not particularly concerned with hazards to people who work in in the sex industry. No one can really authoritatively speak about what that industry is like what affects them. Yeah and people should check out the work of Previous guests month the coal river vice to get a good start. If you're interested in the topic anyway like erin says these are all questions for a hypothetical future in which these dole's become mainstream and right now there are lots of factors preventing that these things are like one hundred pounds just practically speaking like. Where are you gonna put it. You don't even have closet for it. I mean that could also be evaluated right like you get this thing and you get really fit just from moving yet because henry con even get himself from a to b. Yeah i mean. I think when you hear the word sex pot or sex robot you really are thinking about a robot that can walk around and this is. We're not remotely there yet. I mean if you look at where we are just robotics wise like there's pepper the robot which is this tiny little softbank robot that's like really durable and like rides around on wheels and looks like a jetsons character and then there is the boston dynamics robots which are those like scary kind of like tiger dog looking things that are terrifying but the upright human robots are you know quite a ways away plus does the price i dunno. Henry's for celia. he's he's not cheap either. He's like twelve thousand dollars is a lot of money it is but you know what do you think about it like technology but it first comes out is pretty expensive. You know computers cell phones games consoles right and then they become more and more like a must buy thing and and the technology gets cheaper soon enough. Everyone has one yeah. I wonder if that'll happen here. I don't necessarily know the steps that happened between now and it becoming a sort of commodity i mean actual steps is probably a good thing. 'cause had recon actually move himself around at this stage. That would probably be a good reach. Yeah no like vr to right like we're in like the second wave after the nineties. Right of people trying to make vr happen. And i personally think having mess with a lot like a big part of the burden. Vr goggles awkward. They're expensive awkward. And it's not like you know. Our smartphones are feel more natural to us now. I think that when they first came out cell phones right. I mean they were these huge brick. You couldn't fit in your pocket and you know maybe the same is true here. I mean i don't think henry is going to be pocket-sized there's another word for a pocket-sized sex doll that is a vibrator but you know for this specific thing. Like if he does get to the point where he can walk himself away when you're done with him and put himself in a cupboard and we get to a point where we have enough money to own couplets It all generation than you know. Maybe you know sex drive's technological change right like how much of the internet is porn so much but yeah it's that's also there's that that statement that like whenever there's a new video format like the adult industry is what determines which one usually wins like blu ray over dvd or vhs. Over betamax and all that so yeah even if you you personally don't see yourself as someone who cares about sex technology or sex dolls are robots or anything like that. I mean it. It helps to pay attention to what is happening here because these things have spell out into other areas. And it's like it's like war and sex right like if you ever get human. Robots probably first of all they'll be soldier robots right. They'll be to fight our wars for us. But then you know how expensive be to add some sex tech in that and then when the war is over and you got all these soldier. Robots six packs and know repurpose them just a gi bill. For for i want to the listeners. Thank i wanna do. What kind of robots the listeners. Interested in you know where they think the future of of tech insects dole's is please. Please let us know in the comments. I am desperate to hear your thoughts. Wild wild tech is a studio seventy-one original podcast and spoke media production. It's hosted by me jordan. Erika weber and joshua rivera. You can find us. At jordan webb dot com and j m rivera zero two on twitter at produces raise. Mendoza cody hoffman. And john kastner with help from trae. Jones and play in. This episode was mixed. By we'll short. Our executive produces are stephen paul stein and andrew see the studio seventy-one and delete. Have cody and keith reynolds. Spoke media special. Thanks to aaron griffith if you want to follow us on social media and teased do we are at wild vialed tech pod. Thanks for listening the musical from tiktok baldwin.
Why fast fashion should slow down Science Weekly podcast
"Yeah. The guardian. Spring has officially sprung. The daffodils are out the tulips and the hyacinths. Like coming curve any will await Bluebells. It's a season of flowering winter is behind us and the day's getting longer. I'm what better thing to do than to use? These new found daylight hours then a bit of spring cleaning. Grant, I were having lunch few weeks, and it came up in conversation that both of us have decided not to buy any new clothes in two thousand nineteen. For me. The main reason is environmental I love clothes, but I hadn't really thought about the damage. My passion could cause until I visited the Vienna exhibition fashioned from nature and listened to the podcast series articles of interest. Yeah, I'm doing the same thing for exactly the same reasons. The environment. I watched the Marie Conde series on net flex, and it made me realize that I have so much stuff, and I really don't need anymore. So taking a break. From shopping seems to us at least a good way to step away from the typical consumer cycle of buying regretting. And then dumping each year. We been a hundred and forty million pounds worth of clothing, and that clothing, go straight to landfill. Fashion is one of the worst industries for environmental impact. And the reason for that is because it's creates a huge amount of weight. So do you care, for example? We are getting just over one billion tons of clothing each year about third thatch ends up in landfill size this week. Science weekly is teaming up once again with the guardians chips with everything podcast term pick the true cost of the rise of fast fashion and to explore whether or not technology can help to fix the problems the fashion industry has created. So the idea that we begin to have technology that actually shows us and maps what exactly is happening? Whether it's in in a in a sort of judgmental way or not. But at least it gives us an opportunity as I said to scrutinize and vigilant. I'm Jordan Erika Weber, and I'm Greg Jackson, and this is science with everything. Hello. Hi, tim. How are you? So my name's Graha. Just in case you're wondering how to pronounce it. Michael Tim Kepa for chats about the impacts of fast fashion on our planet. Tim's a professor of sustainable design and consumption at Nottingham Trent university, the clothing sustainability research group pan, we specialize in issues to clothing on Chevy. In other words, they throw a culture in comsec. This isn't Ignatz fast fashion, isn't it what is false fashion. Fall fashion has emerged in recent years is a way of putting production the market in such a way that consumers have access to new governments version anytime, so whereas in the past we used to have two seasons fashion you really wants to change into your retailer upon from in the spring Nielsen banning removed two full seasons. The fell fashion is decided we should have changed all the time. So when if you go into shipbuilding you. Tim pretty much fifty two weeks a year every week you'll see new products appearing in shops, and that has really caissons may Jim became for the design manufacturing process of garments. And someone talk you for quality Giradi. The other thing about fast fashion is the cost. These clays are cheap cheap cheap. I've seen dresses for under five before. Yeah. I've definitely been guilty of buying clothes that cheap, especially as a teenager at college with very little money. But I have a sneaky feeling that you're about to tell me that five pounds isn't a true reflection of its overall cost slant, you read my mind, a recent government report showed exactly that it concluded that we benefit from cheap Claes considerable cost the environments and at a considerable cost to those working in textile factories. Is one of the worst industries for environmental impact? And the reason for that is because it's creates a huge amount of weight. So do you care, for example way are getting so just over one billion tons of clothing each year and about thirty facts in up in landfill sites which into fame because most people these days will times time take among close charity feel we think that's okay? Someone else will wear once I finish with it. The reality is the vast majority of those awesome chapter in the night actually on sold in this country. There's not the demand the secondhand clothing too, many of them exporting even then don't get used just enough in landfills in other countries. But leaving that's a summit still vast number of I'll just turn away in bins and a third limiting terms enough in UK landfill. And that's unsustainable in the long term because I've laughed with size of filling up off. But it's not just. That we've been Claes a huge environmental price tag us fashion is the process of making the crazy themselves. Not so fun fact for you, did you know that the textiles industry accounts for ten percent of the wells carbon emissions. No, a missiles what these fabrics may delve. It's a real challenge to navigate take polyester is the most popular fiber, Houston fashion. But when it goes into the washing machine microphone is break off an ends up in our ocean algae can eat these bits of plastic and then fishy at the Audi, and then we the fish. I mean, I don't I also gave up fish this year. But there are coaches for whom fish forms, a central part of their diet. And it doesn't seem fair that they're wallowing down microfinance is because of our obsession with fashion. So are not true fibers like cotton the way to go, surprisingly, no, Tim says that some cotton's can use lots of water and pesticides. And that's what makes this a bit of a mind. Field for people. He wants to make better choices. Real challenge for people who are trying to do the right thing to know what kind of governments to buy because of the different fibers invoked and each of them as different problem on the one hand, we've got synthetic gums, which are oil based that people said, we don't and she more fossil fuels. Therefore, we shouldn't be example. On the other hand with coffee gums, which are starkly seen as natural increasingly we become aware of the water decides use it both in cotton production. So it's an area which needs a lot more research and lot more information died by producers and consumers to do the right thing. Now notice pace surprisingly them in these areas. So if two inches this what one is in need to produce clothes are more sustainable in their quality of the other is. Happens. We just need to consume fewer items how spreading compared to the rest of Europe when it comes to fast fashion, we doing well. Or is the situation particularly bad. The evidence is risen is worse than other countries in terms, which clothing purchase per head where near the top of the table consumption coach here, and we buying more and more is that situation getting better or worse. The situation in written. Last two years has got worse after consumption in fact between twenty twelve twenty sixteen. The charity rap estimated that there was a ten percent increase in the amount of clothing puchased here in the UK. But why is there AmeriFactors that range from having more disposable income to being time poor, and then not really having much time to fix claves, and many of us wouldn't even know how to go about mending our clothes, which is one reason, I'm. Also, taking sewing classes this year. Top marks for usual is a bit of a law stop, but because the cheap we don't bother to fix them. There's just not that impetus there, but Tim also points to some research that suggests humans just like a bit of a change. Sociologists call Coline Campbell who very tough infringe show out dot designed for the news dissolve the new and he looked as yet. So he any Tilton terms of Antezana change, the factories like digs are different from time to time with that dissolve the pristine nothing a fraction claim several ends combination of factors of the latest. They will be too. But it's nothing that is inevitable. When we we do in shape l don't show, but my not least things like social media, donate communicate a lot more through the media to make people aware of what we're doing is unsustainable. Effluent producers consumers alive has a role to plight in changing his fall session sector. I wonder whether companies in advertising also have a role to play here. The fact that there's this constant newness to everything in the it sort of says that will you've got. Now isn't fashionable in some way. And that you you need something else. Should you have to have a role? I think the whole communication sector knocking people are vitally low this. So I like to see more than any factor in retail brands, give him more rounded picture that you of red number of ways one whenever advertised I should say against we to themselves as companies in terms of environmental impact of their businesses. Now is this porter a range of approaches? Are we have somebody? China's Texas inability quite seriously. They're headed the curve. Looking shelves overtures to us close another put it back in the markets. The second goes or lease to ensure the deck lecture them and then dispose of responsible way. All the Sanjar the moment that the leaders home every moment about these problems for many years is not taking the concerns seriously enough. That's awesome us go to change. After the break we'll chat to one of the people behind the organization fashion revolution. And so and super looking luckily for me and Graha she may have a technological solution for how we can better. Look after the clothes. We already have in our wardrobe. There are more and more apps that are looking at using technology to be able to help not just for the you know, the pollution and the divers we'll be back in a minute. Stopping turn something. It's time to focus. I think ultimately that ideology is feeding for it will have a sting in the tail see that sometimes with these flare ups and violence today in focus is the new daily podcasts from the guardian. Join me a niche Gristana for the best stories from our journalists around the world. Subscribe now to today and focus from the guardian. Welcome back to science with everything I'm Jordan Erika Weber and I'm Greg Jackson before the break. We talked to Tim Kupa who explained further phenomenon of fast fashion, which focuses on getting huge quantities of Claes onto the show floors quickly and cheaply to the detriment of both the environment and the people he make them. There has been another horrific incident at a garment factory in Bangladesh. An eight story building collapsed today, killing at least one hundred and forty five people and injuring hundreds of others. On the twenty eight twenty thirteen more than a thousand people were killed when the eight story Rana plaza building collapsed in the capital city of Bangladesh. The fullest of companies Houssels includes from the building remains unclear but had previously included prime Matt land and others soon the world found out how little these workers were making and the conditions. They will working in on. So started the fashion revolution, so fashion revolution is now the biggest fashion out because she movement in the world. So also decastro is one of the co founders of fashion revolution. And is also the creative director there. Yes, it when you told me about how I looked her f and of course, she had a Twitter page, and I noticed she called herself the Queen of up cycling, which is pretty cool. Okay. I am the Queen of up cycling. Also, an Instagram in fact on several other places come up as a Queen of up cycling up cycling is a technique a fashion technique which aims at reusing creatively. Any excess from post consumer to pre consumer waste. What's the difference? Then between up cycling and recycling will recycling tends to be fiber to fiber. And it does imply either chemical or mechanical process whereby existing leftovers of cuts remnants, and so on and so forth are pulped and shredded often down cycled to make other components such as much as fillings car insulation. Does a lot of inves-? Statement in recycling at the moment from five to fiber. But not very successfully we are presently only recycling. One percent, for instance of a leftover governments from fiber to fiber. So it doesn't really have so much of a chemical or mechanical footprint. But at the same time, it's harder. I guess for the industry to imagine it as an upscale solution. I can't make sense. So aside from being the Queen of up cycling. She helps run fresh revolution. Yeah. And actually next week. They're celebrating fashion revolution week each year. They choose a theme this year they've gone with hashtag who made my clothes. We are looking at what they're doing. And we wanna know when we want to understand who are the people make our closing in what conditions, but that's by no means are only ask we also took very much about clothing longevity. We have another hashtag which is loved clothes lost. And we. Really talk about the opportunity that we have every morning to look at our wardrobe as being an integral part of this fashion supply chain and the full all the various solutions that us as consumers citizens as people's students teachers, and so on you know, that we can effect by being vigilant curious and wanting to be a part of the solution. You've mentioned a few hashtags there. How important is social media to this whole revolution? Well, I mean, I have to say embarrassingly vital. I mean, I can't think of anything more acutely shaming Monty python ish the whole bunch of auto sitting at the table working out the right hashtag. I mean, it's quite funny. But it is serious. You know, we are born in twenty thirteen this is the age of media social media, and this kind of communication, we mustered it it catalyzed the movement. It made, you know, a simple question difficult to answer the crux of this. Complicated supply chain. And how we are. So disconnected to it. I love the Monty python reference to I've never actually watched it. But maybe I should. I mean, people are going to hate me for saying this, but with birth probably a bit young still it is pervasive. Coach at that. I get what she means. Okay. Let me check. If I've understood also, right? Social media has helped with spreading them. But did she mention any other technological approaches that either designers or consumers embracing to combat some of the issues that Tim Cooper talked about earlier, there are more and more apps that are looking at using technology to be able to help. There are a whole host of transparency ups, for instance, right now taking give me an example of some of these apps, then well, I guess the the new kid on the block when it comes to transparency is the good anew up which has been heavily supported by the likes of Emma Watson. But there are there are other ups as well, which not necessarily focusing. On transparency and what brands are doing but more asking questions to ourselves. There is wonder I'm really looking forward to it's not out yet. But it will be all on. How can we take better care of our own wardrobes and of the clothes that we already own? I mean, you know, the truth is that, you know, the clothes we already own are, the most sustainable clothes. And so there will be all on creating the best opportunities to mand them to keep them for long to really encourage longevity. So I'm super looking forward to that. These are all the apps that encourage a different behavior and encourage us to take responsibility for the close once we've bought them. I mean, I guess you can look at the phenomenon of deep up. People. I've had them any because they wrote to me after GDP are to ask me if they could keep my details. And I said no because I didn't remember giving them my details who all they deep is an app that lets you buy and sell secondhand clothes. But it's also like a small community where you can follow people who have a similar sense of style. I've actually checked out myself recently because my twenty nineteen resolution doesn't rule out buying secondhand. And it's great I found someone who's wardrobe really reflects Myron tastes deep up has started has opened a whole new world. And we're looking at really young citizens actually buying clothes and then selling them. But now they're going one step up their buying the customizing, and then they're selling because they're seeing the added value somehow in their own signature, you know, as if something MandA is important as something to to you know, it has the same the same power. So, you know, I'm super. Really really love that also is also waiting for up that's in production and the minute, but when available will allow those who download it to calculate their fashion footprint as in a carbon footprint fashion. Yeah. Pretty much. Yeah. Because one of the things Tim talks about is that it's really hard to find out. Why your clothes come from? And whether they were produced stain ably or not so this could be really great. Yeah. I'm not sure exactly how it's gonna work yet. But it's being developed by an Italian company could lob Waco, which have already created an app where you can sell your old clothes and earn what they call LA bla coin. And then use those to get discounts from well-known fashion brands, which I guess encourages you to buy more nuclear, which isn't great. Yeah. I see what you mean. Can I just get back to something you said before lamp coin? So you don't on money in the traditional sense. But why would you use cryptocurrency? Yes. Anyone who listens to chips knows that? I am not the biggest fan of cryptocurrency or blockchain, but also explained why. Latest fashion ups are choosing head in this direction. I mean, you know, transparency doesn't necessarily lead to best practice, but it leads somewhere, and you can then make that decision. My understanding is that this will be exactly the same with the blockchain in people will be importing information. So at least we will have that information. It is in human nature kind of lie and gloss over things. So it is possible that a lot of the information that would be in a blockchain system, we wouldn't wouldn't necessarily be able to take it at face value would have to pick up the phone and really check that factory is over that with that. They're doing the things that are claiming that are doing, but we'll have something we will have a map nerdy citizens or activists citizens such as myself can actually go and double check. So that's the great change. And this is the whole point systems that give visibility encourage screw. Any? Do you think we'll get to a point where we need fashion revolution to exist anymore? So rather revolution has happened and the industry is cured. We have enough proof to know that it's not going to happen anytime soon. I mean, you know, we know that the Rana plaza happened six years ago, and yet we know that supply chain workers up nowhere near being paid a living wage, we know that the impact of the fashion industry on our environment is scandalous, and so- fashion. Revolution is still needed. We are real in nominate with action it plays a huge part in our daily lives. It plays a huge part in shaping our culture. Let it be the fashion that shapes the culture that will get rid of climate change and local women. I think one of the reasons that fashion is becoming more and more of a problem is because of technology and social media in particular. I know that I am reluctant to post multiple Instagram photos with the same outfit because I feel like people will think I don't have anything to wear or maybe just look boring, and we kind of in because we're posting of ourselves online the time we wanna look different in all of them. And as more of a focus on image. Moby looked like not encourages us to pry, more and more clouds. I think that's really interesting point. Because one thing that we haven't really touched on is the role of influences, and how important they could be in all of this in in helping us raise awareness of the fact that fast fashion is really bad for the environment. And and for the people who make these claims the other thing, I thought was really interesting that we could learn from other countries like Sweden, and this is something that this baked report we talked earlier in the program came out with and that was that if we removed over juice VAT on repair. Says it would mean that would be so much easier and cheaper to gallon clydes facts because at the moment if you get down to your local drycleaners, guessing fix it can't be like thirty or forty pounds. And so why would you just you can sort of understand the thought process? Why wouldn't I just buy something gave? Yeah. No. That makes a lotta sense. Actually, I've got address that I need dry-cleaned to Cirque -fensive to go get it done professionally the unlike, oh, maybe I'll just leave and by new one also we're roughly the same size. We could just it's what plays. I have to every time you come in you meticulously dressed. Whereas I was in the jeans China's on the T shirt combine like you. I'm glad that the podcast listeners. Who cannot see me. We'll know that. I always look great. I've actually been doing that for for work. A huge. Thank you t base. Guests this episode professor, Tim keeper and also etiquette story. History. They'll be linked to the fashion revolution website. And the recent government reports on clothing consumption and sustainability in the description on the guardian website that now with this sunny day in London hype. Wli hinting at warmer weather ahead. I'm off to plan how to fit lost is some addresses into my wardrobe this year, I'm off to try and patch together an outfit for a wedding. I'm going to this weekend. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and I'm Greg Jackson. Thanks for listening. For Moghreb put costs from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash.
Japan's new Y2K: Chips with Everything podcast
"The. The god. Producer Danielle and I were chatting about the new year. And we got onto the biggest new year of our young lives the turn of the millennium. Do you remember where you were for the money? So obviously, so I was ten when the millennium happened at she. I mean, I might have been nine even I was born in nineteen ninety. So I wasn't out partying. But I was encouraged to stay up because how often do you see the turn of the millennium now once once every thousand years, so I was staying up, but I was in. So I was playing solitaire on the computer and the corner of the sitting room, and actually it was the first time I'd ever successfully one solitaire on the computer and being the nerd that. I am by saved the final click. This. So as the fireworks were exploding that would cause cascading across my computer screen. Oh, it's almost poetic. Let's beautiful. Isn't it? I wouldn't go that far. It's it's nice. What about the millennium bug? Did you know about it? No, I feel like if I had heard about a millennium bug. I would've assumed it was a virus or something going around my steel, and that people were just nicknaming it after the new year. I do remember it being mentioned. But I can't remember if this is kind of in the run-up to the millennium or afterwards. But I definitely remember in the context of. Oh, yeah. It's just this thing that isn't actually going to happen. It didn't ruin your solitaire game. Now, did it. What were you doing when the clock struck midnight on the first of January two thousand will you happy to say goodbye to the twentieth century. Did you have high hopes for the twenty first? While some of you were clinking champagne flutes or singing old-line sign. A lot of people are busy worrying about what this century might bring the millennium bug. Otherwise known as y two k the basic software in a lot of PC's in particular process dates in a way that didn't handle the rollover into the into the new century. And and that would mean that those systems actually stopped and since we used control a lot of industrial systems factories, and so on nuclear actors people were very worried about what might happen there. Next year is the twenty year anniversary of what some joke was one of the biggest anti-climax is to ever hit the globe. But some cybersecurity experts still want us to remember why two K and importantly, be mindful of similar events that could impact us in future. The Japanese calendar were. Works in areas that are based on weeks of the emperor's reign. And so it restarts. With with a new a new era. So it becomes exactly the same structure is the way to Cape problem. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and this week. We're looking at what might have been what actually was and what might yet still be for the millennium bug and others like it. This is chips with everything. So you've actually been on this show before to talk about why two k at the start of twenty seventeen that was before Danielle and I joined what's happened since then been any big changes in our understanding of y two k the myths continue on one of the things that's happened. Is that with all the discussion about the consequences of brick certain and crashing into the European Union? Why'd you Kay has been invokes a lot by the people who want to an analogy for something. That's terribly frightening. But book won't happen and doesn't cause a problem. So. Martin Thomas is a retired expert in software engineering and cybersecurity a democratise professor in IT at Gresham college. He knows a lot about why two k, but he doesn't know everything. Have you seen that Nike has started selling Y2._K inspired shoes? They've got that kind of I guess kind of chrome colored to reflect the kind of colors of technology of the era. Why do you think people want to look back on the early two thousands with such fondness? Do you have any theories, but her because the prison is fairly clue in the future looks worse. We'll get to why why two K is still relevant nineteen years after it happened in a minute. But first let's travel back to the turn of the millennium throughout the nineteen ninety s people were preparing for the arrival of so-called millenium bug. So I got Martin to explain what this mysterious threat was actually supposed to be the were number of issues around the the two thousand in the way that dates are handled in computer systems, the big one is that for a very long time centuries have been left off date. So that you just get the number. And of course, we're still doing that. If you look on the fr. Of your credit card or Bank card. You'll say that we're still using two digits for the year. We we don't put the centuries in the the problem is that most commercial data processing handles dates and most commercial data processing uses them either to sort things into order or to work out gaps between dates how long is expiry period. But went wind does your your security Pasig spire how long is it safe to to keep this item food before it goes off? And so you have to do arithmetic on the dates, and you have to do comparisons on the dates, and if all you're doing is comparing the year without the century and the dates happen to cross a century boundary. You're in deep trouble has if you go from nineteen ninety six eighty two thousand four than on your comparing Ninety-six and four problems. Yes. And the likelihood is that your software seems talking about nineteen four rather than two thousand and four. Either end up with a NATO number you end up with very very large number. Both those things happened. What did people think was actually going to happen as a result of this? If this millenium bug arrived, what some of the more extreme forecasts. Oh, all sorts of things would break down that lots of computer systems would would cease to work that that banks wouldn't function credit cards wouldn't function. People will particularly worried about cascade failures across supply chains that but the supply food which stop, for example, all that the delivery of the chemicals for processing water wouldn't be possible and therefore water systems would fail or even that the pumps for the water would fail because they were computer controlled surprisingly. We also have the British retailer marks and Spencer to thank for warning us about why two k there was a famous delivery of tinned meat to marks and Spencer's got rejected both stores control system because it looked as oh it was. Over one hundred years old and under those circumstances. The system was programmed automatically to reject the the consignment on the on the goods inwards going into the marks and Spencer store in to immediately reorder, and and they did. And of course, the next consignment was rejected in exactly the same way. And at that point, they realized they got a problem, and then increasingly other systems started to fail anything that had to look forward to calculator and expiry date, for example, a pass for somebody to a library card or something like that though system started to produce silly numbers or actually to crash. One reason Martin remembers this time so well is because he was one of the people working on Whitey thousand prevention. Paul in Duluth, I sold. My software engineering company to to Deloitte's in nineteen ninety two. And so I was an IT partner in deliver to and I was asked if I would take over internationally for for the Deloitte and Touche consulting group. The IT the Y2._K service line providing services to companies who needed expertise on on the two thousand and who needed support in in finding and fixing the problems. So but the big nineties I was giving lots of talks to to the auditors and two companies into the boards of international companies, particularly in in Europe. And in America about the scale of the problem and persuading the auditors, and helping write the text that would actually really alert the the companies they were auditing to the fact that there was a major problem here. And I was responsible for teams that were working on on solving what UK problems for major pump. Please say once people did start to take this seriously and make preparations what did that involve what did maybe individuals doing what had been companies do the job? Of course was to find out. What you've only villages were the first part of that was to try and work out. What software you'd actually got him. What computer systems you've got the might be vulnerable and most companies discovered that they didn't even know what software they possessed, and then it was necessary having discovered what systems you got you had to work out. How are you going to check them in order to find out what kinda problems you'd God? And there were various approaches to that for the big data processing systems people would write programs or or simply get a small army of people to read the source code of the of the software looking for data processing in order to work out. Whether there were issues other companies decided the solution was to. Change the clocks to to do the testing to to simply reset the the date on the systems watch what happened when the clocks rolled over the end of the millennium. after the break. We'll learn more about what fall out there was from Y2._K, and what we should learn from what could have happened. I'm really worried about it. I think that we have built a digital society on foundations that are not well enough engineer to support the trust is placed on it. And that can only end in in some pretty serious calamities. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back. Hey, Pocos fans fun to do over the festive period. Maybe you or someone you know or go to Google home as a gift. Well, we want to tell you about the guardian Sierra review project, we've been working with voice lab. It's a fun interactive. You of some of the guardians. Biggest and artists headlines twenty eighteen so if you checked out the guardians podcast this year. We think you'll enjoy year in review play just say, hey, go talk to year in review five now. Why? Welcome back to chips with everything I'm Jordan, Erika Weber. This week. We're talking about the bug that some say never quite bit. Why two k? Late on the evening of the thirty first. We got a call from the air traffic controllers in Scotland saying they thought their radars failed because they were getting no returns for many aircraft. And it turned out those nobody flying airlines grounded all aircraft because they were they were nervous partly that some their craft systems might fail but much more that the the airport systems would fail and they wouldn't be able to tonight for the break. Cybersecurity expert Martin Thomas gave us a quick history of the white UK problem as Martin explains the millennium bug did happen systems did crash. It just wasn't as bad as people had been led to expect four o'clock in the morning on January. The first on every airfield owned and run by nationally traffic services. The equipment for runway visual range is called the does visible. On on the ground all failed symbol tenuously because they were shady old every four o'clock every morning, they make contact with the system that controls them and the clocks different on the two systems, and that was enough to cool down because they detected the something wrong and for safety closed down solo systems. I didn't didn't have any safety effects, of course, because nobody was fly. An all it took was to restore the computers and everything was fine. But in a number of countries, a major problems occurred on fifteen nuclear reactors shut down for example for four Cape problems. There was a serious problem in the UK that was only discovered later, which was that the system that alerted mothers of a particular age that they needed to be screened for down syndrome during pregnancy turned out to be working incorrectly. Because we're y two k problem all these things did happen. As a result of why do you care despite all the effort that went into preventing t many disasters. Why do people still think that nothing happened? A lot of the failures did occur weren't publicized because they were embarrassing to the companies after all the work that had been done on all the warnings. So there was nothing in it for them to to answer that had a failure. And if they could manage to fix those things quickly with the disturbance show. Going up or if they could blame it on something else, then they weren't likely to. But at press release saying we had a y two k problem the major problems that would have occurred had all that effort not been put in of course, didn't happen. And so there was a large element of people necessarily talking up the scale of the problem beforehand in order to get the work done. And then, of course, people saying that calamity didn't occur, and it's just human nature when when you manage to avoid opprobrium, it's easy to imagine that the problem wasn't there after Y2._K turned out not to be anywhere near as disastrous. As people had come to believe it would be. There was a cynical backlash but Martin insists that's no course, complacency more potential bugs are out there. I mean need to be ready. We certainly need to continue work. Worrying about anywhere where a lot of systems might fail symbol Tena Asli as a result of a single event. And there are a frightening number of those still around. There is a recent report from the government of signs of Blackett report about the dependence of the UK economy on the position navigation, and in particular, the timing signals that come from GPS, which means it if GPS were to fail an astonishing amount of the economy would would collapse defend like people don't tend to learn than from things like this. Oh, absolutely, particularly if people go around telling them that it was a scam and nothing happened. But what has happened since is that for economic reasons we've taken the resilience out of lots of supply chain. So the possibility of cascade failures is much higher. Now, people don't realize. Is that putting in redundancy for resilience purposes is like buying insurance and just like buying insurance? It can be very good idea. In July twenty my colleague, Alex Hahn wrote that some experts predict we might see a Y two K type problem in Japan when Emperor Akihito abdicates the throne later this year. Japanese calendar works in areas that are based on weeks of the emperor's reign. And so it restarts. With with a new a new era, and you get exactly the same problems as why to capable if if you'll processing data that goes across an era boundary, then all the calculations will start go wrong. If you'll if you don't process that boundary correctly, if you're just relying on on the numbers and the the week number in it within an era and not noticing not recognizing that you're working across an era boundary. So it becomes exactly the same structure as the way to Cape problem. So for a number of software companies have been trying to ensure that their customers had the ability to do testing against a change of of era. Whitey k is fixed in many of our minds as a classic. Even comedic example of unnecessary scaremongering, but as Martin points out, even after heaps of resources went into solving the problem some millennium bug still slipped through the net. And these unforeseen consequences should remind us of just how dependent our society is on the reliability of software in particular. I think learning the lessons would you say that you really do need to treat software as an engineered product under the needs to be developed in a rigorous way. If you need to trust it, that's the lesson that we haven't learned. I'm really worried about eight I think that we have built a digital society on foundations that are not well enough engineer to support the trust that's based on it. And that can only end in in some pretty serious calamities. So we we're building a society that is increasingly vulnerable in an environment that is increasingly hostile and just doesn't feel like something that ends. Well. As we start to find out what twenty nineteen has in store for us. We need to be mindful of these potential vulnerabilities, especially as we continue to hand more and more control over to machines. That's all for this week special. Thanks to Martin Thomas for joining me. We're always looking for new stories to cover. So if you have something interesting to tell us about send us an Email chips podcast at the guardian dot com. I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Thanks for listening. For movement put costs from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash costs.
The ancient Greeks warned us about AI: Chips with Everything podcast
"The the guardian. Look of future Sebastian with physical. I think Sebastian therefore, I am. If you haven't seen the film blade runner that was one of its characters press quoting seventeenth century, French philosopher, Ren Descartes. Chris is an Android or replicant initially created as basic pleasure model who ends up involved with the group of renegades, the famous, quote, I think therefore I am sometimes cooled the Colorado, the Latin Corbetta go some was the result of day cots attempt to figure out which of the things he thought he knew where impervious to doubt. Despite all the philosophical skepticism. He was putting himself through which made him doubt. Whether he could trust his senses or whether he had a physical body. He could be sure that he was thinking which meant that he had to at least exist press used the line to emphasize more than just her existence. She thought the Tara -bility to think like a human should give her the same rights as one. Humans have been telling stories about oughta fischel beings and thinking about what defines humanity since long before Bladerunner and even before Descartes a new book out this month explores the history of robots from as far back as ancient Greece. An Oscar did ancient myths like the story of Pandora and famous box of misery end up influencing the finest technological minds of the twentieth and twenty first century. I was surprised to find out that the first Sam missiles the service to air missiles that patrolled the seas where named Talos rockets and even now DARPA at Pentagon, the military scientists at the Pentagon recently named they're a enhanced automated soldier uniform with an acronym. Talos very deliberate hearkening back to the Tello Smith. And considering we hope that the future. These technologists are leading us into his free of robot rebellion, should we take heed the examples of mythological Automata that ended up breaking as of first lore of robotics that a robot may not injure a human being. In her story. Frankenstein had hoped to use technology to create an artificial Android of great beauty and grace, but the tragedy is that the result was a hideous creature that resented being brought to life, and I think your story remains fresh to us because it spins on that age old tale that warns against playing God or tempting to create life without really understanding or having foresight about the consequences. I'm Jordan Erika Weber and this week. I try to figure out if the stories of the ancient Greeks can help us prepare for a future that now seems inevitable. This is chips with everything the full title of my new book is God's and robots myths machines and ancient dreams of technology. Would you mind just for us just so that we've got some audio of you sang it reading out the first quite that you mentioned in the book from the right about tick talk. Sometimes I imagined that robots were invented to answer philosophers questions. It seems like Adrienne mayor is a reset scholar in classics and the history and philosophy of science at Stanford University. She specializes in the study of folk science and has written several books on ancient history. And how we can interpret ancient myths and folklore to help us better understand today's scientific weld. Well, since two thousand six I've been living and working in Silicon Valley in California, just surrounded by advanced innovations in technology, and I'm very aware of all the modern desires to create artificial life from robots to a I and improving nature. Augmenting enhancing human powers, even striving toward immortality. So as historian of ancient science, it seemed natural to try and see how deep the roots of those desires, ideas, really could be and it turns out there. Ancient indeed. Ray about seemed like the quintessential science fiction future technology, one of the biggest technological changes that we can expect in on. If you My original question was who I imagined the concepts of robots and artificial intelligence historians of science trace the first working automatons to the middle ages. But I was wondering is it possible that these ideas these concepts about self moving devices automatons, and could they have been imagined long before the technology made them possible. And in fact, technology did follow the myths in antiquity, the ancient Greeks actually did began making catapults geared devices like the Antica thrim mechanism self propelled machines lifelike animated statue those things happened as early as the fifth century BC. When you look at these myths that feature Automata some form of autoshow life. What do you think tended to be the purpose of these stories? Well, I think the myths allowed people to let their magic nations sore described sort of wonders and marvels that the God of invention. Festus could make but they were using the same familiar tools materials that ordinary blacksmiths and artisans were using on earth. But in the myths, they achieve astounding result as befitting gods and her roic figures. So the myths allowed people in antiquity to think about how one might be able to fabricate a self moving device if only one possessed the divine powers and ingenuity of God Adrian writes about dozens of characters for maintenance legends and each is fascinating in its own way. We possibly discuss them all here. But it seems right to start with one of the first a character from ancient Greek mythology coal Talos, a giant bronze figure of a man made by Festus with the mission of defending king mean OSE and his kingdom of Crete. So Talos was self moving automaton. He he was said. To March around the island of Crete three times a day, and he was kind of programmed or given the task to spot strange ships, and he could then pick up Volgas and hurl them at invaders. Tell us could also heat his bronze body to red hot, and then crush enemies to roast them alive and Jason and the Argonauts encounter Talos on their quest for the golden fleece, drop the gun you are under arrest. Basically tallow is like the ancient Greek equivalent to robo-call. Cooperation good. How did tell us work than in the story? Tell us had a single artery or vein a tube going from his head to toe, but instead of blood he was powered by Eichor. And I corps is the mysterious fluid of the gods his entire vivid system was sealed with a bronze nail or a bolt at his ankle. So I think the ancients imagine tell us is kind of cyborg hybrid human and machine we seem very keen to anthropomorphized mechanical beings like Talos to see them as human like unto empathize with them. Why do you think that is? Well, you know, there are a lot of modern studies that try to determine why it is that we humans tend to anthropomorphized robots and other nonsense things the best. We can say is that we seem to be somehow hard wired to bestow human light characteristics on things that seem to us somehow. How alive that react to us or that? We imagine are somehow lifelike people still disagree over the definition of a right Baugh as you mentioned Elia. But you all you that the talisman embodies these kind of age-old questions about what it is to be a human. Why is that? Well, it's interesting that in the original myth Madisha convinces Talos that she could make him immortal. But only if he allowed her to remove that bronze bolt on his ankle and Talos was persuaded by this and they unsealed the bolt. So that his Corp blood out in the myth. He desires to be immortal, a humid he can be persuaded in fooled. I mean, his his not totally a machine he can be tricked. So the human qualities are what make his destruction feel so tragic both in antiquated and to us today. We feel sympathy for a robot that was fooled and killed while simply going about his job. And it's interesting. There's an. Ancient vase painting of two thousand five hundred years ago, and the dying Talos is depicted as a metallic man, he's falling backwards. As Jason is using a tool to remove the bolt on his ankle and the artist painted, what looks like a teardrop on the cheek falling from the robots. I. In the book Adrian talks about how the golds in these myths create strong oughta fischel beings by taking the betta more powerful traits associated with beasts and using them to offset the inherent weaknesses of mortals, even today. Invent his want to make robots that a stronger than humans what to use technology to enhance humans like soldiers with AIX. Oh, skeletons given the opera -hension around some of these ideas is there a sense in which we fail to learn from the ancient Greeks who created these myths while there are also myriad tales about the quest to turn back the clock of Annetjie and becoming immortal making death optional today, but in the myths tales like that about getting rid of aging and becoming immortal every one of those tales backfires somehow the message from entity seems to be that the there's something very crucially human about the fact that we die that were mortal. Another warning about creating artificial life that I found in the myths and and historical times is to look carefully. At who? Is it that's deploying automatons? And what what are the purposes I found that in both the mythic tales and in real life in antiquity. It was autocratic tyrants who usually commissioned automatons from Zeus to the king of Sparta and use them as weapons to torture or kill their subjects. It's often said that tyranny favors technology. So I think the one of the messages from the miss is that we need to pay attention to who is pushing to develop a and who is so keen to create killer robots. After the break will compare the kinds of robots imagined by ancient Greeks who locked the technology to substantiate that legends and the real life. Oughta fischel intelligences that theoretically walk and talk among us today Pandora was essentially an evil fem Bhatt sent to earth with a single mission. Her mission was to release eagles on humankind for eternity. The miss seemed to say that artificial life is good to think with it's good to imagine in a sort of abstract way. But they give a strong caution that such things could wreak havoc. 'cause a lot of chaos a lot of harm in the real world, especially if they're accepted without foresight more on that after this show break. Amazon prime videos. The Romanoff's is a new original series from the creator of madman eight globe spanning stories about one shared Royal bloodline. The Romanoff stars Diane lane, Christina Hendricks, Narran Eckhardt. John slattery. Amanda, Pete and Paul Reiser with a new episode every Friday premiering, October twelve only on Amazon prime video. Today. Focuses in new guardian podcasts that brings you closer to all journalism by getting behind the news every weekday. You'll join me an issue Donna talking to people at the center of the big stories impacting our world will use personal perspectives and expert analysis put you at the heart of what matters listen to today in focus on subscribed on apple podcast Spotify or whatever you choose to listen. Welcome back to chips with everything I'm Jordan, Erika Weber. This week. We're looking at robots and gods, and how the ancient Greeks were able to imagine a world where humans and machines live side by side. To better understand the myths that contained the very first blueprints for what offficial intelligence might one day. Look like we're talking to Adrian mayo a research scholar in classics and the history and philosophy of science at Stanford University. In her book. Golsen robots myths machines and ancient dreams of technology. Adrienne explores what the technologists of today can learn from ancient legends that feeling of all sort of mixed with dread and fear. So wonder plus fear was described by Homer in the Iliad and the odyssey and then by classical Greek playwrights, so that uncanny valley effect occurred in mythology, but also in real life in antiquated because artists and sculptors were learning new technological ways of painting extremely realistic pictures that could fool birds into pecking at a painting of of grapes sculptors were able to to cast extraordinarily true-to-life statues that seemed to breathe and move and just encountering those for the first time people in antiquity did feel that uncanny valley effect. Adrian's book is hardly trying to suggest that all the great scientific minds of the last few centuries, stole their ideas from Greek mythology, but it does show that even outside if the scientific realm people have long been fascinated by these stories take Mary Shelley the famous nineteenth century writer behind Frankenstein or the modern premium. I think Mary Shelley's horror story of Frankenstein. It's a really engaging sort of meditation on the idea of trying to surpass human limits and play God, and sort of the dangers of overreaching by scientists before they really know what the doing and in her story Frankenstein had hoped to use technology to create an artificial Android of great beauty and grace, but the tragedy is that the result was a hideous creature the monster that resented being brought to life that we know that Mary Shelley was influenced by ancient Greek myths about atomic Johns and people which is and sorceress trying to imitate nature, and I think her story remains fresh to us because it spins on that age old tale that warns against playing God or a tempting to create life without really understanding. Or having foresight about the consequences? Do you think that scientists and science fiction writers today are inspired or influenced by these classical myths? Well, you know, it's intriguing that when genuine automatons self moving devices began to be actually designed and built in the ancient world in the Hellenistic era. Almost all of those self moving devices in Taba, tons alluded in in some way to classical mythology. So I think even an antiquated the myth influenced ancient inventors, and I think modern technicians and robotics engineers might be willing to admit that they have mythic influences to military. Scientists were certainly familiar with the Talos story. I was surprised find out that the first Sam missiles that service to air missiles that patrol the seas were named Talos rockets, and even now just in the last few years DARPA at Pentagon, the military. Scientists at the Pentagon recently named their AI enhanced automated soldier uniform with an acronym. Talos very deliberate hearkening back to the Talos myth. So I think there's a lot of influence today. From these myths in nineteen forty two the science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, first introduced his famous laws of robotics, the festive wit a robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm. We seem to have always generally believed that robots should be built to benefit humans and not to harm them. But as we see with Talos, which we mentioned earlier some of these mythical characters develop human, emotions and do try to call home, say two myths like these off any suggestions for how to prevent this kind of thing from happening in real life. Or is it inevitable that are creations will rise against us. I think it's notable that when the self-driving devices are not Thomas tons made by. Defenses are confined to the divine heavily world of modeled abyss used only by Heff ESTES and the other gods goddesses in that realm, they are beneficial and benign, they don't really cause harm. But it's when the androids like Talos and pen Dora appear on earth, and they interact on the human plane. That's when things go badly in the myths and as of rules, get broken Pandora was essentially an evil fem bot sent to earth with a single mission heard mission was to release eagles on humankind for eternity. The miss seemed to say that artificial life is good to think with it's good to imagine in a sort of abstract way. But they give a strong caution that such things could wreak havoc. 'cause a lot of chaos lot of harm in the real world. Especially if they're accepted. Without foresight. So the classical myth seemed to express both hope and fear about creating artificial life and those mixed feelings do seem to -ticipant our own ambivalence. Our own sense of practical and ethical dilemmas about robotics and AI, and whether we should accept them. So readily. From the look of these ancient myths, it seems we've had the same ideas and anxieties around Automata or artificial intelligence for a long time the difference. Of course, is that we are much closer to having the technology to realize those dreams say what lessons should we take from these ancient legends as we move into this future. Many people may think it's kind of ironic to be looking back to the distant past. I'm asking people to time travel more than two millennia to look at what are essentially some of the first ever science fiction stories, but we're science fiction. Leads technology often follows an I think the sophistication of the relevance of these ancient dreams of technology and artificial life might constitute a kind of mythology for our age of AI. So I'm hoping that these ancient tales and their messages might enrich. Our understanding of what's really a timeless link between. Imagination and science. I'd like to find Adrian Matha joining me for this week's episode special. Thanks, also to rob. And Ryan at Stanford University who helped us out with studios if you want to know more you'll be able to purchase golsen robots Smith's machines and ancient dreams of technology via link on this week's episode description on the guardian website. Chips with everything is produced by Danielle Stevens. I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Thanks for listening. For more great podcasts from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash put costs.
How to catch a catfisher: Chips with Everything podcast
"We live in the era of disruption with entire industries in a state of change. Join host Walter Isaacson as he discovers the fascinating stories of some of the world's biggest trailblazers my favorite thing to do. Go to the drive in movies, plugging in the GPS receivers, let it collect data while I was watching double feature with my wife from virtual reality to robotics Formula, one and farming trailblazers from Dell technologies the unexpected stories of digital disruption. Listen now from wherever you get your podcasts. The god. I was really nervous before vehicle came out mostly because I spent so much time on it. And I didn't know if it is going to be something that people were interested in this is max, Ben, well, he's the audience editor at the guardian US. I was worried that you know, I was being criticized for my approach because obviously it was a little bit unorthodox. But in my view had to be an offer talks. And he recently published an astounding article about a situation he found himself in. I guess I did become a bit of a vigilante as a result. Yeah. It was pretty nerve wracking, but I guess like an anxious experience full publishing something big Ricci worked on for months. And it was many months. Mac spent nearly a year on this investigative piece about a personal mission. He had undertaken a mystery. He was determined to solve shoe. Someone was using my photos to trick women to catfish van and pretend they were me online mostly of intention to chat them up. But also to kind of throw horrible abuse at them as well. I'm doing Erika Weber and this week we follow the unusual tale of a man who went to some incredible lengths to uncover the person who had stolen his identity online getting cut fished while having some instill my conflict women wasn't really something. I dreamt of as a young journalist. But here we are this is chips with everything. For anyone who's unsure what exactly can't fishing is the Oxford English. Dictionary. Defines it as to lose someone into a relationship by donating a fictional online persona. When did you first realize that something was going on so interesting? It was it was around this time last year in March twentieth. When I discovered the this was happening, and it was only into December when I actually managed confront the person who's doing it before we go any further, we should let you know that we're not going to use the real name of the person that max believes used his photos, he chose instead to call him, Chris despite knowing that someone was stealing his identity max wanted to protect that of the alleged cap Fisher, the interesting thing about cut fishing in this case is that, you know, obviously, it's often people shouldn't do it. But at the same time as as a sadness, the heart of it. There's this kind of sense of inadequacy I guess like why did this guy think-i had to use someone else's face in order to talk to women? So. In that light just felt wrong confronting away which in the piece which would have exposed his name or exposed him to kind of like the outside world in that sense. But I'm hoping me confronting him. In me tracking him down was enough to make him stop. So I didn't have to do any of that. Anyways. Getting back to the story in March twenty eight teen max was going about his business as usual when suddenly wake up one morning is about mid March. And I had a message on my phone from a woman who never met before never spoken to. She was saying, hey, I just wanted to let you know that someone is using your photos online to pretend to be and she sent a screen show of this Instagram account of this person, Jim Mason and had my photos on. And what did he do when you got that first message? I kind of dismissed it to be honest. I didn't take it that seriously. I was that's that's weird. It happened. A couple of times before like the year earlier two years earlier where someone who'd used my photos on a sugar daddy website Whitley because the photos of me would take him when I was quite young. So I don't know how that's supposed to work and someone else had set up a Facebook account with my photo on it as well. So it just seemed like another with thing, and I didn't think was positive wider trend. So I kind of just ignored it. Max soon realized that this wasn't just a one off. Within weeks? His inbox was peppered with messages from women with very similar stories. That's when I started to think there's a person of a who's being quite prolific and really targeting multiple women because I mean, they had found out. It was it was a cat Fisher. And it wasn't. They weren't talking to the person who the person said they were there must have been so many more. We're final straw came. A couple of months later when a woman tweeted a photo of max alongside a screen shot of an upsetting conversation. She was having with someone. She thought was called Jeb Mason, informing him that he wasn't likely to get any more dates in Oklahoma City the screen shot. She had attached of I was supposedly saying or some catfish was saying was just like a vow stream of abuse. An axe was horrified. When he saw just how vile this person using his image had been. Towards this woman. And it was that moment when I realized a had to do something I had to track down tell him to stop it turned from something which was just like he was just benignly impersonating me too. He was actively going off to women. It was the first case of what I saw his trolling in ineffectually. So yeah, it was it was in June when I decided to take action, and he show it did take action. Max started with the obvious. He followed the screen shots from the women who had contacted him and trolled through all of the Instagram accounts. He could find with handles that included the name Jim Mason, and in empty Jamaican accepting one which actually redirected to a new account. Suddenly if you click click from Jim Mason link on Google search results, it will take you to this comfort. John saunders. So once I got onto that page. What became a parent is that he just changed the handle. So he had the same photos. I started there. I was I had this account. And so my goal from there was to try and gain access to it because it was private obviously max couldn't just send off a friend request to the so-called Jon Sanders from his account full of the very same pictures. John Sanders would presumably figure out what was happening and flee. So max was stuck. But then he had a kind of radical idea I decided to basically catfish myself. So I spoke to Facebook about how I might go around that. And if my accounts would be deleted if I tried it and spokesperson was like, yes, we will take action against you. If you fish anyone for whatever reason, even if it's a noble one say cap fishing was out the window, but then you decided on another tactic. So tell me about the gorgeous ladies of Oklahoma. It's a full of sort of corporate catfish ING where I pretended to be someone who's interested in gorgeous ladies in Oklahoma. I decided to do this because it seemed that he was based in Oklahoma. If you recall that fourth woman who had contacted me on Twitter, she was based in Oklahoma City, and she was saying you're not gonna get any more dates in Oklahoma now. So like, okay, I think he's he he's into beautiful sexy women, so how can I kind of try and target him? And and my goal here was to create an account, but he would see and follow. And then I could follow him back, and it would seem like an organic kind of connection and not one which was suspicious tool. So I set up glue or gorgeous ladies of Oklahoma kind of inspired by the wrestling show glow. I started talking to my some of my female friends explaining the situa-. And whether they'd helped me out if they had any what's referred to as those traps, which kind of photos gonna ask about this actually because if one of my male friends asked me, if he could use some of my holiday photos, or whatever pitchers in a bikini, no matter how much I love that friend. I would definitely decline. How did your friends react? When you ask them this year's, so I think once explained to them the situation, and but also how the photos would be pretty anonymous like we wouldn't use ones. Whether they're full face was in short. Not everyone was king minimize finals. I okay, that's understandable. But two of my friends were completely happy. They they kind of really liked the idea they wanted to help track him down. Once I had them. I started kind of geo targeting. He even started paying for followers and likes from Botts to make the account. See more. Credible and entice the so called Jon Sanders to become a follower at this point. In the story. I think you could be forgiven for wondering if max got a little too invested. It was an interesting experience Assad reading reviews about which sites were more reliable, and which sort of fake followers were more sort of more of a solid investment because they're less likely to be detected. So like more than tick seeming fake followers, was is kind of like the currency which fate betrayed in on these sites. See your pending in a significant amount of time and effort and even a bit of money did all of this work. No it didn't. Fin out that's far from the end of the story after the break. We'll find out why max had to go a lot deeper and venture into some darker places on the internet before he could catch his cat Fisher just being able to talk to him. And even though he was obviously kind of denying everything confessing to hear from me. And he kind of realize his actions have consequences, you won't want to miss it. We'll be back after this. We live in the area of disruption with entire industries in a state of change. Join host Walter Isaacson as he discovers the fascinating stories of some of the world's biggest trailblazers is the federal fans to to launch a rocket under space. I mean, we're talking two hundred fifty thousand dollar fine in five years in prison from virtual reality to robotics Formula, one and farming trailblazers from Dell technologies the unexpected stories of digital disruption. Listen now from wherever you get your podcasts. The voice from the guardian. Hey, do you have a one quick catch up on the knees? Headlines fessing in the morning while you're making breakfast getting dressed. Well, if you have a legal assistant Ogle, hi, we can help with that. The guardian briefing is an experiment from the voice lab, which an undertaking minutes brings you up to speed with what you need to know about the day's top stories. We'll make sure you don't miss a thing to listen anytime, just say, hey, Google speak to the guardian briefing. Let them back to chips with everything I'm Jordan Erika Weber this week with following the story of max, Ben well who embarked on a quest to find the person who was using his photos to catfish women after months of searching and even setting up a fake Instagram account. Max was getting nowhere. I imagine you getting pretty desperate by this point. So what did you do next decided if he have one final looking Oklahoma? And so I tend to gold which the premium version of the dating up, and I allowed you to change your location. So I switched my location to Oklahoma City. I change my gender to female just died from tickly swiping through all of them to see if I could find myself because I thought if still using photos that probably going to be on tender. I you have to admire maxes, dedication, and creativity. He was leaving no stone unturned. But that was just one problem this tactic didn't work either. But there are companies which help victims of cat fishing and have to to to track people down. So I realized that I was kind of doing so much amateur sleuthing of to no avail like that was no harm and. In reaching out to people whose job is to to find people. Enter linney. My name is Lenny McClellan, I'm a in-depth search specialist for social cash dot com. Then he will get to Max's case in the second. But can you just give me a brief overview of what you do kind of day to day. What does a normal working day? Look like view, we find people in verify dentis, sometimes we simply have a name to research. Sometimes our client just wants to know if a person is legitimate. Most often in my division. I handle cases related to social profiles on online. Dating people are dating online, and for some reason or another they have become suspicious that the person they're talking to his not the person that they claim to be most of my clients are mostly women aged fifty to seventy years old and most of my investigation's turn up to be Nigerian dating scams and they're serious money loss to fraud. How goodness I have a question about the number of cases that you identify? How many turn out to be verified and how many off for violent? Most of what I do. Probably ninety nine percent are fraudulent our clients usually just need an extra pair of eyes and ears. It is a situation where there is a certain amount of shame. They don't want to share it with their families. They don't want to share it with their friends. Sometimes I'm the only person they feel they can talk to and try to find information that they can report these people or other things that they can do to combat. It Lenny admits that although she has a lot of experience in verifying people's profiles online. She had never come across a case like maxes here. We have a real person victim really kind of a professional celebrity if you will and it would require different approach than I was used to. And I was really eager to see what I could come up with. And I just rolled up my sleeves and was ready to go. Is that what inspired you to take it on? Then you just thought it would be really really interesting, and it was different. Yes. Linney started off by putting the photos of max that he had sent to through a social catfish such tool to find out if the guy calling himself Jones Sanders had been using them anywhere else. Besides instagram. He hadn't. But as max explains she did find something just a strange, she was able to find every instance, where I'd been cut fished while someone use my photos to catfish online on at ten dollars, quite as way more people than I had realized using my photos as one which was selling shoes that was another which was like a costing cool for cartoon vows in number one where it was kind of like a video upload site, which was kind of how to pornographic element to it with someone would use my face as kind of avatar. Yes. So was like several different instances like some yelp reviews. I think which is very disturbing. But not quite what max oughta and unfortunately Linney couldn't figure out this Jon Sanders, true identity as you can imagine both. She and max disappointed. But then max remembered something. Tuns of the name of Fisher was in my Twitter in books the whole time. But in my defence, it was the first woman who messaged me out of a blue in March who off to saying, hey, I think this person is fishing you she had a stab at who. She folks it was and at that point I had no intention of writing anything about two. So just completely forgotten that she had had a guess who catfish was and the reason that she knew was because the catfish heads of additive from his real account and his fake account with my photos at the same time and on Facebook, and that was talking to her so intimately from both accounts on an off. So it was only when I was walking on the peace, and I was trying to, you know, getting so desperate. I saw as I am going to sit down. I'm going to stitch everything I've got out in front of me chime piece together a timeline like who's a fest. Busni message me who's a second person. And it was only then when? I kind of saw that. And and wanted to really, yeah. Really kick myself. Same. Now that was something to go on. He had what he believed was the true identity of the catfish the man he calls Chris mystery solved. Not quite so I found they had like to Facebook profiles that had this personal private inscribe account. They had like a poetry account led us left like they were big reviewer over left a few reviews, which really negative one star reviews cafes in the midwest. And so I I start to see some some things by I I didn't have student have a full picture. So he went back to Lenny. This was much more. Like it. Lenny got to work the first profile. I remember coming across with the new face was an EBay account. It had the same username. And there was a new face there. Once we ran that new face around the web, we quickly determine the real profiles in the real person behind it. It was just a matter of public records now to verify this person as an actual person. Then we had a name a birthday Email address phone number and max could go forward them with what he was after to do. Finally, max had his cat Fisher. All of this time spent trying to find him had been worth it. The mystery was solved. At this stage. Many people would have much down to the nearest police station to hand over the evidence. But max decided against that route Archie spoken to associate media lawyer about what routes you can take when someone is fishing you, and they want to wear of really any police cases where someone had been punished full this. The only avenue really have is is taking a civil case to cool against the person. Then you learn really be successful. If you can prove like financial and reputational damage, there's no actual law in America like against fishing. You know is only that kind of defamation low which you can really pursue as well as maybe like fraud, but just someone using your your photo to kind of talk to people, it's really it's a gray area. And so it was with that kind of advice in mind. I I forced my impove say. Well, he had to do. Now was ring this guy tell him that he knew what he was doing and also him to stop. Easier said than done gave me his phone number. And I just I couldn't I was so nervous mostly because I was so sad on on doing that stuff. I was just talking about confronting him and doing talking to him about how much it affected affected people by I was like. He's never go. Why would he engage with me? Like, why wouldn't he just hang up immediately? I was just like how do I present myself? And how do I speak to him in the first few seconds in a way, which means we can actually have conversation. The I'm dying to have with him and get that closure. And how did the conversation? Go. Better than I had expected in that. He didn't hang up immediately. We actually spoke for almost an hour. So when I rang him up, I said hi is that Chris and he he's a break up for a bit bone. He was like yet. Chris who is this is this, and I was like, it's max. I'm calling just because I have some evidence to suggest that you might have been using my photos to sign of catfish people. And you know, it's I'm not trying to get you in trouble. I just wanna talk to you. It's like mostly fine about as nothing to worry about. And he denied everything he he said, oh, no. I am time to do that. I I've got my own accounts at some point during this conversation MAC says Chris slipped up. He's still had to talk about how he had befriended on Instagram the fishing account and on he was like, yeah. There wasn't account. It was like max max, something me is again, like I followed it and be full of me the service posts from his blogger who was saying that it wasn't real. And that was person was impersonating this guy called max. And so I reported it and unfolded it and immediately. I was like hang. On a second. If I've just rang you out of the blue to confront you about stealing my photos, and you'll completely innocent whatever chances that you also came across my count just by chance. Despite Chris's continuous denial. Max said that the conversation ended amicably, but still curious max, followed his alleged catfish on Instagram and spent some time comparing his account with that of the fake Joan Santa's and he found similarities in the memes they were publishing and the times at which they were publishing them. He asked Chris if he could phone him again to discuss this new evidence, and while Chris agreed at first something made him change his mind in the end this person who max believed had used his photos to harass women online blocked him. Listener, I don't know about you. But I am the kind of person who really needs closure and after coming so far in this investigation. I would have still hoped for a way to get Chris to confess and promised to stop. But it's at this point that max finally decided to let it go or got my own, sir. At least like Pau Viansa, which was confirmation that was definitely him. And he said, please respect my privacy. I mean, he didn't really respect mine. So I didn't really have to guess by principle. But I just fought I've just I've done so much as being going on for so many months now that I just kind of well, he knows I know during a talk I said to him, you know, this had such horrible impact on the people who've abused I've been like completely coffin, and it's been really taking its toll on me. It's being ready to stubbing. So yeah. Like. I just thought. Well, he's HUD my side to end. What else can I do? Just being able to talk to him. And even though he was obviously kind of denying everything note, not confessing. He got to hit for me. And he kind of realized his actions have consequences, and for me, I think that like I hope that's I mean, I can only hope about sided like opposed to impact. Since he contacted Chris Mok says that he isn't aware of any more posts going out or accounts popping up using his photos, but it would probably be naive to think that the person who did these things has hung up his cat fishing boots for good. Huge. Thanks to max, Ben. Well, Lenny McClellan for sharing the story with us. That'd be linked to Max's full article on this week's episode description on the guardian website tips is produced by Danielle Stevens. I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Thanks listening. Put coasts from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash put costs. We live in the Aira of disruption with entire industries in a state of change. Join host Walter Isaacson as he discovers the fascinating stories of some of the world's biggest trailblazers is the federal fence to to launch a rocket on the space. I mean, we're talking to hundred fifty thousand dollar fine in five years in prison from virtual reality to robotics Formula, one and farming Trail Blazers from Dell technologies the unexpected stories of digital disruption. Listen now from wherever you get your podcasts.
Making an influencer: Chips with Everything podcast
Big tech v democracy: Chips with Everything podcast
"The. The guardian. Big tack. You've probably heard the term. We've almost definitely used it on this podcast, but you might not have known that it's commonly understood to stand for just four companies, a small group of giants credited with driving growth in technology, and thus societal change, no prizes for guessing who these four are. But if you do want play along anyway, I'll give you a moment. Google apple, Facebook, Amazon. There are plenty of ways to consider the power. These Silicon Valley giants have the compulsive holds they have on us, the shift volume uses and the data that comes along with them, and one area in which this power has come under particular scrutiny recently is in the influence. Big tech has on our elections. That's the culture of today. Things in our lives. Consumer seem so easy. And yet politics remains so hard. Last week we talked about one of the tools of baked tack as we looked at the power of algorithms when combined with big data today, we take a closer look at the effect. This data fueled, big tech is having on politics is the brave new digital world actually affecting our political process. Could it even rented democracy, obsolete? Unfortunately, if you're completely overwhelmed with information, twenty four hours a day, you can only really start to. Sense of that. If you use your emotional heuristic, if he's, I don't agree with those people. These are my people that opinion suits might pre existing view. I'm Jordan. Erika Weber and this is chips with everything. The question. Do you expecting to answer these questions? I wanted to to someone who spends his life thinking about the effects of technology on society. Jamie bulletin, the author of the people vs tech and a couple of other books radicals under the dark net, and I run the research center at the thing tank demos. Jamie joined me in studio where I began by asking him about what he describes as a bitter conflict between technology and democracy and what exactly he means when using these terms. Good question because obviously both democracy in technology is malleable terms. So I really use democracy to mean the system of democracy. We have at the moment. So liberal Representative democracies in advanced economies, and frankly, that just didn't seem that good of a title on the cover. So I use shorthand, democracy and technology. Again, I don't mean the power loom or. Cooker. I mean, those sorts of technology, digital technologies they're associated especially with Silicon Valley. So social media, internet enabled devices, offficial intelligence networks, mobile phones, and the reason that those definitions are actually quite to get right is because essentially the argument is pretty simple. One. The democracy that we have now with Bill a very particular time, particular set of institutions, norms and rules. And suddenly this new technology comes along. Digital technology doesn't follow the same rules on north and the two things just in sort of bitter clash. And we see that in lots of different places. Okay. So unless give some examples in a second. But first of all, say, you're saying that it's this this very specific kind of modern technology. Then that's democracy. It's not the case, the inevitably old Crecy and technology Arnold's with each other. No, of course. No. And to be even more specific, I suppose the way that the internet in particular as currently constituted is is with how democracy works at the moment is getting more and more specific every minute the longer we talk, isn't it, but but that is essentially of the argument. And I think that's more useful as a frame than saying these repairs capitalists. In Silicon Valley and they're evil, and they're doing these bad things because I think it's just it's a lot more fundamental than that, and he's going through such a great revolution in our information system and our production system that it almost it's almost inevitable that assertive governing institutions that we have that were built very long time ago on gonna work that well. So give me some specific examples than of particular battles between democracy and technology. Oh, okay. So many favorite most favorite. This most topical is obvious one of Cambridge Letica the fact that we, we can now have targeted adverts at unique individual users that can fly below the radar of the regulators who've been set up essentially to monitor billboards and TV ads and leaflets, then not set up to be and the rules on there to be able to monitor highly personalized, targeted adverts through digital networks. And that to me is the kind of core of the problem. There's stuff talked about, including in your newspaper, mail essay about the way the elections have been sort of swung one way or the other with some of these techniques. I think the biggest story beneath though is actually how it's fragmenting politics. If you imagine ten years time, the continued development on advance of. Of personal profiling tug to advertising through small devices in your home, ever more personalized to your specific interests and concerns. How in ten years, one kind of will be able to send a million different messages to a million different people. How on earth do we hold that candidate accountable? How to regulate his see the adverts. That's the big story. Polly, a problem of regulation, catching up as much as it is a problem of data analytics firms acting in shady way. So that's very obvious one with rules you can. You can also think about it in terms of of culture. I sometimes use the example of, do you remember when you used to get you photographs developed boots pharmacies and you old enough to remember that. Not quite. I remember after you'll holiday, you would come back and you'd spend three quit in boots getting you photos developed a need white two weeks, and most of them would be rubbish because they'd be overexposed or underexposed or whatever. I think young people looking at that must think that is crazy that you did that because now we're on Instagram and it simple immediate quick. Perfect. You can retake as many as you want. You can send them to anywhere in the world. Politics is still going into boots, gang photographs developed, but the weld has moved onto Instagram. And I think those cultural norms about having things as you want when you want them without compromise, stands in great contrast to the plodding realities of Representative democracy where you vote once every five years. And I think that is probably what is fueling of frost growing frustration and anger with mainstream politicians and helping people on the fringes who promise the world. I mean, essentially the populace of of the world as I see them basically tend to politics, you know, swipe left or right, but you will get exactly what you want with no questions asked. So this is this is both a question of rules and norms and how the just out of sync with each other. The Tom tend to politics might prompt mental images you'd rather avoid. But what Jamie is talking about is the sort of instant gratification that technology has led us to expect. Instant, beautiful photos on Instagram, an instant hookup on Tinder. Traditionally, democracy doesn't work like that. But if we have those expectations that's bound having a fact on the kinds of politicians, we end up electing. Okay. So tend to politics as you just described that, is that how we go Trump? And is that what you're saying? Yes, it is what I'm saying. Yes. Okay. Insofar as if you listen to the way that he speaks, if you listen to the way his supporters speak, it's incredible amazing promises. It stings are just unrealistic and impossible, but but play to that sort of notion that there's people in charge making things slow and difficult and that corrupt and the Pov, the swamp in Washington. You just need to vote for me and I'll Soave all of this and swiftly deal with all of these problems. Whoever knew that health was so complicated said Trump as the word of somebody that spends his life on Tinder. I'm not saying he spends singer, but that that's the culture of today that things in our lives as. Suma seem so easy, and yet politics remains so hard. And so I think that Trump in a sense is the first digital politician he's of understands the medium, and this is even before we get into the fact that. What tends to spread well online. This is now old hot, but it probably wasn't a couple of years ago. It's stuff that's outrageous and emotive and furious angry and polarizing whether it's true or not secondary to how likely is to spread and he specializes in that. So of content kind of painting, this is an inevitable future. You know, technology keeps moving along at the pace it is, and these things will just happen. But it seems like them must be a way to stop it. Especially if the problem is as simple as democracy just hasn't kept up with technically simple. Well, I mean it's a short sentence. Problems that condensed into Schule sentence, how much if you about how we solve this problem. Then I guess the conceited is is to take everything else out and just say, if we just carried on, this is where we end up and I know that's not how politics works. We come up with solutions, and the purpose of the book really was to was to get people to think about those solutions in those problems of give give us all push to the movements out there saying, right, what are we going to do in response? How do we retain off Rewell and how do we do this? And how do we regulate these ads and Bari about big monopolies? And it's actually amazing since the book came out, there's just there's been. There's been so much change. I mean, people really motivated and doing stuff, and that's not because of the book I love is due to the observers reporting on Liska. I mean, I think the way that story exploded really put into people's minds that one thinking about this at all the risks of some of these. These techniques, big data techniques. So I want I did was to put in twenty recommendations at the twenty to save democracy poly because puffy. Yeah, thanks. I had to sort of put in some ID's some suggestions, his some things to do, but I couldn't be too detailed about it because if you get into the real nitty gritty, it's a short book. So a lot of them were quite generic in the editor said, you got say, impulsive things people one on. So they don't want you to just moan about problem. So some of them have for regulated the governments, but some of them have people. For example, you reader are partly complicit in this because you dear reader are also sharing all of your data all the time and trading convenience priverty and I'm culpable to and you may consider that your data use has political ramifications. Maybe think about it in the same way you do about going shopping and buying fair trade coffee and free range, eggs that your political, your data choices really matter say you taught there about people giving their personal data way, and the challenge that that presents tip among Chrissy. You want in the book that this might lead to a moral singularity. What do you mean by a moral? Singularity, that one often I'm quite proud of technology sometimes talk about the technological singularity, and the idea is the some point around twenty fifty says Ray cuts, vials. The great futurist. Computers will be able to make faster and faster versions of themselves. Better versions of themselves at that point is spirals off into a sort of self replicating cycle, and humans are left in the dust, and I think more likely or at least something we can do something about is immoral singularity where comp- machines capable of making important moral decisions for us better than we can, whether it's who we should vote for what train we should buy. You know, a little bit like these voter apps that tell us in which party would be most aligned to our interests. I can well, imagine a personal assistant giving you at chill vice about moral quandaries in your life. And the problem with that is if we don't constantly repeatedly use critical faculties to make moral choices, we just become less able to do them and will rely more and more and machines to do them for us. And that's something that you see, you see people rely on Google maps all the time already. And I'm saying that that kind of thing can happen in a moral lives as well as practical. So have human beings already relinquished control to the technology reef created or do we just need to re educate ourselves and foster. With the ever increasing affect social media and other Silicon Valley products have on our lives. The risk for exploitation continues to grow. We'll someone step in and solve this problem for us and who can we blame in the first place. I think there were surprised as all the rest of us. They didn't think it was going to turn out this way. Not evil. Genius is trying to throw democracy. I think they've been surprised by how the technology's been used, but that doesn't take the responsibility of them. Don't go anywhere. We'll be right back. In this week's books podcast, we celebrate soup offense day the biggest day of the year in UK publishing. We've travel journalists, Simon Reeve, and his memoir step by step and new McGregor on his successor to the history of the world. In one hundred objects, we bring you talking mummies, mammoth, hone sculptures, ethica tourism, and the joys of Bill Bryson Lewis. Can you find that kind of range all in this week? Super guardian super book. Superposed cost. Welcome back to chips with everything. I'm Jordan. Erika Weber before the break, Jamie bottling broke down the bitter conflict. He sees between technology and democracy and explained how desire for instant gratification has led to a kind of tin politics where we elect politicians who make promises. They can't keep. Now we'll rejoin Jamie in the studio to discuss another damaging effect. He thinks technology has had on democracy, an increase in tribalism estate in which people are divided into distinct groups. Here in the UK we go to stock example of tribalism in politics in mid twenty sixteen when voters was split roughly down the middle of whether or not to leave the EU. Loyalty to one's chosen side was and is as firm a support for one's favorite football team. Our tribes even have names levers and remain is. So how has Silicon Valley as Jamie puts it, let tribalism out of its cage. I don't know if you've noticed that politics feels like he's getting more tribal and this is again something that's very hard to sort of measure precisely. But the idea that you're either on this team or you're on that team and whatever your team says is great and whatever the other team says, he's bad. This is not a smart way of conducting politics. There's some tribalism inhere in politics, especially two party systems, but you have to be able to compromise with other people. You have to be able to to believe they're acting from principal differences of opinion rather than that evil Machiavellian stupid. The problem I think is the Silicon Valley accidentally let that tribalism back out of its cage by connecting everyone all the time. So the the assumption was if you connect everyone, and if you give people unlimited information will sort of become wiser and more informed nicer. Kinda politics will become less tribal because we'll be connected. But unfortunately, if you're completely. Overwhelm with information twenty four hours a day. You can only really start to make sense of that. If you use your emotional curious sticks. If he's, I don't agree with those people. These are my people that opinion suits might pre existing view and. Even when you see opposing views, when you see them briefly online, rather them when you're talking to a friend about it, you've marked wicked to dismiss his wrong homerun because you don't engage with fully. So I think this I did that we're in echo chambers is completely wrong. I'm surrounded by other ideas all the time online. I just don't pay much attention to them. I just think they're all crazy. And so this is I was driving kind of tribalism that's making compromise more difficult. And you can see in voting records in the US that the parties have never been further apart since the wall. You can see in voters across a range of issues US voters on now more polarized and more extreme in their positions. It's almost like you're saying the malware exposed to opposing views, the more we oppose them. Unfortunately, if you look at literature in why people change their minds, if finds that people will change their minds on important moral questions, if they discuss it with somebody, but. Only if they discuss it seriously sensibly over long periods of time, if they can gain the trust of each other, the more we can. Unfortunately, the way the internet setup does not the silicate, that form of discussion. It facilitates quick smash and grab discussion. So it does. I think, Dr Paul, yes, the more we are exposed to views, the short shout. He immediate condensed than the more we do disagree with each other. That's not to say that there's no way around these problems are. We can improve the way that the system set up because I think for many people, the officers tree, there are a lot of people have found. They've learned things from the, I feel like I have learned lots of things for other people, and my horizons are constantly opened, but I'm also subject to the same problem, which is I start to dismiss other people quicker than I used to. I think they're wrong. I think they're bad. There's an old phrase which I think is not picking which is finding the crazy. Person who is part of the political movement you disagree with and then shaving everyone thinks they think electing him to be president. Exactly. I mean, it sounds like maybe a solution to this then would be to limit the number of people we can interact with online and also have a a minimum character length for tweets. So we have to have really in depth discussions, and we only allowed to have them with a small Lucy's, something for governments to tell us. This is also citizens to realize happening. I think you know what I'm going to go and read other people's views on this, and I'm gonna listen to them properly and with respect. And I'm not just going to dismiss them as crazy Marxist or evil, racist or whatever. I'm actually gonna listen to them and try to understand where they're coming from because it's never been easier to find different political opinions as it is. Now we can find them all the time, but we need. This is what I'm saying about the norms changing. We haven't learned in school how to engage with information like this properly. We haven't learned the critical thinking or the psychological weaknesses that we have when we deal with information online or why we. Change your mind or how to engage with complex arguments with different people. These are the kinds of norms that we need to adjust in schools. This is another example of how we haven't caught. We haven't kept up with the technology. Nowadays, we have immediate access to more information the wing could ever possibly consume. This change happened. So suddenly that we didn't really have time to sit back and consider what effect it might have on us. Jamie thinks we each need to make that consideration now and try to be more patient and engage more thoughtfully with that information and importantly with other people, but can we really place all this blame on the internet? Haven't human beings generally thought and acted more or less the same for centuries. I ask Jamie, why? It's so important for us to focus in on modern technologies. I think it's important to focus in on it because would just was still really at the beginning of the revolution, digital revolution. So it's only gonna play a deeper and deeper more important role in lives. And it's quite important this point that we kind of get it right, how we've shaped the incentives. How we have regulated the way information moves these incredibly important, difficult questions. And I I know it sounds like I'm blaming the internet, but this is why I use this idea that there's just to weld views clashing because I think it takes some of the blame away from the internet and put on democracy or the way we govern ourselves, just not being not having caught up yet with it and that solve everybody's full and it's awful citizens as well the way that we gave. So I think everyone's a little bit of blame in there, but they're all things. You know, they're all things were, unfortunately, the internet, the way the incentives work, especially the ad systems. They don't change human behavior, but the turbo charge some of the week, some of our weaknesses, they've turned our tendency to enjoy click Beatty stuff, which we always have into an sort of industry. Scale-assault and worked at ways of monitoring it, and they go to take some of the responsibility for that. So it's not all of their for with as definitely some things they can't. And the thing is, I think there were surprised as all the rest of us. They didn't think it was going to turn out this way. Not evil. Genius is trying to throw democracy. I think they've been surprised by how technology's been used, but that doesn't take the responsibility of them. Okay. So you've got this conflict between technology and democracy. We want to keep them both. So both sides of this war need to make some changes. What's the one big change that technology needs to make the one big change the democracy needs to make. Well, I mean, I think the biggest change is the one big thing. Citizens have to make an understanding the choices they make. Complicit in this system, but the one thing that technology has to make ice oppose looking ahead. There also moves the need to be strongly encouraged to really figure out how we they are going to build artificial intelligence responsibly, use it responsibly, regulative responsibly. I think they need to be far more open with allowing like no longer seeing government regulation as just some kind of meddling in their wonderful kit, but an important way of living together with this tech. So algorithm, ick accountability. The idea that outdoor them's will make important citizens, and we, as a society need to hold them to account, means they are gonna have to open up there. They got to lift their bonnet and let government people into look at how this is work, and they really don't wanna do that, but they are going to have to do that, especially as a apply. As a bigger role and as for governments will. The one obvious thing is, I mean, firstly. We have to make sure that the regulation of digital advertising. Is up to the same standards as television and billboard advertising. That's not even very hard. The irony is all this stuff about Cambridge Analytica. In my view, the easiest thing to regulate all we need to do is pass some piece of legislation. The basically says, every political party has to publish every online advert that it runs who it's targeted and how is targeted them. It's not that hard. And at the very least that would introduce a bit more confidence in the way that the elections are being run taking. That's likely, you know what? The I I actually think that is likely because the electoral commission saying the information Commissioner's office saying the labor party saying. So I think this is one of those few things that we can all agree on and we will get done as far as citizens. Then since writing this book, how have you changed the way you live your life to help with this conflict? Will I like many of us engaged in a constant and endless battle with. With my smartphone for my attention. And I've started to see this as is my duty as a citizen to work on luck. You would your fitness oil dial or anything your ability to concentrate and focus. So the usual stuff about switch off times, not checking this time and not bringing the fight into the bedroom and did it at a loss of different techniques that you can use. And I think that's, I think everyone needs to do that. Everybody needs to do that. So that's the number one thing I tried to do, and I think that the rest of us should too. Big tech is incredibly powerful, but perhaps it's wrong to place all the blame on Silicon Valley and better to consider Jamie's characterization of the problem is a conflict between them and mock Crecy is currently stands. So big tech needs to be transparent and accountable, and governments need to regulate which Jamie thinks should be relatively easy, but we regular citizens, can't just leave it up to the powers that be the internet. May turbo charge human behavior, but if we're not going to get rid of the internet, that it's up to us humans to take more care over how we use it. I'd like to thank Jamie Bartlett for joining us on the show this week. You can find out more about his book, the people vs tech on the episode description on the guardian website. What do you think about my? I did have a minimum character like for tweets, let me know by emailing chips podcast at the guardian dot com. This episode of chips with everything was produced by Eva Chris rock Jordan. Erika Weber, thanks for listening. For more great podcasts from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash podcasts. Amazon prime videos. The Romanoff's is a new original series from the creator of men. Eight globe spanning stories about one shared Royal bloodline, the Romanoff stars, Diane lane, Christina, Hendricks, Aaron Eckhart, John Slattery, Amanda, Pete, and Paul Reiser with a new episode every Friday premiering October twelve. Only on Amazon prime video.
Becoming a meme: Chips with Everything podcast
"The I want to show that I'm not a sad guy so I invited to meet people in the university clubs for instance last last week was I was at the University Club in Hungary after my presentation and nobody saw that said the guy who needs to hide the pain this is under US auto seventy four year old from Hungary and he's famous you might not know his name but if you're on social media there's a good chance that you know his face divert knows me as high the pain Harold. Hide the pain. Harold is a mean a character created created by online communities projected onto this image of a man who looks too many as though he is smiling through the pain his image has been shed hundreds of thousands of times to convey a sense of faking happiness in an awkward situation never imagined that his face would become famous around the world and would even be his ticket to some of those far off places but here he is. That was a turning point while I accepted being. Yeah me and since that time I enjoy on the benefits of it I'm Erica Weber. And this week I learned what it's like to become become a mean the more you try to control it the more perverse it becomes very teenage space in that way. This is chips with everything so your oh retired now. But what work did you used to do. I'm an engineer. An Electric Engineer and I was a lighting expert. Burt I've been working in different companies for more than forty years despite being elected as the vice president of the Hungarian Lighting Society Society Underbrush didn't think fame was in his future. He says he didn't think it would come in the form it did. He didn't even know what a meme was until he became became one. It will start it about ten years ago. When Andros went on holiday the whole thing started the ordinary way? We had vacation vacation in Turkey and I think everybody makes Sanofi's during their vacations and their shared these photos with the Family San France and I applauded by my holiday a day photos to this this side but the only purpose was to show them to France. But I wasn't aware that anybody ask C.. See this photos as you might expect. Once he uploaded these photos. He didn't think much about them but then a photographer photographer got in touch. Give seeking a character like me as a model and he asked me if I would be willing to post for some photos I guess yes everybody is a little rain in the inside. I'm not difference. Also I was proud. That photograph Allah has chosen me as a Ma. How so I said yes and hit some tire shootings at US satisfied with the results? So was I and we've been working together for maybe two years and during this time he made several hundreds of photos and only a couple. All of them became viral on the Internet. UNDERASH was unsurprised to see how the photos were being used at. I of course I was curious. What what the pictures? Yes I used for a and I made some in image searches on Google and find the so-called normal ills of my pictures. I was playing gross us so when when I was a doctor from instance I appear in the hospitals homepage. When I was painter at home it appeared on honor the Ivy store but another reverse image search a few weeks later threw up a shocking twist when I repeated this torch and then on I discovered the I mean it turned out that a guy in America has gathered my photos and the mets made some contest test and the little guy is that all manned last make some fun of it and he's made the the first names and absolutely not proud of this because mostly not not gentle so there are some some rude or even disgusting means I I said to myself oh no I don't want this to consider? What could I do? And the thing is is under Internet remainder remainder forever as this meme grew in popularity. Underash saw some interesting responses to the photos and this character of hide the pain Herald. Some people didn't even believe that I Maria living human being so they sought. I'm some kind of photoshop. Hr I had to convince the people that Maria leaving person and we try to change the attitude toward to this names to make some positive sick developed come of it whether they thought he was a real person or not people around the world loved. Hide the pain Harold. But the original photographer wasn't pleased. Pleased and neither were those close to Ondrej. I have a son his an architect by profession and he hates to see me in memes. He he doesn't like this mother word. This cyber Karcher his little off fashioned much fashioned that Dombi since onrush became hide the pain Harold sometimes known as Maurice He has been welcomed into the limelight now now that he's a few years in he enjoys it but it can still get overwhelming prior to this. I've also rather shy guy. Hi who didn't like to be in the spotlight. I prefer to stay in the background and now that so many people normally that has that has been changed inched. I can't go out to the Sunnis without asking me for the post for for a Saffy and not not only in Hungary a months ago I was in South America and stepped on on interest rate. A crowd gathered around me so at the end I had bodyguards to keep the crowd away. I never could imagine a fame like this. His fame even came into play when he saved a woman's life kind of I was was throwing down on the street and three gas A.. A Walk ahead of me and suddenly one of the girls has collapsed and I've also closest to her and I have personal purse to stand up and the two other girls began to shout at all. My God I can't believe no no. It's not possible. And and the girl who was called after he had no idea what this to other companion sweat were so excited and last year. This famous face got to use his voice on one of the biggest speech platforms in the world. Good Morning Lou grant man. He gave a Ted Talk. It's amazing to be hair. Yeah and the big ass distal talk as the top of all. The things that happened to me was last year last September but the invitation to great places in the whole planet so starting from from South America brought to England Russia even the farthest practice of Siberia. For instance I had to change flight in Novosibirsk. Ask in. It's in the middle of Beer and they stopped me on the airport tomato to make me so it's incredible. Aw The character of height the pain Harold suggests a man who was experiencing emotional difficulties and trying not to let it show and rush decided to put his new found fame to use by promoting awareness of mental health issues. He now works with a mental health charity. In Hungary I got a lot of messages interesting day. The people write me that they are really grateful to me that Through my memes they could survive the hardest period any of their life revolved to transmit a positive message. And that's why I accept to be burdensome awesome of mantle cell phone service like the Samaritans in England and and I really very proud that they have chosen me despite it being years since the mean went viral and rush still feels the need to show those. He meets that he's happy. I want to show that I'm not a sad guy. I so when I invited to meet people and the university clubs for for instance last week was a university club here in Hungary after my presentation nobody saw that said the guy who needs to hide the pain. Underbrush is not the only person whose face is gone viral after the break l.. Hunt talks to me about how people become memes. Whether there's a trick to gaining gaining this kind of notoriety if it's just the luck of the draw I don't think it's something you can ever expect will happen to you but when it did I think they knew how to react to it which is basically to let it happen like. Don't try and control it more on that after the break. Welcome back to tips so everything. I'm Jordan Erika Weber this week. We're looking at what makes a person become a meme what life is like for those who accidentally find themselves lives in this unique situation before the break underbrush arto better known as hide the pain Herald told us how he inadvertently became the go to face to represent smiling through an awkward or as the name suggests painful situation but he's not alone. In this niche kind of stardom it was super big twenty eleven and it was one of the same with overly attached girlfriend. Lie L hunt is a journalist who often writes about the human side of the Internet baton social media. She's talked to some of the other people whose faces get shed and captioned on a regular basis. We're so do you use to now reaching for other people's expressions and faces as a means of standing in for our own on the Internet that we actually forget that These people who have continued food aging past the name have feelings about how they may be used online for this episode. We've talked to hide the pain Herald. What are some of the other not titles for famous means? Let's see if I even know what you're talking about I spoke to blinking white guy. and overly attached girlfriend. Okay say blinking white guy is the one is like kind of in the corner of the screen right. Am I getting that right. You are although I don't think your impressively remembering how he initially appeared kids'll thirteen with like a gaming. They're exactly well done. I think most people who use This guy's face in this reaction wouldn't know that that was where it came from. The backstory is is that in two thousand thirteen. A drew. Scanlon was a producer on a two hour gaming. livestream cooled unprofessional. Fridays and it was where the hosts around chatting about games as they're playing them. One of the hosts made us sort of off. Color pen about Ho and farming Hoe. You can kind of see where that goes and the producer who's as you say faces captured it in the top left hand corner. I sing reacting in real time. Did this sort of slight blink of surprise. It's a sort of. It's not shock. It's not loaded really in particular anyway. It's like mild disbelief. And what was the other one. The other one was Overly attached girlfriend. I heavily attached. So that's not the one with the guy who's looking back and I'll know that's distracted. Boy Distracted Roy go friend predates dates that by some years. It's the girl who's in her bedroom. Often an image macro names with those big impact funk caption who's who is grinning maniacally and you know she's got the sort of early two thousands. Mo Hacker and. She just wants to spend all her time with you. She wants to know what you did today who you spoke to. She just wants you to love her and to never let her go. Okay so let me move the past yes. It's quite an old name. Yeah no but so so is thinking like guy I mean that was first short in two thousand thirteen and then it became popular in two thousand seventeen so even when these memes become popular sometimes sometimes the really old seve told us about how drew became a meme Andress became a memo after a photographer asked him to model some stock photos and then he became. Hide the pain pain Harold. Would you say that stock photography is the most common starting point for means. It's not the most common but it is fairly typical of Avai kind of name so distracted boyfriend. You mentioned earlier that was a stock image. And I think the models in that stock image have also spoken about how they feel about the Internet fame to the cartoon even before I think the prevalence of stock image models in memes more reflects that mean culture is making these out of what they can access documentaries obviously available online Quite readily the other one is Women laughing with solid. See so you've told us a bit more about drew plinking white guy at let's talk again about overly attached girlfriend who is she and how did she become that team so early. Touch go friend is a woman. Could Lane Elena Morris She was a youtube and this still that became the meme with from her. Doing a witty parody video about Justin Carr's boyfriend which obviously dates it particularly? In a moment of time I think she was doing a parody about go friends so this was a character she was putting on for. How Youtube Channel That then with taken I suppose literally screen-grabbed and reiterated so in that sense the characters she contrive was successful. Oh but now. She's the face of it on the Internet because of she was sort of the early wave of I means I think before either of these are the two. We've mentioned. She appeared on Jimmy Fallon She was given a Free Cau- she was flown to Singapore Staring Competition With Jessica Alba and she is a Texan accent. Who recently quit Youtuber for good and says she's hardly ever recognized her name in person and it's something that she doesn't really feel a lot of control over? It's a strange thing that happened to her. This now mostly in her past I suppose because she was one of the earlier ones than she must have never expected that this could happen. I think with her and withdrew blinking white guy. They were both aware of the Internet in a way that a lot of people wouldn't have been because she was a Youtuber And he worked for this streaming site. I don't think it's something you can ever expect will happen to you but when it did I think they knew how to react to it which is basically to let it happen like don't try and control it Do you know if blinking white guy has had any positive effects of his me. My fame more. He told me that he's never attempted to try and monetize it. Ah I think most of the smart memes might mean people know not to do that But he does have a holding page where he's fundraisers for multiple sclerosis versus charity. And I think he's raised something like thirty thousand. US dollars for that Where it's if you've enjoyed blinking white guy? meam chuck me some dollars for charity and and that Now he runs a travel documentary about gaming on Youtube but he looks. I've spoke to him on skype. He looks kind of unrecognizable talk. Yeah he's only been recognized once as the mean I wonder if so Overly attached girlfriend. She gets that distance because she was was portraying a character. But I suppose people who see that me interpreted as real genuine portrayal of that kind of thing which I guess it might be quite negative Yeah I think it's in some ways. I found her story The most interesting because she was being quite wittily in embodying embodying that character and now it's it comes across to the average person using that familiar with that name as she was kind of psycho friend which is obviously success. uh-huh success trope. I don't think she feels like it's really part of who she is. She sort of said to me. The moment self feels very separate to me if I happen open to come across it when I'm online I think Oh does my me rather than there's my face It feels like something that kind of happens all of them but not by them in any kind of existential way. Neither blinking white guy. Noel Overly attached girlfriend feel. They've suffered too much as a result of them meam status but as L. explains whether or not you relish this kind of fame same depends on the context like drew. Scanlon said that he felt great food that he's just doing a quite innocuous gesture you know it's not like he's wearing some kind of light loaded imagery ordering Nazi salute or something like is a fairly innocuous gesture that he's doing and he's never attempted to control it and it was interesting. He sort of spoke with this kind of caution where he's like. I'm I want to stay in the Internet's good graces So I think there was an awareness that from him the an attempt to kind of rest back. His image from the Internet could backfire and if he was even able to do so and so I think that both of them felt quite zen and with how it had played out and aware that it could be a lot worse for example. Like me man. You know scumbag Steve. One of the earliest memes probably know it was some guy who appears in a sort of flat peak cap. Were the kind of big fur-lined like Parker. He looks like someone who you know. You'd maybe want to give a wide berth at a party. It's just a family photo that this guy's mother had taken of him then later reemerged emerged as a mean. And you know I always wonder how it feels to be him where he is sort of like the picture online for time at least of sort of juvenile delinquency and that I think would perhaps be something. That's hard to move on from. You talked about some of the benefits that people who become memes have been able to obtain being flown out to to do events and things Andrea says also hud lots of invitations to be involved in things that he seems to enjoy but You'll say mentioned that. That drew said that he is very careful not to try and make money from his image or any of these people able all to make money from becoming memes. An who does make money who does financial benefit to the people who take the original stock photography in those cases benefit to the social your media platforms I suppose the social media platforms always benefit because anything that keeps people producing content for a re tweets and likes keeps the the fires burning right and the ecosystem toning over the people themselves very rarely benefit. Because I think the Internet sort of resists then and taking credit for something that the Internet did if that makes sense there are actually two exceptions to this where they have managed to turn into quite lucrative Empires and the big one is obviously grumpy cat where that was just a post of a cat with feeling autism posted to read it that then became in this multimillion dollar empire. And you can see that that that's because there's a cat that can be photographed and take into like sports what's games and there's an endless source of content that and it's also not loaded like it's just a cute. It's fairly straightforward there. So the other exception is the teenage age girl who a couple of years ago appeared on Dr Phil and sort of threatened the audience with physical violence and she said cash me outside how. I can't really really replicate it in the same spirit that she does but she was a scrappy antagonistic. Young Woman Who that became the mean but then she quite quickly managed to turn into a sort of wrapping career? Bu- again as with grumpy. I guess you could say that the thing that she became known for as a mean. What's true authentic to Hueneme? If that makes sense unto herself as a personality that was a a synergy that that meant it was easy easy for her to carry on producing that way whereas I mean what is drew scanlon. GonNa do keep turning up to events blinking like you know and I joke about that but I think scumbag comeback Steve Deeds find. The hat did do appearances as his teenage scumbag self. And obviously there's only so much smile you can get out of that L. has covered memes for a long time now and while not everyone would want to become one themselves. She says she'd be open to joining their ranks. I think I have a very memorable face. So if anyone wants to me in a nice way nor a kind of like bigoted all right off or sexist way. I'd be into it. I think that earnest attempt to become a name yourself is probably fruitless. I don't think that this is something that can be forced to has to happen. Organically Ganic Louis. Because ultimately for me to reach that kind of saturation point of wellness it has to be embraced and driven by online communities. And they're very very reluctant to have something planted on them. The more you try to control it the more perverse it becomes very teenage space in that way. Are you happy that you became a mean. Now I can say yes. If you're with US eight years before I would say oh my God not at all so. That was a turning point. I accepted being Yemi and since that time I enjoy the benefits of it. Huge thanks to undress are Otto for telling me her story and to L. Hunt for explaining that it's not really in any one individual's power to decide whether or not they become a mean his hoping I managed to avoid that fate special thanks to Luzio. Ud of our for helping us with studios in Budapest chips is is produced by Danielle Stevens. I'm Jordan Erika Weber. Thanks for listening for more podcasts. From The Guardian The Guardian Dot Com slash costs.
Domestic abuse meets big tech: Chips with Everything podcast
"The ooh i think the problem is a lot of people like no oh that that's going on. They just doubt it because they don't wanna believe that the person person that they're in love with is capable of spying on them to such a degree where they have absolutely no privacy whatsoever <music>. This is anna. It's not a real name but the one she wanted to use when she told us about her experience. Anna recently told her story are you to charlotte g a reporter for the mit technology review. I was investigating something called stalker which basically apps which allow people to spy on other people's ios phones. They're basically the same thing as spyware in other words that sees them spouse where essentially the mile which you can install on someone's phone which allows you to spy on everything that they're doing spyware or stock aware apps can often go undetected by victims but once downloaded the person who sent sent it now has access to everything on your smartphone. Ooh this is an aggressive form of surveillance but not a lot is being done to stop. It and many people don't even know these apps exist not a single person. I've spoken to about this issue. He doesn't work in technology is a whether to exist so it's something that people find quite shocking scary. I've had a couple of female friends who date say kenya actually check my into make sure haven't got any of this on there so it's definitely something something people are not aware about. Victims like ana of course are very aware of their existence. Stoke apps can change a person's life forever <music>. I don't want to scare people because it is possible to comeback from an experience like this but i haven't been in a relationship for over three years just because i can't bring myself to like deal with this again. You know i'm jordan erika weber and this week we look at the damage image stoker apps can do to a person's life and discuss what individuals and baked tech companies can do to better protect potential victims of this kind of abuse ooh chips with everything and they met through online dating a lot of people these days he was so charming. I just fell head over heels in love with him. I know i was actually quite taken aback at how quickly he instilled this on her device. He instilled it on her device. Within a couple of months of dating and that is not something something that i would ever think in a million years that he would do. I trusted him wholeheartedly and i felt that he did to <music> the point when she got suspicious. When basically this man referred to something that she'd had been talking someone else about in a private private compensation on facebook messenger and i was like wait. How did you know that i've never told you that before. We've never had a conversation about this as like. How did you know ana had her suspicions but she wasn't certain so she figured out a way to investigate the theory so i started testing him and telling him that i was certain places when i was really other places with my phone and for some reason like like whenever i got back home he was like where were you. Where were you really and i was like. Why are you asking you know like do you think i went somewhere else elson. He would never really respond to that. That was proof enough. The next question was how was he able bowl to track her like this. She started to think about some of the messages they'd exchanged back when they first started dating one of the things when we first got off the dating app because we wanted to chat more was that he sent me a text message with a picture but the font and the lettering and the picture it was so small and i was very much into him and i wanted to date him and and all of that i really wanted to read what was on the picture sure and so i clicked on the picture and all of a sudden something started downloading onto my phone and i'm like wow i have never had this experience before but i just kinda wrote it off like you would never do anything like that so i just completely shoved it out of my mind so when you did realize what was actually really happening how did you feel. I guess you could say i was in denial for quite some time and i think that when it finally hit me that his surveillance surveillance and invasion of my privacy escalated over time i felt sick to my stomach because i had realized that meyde side tendency to believe the best in people got the best in me because i let it spiral out of control to a point where now i was living with him him under constant surveillance and it was a life altering moment so when you had this evidence that he was doing this to you. What what did you do next. Did you confront him. Yes i actually did confront him and it was from that moment when i confronted him that basically basically the relationship went downhill fast and so i highly recommend that people that are in similar or situations that if they have conclusive evidence that that is going on that they violated your privacy to that degree i highly recommend and making an exit strategy not even confronting them and moving on with your life <music> and soon as she felt that she could that is what unidad after all of that i made a plan to get out and i i had to be strategic with it. As far as you know i was using the internet that he monitored. I was on his network. So we monitored god. All the sites i visited anna wondered whether or not to go to the authorities and she did seek advice from people in the hacker community but when she weighed up the potential outcomes she decided against it. My partner had a lot of funding. I did not have funding. He had family members that were lawyers. I did not and i just felt that the legal hassle and all the legal fees involved with pursuing this would not be worth it and would probably bankrupt me. She also attempted to get the spyware removed from her phone but that can be difficult when someone ms watching your every move so after more than two years of dealing with this in the end. She took the nuclear option. I just wanted to get it over with so so i ended up buying a new phone and buying new computers and then i coordinated all of that with leaving at the same time and moving <music> it has been a few years since anna left her partner and with that her old life since then her relationship with technology has completely completely changed i have changed the way that i interact with my devices instead of having one email address that's the end all be we all that catches everything i have multiple layers of email addresses to filter data and to store it in different locations and i'm definitely more careful on what i click on and i'd say after the experience. It's not so much the devices that i am questioning channing. It's more the people in my life because if my partner that i was gonna marry is capable of doing that then it's kind of like how else am i being social engineered by people that are attempting to come into my life so i questioned in other people and everything that they send me. I double check that it's not phishing or dropping malware or something in spite of everything that happened to her. However anna has found a way to use her experience to help others so i changed careers and i now work in the cybersecurity security space so what i'm doing now is i attempt to inform anyone that will listen about stuff like that happens ends and that it's actually serious issue that other security practitioners should pay attention to <music>. I had to look up stuff to protect myself and so i just kept going down this cybersecurity rabbit hole and here here. I am today after the break. We hear more about what experts say big tech should be doing to stop the proliferation asian of these kinds of apps technology plays a role in ninety five percent of all domestic violence cases so this is an issue that is not just coming down the line. We're facing right now. We'll be back after this <music>. Welcome welcome back to chips with everything. I'm eric webber this week. We're looking at spyware apps or as they're sometimes called stalk aware before before the break we heard from a woman whose partner had used one of these kinds of malware apps to track every move. She made with her smartphone for two years she. I told her story to charlotte g of m._i._t. Technology review charlotte also spoke to experts who explained why this is a tricky problem to solve. We don't know a huge amount about store quite honest with you. It's quite surprising how few studies have been done into it so we don't really under the scale but we know that that we're talking about at least in the hundreds of thousands of people that have have been affected by this charlotte says that despite the lack of information out there security companies are getting active in trying to tackle the problem one company. That's been quite good in series because persky i think they were the first antivirus company to basically say we are going to specifically look christoph cooler and block it on our platform and now most of the security companies seem to have full in line and are doing the same so this is definitely an issue that the things are moving leaving on. I have to say there's no way we can talk about this. Without mentioning a woman called eva gulpur. He works for the electric frontier foundation in the u._s. Because she has basically single. Oh handedly wrestled this issue into the public eye. After a good friend of has experienced this firsthand and i did what any reasonable person would would do when they're catastrophically angry <hes>. Which was i tweeted so. I thought that this was no big deal. I thought that maybe i would hear from like one or two people. Maybe half a dozen people. I was wrong. <hes> so ninety four hundred re tweets later her. I appear to have accidentally started a project and i'm spending all of my time so basically we have. We have to thank for really forcing forcing us to talk about this issue so thank you either in her article. Charlotte wrote plenty of these apps can be downloaded from google play store and apple's app store less than two weeks later google announced they had taken some action on the matter so basically the google has got rid of seven different apps from the place to which were still corrupts. The thing to say is that they did that because research such as a cybersecurity company had alerted them to it so it's not the case that google had been going out and looking for these apps they just been told to and then they got rid of them when we reached <unk> out to google to comment on this story a spokesperson said all apps on google play are required to follow our developer policies which prohibit among other things apps that <unk> steel dacia secretly monitor users or are otherwise militias while we don't comment on specific apps we remove applications that violate our policies apple had a similar response a spokesperson commented on the app store. We have strict rules against any spyware stalker ops and have worked hard to eliminate these apps apps from making their way to users devices. This is something we take very seriously and if we learned that any apps are spying on users with permission we take swift auction to remove them but experts have suggested that both companies could do more says experts have cooled for is basically for them to have a team which proactively hunts pistol career and this'll to stuff one thing that complicates this though is that you can get things like parental control apps which present is being perhaps for a legitimate purpose but it does mean that you can repurpose these apps for for spying on a partner now now that starts getting bit complicated because your kid potentially even consent to that i mean is that real consent. I don't know but basically this issue can get quite gray very quickly. Say as related to that. There are ways other than these stoke wiretaps of doing this kind of thing so it's part of a larger problem. Can you tell us more about how advances in technology provide abuses with new methods of tracking yeah. Absolutely it's worth pointing out the refuge. The domestic violence charity found that technology analogy plays a role in ninety five percent of all domestic violence cases so this is an issue that is not just coming down the line but we're facing right now it might it'd be some fairly innocuous things like apps which allow you to to share your location which a woman and a man have agreed to do but one of these partners if they're abusive may have severely pressurized. Is that person to do that and use it as a tool of course if control and even more sort of out there when you look at things like the smart home there even and been cases taken to court where partners have locked their other partner out of rooms of the house taking control over the lighting the heating and so you basically have the the potential for someone to create the bit of prison for someone and it's enabled by modern technology. This is what can happen when big tech is used to perpetuate domestic violence ed's but there are people out there with suggestions for how to fix this problem. There was a suggestion from someone. I interviewed from cornell university. He's been studying this that perhaps what we need. Eight is a checklist for developers who are making apps or maintaining existing apps which says how could you be re purposed for abusive purposes so it's not necessarily to say therefore you can't make this up but you need to think. How else could someone use this and potentially building some roadblocks on the way to ensure if this this is using someone's camera. Just make sure that you're telling them that and they know that the tech industry is doing things about this. It's not oblivious anything. Apple and google <unk> actively don't like women and therefore want spy on them. I just think unfortunately too often. It's a blind spot and we need to bring it into people's view. Basically if you think thank you might have malware on your phone. Charlotte has several suggestions for what you can do firstly they should download antivirus software and they should run a scan ideally on all the devices they should make sure that they use a fingerprint or pass code for every device they should regularly review which apps they've downloaded to make sure that they all look legitimate and like something they have actually actually downloaded and finally they should really carefully look at their security a notification settings and it's easy pieces to that you can go into a phone type security and you'll get if there was anything you could say to people who might be going through what you went through right now. What would it be. I'd say just hang in there. People are working on it. There are researchers looking at it. There are people that care <hes> you're not crazy and like said worse case scenario. Just reset your devices to factory settings and a change all your passwords i used to to f._a._a. On everything and definitely be careful what you click on just know that anything that you shared with them can and and will be used against you huge thanks to anna for telling his story and to charlotte g for talking to us for this week show that will be linked to charlotte's original article on the guardian website if you've been affected by anything we talked about in the show then for confidential support in the u._k. You can call the twenty four hour national domestic violence freephone helpline on eight. Oh eight two zero arrays zero zero two four seven or visit women's aid dot co dot u. k. in australia the national family violence counselling service is on one eight hundred seven three seven seven three two in the u._s. The domestic violence hotline is one eight hundred seven nine nine safe. That's one eight hundred seventy nine seven two three three. All the international help lines can be found w._w._w. Dot befriend is dot org chips produced by danielle stevens. I'm jordan erika weber. Thanks for listening for mowbray podcasts from the guardian. Just go to the guardian dot com slash podcast.