Raw Data

By Stanford and PRX

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Subscribers: 236
Reviews: 2

 Feb 24, 2020
Great topics on a wide variety of topics. Highly recommended.

 Oct 9, 2018


We’ve entered a new era. The creation and collection of information play an ever-increasing — yet often hidden — role in our lives. Algorithms filter all sorts of experiences, from the mundane to the monumental. The fuel that powers and curates these experiences is…data. Data are the new oil; whoever controls data has power. Is this making things better? Worse? Raw Data is a show about how information becomes power. What are the implications for all of us, now that mountains of data are more accessible and malleable than ever?

Episodes post on Thursdays. From Stanford and PRX.

Hosted by Andrea Mustain and Mike Osborne.

We love hearing from you! Please email us at hello@rawdatapodcast.com

Episode Date
Technically Sweet

Chocolate is beloved by...well, most humans, it would seem. But this sweet treat that, for many of us, brings instant happiness, has a nasty secret: most of the world’s cocoa comes from a place where child labor, and sometimes even enslavement, is rampant. For decades, the giant companies that dominate the chocolate industry have said that it was impossible to know if their cocoa was tainted by labor abuses — the supply chain is too long, how can you possibly track cocoa beans back to a small farm in West Africa? Enter technology. But, it turns out, technology may not truly offer the answer to the intractable problem of child labor. The solution may, in fact, be lurking in plain sight. We talk to Nathan Hodge, of Raaka Chocolate; Charity Ryerson, of Corporate Accountability Lab; and Frans Pannekoek, of Tony’s Chocolonely. 

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Nov 21, 2019
Training Computers to See

Over the past few decades, computer vision has held the promise of making the world a better place, from aiding the blind to helping doctors better analyze medical imagery. But as it turns out, teaching computers to see has some unintended consequences. Joseph Redmon, a researcher at the University of Washington and computer vision researcher, tells the story of the history of this quickly evolving technology, as well as his own experience seeing a something he built be put to uses he’d never envisioned — applications that might, quite literally, be used to kill. 

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Nov 14, 2019
The Worst Cyber Attack (For now)

In June 2017, something weird — and very alarming — started happening at a company in Copenhagen. It seemed that hackers had shut down the company’s network, and were demanding a ransom. But it turned out this was no ordinary cyberattack. What unfolded was the most devastating cyberattack in history — one that brought operations to a screeching halt in companies across the world, and cost billions of dollars. Andy Greenberg, writer at Wired Magazine and author of the book Sandworm, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the attack, dubbed NotPetya — which, in its aftermath, was revealed to be not a sophisticated tool to steal money, but instead, a weapon designed to destroy a nation.  

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Nov 07, 2019
How We Found Ourselves

Get out your smartphone, and you can almost instantaneously know where you are — and find out how to get where you want to go. Which, when you think back on the history of human navigation is...pretty astounding. How did we come to hold such immense power in our hands? It’s all thanks to GPS, a technology born from the Cold War and the Space Race, and delivered into our personal pocket computers thanks to a series of dramatic, sometimes tragic events, and at least one war. Our guide is Paul Ceruzzi, a former curator at the Smithsonian and author of the book GPS. And Jordan Frith, a professor at Clemson University, talks about it means now that, for better or worse, we never have to get lost ever again.

Oct 31, 2019
About Us, But Not For Us (Repost)

Originally broadcast in April 2019. As we approach the end of 2019, the Financial Times recognizes Shoshana Zuboff's "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism" as one of the best business books of the year.

Shoshana Zuboff doesn’t mince words when it comes to the data economy. According to Zuboff, author of the recent book *The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, *our very souls are at stake. But the seeds of surveillance capitalism were planted rather innocently, back in the heady days of the dotcom bubble. As Zuboff tells it, it all began with Google. When the young company entered crisis mode, they needed to find new ways to make money. And a whole new economic logic was born — one that has now spread across every sector of the economy, and has invaded every facet of our online lives. Zuboff warns that surveillance capitalism threatens much more than just our privacy.

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Oct 29, 2019
Prediction (BYTE)

When humans predict something, it’s basically an educated guess, based on our experiences. When a machine makes a prediction, it uses data and math. And we are increasingly relying on machine prediction to help make decisions in everything from banking to insurance to education. But Meredith Broussard, a professor from New York University, argues that this has all gone too far, especially when you look at what data are being used in machine predictions. And that the “futures” that machines predict should be taken with large grains of salt.

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Oct 24, 2019
The Digital Divide

Imagine a life without the Internet. No email, no Instagram, no texting, no Google maps, no Netflix...what would you do? A “normal” life would be next to impossible. But huge numbers of Americans face this very problem. Access to high-speed Internet is still an enormous challenge for a lot of people. We talk with Nicol Turner Lee, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, about what it means to be “digitally invisible,” and the toll lack of access takes. It’s a complicated problem, and one with no easy answers. And, for some context, we take a trip through time to see how America tackled a similarly dire issue at the height of the Great Depression.

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Oct 17, 2019
Hacking (BYTE)

In the world of computer science, being a hacker means you know what’s up, and you have street cred. Outside of technology circles, though, hacking is more associated with things like data breaches, ransomware, and malware. So where does the term come from, and why does it have different meanings to different people? In our conversation with Meredith Broussard, a professor at New York University, we explore the roots of hacking, and what it says about society’s relationship with technology today.

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Oct 10, 2019
Machine Learning (BYTE)

It’s 2019, and machine learning is everywhere. It might not be Skynet, but it can still sound a little scary. If the robot apocalypse isn’t around the corner, what is? We talk to Kantwon Rogers, a lecturer at Georgia Tech and frequent guest of the show, to demystify this increasingly omnipresent technology. We learn about about how the heck machine learning actually works, how it’s being used to improve our lives, and what should be keeping us awake at night when it comes to this powerful technology. (Hint: It’s not because of killer robots. Not yet...)

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Oct 03, 2019
Memory (BYTE)

What exactly is memory? And why is it so important to how our devices work today? Friend of the show and Georgia Tech computing lecturer Kantwon Rogers breaks it down into bits and bytes — and hints at what kinds of clouds the future may bring.

BONUS: Andrea offers up her global solution to solve the issue of tailgating.

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Sep 26, 2019
The Answer Machine

Google has become our yellow pages, our atlas, our library, our medical consultant, our shopping guide. Which means it is, basically, a giant, virtual confession booth. It knows our most intimate secrets and our most mundane desires. Which has some really amazing upsides; we get a smorgasbord of answers in milliseconds. But behind the scenes of every search, there’s a bidding war going on. Whoever wins that war has the power to shape not just how we spend our money, but also, perhaps, our political views, and maybe even our will to live. We talk to Patrick Berlinquette, a search engine marketer and certified Google partner, about how our searches are, literally, for sale, and get some perspective on the world of digital advertising from NYU’s Vasant Dhar.

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Sep 19, 2019
Algorithms (BYTE)

Simply put, we (humans) can’t possibly process all of the data in the world, which is why computers are so useful — and why algorithms have become so necessary.

In this mini-episode, we go back to the basics. We talk to Georgia Tech computer programming lecturer Kantwon Rogers, a self-declared “eternal optimist,” who breaks down where algorithms came from and where they might be taking us. 

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Sep 12, 2019
Your Data Are Showing

What could someone learn about you from your location? What about your Facebook likes? What about just...your face? You’re probably thinking — not much. But Stanford researcher Michal Kosinski says that even superficial data have the potential to expose some of the most intimate details of our lives. Kosinski’s research is provocative, and he has a track record of drawing attention to unexpected risks that come with digital technologies. He argues we live in “a post-privacy” world, and he says the sooner we admit to that reality, the sooner we can start working to improve it.

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Aug 29, 2019
Power from the People (Post Trump, Pre-2020)
Jul 18, 2019
Power Lines, Post SCOTUS
Jul 11, 2019
Conspiracy Tyranny
Jul 04, 2019
Kinetic Effects
Jun 27, 2019
Jun 20, 2019
Climate and Behavior: Warmer Means Worse
Jun 06, 2019
Power Lines
May 13, 2019
Titan vs. Titan: A.I. & the Race for Global Supremacy
May 02, 2019
Apr 25, 2019
About Us, But Not for Us
Apr 11, 2019
Power from the People, Part II: A New Kind of Machine
Apr 04, 2019
Power from the People
Mar 21, 2019
Meet Raw Data
Mar 07, 2019
Jul 26, 2018
Jul 19, 2018
Jul 12, 2018
Jul 05, 2018
All the World's a Stage
Jun 28, 2018
The Garage
Jun 21, 2018
Land of the Free Dotcom
Jun 07, 2018
The Triple Fence
May 31, 2018
The Looking Glass
May 24, 2018
Drop City
May 17, 2018
Valley of Heart's Delight
May 10, 2018
Monument to a Dead Child
May 03, 2018
Apr 26, 2018
Season Finale: The Legal Codes
Jun 27, 2017
May 19, 2017
Newer Money
Apr 02, 2017
Propaganda Armies
Feb 24, 2017
A New Day in Hollywood
Jan 30, 2017
Attention is Money
Dec 20, 2016
Data Confidential
Dec 13, 2016
Gold or Pyrite?
Nov 29, 2016
Upon Reflection: Season 1
May 24, 2016
Episode 11: So... What's On Your Mind?
Apr 05, 2016
Episode 10: Love
Mar 21, 2016
Episode 9: The Digital Afterlife
Mar 03, 2016
Episode 8: All the News That's Fit to Feed
Feb 11, 2016
Episode 7: The Big Data of Nature
Jan 27, 2016
Episode 6: Under the Influence
Dec 21, 2015
Episode 5: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Data
Nov 24, 2015
Episode 4: New Money
Nov 03, 2015
Episode 3: The Hippocratic Algorithm
Oct 20, 2015
Episode 2: Work in the Crowd
Oct 06, 2015
Episode 1: Uploaded
Sep 16, 2015