FT Tech Tonicactive
Publisher |
Financial Times
A weekly conversation that looks at the way technology is changing our economies, societies and daily lives. Hosted by John Thornhill, innovation editor at the Financial Times.
Country Of Origin |
United Kingdom
Produced In |
London, England
Premiere Date |
2016-10-25
Frequency |
Weekly

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64 Episodes Available

Average duration:00:32:17

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Robyn Scott talks to John Thornhill about her company Apolitical, a global news and networking site that seeks to share knowledge and spread best practice among the world's top civil servants

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Nicole Eagan, chief executive of Darktrace, tells John Thornhill corporate networks have become the new battleground in a cyberwar waged by criminals and state actors using artificial intelligence

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John Thornhill talks to Terah Lyons, founding executive director of the Partnership on AI, a US initiative that brings civil society groups into a debate with big tech companies to promote the benefits of machine intelligence.

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David Reich, professor of genetics at Harvard, talks to Clive Cookson, the FT's science editor, about how the genomic revolution is affecting paleontology and the study of human pre-history.

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Psychologist Julia Shaw talks to John Thornhill about her research into the fragility of human memory and how this helped her design a software tool that can be used to record and report workplace harassment

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How can we fix the digital future? Writer and Silicon Valley critic Andrew Keen tells John Thornhill our best resource is human agency and the power of consumers to reject products that they have lost faith in

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The big tech platforms where many people get their news wield significant power. How do they work with publishers, and are they doing enough to combat "fake" news? FT global media editor Matt Garrahan put the questions to a panel of experts at the FT's Future of News conference in New York earlier this month. 

Guests are Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, Jason Kint, chief executive of Digital Content Next and Richard Gingras, vice president of news at Google.

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Kriti Sharma talks to John Thornhill about her work for the UK software company Sage and about her mission to bring greater diversity and accountability to the algorithms that guide our decisions.

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Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes joins the FT's Hannah Kuchler to talk about economic inequality in the age of "big tech", and his proposal to shrink the income gap in the US. It's the subject of his book Fair Shot: Rethinking inequality and how we earn.

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John Thornhill talks to Erel Margalit, founder and chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners, about his plan to help create a regional hub for tech startups and how he believes business collaboration in the region can help ease tensions when politicians fail.

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Clive Cookson, FT science editor, discusses the possibility of alien life and whether we would recognise it if we encountered it with British astrophysicist Paul Davies.

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In this encore episode, John Thornhill talks to author and historian Yuval Noah Harari about his vision of a future when humans are no longer the smartest algorithm on the planet.

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John Thornhill talks to nuTonomy's Gretchen Effgen about why the company chose Singapore as well as Boston to test its self-drive cars and why it uses a formal methods approach to developing its software.

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John Thornhill talks to the head of Singapore's GovTech about her work in advancing the country's Smart Nation ambitions

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John Thornhill talks to leading astrophysicist Martin Rees about why he thinks we need to pay greater attention to the risks posed by environmental damage and the rapid adoption of new technologies.

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Historian Leslie Berlin talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about the generation of entrepreneurs and investors, from Mike Markkula to Sandra Kurtzig, who transformed the tech hub in the 1970s and 1980s. It's the subject of her latest book "Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age". 

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Business and science fiction writer Calum Chace talks to John Thornhill about the exponential growth of AI and why we need to start planning now for a world without work.

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How is the use of mobile technology and social media affecting the lives of children and adolescents? Sonia Livingstone, professor of psychology at the LSE in London, examined the issue in her book: The Class: Living and Learning in the Digital Age. She talks to Madhumita Murgia about her findings.

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Artificial intelligence is an important tool, but human beings have to be creative to understand how best to make use of it, former world chess champion Garry Kasparov tells John Thornhill

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Army veteran and cyber security expert Rick Howard talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about the current state of cyber security, what we have learned from recent large-scale attacks known as WannaCry and NotPetya and what companies can do to try to guard against the next attack. 

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Phil Libin, former chief executive of Evernote, tells John Thornhill why he thinks artificial intelligence will soon be part of the fabric of all our lives and about his plan to create a global AI incubator

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Elisabeth Mason, founding director of the Stanford Poverty Technology Lab, talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about solving problems such as education inequality and job retraining the Silicon Valley way. 

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Internet pioneer Martha Lane Fox talks to John Thornhill about her work in trying to ensure that the technology lives up to its early ideals and serves the interests of people rather than big companies.

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Artificial intelligence entrepreneur Mark Palatucci talks to John Thornhill about the consumer robot revolution and his efforts to help create empathy between humans and their robot toys

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Microsoft researcher and Data Society president danah boyd talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about the effect of everyday technology, such as Facebook, on society and culture.

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Francesca Bria tells John Thornhill how she is helping citizens in Barcelona design their digital future, moving from an economy fuelled by advertising and surveillance and towards transparency and a new social pact on the ownership of data.
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John Thornhill talks to Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former Google data scientist, about what our internet searches reveal about who we really are.
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Scientist and former Facebook and Google executive Mary Lou Jepsen talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about her latest startup, Openwater, where she and a team of researchers are working to develop a ski helmet-sized imaging device that will one day read minds.
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Tech Tonic returns for a second series, starting next week. Our first guest is a former Google and Facebook executive who is working on a wearable diagnostic product that can read your mind. We’ll also be hearing how search engine data can be used to map our innermost thoughts, and we’ll be talking to experts in artificial intelligence, cyber security, robotics and much more. So look out for Tech Tonic, season 2, starting on Wednesday 11th October. You can subscribe on all the usual podcast platforms.
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Matt Miesnieks, creator of one of the first augmented reality apps and co-founder of startup 6D, tells the FT's Tim Bradshaw about the technological advances that make AR possible, and what needs to happen if it is to fulfill its promise.
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The author of "The Attention Merchants" talks to John Thornhill about his concerns about the way some web apps are eating into our time
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Jensen Huang, chief executive of graphics chipmaker Nvidia, tells the FT's Tim Bradshaw how the graphics processing unit, or GPU, the company pioneered in the 1990s is being used in everything from virtual reality to machine learning to autonomous cars, drawing investor attention.
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Jeremy Johnson, chief executive of Andela, talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about how his company recruits and trains software engineers from several African countries and then places them with the top tech companies.
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Despite billions being spent on research, even our best deep learning neural networks look pitiful when compared to the intricate design of the brain of a bumble bee or even an ant, Peter Bentley tells John Thornhill.
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Leanne Kemp's company Everledger uses blockchain technology to track the provenance of assets, from diamonds to fine wines. She talks to John Thornhill about the technology's potential to combat fraud.
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Jeff Holden, Uber's chief product officer, talks to the FT's Leslie Hook about the company's ambitious plan to start testing an aerial taxi service as soon as 2020.
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Mehul Patel, chief executive of Hired, talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about hiring trends in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs in the US, and what some companies are doing in response to President Donald Trump's executive action on immigration and the H-1B visa.
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Stripe's John Collison speaks to the FT's Leslie Hook about what he and his co-founder brother have planned for the $9bn online payments company, why Silicon Valley is still their preferred place to have their headquarters and what it is like to be one of the Valley's youngest billionaire entrepreneurs.
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Jeremy Conrad, co-founder of hardware incubator and VC fund Lemnos Labs, talks to the FT's Tim Bradshaw about the way economies of scale in the self-driving car industry could bolster the field of robotics.
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Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, talks about what he learnt from the Alpha Go experience and the complex problems his artificial intelligence company has been working on since it was acquired by Google in 2014.
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Lili Cheng and her team at Microsoft's FUSE Labs are at the forefront of research on social interaction with artificial intelligence. She joins the FT's Richard Waters to discuss the evolution of chatbot technology, what the company learnt from its experience with Tay, and the personalisation we can expect from the virtual assistants and chat apps of the future.
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Helen Margetts, head of the Oxford Internet Institute, talks to the FT's Madhumita Murgia about fake news, echo chambers, big data and why we need more research to be able to combat the "pathologies" of the internet.
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Rutger Bregman tells John Thornhill there is evidence to show that we can end poverty by handing out cash to those who need it. The idea of a universal basic income is one whose time has come, he says, and it is finding support in unexpected places like Silicon Valley.
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Uber investor and adviser Bradley Tusk talks to the FT's Leslie Hook about the highs and lows of the ride-sharing company's rapid expansion, and how companies in the sharing economy can manage regulatory hurdles.
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Entrepreneur Tom Ilube talks about his work with scientists to deploy their research in the battle against cybercrime, tech advances and education in Africa and why companies need to take cyber security more seriously.
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Duolingo cofounder and chief executive Luis von Ahn talks to the FT's Tim Bradshaw about creating the snackable language learning app that now serves more than 150m global users, and how the company's model can be translated into other digital education tools.
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Madhumita Murgia speaks to Kathryn Parsons about her work in promoting digital literacy through the company she co-founded, Decoded, which aims to teach people to code in a day.
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Frédéric Mazzella tells the story of BlaBlaCar, the ride-sharing company he founded, which now operates in over 20 countries, and talks about the rise of tech entrepreneurship in France.
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What will displaced professionals and workers do when intelligent machines take their jobs? Will poets, thinkers and musicians become sought-after occupations? Or will people slump into a world of virtual reality entertainment? Tim Bradshaw discusses possible outcomes with tech investors Kai-Fu Lee and Joi Ito.
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Stuart Russell, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, was one of the first researchers to sound the alarm bell on the risks of developing artificial intelligence. He joins the FT's Richard Waters to discuss the state of AI, and how machines should be developed to avoid these risks.
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Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler about government surveillance in the US after the Snowden revelations, and how it could all change under a Trump administration.
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Mike Cagney, chief executive and founder of online lender SoFi, talks to the FT's Tom Braithwaite about building a fintech company from refinancing student loans; the high-income millennials the service targets; and why they use tools like job search and member networking events to retain customers.
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Kevin Mandia, chief executive of cyber security firm FireEye, joins the FT's Hannah Kuchler to discuss how Russian hackers changed the rules of engagement of cyber espionage. Mr Mandia and his company, Mandiant, came to prominence in 2013 when it released a report implicating China in cyber spying. The company was later sold to FireEye for $1bn. This interview was recorded in early December 2016.
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Madhumita Murgia, the FT's European technology correspondent, talks to Dame Stephanie Shirley, a pioneer of the computer software industry and one the first female tech entrepreneurs, about how she fell in love with computers.
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Nigel Shadbolt, co-founder of the Open Data Institute, talks to John Thornhill about the imbalance between the personal and private control of data and the need to re-empower the consumer.
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As the first US ambassador to Silicon Valley, Zvika Krieger is trying to harness the tech capital's brain power to solve some of the country's biggest foreign policy challenges. He talks to the FT's Hannah Kuchler.
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Kyle Wiens, chief executive of iFixit, made his name by tearing apart mobile phones and laptops to understand how they were built and publishing his findings in open source repair manuals. He talks to the FT's Tim Bradshaw about the risks involved in the race for the thinnest tech devices, and what his company is doing to promote gadget repair and recycling.
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Alphabet's research and development lab X is the breeding ground for Google's biggest technological bets, including self-driving cars and a network of internet-providing balloons. Astro Teller, the entrepreneur and scientist at the helm of X, talks to the FT's Richard Waters about the new technologies he is helping to bring to market, and what he has learned in the six years of running an innovation factory.
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John Thornhill talks to author and historian Yuval Noah Harari about his vision of a future when humans are no longer the smartest algorithm on the planet.
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Driverless cars will improve our lives dramatically but, as with all technologies, there will be a dark side as millions of jobs disappear, Vivek Wadhwa, entrepreneur and academic, tells John Thornhill.
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Nadav Zafrir, a former Israeli intelligence officer and co-founder of cyber security company Team8, talks to John Thornhill about tracking down cyber criminals and training the tech entrepreneurs of the future
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Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, talks to John Thornhill about truth and lies, the role of the media, and his mission to make the sum of human knowledge available to people all over the world
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Tech utopia or tech dystopia? Carlota Perez of the London School of Economics talks to John Thornhill about the radical changes she believes are needed if we are to harness the benefits of the current technological revolution
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In a new podcast from the Financial Times hear John Thornhill and correspondents around the globe in conversation with scientists, entrepreneurs and academics as they examine the way technology is changing the way we live, work and even the way we think. FT Tech Tonic starts on Wednesday November 2.
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