Government vs The Robots

Little Atoms / Jonathan Tanner

A fortnightly podcast from Little Atoms which looks at how technology will affect politics in the future. Like Tomorrow's World but for Westminster. Hosted by @tannerjc who is joined by a range of experts he's not fed up of yet. Music: https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

All Episodes

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism joins Jonathan this week to chat through some of the challenges facing media creators and consumers. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Oct 2020

32 min 23 sec

Tackling misinformation in India is the subject of enquiry this week as Jonathan is joined by Rema Rajeshwari, District Police Chief in Telengana State. Rema has used a series of innovative approaches to prevent crimes such as mob violence which had been driven by false Whats App rumours. The episode also covers the pace of digital transformation in India and the rise of cybercrime. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 2020

34 min 2 sec

This week we take a look at disinformation in the Middle East with Marc Owen Jones. Marc talks us through how he found fake journalists writing for US news sites, explains some of the disinformation he's seen put to use by countries like Saudi Arabia and gives the lowdown on which Twitterstorms it is really worth paying attention to. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 2020

43 min 27 sec

Jonathan is joined this week by Imran Ahmed, Chief Executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Imran sets out the relationship between disinformation and hate speech, picks apart why the financial architecture of fake news could be its achilles heel and leaves major social media companies nowhere to hide when it comes to calling out bad behaviour. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Sep 2020

46 min 53 sec

How do we get better at agreeing to disagree? Jonathan talks to Alison Goldsworthy, Founder and CEO at The Depolarisation Project hosted at Stanford University to talk about what's driving polarisation in society and what we can do about. Taking a breather from in-depth analysis of disinformation they cover business case for polarisation, the role of fundraising and campaign professionals in contributing to the problem and Jonathan gets called out for mocking a well known politician..... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 2020

45 min 49 sec

What can a former CIA analyst teach us about misinformation? Find out in this week's episode with Cindy Otis who spent ten years working for the US Government's Central Intelligence Agency. Jonathan and Cindy discuss her new book 'True or False' and explore the history of disinformation, asking why it's often been used to harden racist sentiment and drive marginalisation. As well as looking at the past they also discuss the present and the possibility of hidden dimensions to modern protests and how to get under the skin of disinformation networks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Aug 2020

47 min 41 sec

This week Jonathan talks to Professor Samuel Woolley, author of The Reality Game, about the use of bots to plant and spread disinformation on social media platforms. The conversation covers how many bots there are online, how to spot them, the use of geolocation data and the current strategies of modern political communicators. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2020

42 min 7 sec

This week we talk to Dr Claire Wardle who is the co-founder of First Draft, an NGO committed to tackling misinformation. The conversation covers the difference between misinformation and disinformation, the weaponisation of context and why conspiracy theories are keeping Claire awake at night. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2020

36 min 23 sec

In the first episode of a new series exploring misinformation, disinformation and communication, Jonathan talks to Author Peter Pomerantsev. Having lived in Post-Soviet Russia where he made TV, Peter has a unique insight into how some of the 'nebulous nostalgia' of that period is on display today in the UK and the US. The conversation covers the great 'f**k off to facts', why we buy into conspiracy theories, the challenges facing civil society in the internet era and how we might construct a new, neutral digital public sphere. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2020

46 min 54 sec

A quick update on what to expect from Series 3 of Government Vs The Robots in which Jonathan and guests explore at misinformation, disinformation and our online discourse. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2020

1 min 39 sec

It's a retrospective, forward-looking bonanza this week as Jonathan faces a guest interviewer and takes stock of the previous two series. As well as asking listeners to get in touch with ideas about where we go next, we cover lots of ground including smart communications strategy in a post-truth world, the impact of further fragmentation on our politics, the power of symbols to unite people and some hot tips for what to expect from candidates at the next election, whenever that may be.... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

E

Aug 2019

48 min 59 sec

In this episode we're talking all things code with Clive Thompson, journalist for Wired and the New York Times Magazine, and now author of Coders: Who They Are, What They Think and How They Are Changing Our World. We discuss whether coders are the most powerful people on the planet, what their personalities can tell us about the culture in companies like Twitter, and whether we're headed for a battle between the ultimately rational world of algorithms, and the uniquely emotional world of humans... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2019

41 min 49 sec

This week we talk disinformation with Amil Khan, a former Reuters Middle East correspondent and documentary maker. He is now Associate Fellow at Chatham House and works with governments and NGOs on strategies to tackle disinformation. We get into the weeds of how states can plant disinformation in our mainstream media, how groups like IS spread disinformation, and whether Boris' latest bus shenanigans were a cock-up, or conspiracy... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2019

45 min 21 sec

In this episode we're taking a look at the psychology of politics and asking whether we've all been triggered, with Alex Evans. Alex is the founder of the Collective Psychology Project, a senior fellow at New York University working on political polarisation, and was previously Campaigns Director at Avaaz. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2019

47 min 8 sec

This week we're joined by writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola. Her book, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics explores how the internet era is transforming politics in Kenya. We talk about the country's evolving landscape online, what constitutes digital colonialism, and the impact social media is having on Kenya's feminist movement.If you enjoy the part on digital identity, we think you'll love another podcast we've been worked on called Inside Good ID, exploring the future of digital identity with a range of global experts. It's part of the Good ID project and is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Do have a listen! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2019

43 min 1 sec

This week we're joined by Professor Amy Webb, quantitative futurist, founder of the Future Today Institute and author of Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity. We talk about whether we've reached the beginning of the end of the smartphone era, why China is ahead of the US on AI and how we can try to predict the future of tech. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2019

34 min 39 sec

This episode brings you more from SXSW, this time focusing on the future of news, from deepfakes to chatbots and VR. We hear from Hazel Baker, Global Head of User-Generated Content at Reuters; Emily Withrow, Director of the Quartz Bot Studio; and Paul Cheung, Director of Journalism and Technology Innovation at the Knight Foundation.We've also been working on another podcast, exploring the future of digital identity with a range of global experts. It's part of the Good ID project and the podcast is called Inside Good ID. It's available wherever you listen to Government vs the Robots, so please do check it out and let us know what you think! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2019

39 min 53 sec

In the first of two episodes recorded at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Jonathan talks all things artificial intelligence with Azeem Azhar, editor of the Exponential View newsletter; Tiffany Li, Resident Fellow at Yale Law School at the Information Society Project; and Meredith Broussard, data journalism professor at NYU.We've also been working on another podcast, exploring the future of digital identity with a range of global experts. It's part of the Good ID project and the podcast is called Inside Good ID. It's available wherever you listen to Government vs the Robots, so please do check it out and let us know what you think! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2019

31 min 38 sec

For this episode we headed to the Houses of Parliament to catch up with Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, and Chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. The Committee's inquiry into disinformation and 'fake news' investigated the Trump and Brexit campaigns, tech platforms, and who holds responsibility for what ends up online. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2019

31 min 42 sec

Jamie Susskind is a barrister and author of Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech. In this episode we're going back to the some of the big questions at the heart of Government vs the Robots and explore a framework for thinking about the ways technology is affecting fundamental political principles, we ask whether software engineering is now a political career choice and explore issues with algorithmic bias. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2019

44 min 13 sec

How will the Internet of Things affect our homes, and our politics? We talk to Alexandra Deschamps Sonsino, author, inventor and designer about why Alexa is always listening - even when she's not recording, what sort of data your toothbrush might reveal about you and how smart homes can contribute to dealing with the housing crisis. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2019

29 min 34 sec

This week we talk to Labour MP Darren Jones about just how tech-savvy his fellow politicians are, how fully the Houses of Parliament are embracing the digital age and the peril of doing politics by WhatsApp. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

28 min 5 sec

Sky News' Technology Correspondent Rowland Manthorpe joins us to discuss what to expect from 2019 when it comes to technology and politics. We cover Huawei, the evolution of technology journalism, the death of the high street, drone misuse, deepfakes and plenty more as we delve into a very murky crystal ball.... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2019

32 min 47 sec

We talk to Martin Moore about whether Google and Facebook are set to run our schools, if the triumph of fake news in the west is coincidence or conspiracy and what we might be able to learn about the future of democracy from countries like India and Taiwan. Martin is Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King's College London. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

36 min 10 sec

Politician Chi Onwurah, Author Carl Miller, activist Hera Hussain and founder Alvin Carpio all take part in this episode recorded at the recent Politics Summit in West London. We talk to Chi about the prospects for Britain as an innovation nation under a labour government, ask Carl who we should be calling the new aristocrats of the information age and find out from Hera how the internet's first Catbot is helping women across the world escape domestic violence. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2019

41 min 29 sec

This week we talk to Nadine Smith from the Centre for Public Impact about how government needs to change in order to get fit for the 21st century. Nadine offers a compelling take on how a lack of empathy and humanity in our institutions is creating challenges for their legitimacy. This can be seen in Brexit but also in plenty of areas of public life and Nadine has been talking to governments around the world about how they can become more human at a time when artificial intelligence is on the rise. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2018

40 min 9 sec

Author and journalist James Ball joins us this week for a discussion of his books Bluffocracy and Post-truth. We cover plenty of ground including a look at how the business model of journalism is changing the information economy, why algorithms are never agnostic, how fact-checking might not be the solution to polarised politics and perhaps most importantly, how Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage might just be an inspiration to us all. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

E

Dec 2018

32 min 33 sec

Recorded live from the GovTech Summit, this episode gives a whirlwind tour of an emerging industry looking to link governments up with innovative technology companies in a bid to make government more effective and more importantly, improve public services.Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau and Sadiq Khan were among the leading politicians who put in an appearance at the summit and we managed to talk to a range of speakers including the Mayor of Helsinki, global start-up founder Robyn Scott, COO of Public Hanna Johnson and the CEO of the Web Foundation Adrian Lovett.Find us on Twitter @Govt_Vs_Robots See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2018

35 min 12 sec

Ireland is no stranger to referendums. This week we talk to elections expert and transparency campaigner Liz Carolan who co-founded the Transparent Referendum Initiative which used the technology available through Who Targets Me to monitor online advertising during the recent referendum on the country's abortion laws.Find us on Twitter @Govt_Vs_Robots See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2018

39 min 13 sec

Back once again with the ill behaviour, block rocking beats and the lowdown on tech & politics. This week we talk to digital campaigning guru Sam Jeffers about Who Targets Me, a global effort to crowdsource data on political adverts through a simple browser plug-in. We talk the evolution of digital campaigning, who's buying Brexit ads, what 'made for social' content looks like and whether Donald Trump really did use the same tactics as Barack Obama when it came to mobilising voters online.Find us on Twitter @Govt_Vs_Robots See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2018

30 min 11 sec

Author Jamie Bartlett returns to the studio to discuss his new book The People vs Tech. Is democracy being fundamentally undermined by the advance of technology? Will we be asking Alexa who to vote for in the near future and why does mobile phone addiction matter? All this and more is up for discussion in the last episode before Government Vs The Robots takes a break for the summer... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

E

Jul 2018

37 min 18 sec

This week we talk to Mevan Babakar. Mevan is Head of Automated Factchecking at the factcheking charity Fullfact. In this episode we talk about why facts are important to democracy, the prospects for realtime factchecking in politics and how AI can play a role in helping improve the quality of political debate across the world. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jul 2018

34 min 29 sec

Rhian Lewis is a former Journalist for The Times. Today she works as a programmer having founded a cryptocurrency portfolio tracker and established the London Women in Bitcoin network. In this episode we talk about why Rhian is such a big believer in Bitcoin, examine the potential of blockchains to decentralise politics and explore the possible political and environmental consequences of such technologies. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jun 2018

55 min 30 sec

High tech firms, low wage jobs. What is life like working on zero hours for some of the world's biggest tech companies? James Bloodworth spent 6 months working undercover in low wage Britain for employers including Uber and Amazon. What he saw comprises a book which although not explicitly about technology and politics, offers an essential perspective on the role of big technology as an employer. James talks about the likelihood of robots taking the types of jobs he did for the book, the internal culture of Uber and Amazon and why we should we feel confident we can make a big difference to those currently working zero hours contracts for the minimum wage. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

E

Jun 2018

43 min 13 sec

We talk to former Uber, Treasury and Policy Exchange man Chris Yiu about how he sees the prospects for public service delivery in an age of ever increasing technological possibilities. Chris now heads up technology policy work at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and this discussion ranges from singularity, to GDPR and whether it's ever cool to work for Government. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2018

36 min 3 sec

Is it time to move beyond party politics to build a better Britain? This week we talk to Bess Mayhew, CEO of More United. More United is a cross-party crowdfunding platform which supports MPs who subscribe to a series of shared values. They've recently campaigned in by-electionsand their member MPs in lots of constituencies at the General Election. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

May 2018

28 min 26 sec

How do ideas spread in today's world? We talk to Henry Timms, one of the authors of the book New Power about why we need to rethink the way power flows through society. It's well established that people no longer trust institutions but do institutions trust people? The conversation draws on examples from Tetris to Texas to demonstrate the characteristics of new power and you've ever wondered how climate change deniers are out communicating climate change campaigners then this is the episode for you. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

E

May 2018

39 min 42 sec

It's bumper show this week with Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, the UK's top government statistician John Pullinger, Angelica Palma from the Government of Colombia and Argy Kavvada of NASA. We explore whether it is hard to be an authentic politician in modern Britain, the impact of Brexit on the type of statistics government needs and why Colombia is a trendsetter in the use of data for public policy making. All of these interviews were recorded at the Data for Development festival in Bristol. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2018

38 min 23 sec

Will we print the ready meal of the future at home? What role does nanotechnology play in our processed food? What more can government do to promote transparency and protect consumers? In a break from the intense politics of recent epsidoes Jonathan talks to Nicola Temple, Author of Best Before: The evolution and future of processed food about what can expect from 21st Century food, how it affects climate change and public health and what might be needed to address inequalities in the food chain. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Apr 2018

34 min 58 sec

Do you think you are good at the internet? this week we talk to Rachel Coldicutt, CEO of the internet think tank Doteveryone about how much Britain really knows about the internet. We cover the perils of public wifi, the possible need for a good technology trademark, why tech giants might find their business models under pressure in the next few years and whether it's right to assume people are ignorant or gullible when it comes to information online. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2018

37 min 36 sec

Did you know there is no regulation of political advertising in the UK? Unlike companies political parties and campaign groups don’t have to clear factual claims before they share them with consumers. No doubt by now you’re thinking of the infamous Brexit bus but that’s just one example of economy with the truth in what Benedict Pringle describes as ‘the grubby world of political advertising’.In this week’s episode Pringle draws on the elections of 2017 to explain how recent electoral success has come to those politicians with a simple strategy.As for 2018 he’s asking whether artificial intelligence could play a role in helping campaigns personalise messages to persuade voters to carry out a range of actions from refusing to take part on polling day to persuading friends and family to get behind their candidate.With local elections in the UK as well as a referendum in Ireland we can anticipate a rise in partisan campaign groups that promote the messages candidates might not want to associate themselves with. On a lighter note we also ponder when we might see the first use of holograms by a national politician - something already seen in India and elsewhere.... See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Mar 2018

35 min 26 sec

Of the moments in life when you worry you might have done something silly, asking a former GCHQ data analyst to scrutinise your internet footprint for an upcoming podcast ranks quite high for me.That’s exactly what I did this week ahead of a show, where we ended up discussing how long Britain could survive without the internet, examining what might constitute a modern version of the London blitz in the event of a modern war and asking how long Government can retain the ability to authenticate information.Rather than focus on a post-truth world this week’s guest Cameron Colquhoun chooses to see it differently. As the Managing Director of ethical intelligence company Neon Century chooses to accept that “everything is true” recognising that data and evidence can be used to fit any argument you want to make.When it comes to the ongoing dissection of Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, Colquhoun talks about the incredible rise of psychographic profiles which enable companies like Cambridge Analytica to identify around 5000 data points per swing voter, which in an election with only a few hundred thousand voters makes the manipulation of emotion more of a science than the art form it has been perceived to be by the political classes.If you listen right to the end you might also learn something about your own digital footprint and what the powers that be should think about doing differently to keep us safe in the futureSubscribe to Government vs The Robots on itunesFurther reading: Carole Cadwalladr on social media andelections, Martin Robbins on Cambridge Analytica, James O'Malley on big data See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2018

29 min 32 sec

Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith joins us in the studio to explain the true capacity of government to embrace emerging technology. We also had a visit from some very noisy builders so please forgive the odd bang in the background.Producer: Cecelia ArmstrongMusic: www.bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Feb 2018

32 min 16 sec

This week we're coming over all Jamiroquai and talking virtual, augmented and real reality with Marisol Grandon. Marisol is CEO of Unfold Stories and the founder of Women in VR.Producer: Cecelia ArmstrongMusic: Bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2018

32 min 28 sec

We speak to Spectator Journalist, BBC Presenter, Author and Think Tank Man, Jamie Bartlett about technology and politics in 2018. Prepare to be provoked, to be fascinated and quite probably, to be pessimistic.Editing: Cecelia ArmstrongMusic: www.bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Jan 2018

34 min 1 sec

A very short Christmas message to say THANK YOU! Get in touch with ideas for interviews and issues in 2018. Big thanks to Cecelia Armstrong for her help all year and the Little Atoms crew.Music: Bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2017

1 min

In this episode Jonathan talks to drones expert Daniel Ronen of UAVaid about how the use of drones might evolve in the coming years. From instant delivery in the UK and US to delivering urgent medical supplies in remote regions of poorer countries.Production: Cecelia ArmstrongMusic: www.bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Dec 2017

34 min 33 sec

This week we talk to Claire Melamed about big data and the future of politics. Claire is Director of the UN's Global Partnership for Sustainable Data.Producer: Cece ArmstrongMusic: www.bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2017

32 min 47 sec

We get a bit more political this week whilst looking at just a few aspects of the impact of the internet on politics. Host Jonathan Tanner talks to Communications Guru John Coventry about the explosion in online petitions, what the means for public policy and the future of crowdfunded politics.Production: Cecelia ArmstrongMusic: www.bensound.com See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

E

Nov 2017

31 min 36 sec

This fortnight, host Jonathan Tanner sits down with Ben Maruthappu to explore the possible impact of new technology on healthcare services. Ben was digital innovation advisor to the NHS Chief Executive Lord Stevens and now runs Cera, a start-up looking to reshape care provision at home.Presenter: Jonathan Tanner @tannerjcProducer: Cecelia ArmstrongMusic: Bensound See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Nov 2017

32 min 18 sec