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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 ...
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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 i…
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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, tell…
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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 hal…
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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, …
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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 Capita…
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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 t…
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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 B…
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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 Meredi…
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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…
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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. Find out more at rawdatapod…
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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 eve…
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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 ca…
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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…
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Originally broadcast in March 2019, this episode has a new introduction, with an update on the Trump administration’s push to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. At the birth of the United States, the new nation faced a problem. How do you make a crazy new idea — power coming not from a king, but from the people — a reality? There was no…
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Originally broadcast in May 2019, this episode has a new introduction, with an update on the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision on partisan gerrymandering. The United States is a pretty divided country; which may just feel like an inevitable product of our times. But it turns out there’s one partisan tool, in particular, that bears a…
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If the rise of despots around the world seems bewildering, especially given our unprecedented access to information in 2019 — therein might lie the very problem. A new kind of propaganda has taken hold, one that relies on too much information, instead of too little. In Part III of our mini-series on Russian disinformation, we take a look at how Vla…
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We know that Russia has been honing its tools of disinformation since the Cold War, but how did Soviet Era sabotage make the jump into the digital age? How have imposters on social media caused real-world tumult? In Part II of our miniseries on Russian interference, we get into the mechanics of it all, by taking a look at two specific instances whe…
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Russians posing as Americans. Wild conspiracy theories about political figures. Outright fabrications. All part of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections, certainly. But it turns out this kind of disinformation has been around for decades, since the early days of the Soviet Union. It’s just gotten a lot more powerful, thanks to tech and…
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Climate change is already reshaping the natural world, but how does it affect human behavior? Economist Marshall Burke is part of a growing field of scientists uncovering interactions between global warming and humanity. The connections are vast: wars, violent crime, suicide rates, and income inequality. The emerging research may have the power to …
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The United States is a pretty divided country; which may just feel like an inevitable product of our times. But it turns out there’s one partisan tool, in particular, that bears at least some of the blame. It’s something that is used behind closed doors, and that, thanks to the power of software and data, has turned into an ever more powerful parti…
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There’s an epic struggle under way: a challenge to lead the world in A.I. — artificial intelligence. But this space race for the 21st century doesn’t seem to be getting enough attention from at least one of the world’s superpowers — the United States. Futurist Amy Webb tells the story of the world’s leading artificial intelligence companies, and th…
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When we think of killer robots, images of the Terminator, Robocop, and other dystopian movies often spring to mind. These movies usually don’t end well (for the humans, at least). So it seems crazy that we would even consider building machines programmed to kill. On the other hand, some argue that autonomous weapons could save lives on the battlefi…
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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. W…
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At the start of the 20th century, the United States Census Bureau was in a bit of a pickle. The electric tabulating machines that had saved the census in 1890 worked beautifully — but they were expensive. And there was only one source: Herman Hollerith (an inventor who helped lay the foundation for IBM). So the census decided to go into business fo…
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At the birth of the United States, the new nation faced a problem. How do you make a crazy new idea — power coming not from a king, but from the people — a reality? There was no handbook; the framers of the Constitution had to just kind of make it up. They landed on the idea of a census. You count the people in each state, and apportion power thusl…
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