show episodes
 
Good Code is a weekly podcast on ethics in our digital world. We look at ways in which our increasingly digital societies could go terribly wrong, and we speak with those trying to prevent that. If you like TV shows, think of it as Black Mirror meets The Good Place: Dystopian scenarios, with a way out. Good Code is a collaboration of Cornell Tech's Digital Life Initiative and visiting journalist Chine Labbe.
 
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show series
 
How do foreign actors spread disinformation online? What have we learned from the campaign of Russian meddling into the 2016 US Presidential elections, and are we ready for what’s coming in 2020? Our guest this week is Camille Francois, Chief Innovation Officer at Graphika, a network analysis company that studies the spread of disinformation online…
 
Big Tech companies have grown beyond their core products and services — influencing not only our digital lives, but our physical lives, and working in territory that used to be government turf : counterterrorism, space exploration, electricity, agriculture. Alexis Wichowski, deputy chief technology officer for the City of New York, warns that we sh…
 
Last October, Facebook announced that it would not fact-check political ads. And that decision angered a lot of people: outside, but also inside the company. To talk about Facebook's policy, and the potential risks of such a decision ahead of the 2020 presidential election, we sit down with Yaël Eisenstat. She's a former CIA officer and national se…
 
From Gmail and Google Documents to Google’s Cloud, our reliance on Google services has extended to more and more realms of our lives. And academia is not immune from this growing dependency. Our guest this week is Jake Goldenfein, a Postdoctoral fellow at the Digital Life Initiative. His most recent piece of research looks at Google Scholar, a free…
 
What can board of directors of big tech companies do to push for more ethical practices in the field? Lisa Lewin is the managing partner at Ethical Ventures, a management consulting firm. Because the problem of ethics in tech is so monumental, she thinks we need to include all stakeholders in finding a solution. From tech workers and consumers to b…
 
Over two billion people play games globally. And live, multi-players games are more than just games: they are social platforms, where people interact, chat, and get harassed. Daniel Kelley is the associate director of the Center for Technology and Society at the Anti-Defamation League. He leads the center’s work to fight hate, bias and harassment i…
 
How do we love online? What does dating and love look like in an era dominated by swipes, likes and matches ? In may ways, online dating has become the new norm. And Tinder, our new reality. Judith Duportail, a French journalist and Tinder user, spent two years investigating the app: its algorithm, its patent, and the data it had accumulated on her…
 
What is screen time doing to our relationships? More specifically, what is us being on our screens so much, doing to our kids? What happens when mothers, fathers, caregivers disappear into their phones in front of infants and toddlers? Tracy Dennis-Tiwary is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the City University of New York, and she has …
 
In 2018 and 2019, tech workers stood up, pushed back and said no, to projects and working environments they disagreed with. At Amazon, Google, Microsoft: they said no to government contracts, no to sexual harassment. Are we witnessing a revolution? A unique movement led by a new generation of data scientists with a strong conscience? We explore thi…
 
Ever wished you found the perfect Blockchain 101 presentation? Well this episode’s for you. Cara LaPointe is a non-resident fellow at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University. And she's created the “Blockchain Ethical Design Framework," to help entrepreneurs develop socially responsible blockchain technologies. Wha…
 
How can we make virtual, augmented and mixed realities accessible to all, including people with disabilities? That's a question that's been on Shiri Azenkot's mind for years now. She's an Assistant Professor of Information Science at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, and her research focuses on accessible technology. She explai…
 
Young people spend a lot of time on social media, where they express happiness, pain, trauma, grief and anger. What do social media really say about them? To what extent do they facilitate violence? Our guest is Desmond Patton, an Associate Professor of Social Work at Columbia University. His research examines the ways in which young people of colo…
 
In the quiet city of The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the United Nations Centre for Humanitarian Data. It's not a traditional data center: there is no data storage here. Think of it as an innovation hub. Its goal is to increase the use and impact of data in humanitarian crises. Our host Chine Labbe visited the Centre over the summer. Follow her as…
 
What is being filtered out of our online platforms? What don't we get to see? That's a question that our guest worries about a lot. Niva Elkin-Koren is a Professor of Law at the University of Haifa, in Israel, and her research looks at the ways in which big tech companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter) are acting as "guardians of the public sphere", t…
 
5G is coming. With increasing speed and decreased latency, it will power a vast array of new services. And with new possibilities will come new vulnerabilities. Tech companies and governments around the world worry about the security of 5G networks. So does our guest Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union Counter-Terrorism Coordinator. But he also …
 
In this episode, the last of season 1, we speak with Diana Freed. She’s a PhD student at Cornell Tech, and part of a group of researchers working on technology-enabled intimate partner violence. How do abusers exploit technology to harass their victims? How can we improve their digital safety? Freed meets with survivors of domestic violence every w…
 
In this episode, released on World Refugee Day, we talk about the ways in which digital technologies can be used to improve the lives of refugees, and we explore some of their inherent risks. More than 70 million people were displaced at the end of 2018, the highest level in almost 70 years. Our guest Salam Shahin, senior business analyst at UNHCR,…
 
In this episode, we talk about genetic engineering and the future of our species as we enter these uncharted territories. Our guest is Jamie Metzl, a technology futurist and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. In his latest book, Hacking Darwin : Genetic Revolution and the Future of Humanity, he explores all the ways in which the Human-led rewri…
 
In this episode, we speak with Isabelle Zaugg, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University. She studies minority languages, and the ways in which digital technologies can contribute to their decline and even extinction. What are digitally disadvantaged languages? Why should we care about rare languages not getting the support they need to thri…
 
Throughout History, workers have always been quantified: from the time they spent at work, to their productivity, while on the job. But digital technologies have brought this process to a whole new level. The hiring process itself is now determined in large part by algorithms. Our guest this week is Ifeoma Ajunwa, an Assistant Professor at Cornell …
 
The Internet of Things is making its way into our workplaces, our cars, our homes. Everything is getting "smarter" around us. And many of us are turning to digital personal assistants to help with mundane tasks, such as finding recipes and playing music. But as we engage intimately with these new members of our lives, we should not forget that they…
 
In this episode, we speak with David Robinson, the managing director and cofounder of Upturn, a nonprofit promoting "equity and justice" in digital technology. He is currently on leave from Upturn, and a visiting scientist in the AI policy and practice initiative at Cornell University. We ask him about algorithms in the criminal justice system, fro…
 
In this episode, we speak with Julia Powles, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Western Australia, in Perth. The bulk of her work, both as a journalist and as a law and technology researcher, has always been about scrutinizing big tech. We ask her about our society’s tendency to be beguiled by these companies; we discuss the reasons…
 
In this episode, we speak with Solon Barocas, an Assistant Professor in Information Science at Cornell University. He is currently on leave at Microsoft Research in New York. But he will be returning to Cornell to teach. We ask him about a class on ethics in data science he has designed for aspiring computer scientists. Similar classes are burgeoni…
 
In this episode, we speak with Timnit Gebru, a research scientist in the Ethical Artificial Intelligence team at Google AI. We talk about algorithmic biases, and Gebru explains why she created the group "Black in AI", to address the lack of diversity in the field. She calls for a standardization of algorithms, and cautions against focusing on makin…
 
In this episode, we speak with Deborah Estrin. She’s a professor of Computer Science and an Associate Dean at Cornell Tech. She works on "small data" : the individual traces we leave behind us online. How can these seemingly uninteresting digital "breadcrumbs" help us improve our health? And how can we use them without sacrificing our privacy? We d…
 
In this episode, we speak with Ellen Goodman. She’s the co-director of the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy and Law, in Camden, New Jersey. And at the moment, she’s conducting research on Smart Cities. What’s the future of our urban lives? Should we be excited about it, or resist it? We discuss the texture of life in cities built from the I…
 
In this episode, we speak with Peter Asaro. He’s a Philosopher and the vice-chair and co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. There, he is lobbying for an international ban on lethal autonomous weapon systems, or killer robots. Are they science fiction? What are some of the technical, legal and moral issues they raise? Lis…
 
In this episode, we speak with Luke Stark. He’s a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research Montreal and a Historian of Computing and Artificial Intelligence. He looks at the ways in which Humans interact with machines, and analyzes how technologies shape our feelings and emotions. We ask him about emojis and other reaction icons, we get his vi…
 
In this episode, we speak with Philosopher Helen Nissenbaum. She’s a professor of Information Science at Cornell Tech, and the director of the Digital Life Initiative. She has spent the last two decades working on redefining online privacy, and calling for a “post-consent” approach. We ask her about her theory of privacy as contextual integrity, we…
 
In this episode (our very first!), we speak with journalist Julia Angwin. After years covering technology at The Wall Street Journal and ProPublica, she is now the co-founder and editor-in-chief of a startup nonprofit newsroom called The Markup. The Markup should start publishing in the Spring. Its goal? Investigating technology, and the way it imp…
 
Introducing our new weekly podcast on ethics in our digital world. Every Tuesday, we'll look at ways in which our increasingly digital societies could go terribly wrong. And we'll speak with those trying to prevent that. If you like TV shows, think of it as Black Mirror meets The Good Place: Dystopian scenarios, with a way out. Good Code is a colla…
 
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