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Episode 14: Bias, Lies, and Democracy

Is our democracy in peril? What role has the media played in this? What should we do about it? Ali Velshi joins Vasant Dhar in episode 14 of Brave New World to discuss the subtleties of bias, fake news, information consumption and what to do about social media.

Episode 13: Can a Machine Have Human Values?

As artificial intelligence gets more and more powerful, the need becomes greater to ensure that machines do the right thing. But what does that even mean? Brian Christian joins Vasant Dhar in episode 13 of Brave New World to discuss, as the title of his new book goes, the alignment problem.

Read show notesEpisode 13: Can a Machine Have Human Values?

Episode 12: Are We Becoming a New Species?

Social media is changing human behavior. How and why are humans being transformed by algorithms? Molly Crockett joins Vasant Dhar in episode 12 of Brave New World to describe her work at the meeting place of technology and morality.

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Episode 11: The Future of Liberal Education

In these polarised times, what should the colleges of tomorrow look like? Michael S Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, joins Vasant Dhar in episode 11 of Brave New World to discuss his vision for liberal education. We should empower individuals, he says, by designing for serendipity.

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Episode 10: Understanding QE in the New World

Covid was a shock to the global economy. Policy makers have responded with Quantitative Easing. Paul Sheard joins Vasant Dhar in episode 10 of Brave New World to discuss the nuances of QE and its possible impacts. Also discussed: the role of monetary policy in this changing tech landscape, helicopter money and the big question of the 21st century. (Listen to find out!)

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Episode 9: Waiting for Doctor AI

Artificial intelligence can transform healthcare — and the medical profession may be behind the curve. Regina Barzilay joins Vasant Dhar in episode 9 of Brave New World to talk about how doctors, programmers and lawyers need to find a meeting point to make the revolution happen.

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Episode 8: How Social Media Threatens Society

The internet has changed our lives, mostly for the better. But there is a flip side. Jonathan Haidt joins Vasant Dhar in episode 8 of Brave New World to describe how social media is a threat to democracy and public discourse — and to the mental health of a generation.

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Episode 7: The Nature of Intelligence

Trying to build artificial intelligence can teach us so much about intelligence itself. AI pioneer Yann LeCun, a winner of the Turing Award, joins Vasant Dhar in episode 7 of Brave New World to discuss how the field of AI has evolved and where it is heading. Points of discussion:  How machines that perceive the world have turbocharged AI. How one of the biggest challenges in deep learning is common sense. The interface between industry and the academy. And how consciousness may not be a superpower but a reflection of our limitations.

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Episode 6: The China Question

How should the Biden administration treat China? The same way the Trump administration did, Peter Berkowitz tells Vasant Dhar in episode 6 of Brave New World. The USA, argues Berkowitz, must not lose sight of its core values as a great democracy.

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Episode 5: Law and Education in Our Modern World

We live in a different world than we did 30 years ago. How can law and education adapt to the disruptions of technology and politics? John Sexton joins Vasant Dhar in episode 5 of Brave New World to share his insights as an educator who tried to forge a way ahead.

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Episode 4: Human and Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Despite amazing scientific advances, why is our healthcare system failing us today? It is rife with mistakes and lacks care. Can artificial intelligence aid the human touch in healthcare? Eric Topol joins Vasant Dhar in episode 4 of Brave New World to discuss how doctors and machines can come together to improve our lives and move us towards a world of individualized medicine.

Useful resourcesDeep Medicine by Eric Topol, as well as his other books.

Episode 3: The Social Media Industrial Complex

Can social media platforms change our society? Sinan Aral joins Vasant Dhar in episode 3 of Brave New World to share his concerns.

Useful resourcesThe Hype Machine by Sinan Aral, as well as Sinan’s websitevideos and research.

Episode 2: Uplift the Unremarkables

In this no-holds-barred conversation with Vasant Dhar, Scott Galloway shreds the myth of American mobility. He urges our institutions, especially universities, to shed their obsession with the elites, and instead uplift the ‘unremarkables.’

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Episode 1: The Technology Wars

In the Internet era, war is about tech. Technology platforms are the new power players of our times, alongside the state. Arun Sundararajan joins Vasant Dhar to discuss how the Internet is shaping the power dynamic between individuals, platforms and the state, the choices that confront us and their consequences. They discuss the US-China war, who is winning, and what it all means for us.

Read show notesEpisode 1: The Technology Wars

Welcome to Brave New World

The role of tech in our lives has accelerated in the post-COVID era, creating a ‘virtual’ existence with low physical human contact. It has transformed how we work, govern, stay healthy, worship, invest, entertain, and much more. In this preview episode, Vasant Dhar — a longtime AI researcher and data scientist — tells us about his forthcoming mind-opening conversations with leading experts on the world that our future selves will inhabit.

Upcoming guests include Sinan AralJohn SextonEric TopolYann LeCunRichard Thaler, Nandan Nilekani, Ali Velshi, Paul Sheard, Peter Railton, Suneel Gupta and Michael S Roth.

Welcome to Brave New World!