Podcast roundup Jan 2020

Written on January 31, 2020

Bruce Schneier: How insecure, unregulated tech is endangering the world

In this though provoking podcast, Bruce Schneier provides his take on the progress of various technological advancements like quantum computing, AI, automation, facial recognition, clean tech and weather tech. The points that stood out to me were these:

  • Quantum computing is over-hyped. Even if it were to become a reality, Scheiner feels we’ll have algorithms that can work under the new computational paradigm. In fact, he feels that algorithms for Quantum encryption will be available way before quantum computing becomes a reality.
  • China having a distinct advantage in AI is a bit over-blown. Although they have access to more data, it is the quality of data set and training that determines the outcome. He does not see a big difference in this aspect between the West and China.
  • Ransomware is a big issue and attibutation of a hack will continue to plague everyone from private citizens to governments.

Make Me Smart: Episode 145

This episode was timely! Titled It’s 2020. And the Cambridge Analytica story? It’s growing, it covered the influence of advance psychographic marketing on society.

The biggest take-away for me was the point made towards the end. Apparently, this kind of marketing is most effective when it is targeted with a message that appeals to negative emotions like anger, hate or sadness. The best combination apparently is to use such message on a target deemed neurotic - that is, a set of people who are worried, angry or sad. So it is a downward spiral in terms of the message feeding the base need of such a target and taking them down deeper into their own isolated sense of reality.

Another interesting point was about the effect of bad influence being at least 4 times more potent than a good experience.

Pivot: Episode

Listen to this Pivot episode for an amazing debate on the battle of privacy over encryption and if Government should have a back-door to decrypt communication.

I felt Prof Galloway was had a lot of great points. We do need a safe environment and that does require a compromise of privacy. However, it also needs to be carefully protected by strict legal standards and rules.

Pivaot: Episode

In this Pivot Episode Kara and Scott discuss about Prof. Clayton Christenson and this lasting legacy of disruptive innovation. I really liked the gist of the book that Kara Swisher published in New York Times:

Professor Christensen’s formula was elegant: “First, disruptive products are simpler and cheaper; they generally promise lower margins, not greater profits. Second, disruptive technologies typically are first commercialized in emerging or insignificant markets. And third, leading firms’ most profitable customers generally don’t want, and indeed initially can’t use, products based on disruptive technologies.”