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Digital Planet

BBC

Technological and digital news from around the world.

Technological and digital news from around the world.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Technological and digital news from around the world.

Twitter:

@BBCClick

Language:

English

Contact:

BBC World Service Bush House Strand London WC2B 4PH


Episodes

AI captain to sail the Atlantic

9/15/2020
The Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) is due to set sail this week (scheduled for Wednesday) from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts with no crew on board. The AI captain will steer the trimaran across the Atlantic with the help of servers and cloud and edge computing, gathering data on global warming, micro-plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. If successful, it will be one of the first self-navigating, full-sized vessels to cross the Atlantic Ocean and could herald a...

Duration:00:44:04

Scammers scamming the scammers

9/8/2020
(Dis)honour amongst thieves Cyber criminals use online forums to sell stolen identity information and other illicit goods. Alex Kigerl, a criminologist at Washington State University explains how a recent leak from two such forums allowed him to identify different types of criminals, with implications for online policing. Migrant money The pandemic has made it harder for migrants to send money home, forcing some to use criminal networks to avoid expensive bank fees. But new digital platforms...

Duration:00:40:03

The fastest ever internet connection

9/1/2020
The world’s fastest data transmission rate has been achieved by a team of UCL engineers who reached an internet speed a fifth faster than the previous record… Dr. Lidia Galdino achieved a data transmission rate of 178 terabits a second (178,000,000 megabits a second) – a speed at which it would be possible to download the entire Netflix library in less than a second. Flight simulator ridiculous skyscraper that does not exist Cam Wilson is an Australian journalist with Gizmodo, he saw the...

Duration:00:44:42

Hacking help for US Elections

8/25/2020
As November's US presidential election approaches an army of volunteer 'hackers' are offering their expertise to local election offices to help prevent a wide range of cyber-attacks. There are many local digital vote tampering threats, from interfering with electoral roles to positing misinformation about polling stations. We speak with organiser Maya Worman from the Chicago Harris Cyber Policy initiative. Electrical chemistry is key to a new way of analysing sleep patterns. Chemists have...

Duration:00:45:45

Algorithm apocalypse

8/18/2020
The UK government used a statistical algorithm to alter children’s grades for exams missed in lockdown. But critics have argued that this algorithm, which used old data on school performance, unfairly stigmatised pupils from poorer backgrounds. Stian Westlake from Britain’s Royal Statistical Society speaks to Gareth and Bill about the challenges of creating such an algorithm and where the government went wrong. The Language of Trolls What is it like to work as a Twitter troll? Researcher...

Duration:00:44:09

A year without internet in Kashmir

8/11/2020
Jammu and Kashmir have faced an unprecedented communication blockade, with no or slow internet for 12 months. We hear voices from the region on what the impact has been on life there, with insight from technology lawyer and online freedoms activist Mishi Choudhary. Whiteness in AI Portrayals of artificial intelligence – from the faces of robots to the voices of virtual assistants – is overwhelmingly white and removes people of colour from the way humanity thinks about its technology-enhanced...

Duration:00:43:51

Why India can’t work from home

8/4/2020
India came last out of 42 countries in a recent study of remote-working readiness. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of Global Business for The Fletcher School at Tufts University, explains what his research means for the 1.3 billion people living in India, and what the future holds for the second largest internet market in the world. Saving lives with a hologram heart A holographic visualisation has been proven to help heart-surgeons operating on children. Jennifer Silva, an associate professor of...

Duration:00:46:34

Tracking the trolls

7/28/2020
How can we distinguish the online posts written by real people from those coming out of professional bot-farms intent on influencing elections? New research from Princeton University in America uses machine learning to identify malicious online trolls, even before they’ve sent a single tweet. Lead author Meysam Alizadeh explains the power of this work to protect voters in future elections. Gesture-controlled robots Robots can now be controlled by a simple wave of your arm. Professor Daniela...

Duration:00:42:58

Covid 19: Mapping changing sentiment in tweets

7/21/2020
Using machine learning, researchers analysed 30 million English language tweets from across the world to track the changing global sentiment as the Covid-19 pandemic spread. Lead author of the study, professor May Lwin at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore explains how machine learning found that sentiments of fear in the early months of the pandemic are now outnumbered by anger and hope. Researcher Aretha Mare, from The Next Einstein Forum in Rwanda says the pandemic has put a...

Duration:00:42:17

Ethiopia’s continuing online censorship

7/14/2020
The internet shutdown in Ethiopia has been in place for 2 weeks now. The Ethiopian Government cut internet connectivity following protests over the killing of singer and activist Hachalu Hundessa. The civil society group NetBlocks monitors connectivity around the world. Their Executive Director Alp Toker explains how by controlling mobile telecoms Ethiopian authorities are able to keep a tight grip on internet access. Researchers at Queen Mary University looked at the network traffic data...

Duration:00:47:54

Can we make the web a better space?

7/7/2020
What is Web Science, and why does it matter? The internet is the most complex machine built by humans but it so much more than just the engineering behind it. The internet moves the data around, but the web is the space in which we humans have experiences, think of the web as a sort of super app. We're interested in the underlying technology, in that it facilitates the movement of data that makes the web possible. But from the human side, we're interested in our interaction with each other...

Duration:00:43:17

Exploring digital death

6/30/2020
This week Digital Planet explores digital death and how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to update our death rituals and move most of our grieving online. We hear from a listener whose mother passed away with her children by her side via Facetime and how they then moved their traditional American-Irish funeral practices online. In India people of all religions are facing huge disruptions to their traditional burials and are taking tech into their own hands to share their experiences. In...

Duration:00:47:51

Nigerian internet land rights costs fall

6/23/2020
A major problem in laying internet cables in Nigeria is the phenomenal cost of right of way charges – these are local state imposed fees to broadband providers. Ekiti, one of Nigeria’s smallest states, has cut its right of way charges by 96%. It will now cost $374 to lay a kilometre of broadband cable down from $11,600. Tech reporter Yomi Kazeem joins us from Lagos and explains that Ekiti aims to have full broadband access by 2021. Superethics instead of superintelligence Artificial...

Duration:00:50:23

Is this the end of facial recognition tech?

6/16/2020
Facial recognition – what’s the future for the tech with the big names pulling out? Most of the big tech companies have now declared they will not sell facial recognition tech to police, but will this mean that police forces will stop using this tech? There are many smaller companies that have so far not declared their intentions and others are clearly breaking the few regulations in place by using people’s images without consent. It’s widely known that facial recognition technology is...

Duration:00:48:23

Algorithm activism – a new type of protest

6/9/2020
Sophia Smith-Galer reports on algorithm activism – ways of boosting protests online. With many people forced to protest digitally because of the pandemic, digital protesting, especially by young people, is the most accessible form of demonstrating support and prompting change. Sophia looks at new ways this is being done during the Black Lives Matter protests around the world. The biggest robotics conference ever… …is now virtual, just like so many other events. But this has led to more...

Duration:00:48:30

Digital exclusion in Brazil

6/2/2020
The number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in Brazil, but access to digital services is getting harder for many of the country’s poorest residents. Emergency aid and state health advice about the virus are only available online, leaving those without internet access with no help at all. Digital Planet’s Angelica Mari explains the situation in Brazil’s favelas and talks about a number of community projects trying to bridge the technology gap. Mixed reality in Covid-19 wards Over...

Duration:00:45:02

Hacking internet-enabled cars

5/26/2020
Hacking internet-enabled cars About 40% of cars in the US are connected to the internet. While this enables many useful functions, it also makes them vulnerable to hacks. As all the electronics systems within the car are connected, hackers could take full control of the vehicle. Skanda Vivek tells Gareth how this is possible, and what would happen if a large number of cars were hacked at the same time. Covid-19 treatment trials in AI It is possible to do drug trials in vitro and in vivo –...

Duration:00:42:34

Testing EdTech

5/19/2020
Across the globe, learning has been transformed over the last few months, often with the help of specialised tech. More and more educational technology, or EdTech for short, is entering the market. But how do governments, schools, and teachers know which tools and platforms to use? And how do countries with limited resources choose the best tech for their needs? Gareth is joined by Joysy John from NESTA and Susan Nicolai, from the Edtech Hub, to find out. Bot or not? With so many of us...

Duration:00:43:51

Spain’s many COVID-19 apps

5/12/2020
In Spain, there are a total of nine COVID-19 tracing apps, but is this too many? Which type is preferable and does there need to be a more coordinated technology across Europe to track COVID-19? Digital Planet reporter Jennifer O’Mahony ask these questions and more on the programme. Ovarian cancer and AI In the final of our reports from the Cambridge Science Festival, Gareth and Bill meet Dr. Mireia Crispin Ortuzar. She researches AI that analyses radiographic images to help choose and track...

Duration:00:40:50

Chinese mobile data predicts Covid-19 Spread

5/5/2020
Using anonymous mobile data, researchers tracked the movement of people from Wuhan to other regions of China and showed that it was possible to predict the spread of the virus throughout the country. Professor Nicholas Christakis, a co-author of the study, shares how it was done and what other countries could learn from it. Malawi Solar-Powered Radios Malawi could be highly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In particular rural areas without access to electricity are in need of help....

Duration:00:45:25