We talk to Shoshana Zuboff about The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, her game-changing account of what's gone wrong with the world of big tech and how to fix it. What is surveillance power and why is it destroying the things we value? How have we allowed this to happen? Where will the resistance come from? Plus we ask whether the real problem here is technology or capitalism itself. With John Naughton.
How did Facebook get to be so powerful and what, if anything, can we do to take some of that power back? David talks to John Naughton about the rise and possible fall of Mark Zuckerberg’s social media monolith.
With the help of John Naughton and Jennifer Cobbe we unpick the Cambridge Analytica story and get to the heart of the matter: what is Facebook doing to us and can anything make it stop? We talk about the business of surveillance capitalism and the difference between a scandal and a crisis. Plus how working in tech is like working on the Manhattan Project and how Cambridge Analytica is like the Australian cricket team.
John Naughton talks to Philip Howard of the Oxford Internet Institute about whether the digital revolution has been good or bad for democracy. Will the Internet of Things usher in an era of universal peace or universal surveillance? What happened to the hopes of tech liberation that came with the Arab Spring? Is there anything we can do about fake news? A fascinating conversation between two recovering utopians about the past, present and future of the internet age.
This week we talk to James Williams, winner of the inaugural Nine Dots Prize, which offered $100,000 for the best answer to the question: 'Are digital technologies making politics impossible?' James used to work at Google and he channeled his experiences for his prize-winning entry. He tells us what he learned there and what it means to live in the attention economy. Plus we discuss how Trump has managed to monopolise the attention of the entire world. Along with the money, James now has to write a book with his answer - we'll be checking in with him along the way to see how he's getting on. With John Naughton.
Technology guru and Observer columnist John Naughton joins David and Aaron to talk about the knotty relationship between tech and politics. Does the online world have a right-wing bias? Why are Silicon Valley billionaires frightened of Trump? And just what have the Russians been playing at? Plus Aaron takes us through the latest twists and turns as the outgoing Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration squabble over America's place in the world.