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Podcast: The Computer Weekly Downtime Upload – Episode 9

In this week’s episode of The Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Caroline Donnelly hosts the show as Brian McKenna recovers from his latest jaunt to San Francisco, while Clare McDonald discusses women in technology, and the team once again talks about the need for unbiased artificial intelligence

In this week’s episode of the Computer Weekly Downtime Upload podcast, Brian McKenna, Caroline Donnelly and Clare McDonald dig a little deeper into some of the week’s biggest tech stories and trends.

  • Brian, fresh off the plane from San Francisco, talks about his tour of Silicon Valley startups focused on business applications and data analytics, and some of the sights he saw along the way. 
  • Clare and Caroline reminisce about the days of MySpace following the firm’s data migration blunder, leading to most data from its origins to 2015 being lost. The days of MySpace were full of adventures in HTML, emo pages and quizzes – but now it is no more. Could Facebook head in the same direction? And what happened to Clare’s Facebook page pets after one of the platform’s early revamps?
  • Returning refreshed from her holiday, Clare discusses her week of catching up with contacts, as well as the latest in women in tech news. NatWest has launched a crowdfunding programme focused on helping female startup founders more easily access funding – something women still struggle to find in the tech industry.
  • Clare also talks through a chat with Alex Depledge, co-founder of Resi, and shares unsurprising but important research from which found almost half of women in tech say diversity is not a focus of their firms.
  • The team round off by talking about Cliff Saran’s piece on the government’s launch of a probe into the creation of bias in artificial intelligence (AI). Pondering the meaning of “responsible innovation”, the team asks if some of these moves towards improving the UK’s technology landscape may be a distraction from the true implications of Brexit.
  • Rounding out the discussion, Brian flags a piece by Steven Mathieson referencing an Oxford-based festival looking into the ethics and implications of mixing social media and AI.

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