What inspires us

Podcasts & Audio Bits

Whether on a train, driving or exercising – most of us will be consuming a podcast. These are some of our favourites.

Steven Pinker: AI in the Age of Reason

Steven Pinker: AI in the Age of Reason

Author | Lex Fridman: Steven Pinker

In this episode of Lex Fridman’s podcast, they discuss the topic AI in the Age of Reason. Here Steven Pinker debunks and explores many AI-related questions. Steven Pinker is a professor at Harvard and before that was a professor at MIT. He is also the author of many books.

Here are a few highlights from the conversation:

On AI being an existential threat, either by enslaving us or turning us into paper clips  – ‘totally fanciful’

On the impact of AI on jobs, displacing and replacing human in thousands of jobs – ‘are they jobs worth keeping? ‘ Pinker admonishes the literature which romanticizes these lost (shitty) jobs

On productive ‘fear’ vs ‘paralysing fear’ – Human effort is not well calibrated against risk. Because a basic tenet of cognitive psychology is that perception of risk and fear is driven by imaginability and not by data. This means we allocate trillions of dollars to fighting terrorism which kills a very small number of Americans & Australians a year, yet guaranteed risks, like traffic fatalities (40k pa in the US alone), and pandemics and nuclear war which are plausible enough to worry about receive far too little attention.

On the human tendency to amplify fear instead of good news – ‘Always predict the worst and you will be hailed as a prophet’

On the many fanciful claims about AI destroying our world – It assumes that engineering culture will suddenly become one which only maximises the objective with no care for risks. His 2 examples are compelling:

  • If that was how engineering culture worked then why were cars built with brakes if the goal of a car is to go fast
  • If we program a self-driving car to get to a destination by taking the shortest possible route, it won’t steamroll houses and parks to get there.

That’s not artificial general intelligence that’s artificial stupidity.

Casa de Cambio

Casa de Cambio

Presenter: Natasha Redman

Why we love it

Natasha Redman is joined by a diverse cross-section of subject matter experts from change managers, authors and C-suite exploring the world of change management, tech, innovation, transformation, strategy and corporate life.

What I learnt from it

Not all change is equal, but challengers of change are universal. When embarking on any cultural change or technology implementation, effective change management is critical to ensure not only acceptance of the new world order, but rigorous and enthusiastic adoption!

Why it’s a must

For anyone interested in answering the question “what’s the value of change management?”, it is a great starting point. Natasha explores different aspects and challengers or organisational change, with leading experts providing insight on their success (and failures) through transformation.

Who should pay attention?

Business leaders, HR, Transformation, Change Managers, Recruiters.

Avoiding Loserthink with Scott Adams

Avoiding Loserthink with Scott Adams

Presenters: Scott Adams

Why we love it

Dilbert creator and author Scott Adams shares cognitive tools and tricks we can use to think better, expand our perspective, and avoid slumping into “loserthink.”

Why we recommend it

There is a story of “bias” in how he got into creating Dilbert. He was told by two employers that “we can’t promote you because you are white, because we have been promoting too many of them, so now we have to fix it”. Essentially Dilbert is a result of him leaving his day job because his employers were trying to fix the bias in their promotion process!

Here are a few highlights from the conversation:

  • People who are writing non-fiction believe they’re telling you what is objectively true in the world, but we don’t have that capability. We all have this illusion that the version of the world we’re seeing is the one, and that if anybody’s got a different version, they must be wrong. It’s sort of the most common illusion that we all have.
  • When I say somebody is using loserthink, I don’t mean that they’re a loser. It’s not about the person. It is about the experience which the person has been subjected to. People tend to come at topics with just the filter that they just happen to have because of the life that they led. What I recommend is that you expose yourself at least to the general ideas of how other people think.

 

Algorithmic Fairness, Bias, Privacy, and Ethics in Machine Learning

Algorithmic Fairness, Bias, Privacy, and Ethics in Machine Learning

Why we love it

This conversation is part of the Artificial Intelligence podcast. It’s a very informative session about AI fairness with Prof Michael Kearns a co-author of the book Ethical Algorithm.

Michael Kearns is a professor at University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of the new book Ethical Algorithm that is the focus of much of our conversation, including algorithmic fairness, privacy, and ethics in general. But, that is just one of many fields that Michael is a world-class researcher in, some of which we touch on quickly including learning theory or theoretical foundations of machine learning, game theory, algorithmic trading, quantitative finance, computational social science, and more.

Why it’s a must

Buddhi is a regular consumer of Lex Fridmans podcasts – he attracts an extraordinary array of minds and perspectives from Daniel Kaheman, Melanie Mitchell, Paul Krugman, Elon Musk and he asks such thoughtful original questions of people interviewed many times over that every podcast feels illuminating for both sides.

Themes covered

  • Are most people good?
  • Ethical algorithms
  • Algorithmic fairness of groups vs individuals
  • Algorithm that determines what is fair
  • Algorithmic privacy
  • Privacy of data in society
  • Machine learning and game theory

 

 

‎HBR IdeaCast: A New Way to Combat Bias at Work

‎HBR IdeaCast: A New Way to Combat Bias at Work

Presented by: Joan Williams

Why we love it

A brilliant captivating podcast on the types of biases that turn up at work and an exploration of bias interrupters. Bias and the D & I space is overflowing with content and so it’s inspiring when you come across a wholly original way of labelling it (Bropreating whypeating, and menteruption).

What’s less effective-single-bias training … referral hiring! This is because it risks ‘reproducing the demography of your current organisation’. What’s way more effective-correcting the bias in your business systems and the most contrarian view on the topic of performance reviews I’ve read for a while … Keep your performance reviews! Removing them creates a ‘petri dish for bias’.

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