The Technically Human Podcast
The Future of the Ethical Technology Workforce

The Future of the Ethical Technology Workforce

June 3, 2022

For our last episode of the season, I sit down with Rebekah Tweed to talk about the topic that has animated my research for the past year: The future of what I have been calling the new profession of ethical technology.

As listeners may know, for the past year I have led a team of researchers for the National Science Foundation to explore this new profession, to assess what it means, and to proactively define it in order to ensure that workers in this profession can succeed in these roles, and that they can make the ethical difference they were hired to make.

So I was especially excited to talk to Rebekah Tweed, the creator of the Responsible Tech Job Board, which features roles that are focused on reducing the harms of technology, diversifying the tech pipeline, and ensuring that tech is aligned with the public interest. It’s the first job board of its kind, it attracts both hirers and job seekers who are interested in creating ethical change in tech, and it is already changing the industry and defining the field.  

Rebekah Tweed is a leader in Responsible Technology careers, talent, and hiring trends. Alongside her role as curator and creator of the Responsible Tech Job Board, she is the Program Director at All Tech is Human, where she heads up various programs including their mentorship program and university ambassadors program. She is also the Co-Chair of the IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative Editing Committee and a member of the Arts Committee.

And that’s all for this season! We are off for the summer, but we’ll be back in September with brand new episodes of Technically Human. Until then, check out our archives. Enjoy the summer, and see you in September!

Battery Power: Dr. John Cooley on the technology replacing fossil fuels

Battery Power: Dr. John Cooley on the technology replacing fossil fuels

May 27, 2022

In this episode, I talk to Dr. John Cooley, the Founder and Chief of Products of Nanoramic Laboratories, a company reinventing the transportation industry with new battery technologies to replace fossil fuel consumption in our car economy. We talk about the relationship between ethical innovation and financial success, the state of the auto industry's transition to battery power, the controversial ethics of battery technology, and the growth of the climate tech industry and environmental consciousness.

Dr. John Cooley is the founder and Chief of Products and Innovation at Nanoramic Laboratories, a company working to accelerate the adoption and universality of battery-powered transportation. He holds five (5) technical degrees from MIT including the Ph.D. from the Electrical Engineering dept. 

Dr. Cooley has been issued several patents including four for his thesis work. He has presented and published papers in the areas of power converter control and modeling, linearized circuit analysis, capacitive sensing, building energy management, and in education. His interests lie in energy-related problems of scale and the ways in which we can impact those with technology and policy.

Disconnect: Millennials, media, and mental health

Disconnect: Millennials, media, and mental health

May 20, 2022

This week, I’ll turn the mic over to two guest hosts, for a conversation about mental health and technology with Dr. Elizabeth Barrett, licensed family-marriage counselor, author, and Cal Poly professor. Cal Poly “Technically Human” students Katelyn Travis and Katrina Loye interview Dr. Barrett to discuss the modern implications of digital technologies for family and romantic dynamics.

The episode delves into the complications of recent technology, including social media apps and the shift into virtual education due to Covid-19. In a virtual world, we lose connection and intimacy in the relationships that should be most important to us, and Dr. Barrett helps us brainstorm ways that we can reconnect in our coldly digital world.

Dr. Elizabeth Barrett is a Psychology and Child Development professor at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she lectures on the topics of counseling, family psychology, child abuse and neglect, and marriage and family therapy. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist of 20 years and a mental health coach specializing in personal growth, family life, and relationship issues. She has worked with the county of San Luis Obispo as a crisis/in-home counselor for a child abuse prevention program where she focused on communication’s importance in individual health and the well-being of a family. Her expertise surrounding family psychology and the psychological impact of our evolving society is enhanced through her roles as a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter. She shares her concerns regarding our collective mental health and the direction of the helping professions on her weekly radio program on Public Radio KCBX, A Conversation with the Reluctant Therapist.

The Clean Meat Revolution

The Clean Meat Revolution

May 13, 2022

In this episode, we take a deep dive into the technology of “Clean Meat,” with Paul Shapiro. We talk about the ethics of eating non-human animals, the technological history that led to factory farming and the technology that is allowing human animals to eat meat, in what we might call the "Clean Meat" revolution--a term that nods to the clean energy revolution that has transformed the energy sector.

Paul Shapiro author of the national bestseller Clean Meat, published in 2018. When Paul took his first bite of clean meat in 2014, more humans had gone into space than had eaten real meat grown outside an animal. In addition to being among the world’s first clean meat consumers, Paul is a four-time TEDx speaker, the host of the Business for Good Podcast, the CEO of The Better Meat Co., and long-time leader in food sustainability. Paul is a researcher, innovator, industry leader, and public scholar swho has published hundreds of articles in publications ranging from daily newspapers to academic journals. Paul lives in Sacramento, California with his wife Toni Okamoto, author and founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, and their very friendly pit bull Eddie. Clean Meat (2018) is his first book, is a Washington Post bestseller, and has been translated into seven languages.

You can read more about Paul’s work and contact him at www.paul-shapiro.com.

Intercode: Part 2

Intercode: Part 2

May 6, 2022

This week's episode is the second episode of a 2 part series of Technically Human. Over the next two episodes, I speak with six women/nonbinary/trans individuals about their experiences transitioning into the tech industry after leaving established careers. They share their stories about what led them to decide to leave their established careers and retrain as technologists through the Grace Hopper Coding Academy, a program specifically targeting women/nonbinary/trans individuals who want to learn how to code so that they can pursue careers in the tech industry. We discuss the challenges that women/nonbinary/trans individuals face when pursuing careers in tech. We talk about what tech represents for those who have been historically excluded from it, and their decision to launch their new collective, "Intercode," a platform that seeks to establish a community for Womyn+ in tech to share their stories and forge new connections.

Intercode is a collective of voices exploring how the intersection of identity and privilege impacts every facet of the tech industry–including access, culture and the ethics governing the space. Through candid conversation and writing, we work to tackle the ways current DEI efforts can still fall short in fostering inclusive and equitable spaces. ​​

The idea for Intercode began with several candid discussions amongst a group of software developers and recent graduates from the Grace Hopper Program, a NY-based bootcamp targeted towards historically underrepresented candidates in the field of engineering. While sharing our perspectives we quickly realized that these discussions were valuable enough to merit a larger audience and began laying the groundwork to create a formal space for us to share these perspectives with the world.

Intercode: A panel discussion about gender and transitioning into tech

Intercode: A panel discussion about gender and transitioning into tech

April 30, 2022

This week's episode is the first of a 2 part series of Technically Human. Over the next two episodes, I speak with six women/nonbinary/trans individuals about their experiences transitioning into the tech industry after leaving established careers. They share their stories about what led them to decide to leave their established careers and retrain as technologists through the Grace Hopper Coding Academy, a program specifically targeting women/nonbinary/trans individuals who want to learn how to code so that they can pursue careers in the tech industry. We discuss the challenges that women/nonbinary/trans individuals face when pursuing careers in tech. We talk about what tech represents for those who have been historically excluded from it, and their decision to launch their new collective, "Intercode," a platform that seeks to establish a community for Womyn+ in tech to share their stories and forge new connections.

Serena Chang is a Fullstack software engineer and professional dancer in New York City looking to combine both these passions in her next career. Chang was dancing as one of the lead roles in the off-broadway performance, “Then She Fell” and prepared to go on an international tour prior to the performance shutdowns due to Covid. Looking for another creative and technical pathway, she became immersed in coding and the endless creative possibilities it offered to interface with humans.

Kelsey Roy is a Software Engineer who is seeking to implement socially conscious practices in the tech sphere. She has held previous roles as a Data Analyst and Operations Manager and as a Project Management Consultant. Kelsey is devoted to a career working for mission-driven organizations with diverse and collaborative environments that make a positive difference in the world. Related to her passion for supporting DEI efforts in tech, she is also interested in the ethics surrounding AI, machine learning, and computing in general.

Jazma Foskin is a Fullstack Software Engineer who recently graduated from the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy. She is an Army Veteran who is passionate about learning, traveling, and growing. Combining technology and creativity has allowed her to work on passion projects that are aiming to push the Black and LGBTQIA+ community forward. As a Black woman, Jazma is continuing to be a representation so that others may see themselves in her and understand they too no matter their starting point can accomplish their goals.

Diana Viglucci (they/them) is a full stack developer, community-builder, and lifelong learner. They like writing code that brings people joy, helps them learn something new, or that makes resources more accessible. Diana completed their technical training at the Grace Hopper Program, where they were best known for their Stackathon-winning rat tracker app. Prior to transitioning into tech, they worked in community-based nonprofit programs, supporting individuals and their families as they navigated mental health issues, career changes, and LGBTQ+ identity. A cum laude graduate of Cornell University, Diana finds joy in making art, spending time in nature, and turning off their phone for hours-long stretches. Their work is grounded in person-centered, trauma-informed, and intersectional perspectives - and always will be - because software is for people.

Violet Cutler (She/They) is a trans woman living in Philadelphia. She has been an artist and performer for more than a decade. She has also spent that time organizing DIY events in the queer and trans community and really values community building. She spent the last 4 years working in a food coop. She co-organized a successful union campaign when Covid struck. Despite this success, the dangers of the pandemic drove her to look for another way to support herself. In August of 2021, she quit her job and began studying to get into the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy. She graduated in April 2022 and looks forward to a career in Tech and Game Development. Her priorities moving forward are accessibility of the web and creating spaces in tech for other marginalized identities.

Jessica Donig (she/her) is a Fullstack software engineer with a background in social entrepreneurship. Prior to attending Grace Hopper, Jessica co-founded a nonprofit, worked as the first employee of a YC-backed startup, and conducted clinical research at Stanford University.  From the time she entered the startup world in 2015, Jessica wanted to learn to code, but the lack of female representation in the field had made her hesitant to do so. Now that she has completed her coursework, Jessica is passionate about helping other nontraditional engineers—especially women—see themselves in tech.

Technology For Life: Disaster relief and life-saving tech

Technology For Life: Disaster relief and life-saving tech

April 22, 2022

In this episode of “Technically Human” I talk to Dov Maisel, the cofounder of United Hatzalah, an organization that leverages technologies to provide disaster relief around the world when crisis strikes—in Haiti, Florida, Nepal, Israel, and right now, in the devastating war in Ukraine. We talk about United Hatzalah’s ethic of providing free emergency care to all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, or nationality, we talk about how technologies are changing the terrain of disaster relief, and we discuss how existing technologies can be transformed into life-saving ones.

Dov Maisel is an Innovator, volunteer and world renown expert in disaster management. In 2006, Dovi helped to cofound United Hatzalah, Israel’s first nationwide, all volunteer EMS organization. He invented the technology for United Hatzalah’s Uber-like GPS based dispatch system which locates and sends the EMT closest to the medical emergency to provide aid. He led the United Hatzalah international relief missions in Haiti, Nepal and in both Houston and Florida, USA, after the devastating hurricanes that decimated the communities there, and he managed the United Hatzalah EMS response teams in Mumbai immediately after the shocking terror attacks that took place there in 2008. He works as the head of International Operations of United Hatzalah, which is currently providing critical care and emergency aid in Ukraine. He continues to save lives as a volunteer, instructor and mass casualty incident manager.

United Hatzalah is the largest independent, non-profit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization providing free emergency medical first response. They have provided critical life-saving care in the wake of devastating disasters in Haiti, Nepal, Houston, Florida, Mumbai, and they are currently on the ground in Ukraine. United Hatzalah’s service is available to all people regardless of race, religion, or national origin. United Hatzalah has more than 6,200 volunteers around the country, available around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

United Hatzalah is currently providing crucial on the ground aid in Ukraine. To donate to United Hatzalah and to support their work in Ukraine, please visit their website: https://israelrescue.org/

AI for the Developing World

AI for the Developing World

April 15, 2022

In this episode, I interview Prateek Joshi, Founder and CEO of Plutoshift. We talk about the importance of local and cultural knowledge in a global tech economy, the ethical obligations of technological producers in the West to technological development in developing countries, and how AI transforming the landscape of the developing world.

Prateek Joshi is the Founder and CEO of Plutoshift, a company that leverages AI to create sustainable, and life-saving, technologies that help meet basic needs in developing countries. He is the author of 13 books on ML, including a #1 Best Seller, and the host of the Infinite Machine Learning podcast  He has been featured on ForbesFortuneCNBCTechCrunch, and Bloomberg, and he publishes a tech blog with readership in 200+ countries. 

The Opportunity Trap: tech’s visa problem

The Opportunity Trap: tech’s visa problem

April 8, 2022

In this episode, Dr. Pallavi Banerjee joins me to talk about her new book, The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families and the Failures of Dependent-Visa Program. We talk about the role of immigrants in American tech culture, the challenges that immigrants coming to the U.S. to work face in the immigration process, and the need to think about what "tech" is, beyond our just technological products.

Dr. Pallavi Banerjee is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Calgary. Her research interests lie at the intersections of sociology of families, immigration, labour, gender, transnationalism and critical feminist theories. Her new book looks at the experience of Indian immigrants coming to the U.S. to work in the tech sector through the American visa program, and the problems with an immigration system that offers opportunities for immigrants, while often simultaneously wreaking havoc on their lives and families.

 

Market Values: Dr. Steven Kelts on corporate ethics in the tech industry

Market Values: Dr. Steven Kelts on corporate ethics in the tech industry

April 1, 2022

We are back, with another season of “Technically Human.”

For our first episode of the season, we're bringing you a conversation with Dr. Steven Kelts. We talk about corporate ethics, we debate the role of values in tech culture, and Steven plays "optimistic cop" to my "cynical cop," to argue that he's hopeful for, and excited about, the future of ethics in tech culture.

Steven Kelts is a political theorist and long-time ethics educator, and a Lecturer at Princeton University, in the Politics Department and at the University Center for Human Values. 

His current research is on the history and uses of market ideas, including theories of the firm and corporate organization. In addition to ongoing writing projects, Dr. Kelts consults in the private sector with companies looking to align their market value with their ethical values, working to develop frameworks to help employees navigate ethical pitfalls in their organizational culture.

This episode was produced by Deb Donig and Sakina Nuruddin.

Art by Desi Aleman.

Body Snatchers: Manjula Padmanabhan discusses the drama of technology and the black market of organ harvesting

Body Snatchers: Manjula Padmanabhan discusses the drama of technology and the black market of organ harvesting

March 11, 2022

Today’s episode is the final episode of our season. The episode features a very special conversation, one that I have wanted to have since I started the show two years ago. In the episode, I sit down with Manjula Padmanabhan. We talk about her play, Harvest, and the connection between market demand in the West and body supply in the global South, and we discuss the relationship between organ donation, as a technology, and human rights, as a philosophy. And Manjula explains why science fiction matters for our ability to understand, and to create, what it means to be human.

Manjula Padmanabhan is an author, playwright, artist and cartoonist. She grew up in Europe and South Asia, returning to India as a teenager. Her play Harvest won the Onassis Award for Theatre, in 1997, in Greece. Her books include Getting There, Escape, and The Island of Lost Girls. She has illustrated over twenty children’s books including I Am Different and Shrinking Vanita. She lives in the US, with a home in New Delhi.

This episode concludes the 7th season of "Technically Human." We’ll be back at the beginning of April, with more episodes of the show. 

One important note: our producer, Matt Perry, who has been with the show since its early days, is moving on to pursue some dreams. Matt's work, his brilliance, and his vision has helped to build the show to what it is today. Thank you, Matt! 

To our listeners, thanks for listening, and we will see you in April with more episodes of Technically Human.

This episode was produced by Matt Perry and Sakina Nuruddin.

Art by Desi Aleman.

Word Processing: how tech transforms translation

Word Processing: how tech transforms translation

March 4, 2022

In this episode, I chat with Christopher Willis, the Chief Marketing Officer of Acrolinx. We discuss how our digital and globally connected world is posing new challenges for—and new ways of thinking about or solving—how we talk to one another across cultures, across language barriers, across national boundaries, and we talk about just how human language is, in an age where AI can do a lot of the talking.

Christopher Willis is the Chief Marketing Officer of Acrolinx, an industry pioneer that is changing how we think about language across borders, cultures, and national boundaries. We talk about how tech is transforming translation, and just how human language is, in an age where AI can do a lot of the talking. Chris is widely recognized for his public speaking, his innovation, and his ability to build success from the ground up. His work focuses on centering tech around human values and foregrounding inclusive language practices in technology and translation.

This episode was produced by Matt Perry.

Art by Desi Aleman.

The Next Generation of AI

The Next Generation of AI

February 25, 2022

In this episode of “Technically Human,” I sit down with Dr. Eric Daimler. We talk about one of the biggest technology problems facing us today—data deluge—and how new computational models and theories can help solve it and, Dr. Daimler weighs in on the gaps, differences, and possibilities for collaboration between policy, industry, and academia. And we talk about what a vision of “AI for Good” might look like in a world of increasingly infinite data.

Dr. Eric Daimler is a leading authority in robotics and artificial intelligence with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, technologist, and policymaker. He served under the Obama Administration as a Presidential Innovation Fellow for AI and Robotics in the Executive Office of President, as the sole authority driving the agenda for U.S. leadership in research, commercialization, and public adoption of AI & Robotics.

Dr. Daimler has incubated, built and led several technology companies recognized as pioneers in their fields ranging from software systems to statistical arbitrage. His newest venture, Conexus, is a groundbreaking solution for what is perhaps today's biggest information technology problem — data deluge.

As founder and CEO of Conexus, Dr. Daimler  is leading the development of CQL, a patent-pending platform founded upon category theory — a revolution in mathematics — to help companies manage the overwhelming and rapidly growing challenge of data integration and migration.

His academic research has been at the intersection of AI, Computational Linguistics, and Network Science (Graph Theory). His work has expanding to include economics and public policy. He served as Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean at Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science where he founded the university's Entrepreneurial Management program and helped to launch Carnegie Mellon's Silicon Valley Campus. He has studied at the University of Washington-Seattle, Stanford University, and Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science.

Dr. Daimler’s extensive career spanning business, academics and policy give him a rare perspective on the next generation of AI. Dr. Daimler sees clearly how information technology can dramatically improve our world. However, it demands our engagement. Neither a utopia nor dystopia is inevitable. What matters is how we shape and react to, its development.

This episode was produced by Matt Perry.

Our head of reseaarch is Sakina Nuruddin.

Art by Desi Aleman.

Creative (R)evolution: PJ Manney and science fiction for good

Creative (R)evolution: PJ Manney and science fiction for good

February 18, 2022

In this episode, I sit down with science fiction writer, essayist, innovator, and cultural icon PJ Manney. We talk about the relationship between literature and empathy, the feedback loops between science fiction imagining and technological production, and how art is, and always has been, a technology. 

PJ Manney is the author of the bestselling and Philip K. Dick Award-nominated science fiction technothriller, (R)EVOLUTION (2015), published by 47North in the Phoenix Horizon trilogy with, (ID)ENTITY (2017), and (CON)SCIENCE, (2021). Set as alternate, future American histories, the novels chart the influence of world-changing technologies on power and nations. 

A former chairperson of Humanity Plus, she helped rebrand the organization, launch H+ Magazine and organize the first multi-org conference on futurist topics, Convergence ’08. She authored "Yucky Gets Yummy: How Speculative Fiction Creates Society"​ and "Empathy in the Time of Technology: How Storytelling is the Key to Empathy,"​ foundational works on the neuropsychology of empathy and media.

Manney presented her ideas to National Geographic, the Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, NASA-JPL, M.I.T., Huffington Post, The H+ Summit, and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, She is also a frequent guest on podcasts and webshows, and is widely published in as a public thinker and critic. Manney consults for varied organizations about the future of humanity and technology, including artificial intelligence, robotics, cyborgs, nanotechnology, biotechnology, brain-computer interfaces, space, blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

Manney worked for over 25 years in film/TV: motion picture PR at Walt Disney/Touchstone Pictures; story development for independent film production companies; and writing as Patricia Manney for the critically acclaimed hit TV shows Hercules — The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. She also co-founded Uncharted Entertainment, writing and/or creating many pilot scripts for television networks, including CBS, Fox, UPN, Discovery, ABC Family and Comedy Central.

This episode was produced by Matt Perry.

Our Head of Research is Sakina Nuruddin.

Art by Desi Aleman.

Running Interference: will democracy survive foreign cyber attacks?

Running Interference: will democracy survive foreign cyber attacks?

February 11, 2022

For the final episode of our 3 part series on democracy and technology, I am bringing you a conversation with Professor Chimène Keitner on cyber interference in democratic elections, and international law. We talk about the challenges and shortcomings of international legal structures in recognizing and responding to cyber interference in democratic processes, we discuss the way that democracies are made vulnerable by digital products, and Chimène explains what happened in the infamous Russian interference into 2016 election--and what might be in store for our democratic process as we approach the deeply consequential 2024 US Presidential election.

Professor Chimène Keitner is the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Professor of International Law at UC Hastings, where she teaches courses on International Law; on Democracy, Technology and Security; and on legal approaches to Evidence, among many other topics. She is a leading authority on international law and civil litigation, and served as the 27th Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and literature with high honors from Harvard, a JD from Yale, where she was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow, and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

She has authored two books and dozens of articles, essays, and book chapters on questions surrounding the relationship among law, communities, and borders, including issues of jurisdiction, extraterritoriality, foreign sovereign and foreign official immunity, and the historical understandings underpinning current practice in these areas.

Professor Keitner has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and as Co-Chair of the ASIL International Law in Domestic Courts Interest Group. She is a member of the American Law Institute and an Adviser on the ALI’s Fourth Restatement of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States. She is also a founding co-chair of the International Law Association’s Study Group on Individual Responsibility in International Law., and a member of the state department’s advisory committee on international law.

 

This episode was produced by Matt Perry.

Our head of research is Sakina Nuruddin.

Art by Desi Aleman.

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