Bull Session181 podcasts

Bull Session

Genetically Modified Crops

April 12, 2018          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about the USDA’s recent announcement, declaring a regulation free approach to the design, cultivation, and sale of certain gene-edited plants.

On March 28, 2018, the USDA made an important announcement that included the following statement: “Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques ….” This includes new methods, like genome editing, that “can introduce new plant traits more quickly and precisely, potentially saving years or even decades in bringing needed new varieties to farmers.”

Genetically modified crops may be better able to resist herbicides, withstand viral and fungal attacks, contain more nutrients and even be more flavorful. However, in the US, because such GM food products will not likely be subject to disclosure, it’s only a matter of time before CRISPR altered foods are available at your grocery store with (or without) your knowledge. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Crispr’d Food, Coming Soon to a Supermarket Near You

Bull Session

Digital People

April 5, 2018          

Episode Summary

What happens when we can’t distinguish between the real and the artificial? On The Digital Life this week, we chat about what happens when we’re able to create convincing representations of people, digitally.

At the Game Developer Conference last week, Epic Games showed off Siren, a digital character powered by the real-time motion capture of an actress on the stage. The character detail, shading, and lighting was of especially high quality, including realistic looking facial expressions. While Siren isn’t quite capable of blurring the line between CGI and reality, the technology is definitely a big step in that direction.

The longer term possibilities of technologies like this seem endless: With realistic digital rendering of people in virtual space, it will be possible to digitally capture yourself or your family to potentially interact with future generations. On the other hand, it will also be possible to make it appear as if people said things that they really didn’t, further contributing to the deluge of digital misinformation. Join us as we discuss.

Resources:
Epic Games shows off amazing real-time digital human with Siren demo

Bull Session

Designing Creative Culture

March 22, 2018          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, for our 250th episode, we discuss designing a creative culture with guest Juhan Sonin, director of our studio, GoInvo.

Many companies try to create a design-centered culture in order to drive innovation but fall flat. We talk about some of our studio tenets and approaches that have worked. In particular we dig into the concept of transparency: seeking to tell the truth to others, both within an without an organization, with the intention of doing the most possible good. We also explore the concept of continuous learning, as we are curious, open creators, who welcome new ideas and the input of others. Join us as we discuss!

Bull Session

The Speed of Lies

March 15, 2018          

Episode Summary

On this episode of The Digital Life, we chat about a recent study, published in the journal Science by researchers at MIT Media Lab and the MIT Sloan School of Management, showing that false news spreads more quickly online than truthful news. We explore the alarming implications for our ongoing political discussions and possible impacts on society of the spread of misinformation on social media.

 

Resources:
How Lies Spread Online

The spread of true and false news online