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FutureProofing

BBC Radio 4

29
Followers
217
Plays
FutureProofing

FutureProofing

BBC Radio 4

29
Followers
217
Plays
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About Us

Series examining the implications - social and cultural, economic and political - of the big ideas that are set to transform the way society functions

Latest Episodes

Apocalypse

Will 21st century technology avert or accelerate the Apocalypse? Humanity has always featured stories and fears about the end of the world. But never before have we possessed such power to influence the dangers, manage the risks or cause such existential disaster. Presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson travel to NASA’s Los Angeles laboratory, and the site of the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl to understand the risks of disaster that face us in the next century. They discover how artificial intelligence might accelerate the demise of humankind, whilst also offering us a pathway to survival and redemption. And they learn how titanium wafers containing the entire library of human achievement and knowledge could safeguard our civilisation in the farthest corners of the universe.

48 MIN2019 APR 25
Comments
Apocalypse

Home

How the home will be disrupted and transformed by radical technological change. Our homes may experience more disruption than anywhere else because of the forces unleashed by technological change. The notions we have about home - a private, secure, stable place where you can shut out the world and just be yourself - are under threat from technology and economic change. From the internet of things and the Smart Home, to the complete rejection of any permanent fixed abode, FutureProofing hears how our ideas about home will be transformed in the 21st century.

43 MIN2019 APR 18
Comments
Home

Opportunity

Presenters Leo Johnson and Timandra Harkness discover what impact technology will have on expanding - or contracting - opportunities for different sections of society in future. From a tough council estate in north London, to the labs at Harvard University developing tools to expand and augment human brain power, FutureProofing investigates how technology is set to alter the landscape of opportunity for millions in the 21st century. Algorithms could discriminate far more against different sections of the population, just as the network effects and low costs of entry might create huge new openings for people previously excluded from economic success. And the opportunities opened up by a revolutionary brain implant being developed in the USA could transform everyone's life chances in future. Producer: Jonathan Brunert

43 MIN2019 APR 11
Comments
Opportunity

Reality

Reality itself is changing - how will we experience and understand reality in future? Presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson discover different ways to experience reality as technology develops and great progress is made in our understanding of how the brain works. Visiting the designers who are creating powerful and immersive virtual worlds and characters in California, FutureProofing learns how far our everyday experience will be mediated by the virtual in the next few decades. And how far extra layers of information will augment reality for us. Leading thinkers Jaron Lanier and Karl Friston reveal the potential of this new technology and how our brains will cope with a world that is increasingly unreal in future. Producer: Jonathan Brunert

43 MIN2019 APR 4
Comments
Reality

Fashion

How does the global fashion industry worth more than a trillion dollars a year meet the disruption and upheaval that technological and social change now pose? Fashion carries not only the livelihoods of millions of workers, but has become a major cultural force which shapes and supports individual and community identity. Presenters Leo Johnson and Timandra Harkness find out how this huge global business aims to meet the challenges posed by technological developments, environmental threats and social changes which could spell the end for fashion as we have known it. FutureProofing meets designers, technology wizards, and those who influence and shape tomorrow's trends from across the globe. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

42 MIN2018 MAY 24
Comments
Fashion

Mental Health

How can we protect and improve our mental health in future? FutureProofing explores how we might achieve healthier minds, and whether far greater understanding of the way our brains work will be enough to treat mental illness and enhance mental health in the 21st century. In Silicon Valley, presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson discover the cutting edge technology that aims to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment. They learn about the prospect of mind control and pervasive tracking to monitor how well millions of people are functioning mentally in future. And they find out why our understanding of and attitudes towards mental health must change significantly, if we are to meet the challenge of what appears to be an explosion of mental ill health around the world. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

43 MIN2018 MAY 17
Comments
Mental Health

Animals

FutureProofing presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson find out what might happen when we properly understand animals and how much our relationship with them will change in future. They meet elephants in California, learn about "talking" dolphins in Florida, and discover the technological possibilities that could completely transform what we think of and how we act towards animals in future. From the possibilities of enhancing animals with technology, to ending all farming and finding a new way to grow animal protein that would do away with all slaughter, could the future herald greater equality between sentient creatures on our planet? Will humans and animals develop a partnership of equals? Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

43 MIN2018 MAY 10
Comments
Animals

Faith

FutureProofing presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson put their faith - and lack of faith - to the test in a journey from the Middle East to Silicon Valley, to find out how technology is disrupting the beliefs and practices of traditional faiths. They also discover how data and tech might provide the foundations for what influential thinkers like Yuval Noah Harari have dubbed a 'New Religion' for the 21st century and beyond. FutureProofing: Faith includes encounters with leading thinkers such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks; a leading member of President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Panel Robert Jeffress; and the world's most prominent humanist Professor Stephen Pinker. They reveal how traditional faiths and secularists are facing the challenge from technology. As the potential of technology to both explain the universe and deliver incredible power develops. so many of the features and promises we have found in older religions are being provided for and challenged by tech. From m...

43 MIN2018 MAY 3
Comments
Faith

Sin

Will sin disappear in future, as technology and a better understanding of human behaviour allow us to stop people from sinning before they act? And if sin does disappear, what would the consequences be? FutureProofing presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson find out how technology is changing our understanding of morality, and how social changes may create the circumstances for radically different moral values in future. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

42 MIN2017 JUN 8
Comments
Sin

Small

Discover how small things will significantly shape the future. From sub-atomic particles to small data and small politics, the small will affect the future in a big way. Presenters Leo Johnson and Timandra Harkness explore the world of the tiniest things, and learn about the power they hold to transform manufacturing, computers and the chances of artificial intelligence emerging in the next few decades. The programme explores how human society might be changed by the growing influence of small politics and the application of small data, and unlocks the secrets of the quantum universe. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

42 MIN2017 JUN 1
Comments
Small

Latest Episodes

Apocalypse

Will 21st century technology avert or accelerate the Apocalypse? Humanity has always featured stories and fears about the end of the world. But never before have we possessed such power to influence the dangers, manage the risks or cause such existential disaster. Presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson travel to NASA’s Los Angeles laboratory, and the site of the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl to understand the risks of disaster that face us in the next century. They discover how artificial intelligence might accelerate the demise of humankind, whilst also offering us a pathway to survival and redemption. And they learn how titanium wafers containing the entire library of human achievement and knowledge could safeguard our civilisation in the farthest corners of the universe.

48 MIN2019 APR 25
Comments
Apocalypse

Home

How the home will be disrupted and transformed by radical technological change. Our homes may experience more disruption than anywhere else because of the forces unleashed by technological change. The notions we have about home - a private, secure, stable place where you can shut out the world and just be yourself - are under threat from technology and economic change. From the internet of things and the Smart Home, to the complete rejection of any permanent fixed abode, FutureProofing hears how our ideas about home will be transformed in the 21st century.

43 MIN2019 APR 18
Comments
Home

Opportunity

Presenters Leo Johnson and Timandra Harkness discover what impact technology will have on expanding - or contracting - opportunities for different sections of society in future. From a tough council estate in north London, to the labs at Harvard University developing tools to expand and augment human brain power, FutureProofing investigates how technology is set to alter the landscape of opportunity for millions in the 21st century. Algorithms could discriminate far more against different sections of the population, just as the network effects and low costs of entry might create huge new openings for people previously excluded from economic success. And the opportunities opened up by a revolutionary brain implant being developed in the USA could transform everyone's life chances in future. Producer: Jonathan Brunert

43 MIN2019 APR 11
Comments
Opportunity

Reality

Reality itself is changing - how will we experience and understand reality in future? Presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson discover different ways to experience reality as technology develops and great progress is made in our understanding of how the brain works. Visiting the designers who are creating powerful and immersive virtual worlds and characters in California, FutureProofing learns how far our everyday experience will be mediated by the virtual in the next few decades. And how far extra layers of information will augment reality for us. Leading thinkers Jaron Lanier and Karl Friston reveal the potential of this new technology and how our brains will cope with a world that is increasingly unreal in future. Producer: Jonathan Brunert

43 MIN2019 APR 4
Comments
Reality

Fashion

How does the global fashion industry worth more than a trillion dollars a year meet the disruption and upheaval that technological and social change now pose? Fashion carries not only the livelihoods of millions of workers, but has become a major cultural force which shapes and supports individual and community identity. Presenters Leo Johnson and Timandra Harkness find out how this huge global business aims to meet the challenges posed by technological developments, environmental threats and social changes which could spell the end for fashion as we have known it. FutureProofing meets designers, technology wizards, and those who influence and shape tomorrow's trends from across the globe. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

42 MIN2018 MAY 24
Comments
Fashion

Mental Health

How can we protect and improve our mental health in future? FutureProofing explores how we might achieve healthier minds, and whether far greater understanding of the way our brains work will be enough to treat mental illness and enhance mental health in the 21st century. In Silicon Valley, presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson discover the cutting edge technology that aims to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment. They learn about the prospect of mind control and pervasive tracking to monitor how well millions of people are functioning mentally in future. And they find out why our understanding of and attitudes towards mental health must change significantly, if we are to meet the challenge of what appears to be an explosion of mental ill health around the world. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

43 MIN2018 MAY 17
Comments
Mental Health

Animals

FutureProofing presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson find out what might happen when we properly understand animals and how much our relationship with them will change in future. They meet elephants in California, learn about "talking" dolphins in Florida, and discover the technological possibilities that could completely transform what we think of and how we act towards animals in future. From the possibilities of enhancing animals with technology, to ending all farming and finding a new way to grow animal protein that would do away with all slaughter, could the future herald greater equality between sentient creatures on our planet? Will humans and animals develop a partnership of equals? Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

43 MIN2018 MAY 10
Comments
Animals

Faith

FutureProofing presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson put their faith - and lack of faith - to the test in a journey from the Middle East to Silicon Valley, to find out how technology is disrupting the beliefs and practices of traditional faiths. They also discover how data and tech might provide the foundations for what influential thinkers like Yuval Noah Harari have dubbed a 'New Religion' for the 21st century and beyond. FutureProofing: Faith includes encounters with leading thinkers such as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks; a leading member of President Trump's Evangelical Advisory Panel Robert Jeffress; and the world's most prominent humanist Professor Stephen Pinker. They reveal how traditional faiths and secularists are facing the challenge from technology. As the potential of technology to both explain the universe and deliver incredible power develops. so many of the features and promises we have found in older religions are being provided for and challenged by tech. From m...

43 MIN2018 MAY 3
Comments
Faith

Sin

Will sin disappear in future, as technology and a better understanding of human behaviour allow us to stop people from sinning before they act? And if sin does disappear, what would the consequences be? FutureProofing presenters Timandra Harkness and Leo Johnson find out how technology is changing our understanding of morality, and how social changes may create the circumstances for radically different moral values in future. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

42 MIN2017 JUN 8
Comments
Sin

Small

Discover how small things will significantly shape the future. From sub-atomic particles to small data and small politics, the small will affect the future in a big way. Presenters Leo Johnson and Timandra Harkness explore the world of the tiniest things, and learn about the power they hold to transform manufacturing, computers and the chances of artificial intelligence emerging in the next few decades. The programme explores how human society might be changed by the growing influence of small politics and the application of small data, and unlocks the secrets of the quantum universe. Producer: Jonathan Brunert.

42 MIN2017 JUN 1
Comments
Small
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