While the stereotype of the Afghan Taliban is that they lack sophistication, that certainly isn’t true for their online presence, which is geared to influence across many languages within Afghanistan and around the world. Adam Rutland co-founder of the Centre for Information Resilience looks at the effectiveness of their campaign and how they have learnt from both ISIS and Hamas. We also look at computer guided initiatives for understanding the working of the human brain. Alex Frangi and Ali Sarrami Foroushani from Leeds University have a model which can be used to do research which would be dangerous in real people. And Fern Luham reports on the technology she and other blind people can use around the home from practical devices to those that help with her social life. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Ghislaine Boddington Studio Manager: Nigel Dix Producer: Julian Siddle (Image: Getty Images)
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Women's safety online
44:38False information online has left one in five girls feeling physically unsafe, according to The Truth Gap, a new report by Plan International. One in three say false information is affecting their mental health, leaving them feeling stressed, worried and anxious. Others reported concerns about bogus events advertised on social media placing them at physical risk, or unreliable medical advice that could harm their health. Girls and young women from low and middle-income countries were more likely to be affected by unreliable or false information online, and twice as likely to have questioned whether to get the vaccine than those in high income countries. The researchers are calling on governments to educate children and young people in digital literacy. Related to this, BBC Misinformation reporter Marianna Spring, who has also been subjected to misogynistic online, abuse set out to understand how why such content seems to be promoted on some social media platforms. We examine her findings. There is more from Marianna’s investigation in Panorama ‘ Online abuse :why do you hate me?’ And Emily Bird reports on robots used to study glaciers in situations which would be far too dangerous for human researchers. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Ghislaine Boddington Studio Manager: Duncan Hannant Producer: Julian Siddle (Image: ‘Barry’ CGI image from Panorama ‘ Online abuse :why do you hate me?. Credit: thispersondoesnotexist.com)
Economic cost of the digital gender gap
45:21Research by the World Wide Web Foundation has found that the gender gap for internet accessibility has cost countries billions of USD in lost GDP. In the 32 countries studied a third of women were connected to the internet compared to almost half of men. This digital gender gap, their report says, has cost low and lower middle income countries USD $1 trillion over a decade. Director of Research, Catherine Adeya, joins us live from Nairobi and we also hear from Ian Mangenga who set up the Digital Girl Africa project to get more women online. Counting people with WiFi Researchers have developed a method of counting crowds that doesn’t require complex AI or expensive camera surveillance but rather simple WiFi signals. Yasamin Mostofi from the University of California Santa Barbara tells us more about how this method measures fidgeting behaviours to figure out the size of a crowd and how it could be put to use. The BFI London Film Festival Expanded The BFI London Film Festival is going immersive. Reporter Hannah Fisher has had a preview of this year’s hybrid programme which is full of tech - interactive VR, 360 films, augmented reality, mixed reality and live immersive performance. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Bill Thompson. Studio Manager: Nigel Dix Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz (Image: Majority World / Getty Images)
Census goes digital in India
45:03This decade’s Indian national census will be the first to be carried out digitally. However, COVID-related delays have slowed progress and there are growing concerns about its accuracy. Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Bhaskar Chakravorti explains how data will be collected and why the census is likely to miss essential parts of the population. Getting mums coding and encouraging girls into tech in Nigeria June Angelides set up the UK’s first child-friendly coding school for mums, Mums in Tech, while on maternity leave. She’s now asking children to take part in the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s “Super Realoes” competition to design a superhero gadget that can make a positive impact in the world around them or a piece of assistive tech to help improve someone’s life. Unfinished symphony finished by AI Beethoven’s 10th unfinished symphony has now been completed by AI and will be performed for audiences in Bonn later this week. Dr. Ahmed Elgammal, Professor at Rutgers University and Director of the Art and AI Lab who developed Beethoven’s AI, tells us more about the process. Credit for music: Deutsche Telekom. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Ghislaine Boddington. Studio Manager: Nigel Dix Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz (Image: Getty Images)
Spyware threatening independent media
42:21Spyware threatening independent media Samuel Woodhams, the author of a report entitled “Spyware: An unregulated and escalating threat to independent media”, is live on the show. His research shows that the current unchecked growth of the commercial spyware industry is allowing repressive governments to monitor, harass and attack independent journalists and their sources as part of the battle against the free flow of information. We ask about the tech that is involved and if it’s possible to control it. Eating out with an app So COVID has brought about significant changes in how we order our food – not only have takeaway apps increased significantly in popularity but food ordering in restaurants in a number of countries was only possible thanks to our smart phones. As restrictions in some parts of the world ease, many restaurants are reluctant to go back to the traditional way of running their businesses. Gareth and Bill meet Dominic Jones, CEO of JPRestaurants in Jersey, who explains how ordering on an app has streamlined his business, allowed them to open earlier than they thought they could during the pandemic and how customers have taken to it. Gareth and Bill even sneak into the kitchens to see how the tech allows the food to be prepared incredibly quickly. TikTok promotes COVID vaccine misinformation within minutes of signing up Newsguard, who provides a browser extension that flags up untrustworthy information, has found that the incredibly popular app TikTok (which has a huge following amongst under 18’s) posts COVID vaccine misinformation videos to children within minutes of them signing up to the service. Alex Cadier, Managing Director of NewsGuard in the UK, is on the show to explain how they discovered that children were being targeted. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Bill Thompson. Studio Manager: Giles Aspen Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz (Image: Unidentifiable hacker cracking a computer code in the dark Credit: PeopleImages/Getty Images)
Can AI predict Arctic ice loss?
43:31Arctic AI Have you checked the ice-cap forecast? Melting sea ice might be a well-known symptom of global warming, but how do scientists predict how quickly ice will recede? A new Artificial Intelligence tool does a better job than traditional prediction methods to forecast whether sea ice in the arctic will be present two months in advance. We hear from Tom Andresson, Data Scientist at the BAS AI Lab, who developed the algorithm. VR Cystoscopy Cystoscopy is vital for managing bladder cancer and something that those affected will need to undergo regularly for the rest of their life when their cancer has gone into remission. However the process can be very unpleasant which means some people choose not to keep up with their life saving visits. Dr Wojciech Krajewski has been studying how using VR goggles to create a more relaxed environment can help patients manage the pain cystoscopy causes. Immersing patients in an Icelandic waterfall meant patients reported lower pain scores and they tolerated the procedure better. 5G festival Working remotely has been a difficulty for many of us over the past year - but musicians have found it particularly hard, as slow connections make playing together almost impossible. Over the past two years Digital Catapult have been developing a way of using 5G networks to solve this problem. They will be running a virtual festival next year to highlight the technology. Claire Jordan visited the trials and reports for Digital Planet. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Ghislaine Boddington. Studio Manager: Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz (Image credit: British Antarctic Survey)
Tech on the island of Jersey
44:16Digital Planet is back in Jersey, the small English speaking island off the coast of France. We’re travelling around in an on-demand electric vehicle – all booked, paid for and locked and unlocked with an app from our smart phones. We’re finding out about agricultural tech on a dairy farm – how the famous Jersey Cows, that produce premium milk - are being managed by the latest innovations and we’re also out in the fields where a host of sensors and data analytics are helping with the Jersey potato harvest. And if that is not enough we visit the remote control tower at St. Helier airport and see how remote airfields around the world are beginning to embrace this technology, pioneered on Jersey, to make flying to seldom used airports safer. Guests include: Gavin Breeze, Director of Evie, Air traffic controllers Marc Hill and Richard Mayne, Jersey Cow Girl Becky Houzé and Mike Renouard, Business Unit Director at the Jersey Royal Company. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Bill Thompson. Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz (Image: Bill Thompson has a pre-interview chat with guest on Digital Planet. Credit: Ania Lichtarowicz / BBC)
The Children’s Code protecting kids online
42:37The so-called Children’s Code has just come into force in the UK. The Age-appropriate design code aims to protect children online by making digital services accessed by children comply with standards that safeguard children from being tracked and profiled. This includes toys, games and edtech but also social media and video sharing platforms. Changes have already been made by the likes of FB, TikTok and Instagram that will be implemented worldwide. Professor Sonia Livingstone from the LSE, a specialist in children’s digital rights, is on live. The rise of telemedicine in China China adopted a digital health code earlier this year and has seen a massive increase in the use of tech for healthcare since the start of the COVID pandemic. Reporter Yuan Ren explains how this rise is taking the pressure off the heavily burdened public healthcare system, despite higher costs to the patient but it’s also driving a demand for online doctors and changing the way the Chinese look after their health. China’s online gaming limits Our games correspondent Chris Berrow reports on the highly restrictive online gaming clampdown on teenagers announced by the Chinese authorities and how it could bring bigger problems for young people in the future. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Ghislaine Boddington. Studio Manager: Duncan Hannant Producer: Ania Lichtarowicz (Image credit: Getty Images)
47:22This week’s Digital Planet is something of a celebration, it's 20 years since the BBC World Service launched the programme. Originally entitled ‘Go Digital’, the programme has always been innovative. It was the first radio programme to generate digital video, and also launched podcasting. We look back over two decades at how technological innovation has changed global society. The programme began in an era where smartphones didn’t exist and the social media we know today had yet to be invented. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Tracey Logan, Alfred Hermida, Ghislaine Boddington, and the programme’s longest-serving contributor Bill Thompson. Producer: Julian Siddle (Image: Bill and Gareth meet bloggers in Delhi. Credit: Julian Siddle/BBC)
Why the Taliban love social media
46:16While the stereotype of the Afghan Taliban is that they lack sophistication, that certainly isn’t true for their online presence, which is geared to influence across many languages within Afghanistan and around the world. Adam Rutland co-founder of the Centre for Information Resilience looks at the effectiveness of their campaign and how they have learnt from both ISIS and Hamas. We also look at computer guided initiatives for understanding the working of the human brain. Alex Frangi and Ali Sarrami Foroushani from Leeds University have a model which can be used to do research which would be dangerous in real people. And Fern Luham reports on the technology she and other blind people can use around the home from practical devices to those that help with her social life. The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Ghislaine Boddington Studio Manager: Nigel Dix Producer: Julian Siddle (Image: Getty Images)
Uganda, too much surveillance?
43:19Uganda introduced an extensive CCTV network ostensibly to cut down on crime. Now there are plans to place trackers on every vehicle for similar reasons. However, critics see both measures as ineffective and open to abuse. They are particularly concerned over the use of such surveillance to spy on opponents of the government says Dorothy Mukasa from Unwanted Witness. And schoolchildren in Uganda have been enrolled to pilot a new device for rapid Malaria testing. Developed with local partners and the University of Glasgow it uses locally made 3d printed test materials married to a mobile phone both to power the test and collect the results. There’s potential for its use in detecting and analysing many diseases say Jonathan Cooper and Julien Reboud. And can’t get to school? No problem you can now take your lessons and exams via WhatsApp. That is if you’re enrolled in Zimbabwe’s Dr. Maxx WhatsApp school - run with considerable success by Maxwell Chimedza The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Bill Thompson Studio Manager: Giles Aspen Producer: Julian Siddle (Image credit: Julian Siddle/BBC)