Futureproof Yourself [the Compass] [world Service]

Episodes

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01Robots20180620

Practical advice on how to stop yourself going out of date

The Compass - exploring our world.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley discover how to prepare for the social, economic and technological changes that are coming in the next few decades so we can all thrive in the future.

In the past the only places you were likely to see robots was on the big screen or on the factory floor, but now they are entering the home. In fact you may already have an Alexa to play a favourite tune or settle a debate with a quick Google search. If you are lucky there is a Roomba programmed to clean the floor. Perhaps your child already has a toy that can talk back to them?

But are we really prepared for a world full of such machines? These will not be mindless automatons - we are talking about robots that will be part of the fabric of our homes, robots designed to interact with us like social beings, robots that will be constantly monitoring their owners and learning everything about us.

Aleks and Ben learn how you can use robots as an extension of your own body, and how they can also influence how we feel and behave without us even being aware of it. They find out how our homes will have to be changed to make the human environment robot friendly. And they discover that in the very near future robots may no longer be mere tools, but will become our friends and partners.

(Photo: Japanese lady walks around Tokyo with her robot)

01Robots2018062020180624 (WS)

Practical advice on how to stop yourself going out of date

The Compass - exploring our world.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley discover how to prepare for the social, economic and technological changes that are coming in the next few decades so we can all thrive in the future.

In the past the only places you were likely to see robots was on the big screen or on the factory floor, but now they are entering the home. In fact you may already have an Alexa to play a favourite tune or settle a debate with a quick Google search. If you are lucky there is a Roomba programmed to clean the floor. Perhaps your child already has a toy that can talk back to them?

But are we really prepared for a world full of such machines? These will not be mindless automatons - we are talking about robots that will be part of the fabric of our homes, robots designed to interact with us like social beings, robots that will be constantly monitoring their owners and learning everything about us.

Aleks and Ben learn how you can use robots as an extension of your own body, and how they can also influence how we feel and behave without us even being aware of it. They find out how our homes will have to be changed to make the human environment robot friendly. And they discover that in the very near future robots may no longer be mere tools, but will become our friends and partners.

(Photo: Japanese lady walks around Tokyo with her robot)

02Antibiotics2018062720180701 (WS)

How can we prepare against antibiotic resistant diseases in the future?

The Compass - exploring our world.

What do we do when antibiotics don’t work? Since the discovery of Penicillin antibiotics have come to underpin all of modern medicine – birth by Cesarean section, hip replacements, organ transplantation, caring for wounds on diabetic patients. None of this would be possible without effective antibiotics.

But the medicines we depend are under threat. Decades of overuse has allowed the bacteria that makes us ill to evolve to resist treatment - and this resistance is spreading. In the very near future we may find ourselves living in a world where a simple scratch could have devastating consequences.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley visit a hospital to learn which disease control protocols we should be using in our daily lives and uncover why the food we eat, and even the air we breathe may contain resistant bacteria, seek out alternative treatments we could use, and find out how the next generation of scientists can use new techniques to search the natural world for the next wave of antibiotics.

(Photo: Neutrophil white blood cell (green) engulfing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA, pink). Credit: Science Photo Library)

How can we prepare against antibiotic resistant diseases in the future?

The Compass - exploring our world.

What do we do when antibiotics don’t work? Since the discovery of Penicillin antibiotics have come to underpin all of modern medicine – birth by Cesarean section, hip replacements, organ transplantation, caring for wounds on diabetic patients. None of this would be possible without effective antibiotics.

But the medicines we depend are under threat. Decades of overuse has allowed the bacteria that makes us ill to evolve to resist treatment - and this resistance is spreading. In the very near future we may find ourselves living in a world where a simple scratch could have devastating consequences.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley visit a hospital to learn which disease control protocols we should be using in our daily lives and uncover why the food we eat, and even the air we breathe may contain resistant bacteria, seek out alternative treatments we could use, and find out how the next generation of scientists can use new techniques to search the natural world for the next wave of antibiotics.

03Work2018070420180707 (WS)

Can we all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come?

The Compass - exploring our world.

What humans do to earn a living has always evolved to suit the needs of society, and the capabilities of the technology at our disposal. But thanks to the rapid development of artificial intelligence and automation we are on the cusp of a whole new Industrial Revolution.

Manual and low skilled labour are already feeling the impact of automation – Amazon is experimenting with delivery drones, the fast food industry may soon be staffed with burger-flipping bots, and driverless vehicles are already taking to the road. But those with high skill jobs should not rest on their laurels – legal services, medical care, and academia are all set to change as computers take over all the data crunching. People are either going to have to find new things to do, or risk being left behind as the world of work changes.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley find out how we can all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come. They investigate which jobs will remain in high demand, how developing our uniquely human abilities will help people stay one step ahead of the machines, how to acquire the skills necessary for jobs we cannot even imagine yet.

(Photo: A robot that can understand Chinese, English and Russian to provide information for guests works at the Media Center of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao. Credit: Getty Images)

03Work2018070420180708 (WS)

Can we all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come?

The Compass - exploring our world.

What humans do to earn a living has always evolved to suit the needs of society, and the capabilities of the technology at our disposal. But thanks to the rapid development of artificial intelligence and automation we are on the cusp of a whole new Industrial Revolution.

Manual and low skilled labour are already feeling the impact of automation – Amazon is experimenting with delivery drones, the fast food industry may soon be staffed with burger-flipping bots, and driverless vehicles are already taking to the road. But those with high skill jobs should not rest on their laurels – legal services, medical care, and academia are all set to change as computers take over all the data crunching. People are either going to have to find new things to do, or risk being left behind as the world of work changes.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley find out how we can all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come. They investigate which jobs will remain in high demand, how developing our uniquely human abilities will help people stay one step ahead of the machines, how to acquire the skills necessary for jobs we cannot even imagine yet.

(Photo: A robot that can understand Chinese, English and Russian to provide information for guests works at the Media Center of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao. Credit: Getty Images)

03Work20180704

Can we all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come?

The Compass - exploring our world.

What humans do to earn a living has always evolved to suit the needs of society, and the capabilities of the technology at our disposal. But thanks to the rapid development of artificial intelligence and automation we are on the cusp of a whole new Industrial Revolution.

Manual and low skilled labour are already feeling the impact of automation – Amazon is experimenting with delivery drones, the fast food industry may soon be staffed with burger-flipping bots, and driverless vehicles are already taking to the road. But those with high skill jobs should not rest on their laurels – legal services, medical care, and academia are all set to change as computers take over all the data crunching. People are either going to have to find new things to do, or risk being left behind as the world of work changes.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley find out how we can all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come. They investigate which jobs will remain in high demand, how developing our uniquely human abilities will help people stay one step ahead of the machines, how to acquire the skills necessary for jobs we cannot even imagine yet.

(Photo: A robot that can understand Chinese, English and Russian to provide information for guests works at the Media Center of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao. Credit: Getty Images)

03Work2018070420180708 (WS)

Can we all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come?

The Compass - exploring our world.

What humans do to earn a living has always evolved to suit the needs of society, and the capabilities of the technology at our disposal. But thanks to the rapid development of artificial intelligence and automation we are on the cusp of a whole new Industrial Revolution.

Manual and low skilled labour are already feeling the impact of automation – Amazon is experimenting with delivery drones, the fast food industry may soon be staffed with burger-flipping bots, and driverless vehicles are already taking to the road. But those with high skill jobs should not rest on their laurels – legal services, medical care, and academia are all set to change as computers take over all the data crunching. People are either going to have to find new things to do, or risk being left behind as the world of work changes.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley find out how we can all continue to be gainfully employed for years to come. They investigate which jobs will remain in high demand, how developing our uniquely human abilities will help people stay one step ahead of the machines, how to acquire the skills necessary for jobs we cannot even imagine yet.

(Photo: A robot that can understand Chinese, English and Russian to provide information for guests works at the Media Center of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Qingdao. Credit: Getty Images)

0420180711

Practical advice on how to stop yourself going out of date. Episode 4: Who owns your data?

The Compass - exploring our world.

04Who Owns Your Data?2018071120180714 (WS)

How companies amass data about you and how to win the data race against tech companies

The Compass - exploring our world.

Big Data has been called the new crude oil, a seemingly inexhaustible resource that can use this data to make our lives better. Data can be used to create smart cities that make life easier for all of us, or to spur on new discoveries in medical science and even stop the next pandemic in its tracks. If used correctly it will be a boom for humanity.

But behind Big Data are millions of individual people - including you and me. From the most innocuous picture on Instagram, to how many steps you rack up in a day, to the most intimate conversations you have with loved ones online. Everything about you has been converted into data, which is now stored, used, and sold on without you every knowing to what end… or how it might impact on your life.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley investigate how you can future proof your own digital shadow, discover just how much information about you is amassed day to day, how it can be used by authoritarian states to control its citizens and how to win the arms race against tech companies that are always trying to extract more information from their users.

Image: Illustration of a digital shield (Credit: Getty Images)

04Who Owns Your Data?2018071120180715 (WS)

How companies amass data about you and how to win the data race against tech companies

The Compass - exploring our world.

Big Data has been called the new crude oil, a seemingly inexhaustible resource that can use this data to make our lives better. Data can be used to create smart cities that make life easier for all of us, or to spur on new discoveries in medical science and even stop the next pandemic in its tracks. If used correctly it will be a boom for humanity.

But behind Big Data are millions of individual people - including you and me. From the most innocuous picture on Instagram, to how many steps you rack up in a day, to the most intimate conversations you have with loved ones online. Everything about you has been converted into data, which is now stored, used, and sold on without you every knowing to what end… or how it might impact on your life.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley investigate how you can future proof your own digital shadow, discover just how much information about you is amassed day to day, how it can be used by authoritarian states to control its citizens and how to win the arms race against tech companies that are always trying to extract more information from their users.

Image: Illustration of a digital shield (Credit: Getty Images)

04Who Owns Your Data?20180711

How companies amass data about you and how to win the data race against tech companies

The Compass - exploring our world.

Big Data has been called the new crude oil, a seemingly inexhaustible resource that can use this data to make our lives better. Data can be used to create smart cities that make life easier for all of us, or to spur on new discoveries in medical science and even stop the next pandemic in its tracks. If used correctly it will be a boom for humanity.

But behind Big Data are millions of individual people - including you and me. From the most innocuous picture on Instagram, to how many steps you rack up in a day, to the most intimate conversations you have with loved ones online. Everything about you has been converted into data, which is now stored, used, and sold on without you every knowing to what end… or how it might impact on your life.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley investigate how you can future proof your own digital shadow, discover just how much information about you is amassed day to day, how it can be used by authoritarian states to control its citizens and how to win the arms race against tech companies that are always trying to extract more information from their users.

Image: Illustration of a digital shield (Credit: Getty Images)

05Flesh Is Weak, So Upgrade2018071820180722 (WS)

How do we hack our own biology to counteract the effects of ageing, pain and ill health?

The Compass - exploring our world.

We all only get one body, and that has to see us through our entire lives. The idea of failing health is a very visceral fear for the majority of people in the world. It is inevitable, is it not? But with advances in medicine and technology the future might not involve simply growing old gracefully. We might upgrade in order to level up our natural abilities, extend our lives or consign pain and infirmity to history.

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley find out how to future proof our actual selves, clambering into exoskeletons that could give us all inhuman strength, investigating how far we could hack our own biology, and discover if we will upgrade purely because we want to enjoy our lives to the fullest, or whether it will be necessary to keep up with the demands of future society.

(Photo: Ted Kilroy uses eLegs - artificially intelligent, bionic exoskeletons that give wheelchair users the freedom to stand and take independent steps. Credit: Getty Images)