School of Interactive Computing Launching Podcast to Address the 'Big Issues' in Computing

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Interaction, as one might guess, is a key tenet of what the School of Interactive Computing tries to achieve. That could be interaction between people and technology, interaction between researchers and their peer collaborators, or interaction between researchers and the public to achieve an open dialogue over the big issues facing computing today.

To achieve those goals, the School is embarking on an exciting new project, beginning Sept. 18, with the launch of The Interaction Hour, a podcast hosted by Chair Ayanna Howard, featuring guest experts expounding on a range of important topics, and crafted by you, the listener.

“If you think about computing and where it’s going, it’s really about the intersection between the human experience and computing, which is really what the School of Interactive Computing is all about,” Howard said. How do we ensure that our computing technology addresses the needs of real people in society, and not just the lab?”

The podcast will focus on a range of topics that affect people in the real world. Initial episodes focus on ethics in artificial intelligence – from self-driving cars to lethal autonomous weapons – with Professor Ron Arkin, a new approach to security and privacy called “social cybersecurity” with Assistant Professor Sauvik Das, and an important look at how social media can be used as a tool to detect changes in mental health with Assistant Professor Munmun De Choudhury.

The initial episodes are available online on iTunes, Spotify, and Spreaker, and will be shared on our social media channels Twitter and Facebook over the coming months. Beyond that, however, the podcast will look to the audience to help guide the discussions being had in this podcast.

“We really want to hear directly from the public in person, in our classrooms, on the street, or on social media,” Howard said. “We want you to tell us what you want to know about computing and society, and we will find an expert for you to address that.”

The unique aspect of the School is the wide range of research areas of the IC faculty. Topics from virtual reality to health care, ethics to cybersecurity, information visualization and wearable technology, education, robotics, artificial intelligence, and so much more are all within the realm of what IC researchers do.

Asked whether the School could find an expert for almost any range of computing topic, Howard didn’t hesitate.

“One hundred percent,” she said.

You can subscribe to the podcast at any of the three locations below, with more options to come in the future:

A podcasts page devoted to our production will be launched on the School website next Tuesday.


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