IRL: Online Life is Real Life

In Season 6, host Bridget Todd shares stories of people who make AI more trustworthy in real life.

These five episodes double as the 2022 Internet Health Report. Go there for show notes, transcripts, and more.

IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox.


Season 6

5: The AI Medicine Cabinet

Life, death and data. AI’s capacity to support research on human health is well documented. But so are the harms of biased datasets and misdiagnoses. How can AI developers build healthier systems? We take a look at a new dataset for Black skin health, a Covid chatbot in Rwanda, AI diagnostics in rural India, and elusive privacy in mental health apps. Show Notes

Published: September 12, 2022

Avery Smith is a software engineer in Maryland who lost his wife to skin cancer. This inspired him to create the Black Skin Health AI Dataset and the web app, Melalogic.

Remy Muhire works on open source speech recognition software in Rwanda, including a Covid-19 chatbot, Mbaza, which 2 million people have used so far.

Radhika Radhakrishnan is a feminist scholar who studies how AI diagnostic systems are deployed in rural India by tech companies and hospitals and the limits of consent.

Jen Caltrider is the lead investigator on a special edition of Mozilla’s “Privacy Not Included” buyer’s guide that investigated the privacy and security of mental health apps.

IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox. In Season 6, host Bridget Todd shares stories of people who make AI more trustworthy in real life. This season doubles as Mozilla’s 2022 Internet Health Report. Go to the report for show notes, transcripts, and more.

Episode transcript
  • 4: The Truth is Out There August 29, 2022

    How can platforms stop disinformation that spreads like wildfire during elections? A record number of elections are taking place around the world in 2022. Voters’ social media feeds will be flooded with political, AI driven disinformation campaigns. Grassroots organizations are tackling the problem head on, aggressively tracking disinformation and hate speech and fighting AI with AI. Listen now.

  • 3: AI from Above August 15, 2022

    From above the clouds, our world is surveilled and datafied. Power over that data means power over what stories get told about people and places: whose needs are counted, whose needs are erased. How can people reclaim power over their own maps and stories using AI? Listen now.

  • Gig workers around the world report directly to algorithms in precarious jobs created by secretive corporations. We take you to the streets of Quito, Ecuador where delivery workers are protesting against artificial intelligence, and we hear solutions from people in several countries on how to audit the algorithms and reclaim rights. Listen now.

  • 1: The Tech We Won't Build July 18, 2022

    Where should tech builders draw the line on AI for military or surveillance? Just because it can be built, doesn't mean it should be. At what point do we blow the whistle, call out the boss, and tell the world? Find out what it's like to sound the alarm from inside a big tech company. Listen now.

  • Meet IRL's new host, Bridget Todd, who is on a journey to meet people around the world who are making AI more trustworthy, in real life. Listen now.

Season 5

Season 4

Season 3

  • Examine how the internet is changing our minds, our votes, and our democracies – all over the world. Listen now.

  • 6: Kids These Days September 10, 2018

    Today’s teens are the first humans who have spent their entire lives online. Find out what it's like growing up in the age of screens. Listen now.

  • 5: Bullying and Bonding Online August 27, 2018

    Veronica Belmont and Franchesca Ramsey meet the people working to make the web — and world — friendlier places. Listen now.

  • 4: Virtual Connections August 13, 2018

    Veronica Belmont and Peter Rojas explore how the Internet is building and confusing our relationships. Listen now.

  • 3: Paid Attention July 30, 2018

    There’s a new currency in town (and no, we’re not talking about Bitcoin). We’re talking about attention. Listen now.

  • 2: Press Play July 16, 2018

    One of the most successful recruitment tools the U.S. Army ever made was… a video game? Find out how gaming elements in tech have infiltrated our online and offline lives. Listen now.

  • 1: The Grand Bargain July 2, 2018

    Explore the tradeoffs you make online everyday, and learn why on earth your email inbox is filling up with privacy policies. Listen now.

  • Trailer: Introducing Season 3 June 18, 2018

    Get a sneak peak at what Veronica Belmont will cover in Season 3 of IRL, because online life is real life. Listen now.

Season 2

  • 7: Ctrl+Alt+Facts April 3, 2018

    How to stop the spread of disinformation online. Listen now.

  • 6: Social Bubble Bath March 19, 2018

    How technology can create, and can break, our filter bubbles. Listen now.

  • 5: Algorisky March 5, 2018

    When bad code spreads disinformation and bias, it’s never something that “the algorithm did.” It’s something people did. Listen now.

  • 4: Cloak of Invisibility February 16, 2018

    On the Internet no one knows you’re a dog, as the old joke goes. But does anonymity truly exist on the web anymore? Listen now.

  • 3: Face Value February 5, 2018

    From Snapchat filters to Apple’s Face ID, biometric technology plays a growing role in our everyday lives. What do we actually give up when we upload our face to these apps? Listen now.

  • 2: Digital Overload January 22, 2018

    Recent reports estimate that over 50% of teens are addicted to their smartphones. Veronica Belmont investigates the impact of growing up online. Listen now.

  • 1: Bot Or Not January 8, 2018

    Most website visitors aren’t human. They’re bots. Here’s how to spot them. Listen now.

Season 1

  • Bonus: Net Neutrality Emergency December 11, 2017

    The battle for the open Internet isn’t over. In the days leading up to the FCC’s vote, we investigate what’s next for net neutrality. Listen now.

  • Bonus: Status Update November 15, 2017

    On the Internet, everything happens so much. Veronica Belmont explores the latest developments in digital activism, cybersecurity and troll clapbacks. Listen now.

  • 7: Free Speech, Limited? September 18, 2017

    Recent events in Charlottesville, VA have revealed the role the Internet plays in IRL threats and violence. Should tech companies regulate who says what on the Internet? Listen now.

  • 6: All Access Pass September 4, 2017

    What is life like without fast Internet, and how does life change once a person has it? Veronica Belmont talks to people about joining the digital economy. Listen now.

  • 5: I Spy With My Digital Eye August 21, 2017

    Surveillance. Turns out, we’ve invited it into our homes through digital assistants, connected toys and baby monitors. Listen now.

  • Trolls are in every corner of the Web, but people are fighting back in new ways. Baked goods included. Listen now.

  • 3: Hack Jobs July 24, 2017

    This episode of IRL focuses on our internet insecurity. Meet the unsung heroes fighting to keep us safe. Listen now.

  • The Internet is at a crossroads. Mozilla’s IRL podcast dives into the current net neutrality debate. Listen now.

  • There is no such thing as a free lunch. Mozilla’s IRL podcast dives into the price of “free” online series. Listen now.

  • Trailer: Introducing IRL May 25, 2017

    Introducing IRL Listen now.