Big tech’s power over language, means power over people. Bridget Todd talks to AI community leaders paving the way for open voice tech in their own languages and dialects.
In this episode: AI builders and researchers in the US, Kenya and New Zealand who say the languages computers learn to recognize today will be the ones that survive tomorrow — as long as communities and local startups can defend their data rights from big AI companies..
Halcyon Lawrence was a researcher of information design at Towson University in Maryland (via Trinidad and Tobago) who did everything Alexa told her to for a year.*
Keoni Mahelona is a leader of Indigenous data rights and chief technology officer of Te Hiku Media, a Māori community media network with 21 local radio stations in New Zealand.
Kathleen Siminyu is an AI grassroots community leader in Kenya and a machine learning fellow with Mozilla’s Common Voice working on Kiswahili voice projects.
IRL: Online Life is Real Life is an original podcast from Mozilla, the non-profit behind Firefox. In Season 7, host Bridget Todd talks to AI builders that put people ahead of profit.
*Sadly, following the recording of this episode, Dr. Halcyon Lawrence passed away. We are glad to have met her and pay tribute to her legacy as a researcher and educator. Thank you, Halcyon.Episode transcript
3: Crash Test Dummies Listen now. November 7, 2023
Why does it so often feel like we’re part of a mass AI experiment? What is the responsible way to test new technologies? Bridget Todd explores what it means to live with unproven AI systems that impact millions of people as they roll out across public life.
2: The Humans in the Machine Listen now. October 24, 2023
They’re the essential workers of AI — yet mostly invisible and exploited. Does it have to be this way? Bridget Todd talks to data workers and entrepreneurs calling for change.
1: With AIs Wide Open Listen now. October 10, 2023
Are today’s large language models too hot to handle? Bridget Todd digs into the risks and rewards of opening up the tech that makes ChatGPT talk.
Trailer: We're Back! IRL Season 7: People Over Profit Listen now. September 26, 2023
This season, Bridget Todd meets people who are balancing the upsides of AI with the downsides coming into view worldwide. The first of five biweekly episodes launches on October 10!
5: The AI Medicine Cabinet Listen now. September 12, 2022
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.
4: The Truth is Out There Listen now. 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.
3: AI from Above Listen now. 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?
2: When an Algorithm is Your Boss Listen now. August 1, 2022
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.
1: The Tech We Won't Build Listen now. 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.
Trailer: Introducing Season 6 of IRL: AI in Real Life Listen now. July 5, 2022
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.
7: Privacy or Profit - Why Not Both? Listen now. September 9, 2019
Meet the people who have found a way to build profitable tech businesses while also respecting your privacy.
6: Making Privacy Law Listen now. August 26, 2019
What if you could, by law, say “no” to the sale of your personal data? Get the latest on internet privacy regulation.
5: The 5G Privilege Listen now. August 12, 2019
If 5G is going to change the world, who will get to live in it? Explore the future of mobile internet in Firefox's IRL podcast.
4: The Tech Worker Resistance Listen now. July 29, 2019
Walkouts, protests, and picket lines are becoming more common among tech workers. Explore their reasons for resistance in the IRL podcast.
3: The Internet’s Carbon Footprint Listen now. July 15, 2019
Explore the surprising environmental impact of the internet.
2: Democracy and the Internet Listen now. July 1, 2019
Host Manoush Zomorodi explores how ad targeting and misinformation online could impact democracy at large.
Find out what to look out for in privacy policies — and examine what privacy means to you — in Firefox's IRL podcast.
7: What if women built the internet? Listen now. March 4, 2019
IRL host Manoush Zomorodi explores gender diversity and inclusion in tech.
6: Decentralize It Listen now. February 18, 2019
Explore the premise, the promise, and the pitfalls of decentralization — the antidote to Big Tech.
5: The Surveillance Economy Listen now. February 4, 2019
Explore the surveillance economy, the companies that participate in it, and its impact on you.
4: Everything in Moderation Listen now. January 21, 2019
Meet the people responsible for cleaning your social media feed in Mozilla’s IRL podcast.
3: TL;DR Listen now. January 7, 2019
Join Manoush Zomorodi as she explores how the internet has changed reading. And, how we're changing alongside it.
2: Your Password Is the Worst Listen now. December 10, 2018
Tackle your password problem once and for all in this episode of Mozilla's IRL podcast.
1: Checking Out Online Shopping Listen now. November 26, 2018
Explore the hidden privacy costs of online shopping. Your data may be the most valuable thing for sale.
Trailer: Introducing Season 4 Listen now. November 12, 2018
Meet IRL’s new host, Manoush Zomorodi, who will examine the potential of ethical tech with listeners around the globe.
7: What to Expect When You're Electing Listen now. October 4, 2018
Examine how the internet is changing our minds, our votes, and our democracies – all over the world.
6: Kids These Days Listen now. 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.
5: Bullying and Bonding Online Listen now. August 27, 2018
Veronica Belmont and Franchesca Ramsey meet the people working to make the web — and world — friendlier places.
4: Virtual Connections Listen now. August 13, 2018
Veronica Belmont and Peter Rojas explore how the Internet is building and confusing our relationships.
3: Paid Attention Listen now. July 30, 2018
There’s a new currency in town (and no, we’re not talking about Bitcoin). We’re talking about attention.
2: Press Play Listen now. 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.
1: The Grand Bargain Listen now. July 2, 2018
Explore the tradeoffs you make online everyday, and learn why on earth your email inbox is filling up with privacy policies.
Trailer: Introducing Season 3 Listen now. June 18, 2018
Get a sneak peak at what Veronica Belmont will cover in Season 3 of IRL, because online life is real life.
7: Ctrl+Alt+Facts Listen now. April 3, 2018
How to stop the spread of disinformation online.
6: Social Bubble Bath Listen now. March 19, 2018
How technology can create, and can break, our filter bubbles.
5: Algorisky Listen now. March 5, 2018
When bad code spreads disinformation and bias, it’s never something that “the algorithm did.” It’s something people did.
4: Cloak of Invisibility Listen now. 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?
3: Face Value Listen now. 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?
2: Digital Overload Listen now. 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.
1: Bot Or Not Listen now. January 8, 2018
Most website visitors aren’t human. They’re bots. Here’s how to spot them.
Bonus: Net Neutrality Emergency Listen now. 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.
Bonus: Status Update Listen now. November 15, 2017
On the Internet, everything happens so much. Veronica Belmont explores the latest developments in digital activism, cybersecurity and troll clapbacks.
7: Free Speech, Limited? Listen now. 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?
6: All Access Pass Listen now. 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.
5: I Spy With My Digital Eye Listen now. August 21, 2017
Surveillance. Turns out, we’ve invited it into our homes through digital assistants, connected toys and baby monitors.
4: The Care and Feeding of Your Troll Listen now. August 7, 2017
Trolls are in every corner of the Web, but people are fighting back in new ways. Baked goods included.
3: Hack Jobs Listen now. July 24, 2017
This episode of IRL focuses on our internet insecurity. Meet the unsung heroes fighting to keep us safe.
2: The Neutral Zone: The Future of Net Neutrality Listen now. July 10, 2017
The Internet is at a crossroads. Mozilla’s IRL podcast dives into the current net neutrality debate.
1: All Your Data Are Belong to Us Listen now. June 26, 2017
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Mozilla’s IRL podcast dives into the price of “free” online series.
Trailer: Introducing IRL Listen now. May 25, 2017