Welcome to the QUEST podcast, a series of conversations with leading science communication professionals around Europe.
We learn about the challenges and current trends that impact their work, and hear their advice on how other science communicators can improve the effectiveness of their communication activities. Over the course of the six episodes, we focus in particular on views from female science researchers and specialist science and technology journalists.
Media coverage of AI tends to be binary: either it is a revolutionary opportunity to change the world for the better, or a dystopian tool that will end privacy as we know it. This episode of our podcast explores how science communicators could portray AI in a more balanced way.
Artificial intelligence is one of the biggest issues facing human society in the 21st century, and there is an urgent need to consider its ethical accountability and impact on diversity. This episode discusses how science communicators can strike a balance between describing the potential benefits of AI technologies (increased efficiency, automation, smarter decision-making) while at the same time pointing out the possible negative consequences and risks, including job losses, increased surveillance and worsened economic inequality.
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In this episode
Ann Nowé, Professor and Head of the Artificial Intelligence Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Ann Nowé is full professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where she is heading the AI lab. The lab was founded in 1983 by Luc Steels takes an interdisciplinary view on AI. Ann herself is mainly active in systems that are learning from experience, and studies how their decisions can be made transparent and explainable as well as how the interaction with users can be supported. She applies this approach to robotics, telecommunication, bioinformatics, smart grids and smart appliances in an Internet of Things context.
Milena Merten, Lead Editor, ada, Germany
Milena Merten is the Lead Editor of ada, a German media outlet and ed-tech start-up focused on technology, innovation and future skills. She oversees the editorial department and develops content for ada’s digital magazine, podcast and newsletter. Previously, she was a staff writer for the Innovation and Digitization Department of WirtschaftsWoche, Germany’s leading weekly business magazine. She graduated from Georg von Holtzbrinck School for Business Journalists and wrote for Handelsblatt, WirtschaftsWoche and DIE ZEIT. Milena studied politics and communication sciences in Mainz, Düsseldorf and Davis, California. She is passionate about topics at the intersection of technology and society.
The audio clips of Eva Kaili are taken from an interview with EIT Digital in June 2020.
Podcast production team
Host: Barbara Schofield
Barbara worked as a reporter, producer and editor in BBC broadcast newsrooms and in features production for 15 years before moving into academic life at City, University of London. She was until recently Programme Director of Undergraduate Journalism at City, while also working on the Erasmus+ INSPIRE project to encourage inclusivity in higher education through training in media skills. She has been active on several other EU-funded partnership projects including MicroEuropa and the Global Environmental Journalism Training Initiative (GEJI). As Research Officer on the QUEST project she has devised an updated curriculum for MA Science Journalism programmes, and a Toolkit to encourage accurate and effective science journalism – available in May 2021.
Producer: Atina Dimitrova
Atina is a City, University of London alumna who did a degree in Journalism. She did her MA in International Relations at King’s College London. Atina is working as MailOnline’s UK social media assistant. She has work experience across a range of media outlets such as The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times Magazine. She has also worked as a hub assistant at the Election Broadcast Hub, BBC Elstree Centre during the 2018 Local Election programme and the 2017 General Election programme.