The Futures of Democracy

PBS: Public Broadcasting Service

Is democracy in crisis, or are we simply at a turning point? In this series we explore what the challenges to democracy have been in recent years. Supported by PBS and the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University, join co-hosts Nicole Anderson and Julian Knowles in a fortnightly podcast series that helps us to understand democracy in the 21st century context by going head-to-head with a number of experts on whether or not democracy has a future. read less


Artificial Intelligence, Transparency and Accountability
Artificial Intelligence, Transparency and Accountability
In this episode we continue our conversation about AI and democracy to examine the issue of government and corporate accountability and the impact this has on democracy. We also examine the ethics of personal data mining and its use for political purposes.  Do we know we are being classified and scored on a daily basis? What data is being collected from us, how is it being used, and what ethical questions does this pose? What kinds of controls might there be on the use of AI and personal data? How do we re-trace the steps of AI and make it accountable? Joining us again is Kate Crawford a leading scholar of the social and political implications of artificial intelligence, along with Adam Nocek a leading philosopher of technology, and scientist and education leader Peter Schlosser.We begin by exploring what we mean by ‘intelligence’ in the context of AI, because it’s clear that the term is used uncritically in many situations. Can we really say that AI is intelligent, when in the previous episode we saw how crude and unsophisticated it can be? And what are the political, ethical and democratic consequences of AI, given its clear limits and deficiencies?Executive producers and project concept: Nicole Anderson, Julian KnowlesSeries writers and researchers: Nicole Anderson, Julian KnowlesProduction, sound design, and original music: Julian KnowlesProject funders/supporters: The Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University.  PBS: Public Broadcasting ServiceVisit us online at