Function with Anil Dash

Function with Anil Dash

Our culture is shaped by technology, and the people building that technology determine how it’s changing our lives. But who are they? And how do they think about their responsibility to the rest of us? From mental health to algorithmic bias, entrepreneur Anil Dash talks to developers, designers, and culture experts to understand the ways tech is changing culture, and what it means for us. Produced by Glitch and the Vox Media Podcast Network.... Show More

Episodes

March 6, 2020 32 min
In keeping with our season long discussion of trust on the internet, on this bonus episode of Function - we explore online safety. Writer and activist Feminista Jones talks about the lasting effects of online harassment. Then, Anil talks with Tarah Demant of Amnesty International about an Amnesty report that calls out the abuse and harassment women face on Twitter. Finally Anil speaks with Gina Bianchini, CEO of Mighty Networks,...
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The integrity of the internet is at stake -- what have we lost and how do we get it back? At the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival, Anil spoke with web scholars and writers about reclaiming the internet through historical context, how we are tethered to social media and the inventive ways marginalized people have always reinvented the platforms available. Panelists Charlton McIlwain Anne Helen Petersen Sarah T. Roberts Siva Vaidhyana...
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Are social networks downplaying their complicity in the problem that is “fake news?”Anil talks to Fadi Quran of the people powered social advocacy group, Avaaz, about how tech is used to target groups of people and spread disinformation that affects our elections, relationships, and social justice movements. Together they discuss insidious nature of disinformation and misinformation, meet its victims, and go over solutions.  Liste...
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What happens when social networks become social media, and tech starts making editorial decisions? Anil talks with NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen about the priorities of tech companies and how their faux neutrality and feigned ignorance has taken a toll on our news cycles and elections. Together, they identify the problems that the press is facing, like attention hacking and misinformation, in order to focus on how the press an...
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Part 2 of Anil's discussion of Prince's complicated relationship with technology. How do you go from fan to colleague to friend with an icon? Prince’s manager, Phaedra Ellis Lamkins and Sam Jennings, one of Prince’s webmasters take us on a journey of growth and evolution of an artist realizing his worth and his power. As part of a team of trusted friends and confidants they helped “The Artist” realize tech dreams that would...
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November 6, 2019 51 min
What does it mean to be on the receiving end of a Prince direct message? This week on Function, Anil takes us through Prince’s complicated relationship with technology through his eyes and the eyes of super fans Jay Smooth, social commentator and former host of WBAI's Underground Railroad; and Andrea Swensson, host and writer at Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current, where she helms The Local Show, a weekly show dedicated to exp...
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Function is back next week with a new episode. In the meantime, check out Reset from Vox and Recode. Students across the country are graded by artificial intelligence. But does an algorithm really know how to write? Links to resources discussed: Flawed Algorithms Are Grading Millions of Students’ Essays How I’m using AI to write my next novel Featuring: @SigalSamuel @ToddFeathers About Reset Every story is a tech story. We...
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Anil speaks with Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of Race After Technology, about design discrimination. They discuss how systemic racism is replicated in the technology we use and how tools like artificial intelligence, machine learning and software used in the criminal justice system are shaped by racial bias. Then he speaks with James Cadogan,...
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October 16, 2019 38 min
It seems like every month a new cringe worthy picture of a public official in Blackface is shared on social media. The pictures usually surface decades after they were taken but they are born out of a long tradition of Blackface and racial mockery in America. But that tradition isn't just a part of our history, it's being replicated online through our use of GIFs. Anil talks with Dr. Lauren Michelle Jackson, author of White...
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October 9, 2019 48 min
Are we making sure the tech we create is usable for the people we say we want to help? Accessibility is more than a buzzword. Anil speaks with Emily Ladau, co- host of The Accessible Stall podcast; Alex Haagaard, Director of Communications at the Disabled List, and Vilissa Thompson, founder of Ramp Your Voice, about accessibility bias in tech and what abled designers can unlearn in order to create more inclusive apps.  These activi...
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Does the internet help or harm our mental health? In this season two premiere of Function, Anil explores how the web made an impact on his mental health and talks to experts like Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, Stanford University psychiatrist and author; and web creators Desi Rottman and Angelo Stavrow about the how the internet is changing the way we see ourselves and interact with others. Together, they explore the consequences of our lov...
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September 25, 2019 2 min
Function with Anil Dash is back with all new episodes on October 2.
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On our season finale of Function, Anil sits down with Alex Kleinco-founder and CEO of Kano Computing live from the Google Assistant Playground at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Coding education for kids is wildly popular, from books and toys to after school programs from non-profit organizations, companies are putting lots of money and resources behind helping create the next generation of programmers. But is tha...
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January 14, 2019 62 min
On Function, our focus is about how technology has influenced culture and communications, and nothing encompasses the intersection of these concepts more than social media. It's allowed us to express our innermost feelings, meet people that share our interests, and find community with others from all over the world. This week, we're doing something a little different. Anil sits down with some of the pioneers of the social w...
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Saving money is at the top of a lot of people's lists of new year's resolutions. According to Fidelity Investments, nearly one-third of Americans want to make some type of money resolution for 2019. Maybe you want to pay down debt, or maybe you just want to save more of your hard-earned cash. Regardless of the goal, there are a number of mobile apps to help you make it happen. But are they worth the download or do they just...
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December 31, 2018 45 min
It's the end of 2018, and charities and nonprofit organizations are gearing up for their most important fundraising campaign of the year. Over 30% of all annual giving occurs in December, with approximately 12% of giving happening in these final three days of the month. Whether it's SMS, mobile apps, social media, email newsletters, or a simple donation button on your website, technology has now made donating to your favori...
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The 2018 midterm elections have wrapped up here in the U.S., and issues with voting machines are back in the news. It's not a hanging chad situation like the 2000 presidential election recount in Florida, but malfunctions, outdated tech, and talk of interference from foreign powers has tanked voter confidence. With the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign season about to kickoff, how do you rock the vote when you're not even sur...
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December 10, 2018 63 min
On November 1, 2018, thousands of Google employees around the world staged a mass walkout in protest of how the company handled claims of sexual misconduct. While this is not the first time we have seen protests at this scale, it does signal to the larger community that workers at huge tech companies like these are at an inflection point. When is enough, enough? This week on Function, we take a look at the rising labor movement in ...
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December 3, 2018 55 min
Squarespace. Mailchimp. Casper. Blue Apron. If you're a regular podcast listener, then there's no doubt you've heard ads from these companies, among many others. Podcasting's reach has grown exponentially over the past few years, and companies like these are spending millions of dollars to reach listeners whenever, wherever and however they tune in. But is this truly effective? What type of ads work best? And if you...
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YouTube is one of the most popular websites on the Internet, and millions of users upload all kinds of videos to it every day. Some of these are original productions, but there are also song covers, clips from television or movies, and lots of other content that occupy a murky gray area with respect to copyright. Including a caption like "no copyright infringement intended" might offer you some protection, but YouTube's...
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