Sparkwith Nora Young

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Cheese wheels bombarded by music taste different

One cheese wheel listened to "The Magic Flute". One to "Stairway to Heaven" and another got A Tribe Called Quest's "Jazz (We've Got)." Yet another cheese just hung out in silence. Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler explains why he played a 24-hour loop of music to wheels of cheese—and whether it had an impact on the flavour.

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Cheese that's been exposed to music tastes different. The surprisingly political world of emoji. A plan to calculate the value of the digital services we get for free. Neural networks that power AI systems largely came from Canada.

Tiny icons with big impact: New doc looks at the evolution of emoji

Martha Shane's new documentary, 'Picture Character', takes an in-depth look at the evolution of emojis (Japanese for "picture character"). Have smiling poops and heart-eyed faces become their own global language?

€500 a month for WhatsApp? Study suggests cash values for 'free' digital services

A new study by MIT researchers puts a dollar value on all the free digital goods people use, and builds the case that online activity can and should become part of GDP — which currently doesn't include digital services as part of a country's economic worth.

From neuroscience to neural nets: Canadian researchers on the vanguard of AI

Canada has become a centre for AI research thanks work being done here on neural networks, which use some of the ideas from neuroscience to help computers learn. One of the researchers behind these systems is Université de Montreal professor, Yoshua Bengio. In a sit-down interview, Bengio explains how the research developed, where it is going, and some of the dangers AI could pose.

Stock photo collection features trans and non-binary models

The Gender Spectrum Collection is a new, free stock photo database featuring trans and non-binary models.

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Why we shouldn't be afraid to take our tech apart. AI can be easily fooled and this could have serious implications. Sell your own data instead of giving it away to big tech. New stock photo collection features trans and non-binary models.

AI can be easily fooled. This could have serious implications

New research demonstrates that AI systems can be fed malicious images or other inputs by attackers, with very scary results.

Photographer takes apart everyday gadgets to reveal their inner workings

New book of beautiful photography features 50 everyday items, from a Blackberry to an Amazon Echo, with each component neatly laid out with precision.

Sell your own data instead of giving it away to big tech

In the last few decades, tech companies have made billions off the data we've given them for free. Now, some companies are offering to help users sell their data directly.

What happens when our smart homes get smarter than us

What happens when you your connected microwave has access to your personal health data? It might just refuse to make you popcorn. Futurist Amy Webb weighs in on one possible future for the smart home: when it decides it's smarter than you are.

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How the smart home might imprison us, AI and the cybersecurity war, whether an AI can be an artistic collaborator, and Wikidata's catalogue of the universe

Artist shares credit with AI 'collaborator'

Ahmed Elgammal is a computer scientist and artist who developed and AI art collaborator he believes is autonomously creative and therefore deserves credit.

Amidst cybersecurity talent shortage, AI is filling the void

Ransomware, internet of things botnets, and cyberespionage are on the rise, but there's a chronic shortage of cybersecurity specialists. Spark host Nora Young sits down with Ann Johnson, Corporate Vice President - Cybersecurity Solutions Group Microsoft to discuss the issue.

How Wikidata aims to catalogue everything

Wikidata is the database that underlies Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikimedia. It automatically updates to reflect changes to all those wiki entries and helps give us confidence that when we look up information about a topic, we're all talking about the same thing. It's also fantastic news to librarians, says data services librarian Katie Mika.

A grocery store 'lab' points to future trends in how you buy food

At the University of Guelph, there's a laboratory made to look like a grocery store. The Food Retail Lab is run by Mike von Massow, a food economist and professor at the University of Guelph. He explains some of the tech being used in grocery stores, and how we can expect that tech to affect us.

Spark 432: Does the future of grocery shopping have to be so futuristic?

Tech at the Food Retail Lab, the impact of self checkout, grocery delivery services, and reducing food waste.

Self checkout shows how much human work goes into 'automation'

Self-checkout machines are often a last resort for shoppers, but stores keep pushing them. Researchers Madeleine Clare Elish and Alexandra Mateescu tell us about their report, AI in Context: The Labor of Integrating New Technologies, and how self checkout machines affect grocery workers.

Food delivery services are growing, but customers still want to squeeze the produce

Time was, you'd drive to a sprawling grocery store and fill up your car with food for a few weeks. But in dense urban centres with few cars, grocery delivery is becoming more popular. Retail marketing expert Patricia Vekich Waldron explains what's at stake (steak?) when it comes to getting foodstuffs to your doorstep.

Zero-waste stores battle plastic packaging

From Brooklyn, Sicily, Malaysia, South Africa, Vancouver and Toronto-- a growing number of supermarkets are selling food without packaging in an effort to curb the toll of plastic on the environment. Journalist Emily Matchar sheds light on how a growing number of supermarkets are selling food without packaging in an effort to curb the toll of plastic on the environment.

Designing tech for 'seniors' should mean designing tech for everyone

A wide range of people—and ages—are lumped in together under the "senior" umbrella. Rather than focus on the "elder tech" market, an inclusive design approach makes better products and services for everyone.

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The quest for immortality through extreme fasting and radical life extension. Designing tech for the older crowd. Google's new streaming service aims to be Netflix for gaming. Your genome could be a privacy nightmare.

From 'extreme fasting' to 'radical life extension', the dark side of body optimization

How tech bros in Silicon Valley are rebranding eating disorder-like behaviour as "extreme fasting." And, a look at the problem with Silicon Valley's obsession with agelessness and living forever.

Google's new streaming service aims to be Netflix for gaming

Stadia is a new platform to stream video games through the Chrome browser. But there are many hurdles to overcome before a seamless experience will be possible.

Your genome could help medical research. It could also be a privacy nightmare

More than 26 million people have already had home DNA tests. As the databases of people's genomes grows, who should own that data and how can we harness the potential of genomics for research, while protecting individual privacy?