Sparkwith Nora Young


Apps make it easier for couples to separate, but family law experts say communication is still key

Online tools for divorce and co-parenting aim to keep the process amicable and inexpensive. These digital resources are part of a broader move to open up divorce to less adversarial conflict resolution methods like mediation, coaching and collaborative law.

'This century is crucial': Why the U.K.'s astronomer royal says humanity is at a critical crossroads

This week on Spark, we speak with Martin Rees, the U.K.’s astronomer royal and author of On The Future: Prospects for Humanity, about the challenges humanity will face in the future, and how we might harness technology to tackle them.

CRTC head talks wireless plans, phishing scams and the future of streaming in Canada

With phone scams on the rise and a plethora of streaming services flooding the market, how well are we prepared for the 2020s? Spark host Nora Young talks to CRTC Chairperson and CEO Ian Scott.

How making AI do goofy things exposes its limitations

In her book, "You Look Like a Thing and I Love You," Janelle Shane poses the pitfalls of AI dependence

Musician-turned-researcher David Usher is exploring the human side of artificial intelligence

An AI project from a Montreal-based creative studio is aiming to connect with humans beyond simple information retrieval.

The Spark guide to rest and relaxation

Put some cozy socks on, set your phone notifications on silent, and kick back, as we revisit conversations with people who've dedicated their research to helping us rest, recharge and return to nature.

From racial profiling to #BlackLivesMatter: Technology, oppression and expression

One of the original uses of networking tech were attempts at racial profiling and predictive policing, author Charlton McIlwain says.

Move over, Silicon Valley — the new centres of innovation are in Africa, says author

The innovators creating the technologies of the future aren’t coming out of the wealthy campuses of Silicon Valley, but instead from the developing nations of Africa, Latin America and Asia, says author Ramesh Srinivasan.

Walden, revisited

How can we find solitude in a world that runs at the speed of a smartphone?

Why this woman's family abstains from technology 1 day a week

In an effort to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect more meaningfully, Tiffany Shlain's family adopted a technology Shabbat: one day of the week, they turn off their screens to spend face-to-face time with one another, to cook, or to simply do nothing at all.

3 experts on failure explain what we can learn from our mistakes

Failure is having a moment in the tech industry. What can that teach us about our limitations and how we measure success?

Technology and unintended consequences

We're not very good at predicting the potential side effects of our tech

When information is freely available online, learning institutions are forced to change

The internet offers a huge amount of information, usually for free. So how has that affected the institutions we have traditionally learned from: our schools, colleges, and universities?

Disabled people want disability design—not disability dongles

People with disabilities want to be participants in design, not recipients of design

The case against predictability

Everything we do is analyzed, measured, and quantified to create a model of us online, which then tries to influence our behavour. But how accurate is our quantified self?

People rely on devices to store information, but that's not a bad thing, researchers say

With smartphones and automated technologies taking care of our information for us, the means to store information outside of our brains is endless. But does this “information offloading” have an impact on the brain’s memory function?

How smart home tech could perpetuate discrimination and racial profiling

Amazon and Google have made a hard push into the home security market, but civilian surveillance could have real impacts on privacy and racial profiling.

From lab-grown meat to molecular coffee: How tech is disrupting the food industry

With plant-based burgers, bean-free coffee and the proliferation of insect farms, experts say alternative foods are on the verge of upending the traditional agriculture and livestock industries.

Fake news isn't new: Modern disinformation uses centuries-old techniques, author says

Author Heidi Tworek says we can learn from media manipulation's long history to understand how disinformation functions now.

Could your tweets come back to haunt you?

Journalist Eve Peyser took a hard look at her Twitter history. It was painful.

How urban design can help people with dementia navigate neighbourhoods and public spaces

As waitlists for care facilities grow longer and more people with dementia are choosing to live within their own communities, urban planning and design will play an increasingly important role in helping them live safe, comfortable and independent lives.

Rethinking "craft" in the age of digital reproduction

There are few darkrooms, and drawing by hand is increasingly rare. So do we still practice "craft" in this digital era?

Inside the machine: Hidden technologies from sea to sky

From weather forecasting to sending email, there is an astonishing amount of hidden technology involved - we take a peek inside the machinery.

Revealing your emoticon side: how digital technology has changed the way we talk to each other

Communication has changed thanks to our use of digital and mobile tools. From emojis and abbreviations to how we talk to our virtual assistants, how do we talk to each other today?

The Spark Guide To Life, Episode Ten: AI and Us

How we interact with virtual assistants, the rise of digisexuality, and Booker-Prize-winning author Ian McEwan on his new book, Machines Like Me.