410

Music in your DNA, profiting off volunteer work, and the digital divide.
Spark 410 (Pixabay)
Listen to the full episode53:59

Music streaming giants are removing the curator and replacing it with data - and not just any data - your DNA. Spotify and Ancestry are teaming up to provide consumers with playlists curated by a users DNA and ethnic lineage. Deezer researchers used AI to curate playlists based on mood. But critics, like Toronto-based music journalists Eric Zaworski and Sajae Elder, think it might be kind of creepy and an invasion of privacy.  

When you ask Alexa a question, there's a good chance she gets the answer from Wikipedia, the volunteer-driven knowledge bank, which raises another question. Alexa, should Amazon be paying Wikipedia for that? Rachel Withers thinks so. 

Increasingly the digital divide is characterized by the inability to maintain access to smartphones, laptops and other technologies. Amy Gonzales is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at UC Santa Barbara. She discusses the difficulties of keeping devices connected and the inequalities that can create.  

Smartphones can offer life-changing accessibility for people who are blind but many people with sight loss still don't own one. Phone It Forward takes donated smartphones, refurbishes them and loads them with accessible apps to give to people with vision loss who need them. 

We used to talk about the digital divide as a sort of 'yes or no' issue. Is there broadband in your area or not? But the reality of internet access in Canada is more nuanced than that, and digital inequality has real consequences for individuals, for whole communities, and the overall Canadian economy. Researcher Nisa Malli talks to Nora about where we're at and how to improve.