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Smart cities, serendipitous discovery, whale songs, and more.
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Listen to the full episode53:59

Last year, Toronto introduced plans for a smart neighbourhood at the waterfront. The plan is to make city living "smarter", but it's also raised questions about data privacy, public space, and the relationship between governments and private companies. Nasma Ahmed weighs in on these issues. She's the founding director of the Digital Justice Lab and is among a new group of community activists in Toronto pushing for youth to practice and learn about their digital rights.

The city of Belleville, Ontario is bringing an on-demand approach to their transit system. It will allow transit users to hail a bus and meet it at their nearest bus stop using an app on their phones. A similar program has been proposed in Calgary. These programs are part of a broader trend described as Mobility as a Service. Sampo Hietanen is the founder and CEO of MaaS Global. His company lets people connect with different modes of transportation on a single platform.

From fake news to trolling, there are many examples of harmful speech online. But legislation in Canada hasn't kept pace with technological change—and existing laws don't fully cover the myriad ways of promoting hate on the internet. UBC assistant professor Heidi Tworek is the co-author of a new report on how we should be dealing with harmful speech online.

Oceanographic researchers collected hundreds-of-thousands of hours of underwater recordings to study humpback whales in the South Pacific. But sifting through it to isolate whale calls would take about 19 years. That's why Google comes teamed up with the N.O.A.A. to help out.  Research Oceanographer Ann Allen, describes how machine learning is now helping researchers sift through this sea of audio data to help them track whale populations.     

The U.S. Library of Congress has an enormous collection of online material available for anyone to explore, download and use. But how to get people interested? Canadian artist and Innovator-in-Residence, Jer Thorp, created Serendipity Run, a tag-like game that ran on Twitter, to encourage serendipitous discovery. It's an example of how he uses art to empower people to take control of data

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