Published on 3 April 2023
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Are emerging technologies more hype than reality?

Leading experts from the Bennett Institute and IAST debate emerging technologies like generative AI tools and the metaverse; why there is so much interest, whether we should be excited or worried, and what are the associated policy implications.

Sam Gilbert Bennett Institute), César Hidalgo (IAST) and Jeni Tennison (Bennett Institute) talk to podcast host Rory Cellan-Jones  (former technology correspondent for the BBC) about the latest developments of emerging forms of technologies, their opportunities and harms, and what policymakers can do to mitigate the associated risks. 

This episode unpacks the most recent advancements of generative artificial intelligence and the metaverse, their policy implications, and the role of policymaking and legislation in this sphere. Our guests highlight the need for deliberative and participatory governance structures to facilitate the development and use of new technologies. 

Season 2 Episode 8 transcript

Listen to this and other Crossing Channels episodes on your favourite podcast platform.

For more information about the Crossing Channels podcast series and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk and www.iast.fr

Tweet us with your thoughts at 
@BennettInst and @IASToulouse

  • Audio production by Steve Hankey
  • Associate production by Stella Erker
  • Visuals by Thomas Devaud

More about our guests:

Rory Cellan-Jones is a former technology correspondent for the BBC. His 40 years in journalism saw him take a particular interest in the impact of the internet and digital technology on society and business. He has written multiple books, including his latest, Always On, which was published in 2021. @ruskin147

Sam Gilbert is an entrepreneur and an Affiliated Researcher at the Bennett Institute, working at the intersection of politics and technology. He is the author of the book Good Data and recent policy briefs on the Online Safety Bill, and Crypto, Web3 and the Metaverse. He holds an MPhil with distinction in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge, and a BA with first class honours in Modern History and English from the University of Oxford. @samgilb

César Hidalgo leads the Center for Collective Learning at the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Institute (ANITI) of the University of Toulouse. He is an Associate Member at IAST, Toulouse School of Economics, an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester, a Visiting Professor at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a founder of Datawheel.  César is author of Why Information Grows (Basic Books, 2015), The Atlas of Economic Complexity (MIT Press, 2014), and How Humans Judge Machines (MIT Press, 2021). @cesifoti

Jeni Tennison OBE is the founder and Executive Director of Connected by data, an initiative that aims to put community at the heart of data narratives, practices and policies. Jeni is also the co-chair of the Data Governance Working Group at the Global Partnership on AI, and undertakes work as an Affiliated Researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy and a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow. @JeniT


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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