4 More TED Talks for the ITGS classroom

TED talks for ITGS

TED Talks can be excellent sources of stimulus material for ITGS discussions and debates. Here are four excellent TED Talks that link to ITGS. They relate to social and ethical issues such as security and privacy, and cover a variety of technologies and areas from strands 2 and 3.

All Your Devices Can Be Hacked

This extremely interesting talk discusses the security vulnerabilities in many modern devices that feature wireless networks, including implanted medical devices, car networks, police radios, and voting machines. The attacks described in the video, including disabling pacemaker devices and taking over control of a car, have all been successfully executed as proofs of concepts – some great fodder for class discussion which links to many areas of the ITGS syllabus. In fact the issues raised in this video have also recently been in the news in relation to smart home appliances such as Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, and smart TVs.

The Curly Fry Conundrum: Why social media likes say more than you might think

“Likes” on social media sites like Facebook may reveal a lot more about you than you think, including providing the ability to predict characteristics that have nothing to do with the pages you view. Without wanting to give too much away, the ‘curly fries’ of the video title have much more relevance than you might think. You will have to watch the video to find out why. The topics here link to many areas of the ITGS syllabus including databases and the Internet.

Why Privacy Matters

Alessandro Acquisti presents a talk that reveals exactly what can be done with your public social media data when it is combined with facial recognition software and AI routines. This video is both crucially important to watch and very worrying. Some of the ideas presented in this TED talk might seem like science fiction – but they have all either been tried already or are based on current technologies. For people who are aware of general ‘privacy concerns’ but lack concrete examples, this video is excellent viewing.

Your phone company is watching

This TED Talk links to the above one in that it deals with the use of personal data. Here Malte Spitz discusses the collection and retention of mobile phone (cell phone) data. The talk links to the databases and the Politics and Government area of the ITGS syllabus and features some great visualisations that show how large amounts of data can be combined to build up patterns about people’s lives. Where do people live? Where do they sleep? Are they having an affair? All of these and more can be predicted from captured call data. So many ITGS social and ethical issues are raised here…

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