Depending who you ask, big tech is either going to save humanity or destroy us. Taylor Owen thinks it’s a little more complicated than that. Join him in conversation with leading thinkers as they make sense of a world transformed by technology.


How Much Should We Worry about the Future of Tech Governance?

On the season finale, host Taylor Owen and author Azeem Azhar discuss the future of tech governance, Web3 and Elon Musk’s attempts to buy Twitter.

S4E20 / April 21, 2022
Azeem Azhar

All Eyes on Crypto

As cryptocurrencies move from the fringes to the mainstream, regulators are taking notice. Journalist Ephrat Livni outlines this evolution and the impact of government intervention on what was once considered a threat to the status quo.

S4E19 / April 14, 2022

What Happens If We Live Forever?

A couple of years ago, the idea of science extending the human lifespan to 150 years or beyond was the stuff of science fiction. The rapid pace of technology is making that a possibility, according to some scientists, but Matthew D. LaPlante isn’t sure society is ready for a world dominated by centenarians.

S4E17 / March 31, 2022

Borders Matter – Even in Cyberspace

We focus a lot on the internet’s potential to transcend borders. But writer and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola explains how our experience of the internet is profoundly place-bound, with authoritarian regimes and their digital controls being the most extreme examples of why borders matter.

S4E16 / March 24, 2022

Inside the Russian Information War

The Russia-Ukraine war looks different depending on where you are in the world. While the West has found unity on facts and information, a completely different narrative is present outside of English-language social networks. Ben Scott (Reset) and Frederike Kaltheuner (Human Rights Watch) unpack how the Russian information war is playing out across the world.

S4E15 / March 17, 2022

Early Women Innovators Offer Tech a Way Forward

Claire L. Evans explores the internet that was, through the stories of the women who shaped it. In highlighting these women’s innovations, Claire reveals a completely different history of computation and the internet, one that prioritizes community, trust and the production of knowledge — all things we need a lot more of today.

S4E12 / February 24, 2022

Nicholas Carr Is Silicon Valley’s Most Prescient Tech Critic

When Pulitzer Prize finalist Nicholas Carr wrote The Shallows in 2010, many were skeptical of his claims that the internet was changing the way our brains work. Twelve years later, it’s clear he was right. Taylor sits down with Nick to figure out how he saw everything so clearly — and where we’re headed.

S4E11 / February 17, 2022

The Brain Is Not a Computer

The discovery of neuroplasticity is one of neuroscience’s most important recent advances. Dr. Norman Doidge reflects on how technology is rewiring the brain and shares his views on the societal implications of these changes.

S4E7 / January 20, 2022

What Does Real Democracy Look Like?

Hélène Landemore thinks that for a government to be truly democratic, it needs to involve citizen deliberation. She calls this radical proposal “open democracy.”

S4E6 / January 13, 2022

Victor Pickard
On the Future of Journalism

If we consider the history of the US news industry, it’s clear that journalism has never fully achieved its potential. Now that the traditional model is faced with a complete market failure, it’s time to rethink the business of journalism.

S3E16 / June 24, 2021

Beeban Kidron
On Why Children Need a Safer Internet

Online platforms aren’t designed with children in mind. For example, children are unaware of the risks that recommended content, auto-play and nudges bring to their use of the internet. Do digital spaces need strict design and development guidelines for services that will be used by young people?

S3E4 / January 7, 2021

Everybody Cares about Democracy and Technology
David and Taylor Look at the State of Big Tech Governance

The US Judiciary antitrust hearing last month marked a turning point in the way government and society view the big tech companies. The investigation of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, coupled with concerns about pandemic medical misinformation and the upcoming presidential election, means the tech industry is under greater scrutiny than ever before.

S2E10 / August 27, 2020

Matt Stoller
On Taking on the Tech Goliaths

The tech giants have entrenched themselves in all aspects of the internet. It has become nearly impossible to avoid interacting with one of the big five American tech companies when going online. Do consumers have choice or is it time to break up big tech?

S2E6 / July 2, 2020

About the Podcast

Depending who you ask, big tech is either going to save humanity or destroy us. Taylor Owen thinks it’s a little more complicated than that. Join him in conversation with leading thinkers as they make sense of a world transformed by technology.

Taylor Owen is a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and is the Beaverbrook Chair of Media, Ethics and Communications, the director of the Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy, and an associate professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University.

Big Tech is presented by CIGI in association with Antica Productions. The show is produced by Trevor Hunsberger, Debbie Pacheco and Mitchell Stuart, with associate producers Dania Ali (episodes 1-4) and Abhi Raheja (episodes 5-20).

Seasons 1 and 2 of Big Tech were presented by CIGI and The Logic, and co-hosted by Taylor Owen and David Skok. The first season was produced and edited by Trevor Hunsberger with Kate Rowswell as story producer.