Tech Tonic

Leanne Kemp’s company Everledger uses blockchain technology to track the provenance of assets, from diamonds to fine wines. She talks to John Thornhill about the technology’s potential to combat fraud.

 

Jeff Holden, Uber’s chief product officer, talks to the FT’s Leslie Hook about the company’s ambitious plan to start testing an aerial taxi service as soon as 2020.

 

Mehul Patel, chief executive of Hired, talks to the FT’s Hannah Kuchler about hiring trends in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs in the US, and what some companies are doing in response to President Donald Trump’s executive action on immigration and the H-1B visa.

 

Stripe’s John Collison speaks to the FT’s Leslie Hook about what he and his co-founder brother have planned for the $9bn online payments company, why Silicon Valley is still their preferred place to have their headquarters and what it is like to be one of the Valley’s youngest billionaire entrepreneurs.

 

Jeremy Conrad, co-founder of hardware incubator and VC fund Lemnos Labs, talks to the FT’s Tim Bradshaw about the way economies of scale in the self-driving car industry could bolster the field of robotics.

 

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, talks about what he learnt from the Alpha Go experience and the complex problems his artificial intelligence company has been working on since it was acquired by Google in 2014.

 

Lili Cheng and her team at Microsoft’s FUSE Labs are at the forefront of research on social interaction with artificial intelligence. She joins the FT’s Richard Waters to discuss the evolution of chatbot technology, what the company learnt from its experience with Tay, and the personalisation we can expect from the virtual assistants and chat apps of the future.

 

Helen Margetts, head of the Oxford Internet Institute, talks to the FT’s Madhumita Murgia about fake news, echo chambers, big data and why we need more research to be able to combat the “pathologies” of the internet.

 

Rutger Bregman tells John Thornhill there is evidence to show that we can end poverty by handing out cash to those who need it. The idea of a universal basic income is one whose time has come, he says, and it is finding support in unexpected places like Silicon Valley.

 

Uber investor and adviser Bradley Tusk talks to the FT’s Leslie Hook about the highs and lows of the ride-sharing company’s rapid expansion, and how companies in the sharing economy can manage regulatory hurdles.