From Another Angle: Trailer to the Series, with Host Hilary Sutcliffe

Mar 16, 2023 7 min listen

In this new Carnegie Council podcast series, Hilary Sutcliffe, a member of the Artificial Intelligence & Equality (AIEI) Board of Advisors, explores fresh perspectives from some of today's most innovative thinkers who challenge the foundational understanding of some familiar concepts—such as human nature, democracy, capitalism, innovation, regulation—and bring them to you . . . from another angle.

In this introduction to the podcast, Sutcliffe, along with AIEI co-directors Anja Kaspersen and Wendell Wallach, discuss the series and its aspiration to challenge our basic assumptions and open up new possibilities and different ways of responding to the pressing issues or our age.

From Another Angle Sutcliffe Trailer on Spotify From Another Angle Sutcliffe Trailer - Apple Podcasts

ANJA KASPERSEN: My name is Anja Kaspersen.

WENDELL WALLACH: And I'm Wendell Wallach. And together Anja and I co-direct the Artificial Intelligence & Equality Initiative at Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs.

ANJA KASPERSEN: Wendell and I are very delighted to be introducing a new podcast within the Artificial Intelligence and Equality Initiative hosted by one of our board advisors, Hilary Sutcliffe, called From Another Angle. Hillary Sutcliffe runs the London-based not-for-profit SocietyInside, and has spent more than three decades working on issues of trust, technology and innovation.

HILARY SUTCLIFFE: Hello, Anya and Wendell, how lovely to see you. And thank you very much for inviting me to do this podcast. It's so exciting.

ANJA KASPERSEN: Hillary, thank you so much for taking this on. And we are of course very excited to be hearing your different angles on the many issues that are dominating the discourse and artificial intelligence and other technologies, especially around issues such as innovation and trust. Can you tell us more in our listeners what you'll be focusing on in this podcast?

HILARY SUTCLIFFE: Yes, thank you. So as you've said, Anja, the podcast is called From Another Angle, and the idea is to talk to some of today's most innovative thinkers who take familiar concepts like democracy or regulation or human nature or even the way we think about ourselves, and show them to listeners from a quite different angle. And what really excites me about these conversations that I'm having is the way they challenge our fundamental assumptions. And certainly for me, and I hope for our listeners too, their fresh thinking makes me see the world in a new way, and it opens up a whole raft of possibilities and ways of looking at the future that are very empowering and very exciting.

Hillary, tell us a little bit about what inspired you to put this podcast series together?

Well, this idea seemed to come at me from two of two separate angles. It first germinated in that hot summer of 2020 when we were all in lockdown, and I was writing a report on trust and tech governance. And I read two amazing books: Rutger Bregman's Humankind and Thomas Piketty's Capital and Ideology. And honestly, they transformed everything for me.

This was because, perhaps rather stupidly—maybe everybody else knows this and I don't—but I sort of thought that the way the world works and where we find ourselves now was somehow inevitable; the result of the nature of human nature, the way our brains work, how society has evolved, and that we were pretty much predestined to be where we are now. But reading their work, I saw that the way the world works now was simply made up, and by a surprisingly small and depressingly influential number of sort of blokes, really, like Machiavelli, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and a few more.

And they had ideas which caught on, and for many odd reasons, they changed everything. Individual people and their ideas made the world the way it is. But by tracing where these ideas came from in these two books, they show me that it's not fixed, that we are not predestined for anything. And if we made it up once, well, we can make it up again. And in fact, we're already remaking it up all the time, as the guests on the show are already showing us. They showed me that looking at what seems familiar concepts from a different angle opens up new possibilities, and literally makes the world look different. Since I've read these books and since I've started to talk to some of the guests on our podcast, I really look at the way things work differently, and I see possibilities which I actually didn't see before.

But actually there was a second inspiration for this podcast, which was quite personal. I had meetings on and off with this lovely guy who was head of technology for a major supermarket. I think we were saying goodbye, or lovely to meet you and all of that. And he said, "You know, Hilary, every time I meet you, I learn things I didn't know. And you help me see things from new perspectives. You really inspire me to think differently." And I thought, Just kill me now. I mean, I would just love to be that person. And actually this inspirational view of myself from another angle, I found incredibly empowering. So when Anja asked me if I had any ideas for a podcast for Carnegie Council, I thought, Well, you know, Hilary, this is an opportunity to be this person that Simon thinks you are. Let's give it a go. And then here we are.

WENDELL WALLACH: So if I understand you correctly, what listeners can anticipate is guests who are looking at key concepts from a new angle, and you're hoping that they will be inspired to think in new ways after your interviews. Is that correct?

HILARY SUTCLIFFE: That's absolutely right. So the idea of the podcast is a hopeful one. There's a lot of negativity, there's a lot of fatalism, I think. Particularly in this area that we're in about the way new technologies are shaping the world.

But it is ideas, and these ideas are not all tech ideas. These ideas are all sorts of different ways of looking at the world, different angles, different concepts. And the idea is that we help with our collective problem solving by shining a light on these new ideas and new perspectives and new ways of thinking of things, which challenges perhaps our understanding of these familiar foundational concepts: democracy, capitalism, equality, regulation, human nature, and the way even that we think about ourselves. And it would be so great if someone listening to these wonderful thinkers thought, Hey, I hadn't thought of it like that. This is so interesting. And perhaps it might change something for them and inspire them the way they have inspired me.

ANJA KASPERSEN: Thank you, Hilary. Wendell and I are certainly very excited to be listening into your conversations, and I'm sure all of our listeners will benefit from having their perspectives invigorated, and learn from both yourself and from the many exciting guests that you are bringing onto the podcast.

HILARY SUTCLIFFE: Thank you very much Anja and Wendell, and thanks also to your fantastic team who've made the process of creating this podcast so smooth and so enjoyable. I really appreciate you giving me this opportunity. And honestly, it would be great if those listening enjoy it even half as much as I have putting it together.

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs is an independent and nonpartisan nonprofit. The views expressed within this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the position of Carnegie Council.

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