Modern Times Opportunities
Toby & Friends
Smart Privacy

Smart Privacy

How to remain focused yet manage digital life privacy?

Last week I wrote about privacy in:

Modern Times and Opportunities
Hacking Surveillance
Watch now (2 min) | This is a beautiful rendition of an old German folk song “Die Gedanken sind frei”. The text was first published in anonymous leaflets in 1780 and the melody was composed about thirty years later — both author and composer remain unknown. The concept of freedom of thought has given oppressed peoples and individuals comfort and hope since times immemorial and there is hardly a folk song that has been played as often by rock and punk musicians as "The thoughts are free"— but is it a truth? And if so, one that actually still holds true for all sides and times…
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And I’m particularly happy about this follow-on conversation with Dr. Jörg Wurzer in the form of a podcast.

Jörg is the Founder and CEO of the Hallo Welt Systeme UG in Germany who are also the makers of the Volla Smartphone which I had mentioned in the article. Their main goals are to help people:

  1. Reduce interruptions and enable them to regain focus on what really matters to them;

  2. Leverage smart privacy, i.e. by having the flexibility to choose a cloud provider of their trust in a transparent manner, or, go cold turkey and stay off the cloud;

  3. Find the most secure, yet simple to setup and use, end to end and decentralized communication hardware and software experience of choice.

As Volla is the sponsor of today’s podcast and is currently doing a spring cleaning sale, you get 10% off if you use the coupon “TOBYTALKS”.

During the podcast we touched upon many interesting aspects of privacy — including the importance of not only controlling the software side but also the hardware stack when building for maximum security and smarter privacy.

We also exchanged a few fun movies, including “Her” — the virtual operating system chatting with millions at the same time:

or “Jexi” — the smartphone which is just a tad too clingy:

and finally: “Superintelligence” — well, I’ll let you be the judge:

Taking funny movies aside, there is a certain reality about how AI is shaping our expectations for convenience and affecting collective decision making at large. We may even end up with a situation where a large part of society trusts AI more than their own intelligence.

If a majority believes that AI (because of its access to all our data) knows what’s better for humanity at large — where will this lead our collective intelligence and evolution?

Jörg also recommended the book “Payback” by Frank Schirrmacher for those who want to take a deeper dive into the challenges of the attention economy which is constantly challenged by the complexities of privacy and its clashes with AI.

If you liked this podcast and the references to AI, you may also like:

Modern Times and Opportunities
One of my favorite stories as a boy was Robbi, Tobbi und das Fliewatüüt, a German book for children published in 1967. It’s my earliest memory coming into contact with what today we’d simply refer to as Artificial Intelligence, or in short “A.I.”: Most of my formative experiences with AI were good ones — from testing speech recognition software for IBM in the 1990ies to creating the world’s first chat and audio based Conversational IoT interfaces in 2015 with…
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I hope to see you again on the next podcast and if you have a particular topic of interest, do let me know!


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Modern Times Opportunities
Toby & Friends
Welcome to "Toby & Friends" – the podcast for the self-curious. Here you’ll meet creative thinkers and doers who share their knowledge, wisdom and experiences with other listeners and aspiring Polymaths, covering topics relevant to our current times.
"If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room." Taking Confucius' wise words to heart, the idea of this podcast series is to exchange with (smarter) friends in a virtual campfire session, without sponsorship and no particular agenda, but in the true spirit of polymathic learning, simply by sharing knowledge and thus coming up with new solutions to the most pressing problems of Modern Times.
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