We’re excited to announce a new podcast, “Future Human” – an exploration of the human potential of technology. You can listen to Episode 1, “E.A.T. Then and Now” here.
The series took shape when I ran into Nokia Bell Labs President, Marcus Weldon at PropellerFest, an innovation festival taking place in Hoboken, NJ last May. Marcus and Bell Lab’s Human Digital Orchestra™ were out in force, delivering a unique, real-time sensory experience in collaboration with a performance by musical artist Beatie Wolfe. I was generally aware of Bell Labs’ history, but had no idea what they were focusing on lately. The live experience itself was like nothing I’d seen – and, as a veteran rock musician who’d spent the last five years overseeing Spotify’s original content team, I’ve seen a few. So, in a short on-stage interview with Marcus and Beatie after the performance, I asked him why his team of world-renowned researchers was putting on rock shows.
It turns out, this was only the latest instance of Bell Labs looking to the artistic community to give purpose and inspiration to their ongoing work. And what’s most fascinating to me is the way in which this type of collaboration has become necessary to Bell Labs’ mission – and similarly nourishing to a host of artists spanning many disciplines.
So that’s what “Future Human” is about. I’m very grateful to the Bell Labs folks for letting me run around their facilities and events with my digital recorder unsupervised, and for letting me take this audio documentary where it may go with no editorial intervention. We hope you enjoy the show!
Sandy Smallens is Founder of audiation.fm, a podcast advisory. He's a digital media veteran who's held senior positions at Spotify, CBS, Entercom, MTV and Atlantic Records. In the prior century, he played bass and sang with Warner Bros. band Too Much Joy.