TEC Talks Returns, This Time as a Podcast

Author: Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center

TEC Talks logo with the words "Now playing wherever you get your podcasts" over a background closeup of a microphone

Launched in 2021 as two series of virtual live events, TEC Talks is back with a new look—or perhaps more accurately, a new sound.

Now a podcast, the show will feature informal conversations on a broad range of topics in technology ethics between host Kirsten Martin, the director of the Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center (ND TEC), and guests from both inside and beyond academia.

Each TEC Talks episode will highlight one article or idea from the guest, who together with Martin will unpack that work while examining the larger implications for the field of tech ethics. Created with both scholars and casual listeners in mind, episodes will typically be 15–30 minutes long and released every third Wednesday.

Martin’s guest for the first podcast was Vikram Bhargava, an assistant professor of strategic management and public policy at the George Washington University School of Business. They talked about a paper Bhargava recently coauthored with Manuel Velasquez of Santa Clara University titled “Ethics of the Attention Economy: The Problem of Social Media Addiction,” which appeared in Business Ethics Quarterly.

“A lot of times people will say, How is it that this is addictive?” Bhargava said on the episode. “With cigarettes or heroin, this is something that's affecting your body directly. But the kind of key point is that there's nothing, you know, special about the fact that it's affecting your body. The important thing is certain brain changes, and brain changes can be effected through the body or otherwise, right? We have certain responses, dopamine responses and other kinds of responses, whether or not it enters our body through ... a physical injection, and we can have psychological responses to this, as well.”

You can listen to the entire episode with Bhargava by using the player below or finding TEC Talks in your favorite podcast app. The episode is also available on the podcast’s homepage at techethics.nd.edu/tec-talks, which includes a written transcript as well as videos of the two live event series from 2021.


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