SciTech Now Episode 22

Episode twenty-two of SciTech Now brings you the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. We meet the race car driver who fuels his vehicle with food and talk to a tech reporter about the ramifications of online data collection.

TRANSCRIPT

COMING UP.. THE BATTLE AGAINST A MENAC TO OUR WATERS.

WE'RE TRYING TO GET FARMERS TO NOT APPLY MORE THAN THEY NEED AND MODIFY THE WAY THAT THEY APPLY THE FERTILIZER

THE FUTURE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.

WE ARE NOW IN A BOOM TIME FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BECAUS GUESS WHAT -- THE TECHNOLOGY HAS FINALLY CAUGHT UP.

OUR DATA FOR SALE

WE'RE IN AN ECONOMY WHERE DATA IS THE NEW CURRENCY IT'S THE MAGNITUDE OF IT THA CONSUMERS DON'T KNOW ABOUT

FUEL OF THE FUTURE.

PEOPLE ARE JUST ALL AROUN SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT WE AR RUNNING A RACECAR OFF OF FOOD-BASED PRODUCTS.

IT'S JUST UNHEARD OF

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.

HELLO. I'M HARI SREENIVASAN WELCOME TO 'SciTech NOW, OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM BRINGING YO THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS I SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION LET'S GET STARTED.

FROM COAST TO COAST, BIOLOGICA THREATS TO OUR WATER SUPPL ARE A PRIMARY CONCERN FO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS AND CITIZENS ALIKE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEM OCCURS WHEN THERE ARE RAPI ACCUMULATIONS OF ALGAE I AN AQUATIC SYSTEM.

FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO TO LAKE ERIE, THESE HARMFUL MICROORGANISMS CAN HAVE SERIOU EFFECTS ON OUR WATER HERE'S A LOOK.

I SAW THE ALGAE, AND IT WAS REALLY KIND OF A NEON GREEN.

I WAS SURPRISED AT HOW NEON IT LOOKED IT IS VERY DISTINCT ONCE YOU SEE AN ALGAE BLOOM, AND YOU KNOW YOU DON'T WANT TO TOUCH IT

YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH IT THAT'S AN H.A.B. - A HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM.

IT COULD MAKE YOU SICK AND KILL YOUR DOG, IF YOU'RE BOT UNLUCKY ENOUGH TO FALL IN.

RESEARCHERS AT OHIO' HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY HAVE BEE STUDYING WATER QUALITY FOR FOUR DECADES THE TEAM IS GATHERING WATE SAMPLES ON STREAMS THAT FEED INTO THE MAUMEE RIVER, WHICH FLOWS INTO LAKE ERIE

AUTOMATIC SAMPLERS ARE SET UP TO TAKE SAMPLES THREE TIMES DAY EVERY EIGHT HOURS FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK, AND INSIDE THAT STATION IS A REFRIGERATE SAMPLER, AND EVERY MONDAY, W COME OUT HERE AND EXCHANGE THE BASES.

IN THE 1960s, POLLUTION AND ALGAL BLOOMS ALMOST KILLED LAKE ERIE.

AFTER THAT, PHOSPHATES WER BANNED IN LAUNDRY DETERGENT, PHOSPHORUS WAS REDUCED AND THINGS GOT BETTER.

BUT IN RECENT YEARS, ALGAL BLOOMS HAVE BEEN MAKING COMEBACK, AND HEIDELBERG RESEARCHERS THINK THEY'V FOUND OUT WHY.

IT'S CALLED DISSOLVE PHOSPHORUS IT'S SAID DISSOLVED PHOSPHORUS IS LIKE A POWER BAR FO THE TOXIC ALGAE.

IF YOU WERE TO ASK FIVE YEARS AGO, 'DISSOLVED PHOSPHORUS?'

EVERYBODY WOULD SCRATCH THEI HEAD AND GO 'WHAT'S THAT?'

AND THEY NOW FEEL THAT THAT'S REALLY THE COMPONENT, ONE OF THE MAIN COMPONENTS, IN CONTRIBUTING TO THE ALGAL BLOOMS.

WE LIKE TO THINK THAT WE KNO EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING ON OUT HERE, BUT SOMETIMES, IT TAKES LITTLE BIT LONGER TERM O SAMPLING AND DATABASE AN DATA ANALYSIS TO REALL START TO SEE TRENDS.

THOUGH THERE ARE SEVERA SOURCES OF DISSOLVED PHOSPHORU IN LAKE ERIE, SCIENTISTS BELIEVE MOST OF THE PROBLEM COME FROM FARM FERTILIZER

THE OTHER ONES AL CONTRIBUTE, BUT THE ONE THAT CONTRIBUTES THE MOST OR PUTS I THE LARGEST PORTION OF THE LOA IS AGRICULTURAL RUNOFF, AND SO WE'RE TRYING TO GET FARMERS TO NOT APPLY MORE THAN THEY NEE AND MODIFY THE WAY THAT THEY APPLY THE FERTILIZER, AND WE THINK THAT, PRETTY MUCH, THOSE TWO THINGS TOGETHE WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM

THIS YEAR THE OHIO FARM BUREAU BEGAN PROMOTING WAYS TO BETTER APPLY FERTILIZER USING THE RIGHT AMOUNT AT THE RIGHT TIME

THIS FARM HAS BEEN IN THE FAMILY SINCE 1890.

THE MYERS' FARM IS NEAR TOLEDO, LESS THAN A MILE FROM LAKE ERIE

MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER IS THE ONE THAT FIRST STARTED THIS.

MY SON'S THE FIFTH GENERATION.

BILL MYERS SAYS HE'S BEEN APPLYING FERTILIZER THE WA THE FARM BUREAU RECOMMENDS FOR YEARS.

IT'S JUST COMMON SENSE, REALLY IT BOTHERS HIM THAT FARMER ARE SO OFTEN BLAME FOR THE ALGAL BLOOMS

THE PEOPLE THAT WILL LISTEN TO THESE INTERVIEWS OR READ TH ARTICLES IN THE PAPER, THE POINT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND IS THERE ISN'T SOME GREAT BIG PILE OF PHOSPHORUS SOMEPLACE THAT TH GOVERNMENT GIVES US FOR FREE THAT THEY SAY 'HEY, USE ALL YO WANT.'

IT'S EXPENSIVE IT COSTS HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS AN TO PURCHASE AND APPLY.

BEST AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES THAT REDUCE HARMFUL RUNOFF CAN BE EXPENSIVE THAT'S WHY PROGRAMS LIKE THI ONE, THAT HELP FARMERS GRO COVER CROPS IN THE FALL, ARE SO IMPORTANT BRET MARGRAF HAS BEEN USIN COVER CROPS FOR YEARS.

STILL, THIS IS NOT A COMMO SIGHT IN NORTHWEST OHIO -- AT LEAST, NOT YET.

THE RADISHES AREN'T FOR EATING

KIND OF SMALL

THEY'RE FOR HOLDING SOIL, WATER, AND NUTRIENTS IN PLAC OVER THE WINTER SO THEY DON' GET IN THE LAKE.

IN THEORY, IN THE UPCOMIN YEARS, WE SHOULD SEE A REDUCTION IN WHAT WE USE FOR NUTRIENTS T GROW THE SAME QUANTITY OF CROP

NEXT SPRING, CORN AND SOYBEANS WILL BE GROWN HERE.

MARGRAF SEES IT AS A SMALL STE FORWARD TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF LAKE ERIE AND MAYBE HELP HIS BOTTOM LINE.

AND IT WORKS FOR CONSERVATIONISTS WHO ARE LOOKING AT THE BIGGER PICTURE IN WESTERN LAKE ERIE.

THE COMPLEXITY OF THE SYSTEM, THE FACT THAT IT IS A WHOL SYSTEM, REQUIRES COORDINATIO AND COOPERATION, YOU KNOW.

THERE'S A LOT TO DO AT THE FAR LEVEL, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE IMPACT ON THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE SYSTEM COMES FROM A LARGE NUMBER OF FARMERS AND A LARGE NUMBER O CONSTITUENCIES WORKING TOGETHE TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABILITY.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OR A.I., IS OFTEN THOUGHT OF A FUTURISTIC, BUT COMPUTERS HAVE BEEN GETTING MORE ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT FOR QUITE SOME TIM NOW, FROM A SIMPLE WEB SEARC THAT LEARNS WITH YOU TO WATSON THE IBM COMPUTER WHO COULD BEA A HUMAN AT 'JEOPARDY!', TO WHO KNOWS WHERE NEXT RICHARD WATERS, WEST COAST EDITOR OF JOINS US NOW TO DISCUS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AN WHERE IT'S HEADING SO, THAT'S A BIG QUESTION -- WHERE IT HEADING

WELL, IT'S BEEN HEADING I ONE DIRECTION FOR 60 YEARS IT'S JUST TAKEN A LONG TIM GETTING THERE.

I THINK, AS THE NAME SUGGESTS, IT ESSENTIALLY IMPLIES THA COMPUTERS CAN BECOME AS SMART AS PEOPLE THAT WAS A VISION THAT SOME OF THE EARLY COMPUTER SCIENTIST HAD.

THEY WERE WAY AHEAD OF THEMSELVES THE TECHNOLOGY JUST WASN'T READY, AND SO THE HISTORY OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HAS BEEN A HISTORY OF DISAPPOINTMENT.

AND PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT THE A.I.

WINTER IN THE '80s AND THE '90 'CAUSE NOTHING HAPPENED.

WELL, WE ARE NOW IN A BOOM TIM FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENC BECAUSE GUESS WHAT - THE TECHNOLOGY HAS FINALLY CAUGHT UP.

COMPUTING POWER IS NOW GROWING ASTRONOMICALLY, AND SO A LOT O THE KIND OF HOPES AR STARTING TO BE REALIZED.

IT'S NOT THAT COMPUTERS AR AS SMART AS PEOPLE YET BUT THEY'RE DOING THINGS - IN THE LAST TWO TO THREE YEARS IN PARTICULAR, THEY'VE STARTED TO DO THINGS THAT NOBODY THOUGHT WAS POSSIBLE

FOR EXAMPLE

WELL, SO, YOU MENTIONED WATSON UNDERSTANDING LANGUAGE IS AN INCREDIBLY HARD THING TO DO, AND WE FIND IT VERY EASY COMPUTERS HAVEN'T BEEN ABL TO DO THAT FOR A COMPUTER TO BE ABLE TO BEAT A HUMAN AT 'JEOPARDY!', A WORD GAME WHICH INVOLVES COMPLEX PUNS, IS JUST VERY VERY HARD, AND WHEN IBM DID THAT THREE YEARS AGO, A LOT OF PEOPLE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE WERE, QUIT FRANKLY, SHOCKED AND IT'S QUIT A BREAKTHROUGH

SO, NOW, THAT'S ONE EXAMPLE YOU COULD SHOVE ALL OF WIKIPEDIA INTO A BOX, AND HOPEFULLY, I CAN BE FASTER THAN KEN JENNINGS.

BUT WHAT ARE THE KIND OF REA HOPES THAT SCIENTISTS HAVE BEYOND THE KIND OF GAM APPLICATION, HOW DO THEY SEE COMPUTERS INTERACTING WITH U TO PERHAPS SOLVE SOME OF LIFE' BIG MYSTERIES AND CHALLENGES

WELL, I THINK THE WATSO EXAMPLE IS BASED ON WHAT I KNOWN AS MACHINE LEARNING, SO, ESSENTIALLY, WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS YOU'RE PUMPING VAST AMOUNTS OF DATA, SO THIS TAKES ADVANTAGE OF BIG DATA, WHICH HAS BEEN TH BIG JARGON IN THE TECH INDUSTRY.

SO YOU'RE PUMPING ALL THAT DAT INTO A MACHINE, AND IT'S FINDING PATTERNS IT'S HUNTING THROUGH THINGS AN FINDING ANSWERS THAT, YOU KNOW HUMANS COULD FIND IF OUR BRAIN WERE BIG ENOUGH -- AND THE AREN'T NOW, IF YOU APPLY THAT TO AL KINDS OF FIELDS -- SAY, MEDICINE -- THE POTENTIAL IN, FOR INSTANCE, DISEAS DISCOVERY OR FINDING SOLUTIONS TO CANCER, ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT BECOME POSSIBLE AND SO IBM's ALREADY DOING THAT.

A LOT OF COMPANIES ARE LOOKING AT HEALTHCARE, AT TH ENVIRONMENT, FOR INSTANCE.

SO CLIMATE CHANGE IS A VERY, VERY COMPLEX AREA.

YOU KNOW, POTENTIALLY, IN 10 YEARS' TIME, WE COUL SOLVE SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS OF COURSE, SOLVING THE POLITIC IS GOING TO TAKE LONGER, BUT THE SCIENCE, ACTUALLY, WE COUL START TO FIND ANSWERS.

SO, ON THE 'HOPES AND DREAMS' SIDE, THERE IS THE CURE TO CANCER, WHICH MIGHT BE ASSISTE BY A.I., AND ALONG WITH TH HOPES, THERE'S ALSO THIS KIND OF FEAR THREAD.

I MEAN, STEPHEN HAWKING, A BRILLIANT SCIENTIST, SAID THAT THIS MOMENT, THIS SINGULARIT WHEN COMPUTERS GET SMARTER THA US MIGHT ACTUALLY BE THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF US WHY ARE THEY SO SCARED

I MEAN, IT SEEM COUNTERINTUITIVE, YOU KNOW THAT WE WOULD BUILD A MACHIN THAT WE COULD NO LONGER CONTROL, AND YET, YOU KNOW, IT'S TH STORY OF ALL COMPLEX SYSTEMS IF YOU LIKE.

WE ALREADY KNOW, FROM EVEN THE AIR-TRAFFIC-CONTROL SYSTEMS WE BUILD, WE HAVE PLANE CRASHES BECAUSE HUMANS FLYING MACHINES INTERACTING WITH COMPUTERS MAKE MISTAKES.

WELL, IF YOU NOW MULTIPLY THAT BY A FACTOR OF 1,000 OR MILLION AND THINK ABOUT WHAT A INCREDIBLY INTELLIGENT COMPUTE WOULD DO, DESIGNED BY HUMANS YOU CAN START TO SEE THAT THER WOULD BE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES WE SIMPLY COULDN'T ANTICIPATE.

AND THEN, IF YOU MARRY THAT WITH THE FACT THAT, VERY SOON THE COMPUTERS WILL BE BUILDING THEMSELVES, ONCE THEY BECOME A INTELLIGENT AS PEOPLE, THE WON'T EXPECT TO IMPROVE THEM.

THEY'LL BE ABLE TO DO BETTER JOB THEMSELVES.

AND SO HOW WILL THEY EXPLAIN T US, WITH SMALLER BRAINS, WHA THEY'RE DOING TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES

LET'S KIND OF GAME THIS OUT SOME OF THE RIPPLE EFFECTS OR THE CONSEQUENCES, UNINTENDED OR OTHERWISE.

I MEAN, HOW DOES A SOCIETY FUNCTION WHERE YOU HAVE THIS CLASS THAT IS MORE INTELLIGENT AND MORE CAPABLE IN CERTAIN WAYS, AND WE KIND O HUMANS ARE JUST KIND OF WALKIN AROUND, STILL HAVING TO EAT FOOD AND STILL HAVING TO GO T SLEEP AT NIGHT, ET CETERA?

I MEAN, LET'S SAY, FOR EXAMPLE EVEN HOW WE GOVERN I MEAN, WHAT DOES DEMOCRACY DO IN THE LIGHT OF THIS INEQUITY?

WELL, WE'RE ALREADY GOING T BE FACING SOME OF THESE ISSUES IN THE NEXT 5 TO 10 YEAR BECAUSE COMPLEX ALGORITHMS FED BY VAST AMOUNTS OF DATA AR GOING TO BE STARTING TO OPTIMIZE MANY PARTS OF OUR LIFE YOU KNOW, WE'RE CURRENTLY LIVING IN AN ERA OF DATA OVERLOAD AND INTERNET OVERLOAD, AND WE CAN' FIND THE ANSWERS WE WANT AND W CAN'T SORT ALL THIS INFORMATIO TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS.

AND OUR LEADERS ARE IN A SIMILAR POSITION THEY HAVE A LOT OF EXPERTISE BACKING THEM UP, BUT THEY'RE RELYING INCREASINGLY O COMPUTERS, AND I THINK ARTIFICIAL-INTELLIGENT COMPUTERS LIKE WATSON WILL BE PLAYING THIS ROLE IN THE NEXT 5 TO 10 YEARS TO SORT THROUGH, YOU KNOW, THE VARIOUS INFORMATION THEY NEED TO MAKE VERY COMPLEX POLICY DECISIONS AND TO RECOMMEND THE OPTIMIZED ROUTE, AND IT'S GOIN TO BECOME VERY HARD FOR HUMANS TO TURN THEIR BACK ON A MACHIN THAT GIVES YOU A PREFERRED ANSWER WE LIKE TO THINK THAT HUMANS WILL STILL MAKE THE DECISIONS, AND WE BUT HOW DO W SECOND-GUESS THE MACHINES WHEN THEY START TO BECOME SMARTER IT'S GOING TO BECOME VERY COMPLEX

AND WHO MAKES THESE MACHINES?

I MEAN, 25, 35 YEARS AGO YOU COULD SAY THE ONLY PEOPL WITH THE BIG-ENOUGH CHECKBOOKS WERE, SAY, DARPA OR SOME SORT OF GOVERNMENT-FUNDED AGENCY SOMEWHERE AROUND THE WORLD, BU INCREASINGLY, THAT'S NOT THE CASE, AND IT'S MORE LIKELY TO BE A PRIVATE CORPORATION -- WHETHER IT'S APPLE OR IT'S GOOGLE OR IT'S FACEBOOK -- WHO HAS THESE LARGE DATA SET AND WHO HAS THE COMPUTING POWE AND KEEPS BUILDING IT.

WELL, YOU PUT YOUR FINGER O IT A.I. IS NOW A RACE BETWEEN A HANDFUL OF VERY BI CORPORATIONS -- GOOGLE OBVIOUSLY; FACEBOOK, THAT HA THREE A.I. LABS AROUND THE WORLD; AMAZON; BAIDU, IN CHINA AND THE REASON THESE COMPANIES ARE INVESTING SO HEAVILY I BECAUSE THIS IS THE FUTURE O THE INFORMATION BUSINESS IF YOU LIKE -- THAT IF GOOGL AND FACEBOOK EXIST TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE THEY HELP US TO FIND THINGS WE'RE INTERESTED IN WELL, A.I. WILL TAKE THAT A BI STEP FURTHER AND WILL HELP T SORT THE WORLD FOR US.

IF YOU CAN IMAGINE MARRYIN WATSON, YOU KNOW THIS QUESTION-AND-ANSWER VOICE-ACTIVATED THING, WITH MACHINE BEHIND IT THAT CAN SOR ALL THE WORLD'S INFORMATION, AND YOU CAN PUT IT ON SMARTPHONE, THEN YOU CAN VER QUICKLY SEE THAT THE WORLD WIL CHANGE, BECAUSE ANYTHING W WANT, WE WILL SIMPLY TALK TO OUR PHONES AND THAT'S A VISION THAT ALL THESE BIG COMPANIES AR CHASING VERY FAST.

THIS IS ALSO A VISION THA THE MOVIE 'HER' HAD, RIGHT WHERE PEOPLE WERE HAVING THESE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR SMARTPHONES, AND, OBVIOUSLY, THE DIRECTOR INTENTIONALLY MADE IT OUT WHERE PEOPLE WERE WALKIN DOWN THE STREETS AND THE WEREN'T ACTUALLY HAVIN CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS THEY WERE HAVING CONVERSATIONS WITH THEIR KIND OF A.I

WELL, WE ALREADY LIVE IN THAT WORLD.

YOU WALK DOWN THE STREET, AN PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THEI PHONES AT THE MOMENT IF YOU'D SHOWN THAT IMAGE TO PEOPLE 10 YEARS AGO, IT WOULD'VE SEEMED LIKE SOME FUTURE THEY COULDN'T IMAGINE BECAUSE W DIDN'T HAVE SMARTPHONES.

SO WHY SHOULDN'T WE BE TALKING TO THEM?

ALL RIGHT, RICHARD WATERS THE WEST COAST EDITOR OF THE THANKS SO MUCH

PLEASURE.

WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PRIVAC ONLINE REPORTER JENNA FLANAGAN SA DOWN WITH REPORTER NATASHA SINGER, WHO'S DIGGING INTO THE WORLD OF DATA MINING THE SERIES OF REPORTS RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT SINGE CALLS THE NEW GLOBAL CURRENCY.

IT'S NOT GOLD -- IT'S DATA AND IT'S FOR SALE.

WELCOME, NATASHA.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

THANK YOU SO, LET'S JUST GET RIGHT INT THIS WHY ARE SO MANY COMPANIE COLLECTING DATA ON CONSUMERS

WELL, AS YOU SAID, WE'RE IN AN ECONOMY WHERE DATA IS THE NEW CURRENCY, AND COMPANIES AR COLLECTING ALL KINDS O INFORMATION ABOUT INDIVIDUAL CONSUMERS -- OUR HOME ADDRESSES, OUR E-MAIL ADDRESSES WHETHER WE USE DISCOVER OR MasterCard OR AMERICAN EXPRESS HOW BIG OUR HOUSES ARE WHAT OUR PROFESSIONS ARE WHETHER WE HAVE KIDS, WHETHE WE'RE ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER HOW MANY FOLLOWERS WE HAVE THEY'RE COLLECTING THI INFORMATION BECAUSE, PARTLY, SOME COMPANIES WANT TO SELL US PRODUCTS THAT ARE TAILORED T US, SO, TO SHOW US MOR APPROPRIATE ADVERTISING.

AND OTHERS, THEY'RE TRYING T DEVELOP DIFFERENT PRODUCTS FOR DIFFERENT MARKETS.

THERE'S ALSO A KIND OF FRAUD PREVENTION, WHERE THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE IF YOU'RE DOING A BI TRANSACTION THAT IT'S ACTUALLY YOU.

OH, WELL, OKAY, SO, THEN, THERE COULD BE A POSITIVE SIDE TO THIS, EVEN THOUGH IT SOUNDS INCREDIBLY INVASIVE AND CREEPY

WELL, I THINK THERE ARE POSITIVES AND THEN THERE ARE CONCERNS BECAUSE, CERTAINLY, WE WANT TO SEE ADS THAT AR RELEVANT TO US, BUT IF THA INVOLVES SOME COMPANY KNOWIN THAT WE HAVE DIABETES OR ONE O OUR PARENTS HAS ALZHEIMER'S, WE MIGHT FIND THAT A LITTL INVASIVE, SO I THINK IT DEPEND ON THE KINDS OF INFORMATIO THAT'S BEING COLLECTED I THINK THERE ARE CERTAI CATEGORIES THAT ARE SENSITIV THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT SO COMFORTABLE ABOUT.

SO, WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THIS INFORMATION SO VALUABLE BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND THAT SOME COMPANIES CAN ACTUALLY PROFI BILLIONS BY PACKAGING THIS AND SELLING PEOPLE'S PROFILES.

YES SO, THERE ARE THESE COMPANIE CALLED DATA BROKERS, AND CONSUMERS HAVEN'T HEARD OF THE BECAUSE THEY SELL THEI INFORMATION TO OTHER COMPANIES SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU BU SOMETHING ON AMAZON OR YOU BUY SOMETHING AT BLOOMINGDALE'S, YOU KNOW THE COMPANY KNOWS WHA YOU'VE BOUGHT, AND IF YOU GAVE THEM YOUR ADDRESS, YOU KNO THAT THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, AND THEY KNOW OTHER THINGS ABOUT YOU.

BUT THESE COMPANIES CALLED DATA BROKERS, THEY HAVE NAME LIKE ACXIOM, EPSILON EXPERIAN MARKETING SERVICES.

MOST CONSUMERS HAVE NEVE HEARD OF THEM, BUT THEY HAVE INFORMATION ON, PERHAPS, 98% O AMERICAN ADULTS, AND THEY MIGH HAVE 1,000 DETAILS ABOUT YOU AND 5,000 DETAILS ABOUT ME AND THOUSANDS OF OTHER DETAILS ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBOR.

SO I THINK IT'S THE MAGNITUDE OF IT THAT CONSUMERS DON'T KNOW ABOUT.

SO, LET'S TAKE A MINUTE AND CREEP PEOPLE OUT, FOR LACK OF BETTER DESCRIPTION, AND TELL U SOME OF THE CATEGORIES THAT YO FOUND THAT YOU WERE JUST ABL TO PULL UP FROM THEIR WEBSITE.

RIGHT SO, THIS IS ON THE WEBSITE O EXPERIAN MARKETING SERVICES, AND IT SAID THAT THEY HA INFORMATION ON 2 BILLION CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE AND THEY CAN PUT THEM INTO THESE CATEGORIES SO I'M GOING TO START WITH - THIS IS THE CATEGORY OF ECONOMIC CHALLENGES SO THERE'S A CATEGORY... THEN THERE'S ASPIRATIONAL... THEN THERE'S SORT OF MODEST -- 'MODEST METRO MEANS, 'EXPANDING HORIZONS,' 'HUMBL BEGINNINGS,' 'STRIVING FORWARD.'

AND THEN, THERE'S, LIKE, THI UPPER-ECHELON CATEGORY YOU CAN BE IN -- POWER ELITE AND JUST EVEN THE NAME JUST THESE INFERENCES ARE BEIN MADE ABOUT YOU THAT YOU DON' KNOW ARE HAPPENING, AND THAT'S WHY I THINK IT'S NOT SO MUCH ABOUT PRIVACY, LIKE 'I WANT TO KEEP ALL MY INFORMATION TO MYSELF,' BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE ARE ON FACEBOOK, MANY PEOPLE ARE O TWITTER, MANY PEOPLE HAVE BLOGS.

WE'RE PUTTING OUR INFORMATIO OUT THERE.

WE'RE NOT TRYING TO KEEP THE INFORMATION TO OURSELVES BUT IT'S ABOUT TRANSPARENCY.

LIKE, IF YOU'RE MAKING INFERENCES ABOUT ME AND IT'S GOING TO HAVE A CONSEQUENCE, SHOULD I HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNO WHAT THAT INFERENCE IS

SO, WHY DID SOME OF THESE COMPANIES FEEL THAT THEY NEED TO DO THIS -- NOT ONLY TO COLLECT THIS INFORMATION, BU THEN TO CATEGORIZE IT IN SUCH -- I'M SORRY -- WHAT FEELS LIKE A JUDGMENTAL MANNER?

RIGHT, BUT THEY'RE GOING TO SAY -- THEIR ARGUMENT IS IT' ABOUT SHOWING YOU ADS THAT ARE RELEVANT TO YOU.

IF YOU ARE, YOU KNOW AN 'AMERICAN ROYALTY,' WE'RE GOING TO SHOW YOU THE AD FOR THE LOUIS VUITTON LUGGAGE, AND I YOU'RE, LIKE, A MIDDLE-CLASS STRIVING, MINIVAN CATEGORY WE'RE GOING TO SHOW YOU AD FOR SAMSONITE, YOU KNOW?

AND IF YOU ARE - [ BOTH LAUGH ] YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY CALL LIKE -- IT'S, LIKE, ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE DECIDED THAT YOU'RE GOING TO STAY IN THE RENTAL CATEGORY LIKE 'RESOLUTE RENTERS,' YOU KNOW, I'M GOING TO SHOW YO AN AD FOR A CARRY-ON BAG AND, LIKE, THEIR CLAIM IS THAT THERE'S NO HARM IN THAT, AND MAYBE THERE ISN'T.

MAYBE YOU'RE FINE WITH SEEIN THE SAMSONITE LUGGAGE.

YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEND TH MONEY ON THE LOUIS VUITTON LUGGAGE.

IT'S A WASTE OF THEIR MONEY TO SHOW YOU THAT AD BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKES US HUMAN I THAT WE'RE ABLE TO BE DIFFEREN PEOPLE AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

YOU'RE ONE PERSON AT CHURCH, YOU'RE ANOTHER PERSON AT SCHOOL, YOU'RE ANOTHER PERSON AT HOME, YOU'RE ANOTHER PERSO WHEN YOU'RE THE BOY SCOUT TROO LEADER, AND BEING STUCK IN THESE CATEGORIES, FOR YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS OR FOR LIFE IT BOXES YOU IN, IN A WAY, AT LEAST PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND SOCIOLOGICALLY

SO, SAY I'M SOMEONE WHO I INCLINED TO WANT TO LIVE OFF THE GRID, LET'S SAY, AND I DON'T WANT THIS INFORMATION ABOUT ME OUT THERE, I DON'T WANT IT COLLECTED, AND I DON'T WANT IT USED TO MARKET TO ME IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO T EITHER LIMIT MY DIGITA FOOTPRINT OR, IN ANOTHER CASE, REMOVE IT ALTOGETHER

SO, ONE OF THE ISSUES WIT THIS IS, IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT YOUR ONLINE LIFE IT'S ABOUT WHAT YOU BUY IN PHYSICAL STORES, WHERE YOU PHYSICALLY GO ON VACATION.

AND A LOT OF THIS INFORMATION IS COLLECTED FROM PUBLIC RECORDS, LIKE, YOU KNOW, PROPERTY RECORDS, TAX RECORDS, VOTE RECORDS, AND THOSE ARE THING YOU CAN'T MAKE DISAPPEAR SO, ON ONE LEVEL, EVEN IF YO STOPPED USING YOUR DIGITAL DEVICES, IF YOU USED A CREDI CARD, THEY WOULD STILL KNO WHAT YOU'RE BUYING SO I THINK THAT THE QUESTION I 'WHAT DO WE WANT TO DO ABOUT THIS AS A SOCIETY?

BECAUSE WE'RE MOVING TOWARD THIS KIND OF UBIQUITOUS SURVEILLANC AND DATA COLLECTION, AND SO TH QUESTION IS 'AS A SOCIETY, DO WE WANT TO HAVE LIMITS ON THE DATA COLLECTION?

DO WE WANT TO HAVE TRANSPARENCY, WHERE COMPANIES SHOULD TELL US WHAT THEY'RE COLLECTING AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING WITH IT?

I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWERS -- MY JOB IS TO ASK THE QUESTIONS -- BUT IT'S REALLY AN INTERESTING QUESTION

NATASHA, THANK YOU SO MUC FOR YOUR TIME.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT

NO PROBLEM.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

MOTORSPORTS AREN'T USUALL THOUGHT OF AS ENVIRONMENTALL FRIENDLY, BUT A NEW FUEL I BEING USED TO OFFSET THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT HERE'S A LOOK.

[ TIRES SCREECH

REMEMBER THAT LAST SCENE IN 'BACK TO THE FUTURE'

WAIT A MINUTE WHAT ARE YOU DOING, DOC?

I NEED FUEL

BACK IN 1985, USING FOO WASTE FOR FUEL SEEMED ABOUT AS FAR OFF AS FLYING CARS BUT NOW IT'S REALITY WELCOME TO THE FUTURE.

MATT COFFMAN IS A PROFESSIONAL FORMULA DRIFT DRIVER

DRIFTING IS THE BALLE OF MOTORSPORTS IT'S NOT RACING. IT'S DANCING.

IN A DRIFT COMPETITION, TWO CARS SQUEAL AROUND TIGHT TURNS ONE FOLLOWING THE OTHER AN TRYING TO MATCH ITS PRECISION.

EACH CONTEST IS AN INTENSE 30 TO 45 SECONDS

IT'S THE TIRE SMOKE, IT'S THE CARS GOING SIDEWAYS AT CLOSE T 100 MILES AN HOUR, IT'S TH SOUND OF THE TIRES, IT'S THE SOUND OF THE ENGINE.

[ HORN HONKS ]

MOTORSPORTS AREN'T USUALL THOUGHT OF AS ENVIRONMENTALL FRIENDLY, BUT COFFMAN'S TEAM I BREAKING THAT STEREOTYPE THIS YEAR, THEY SWITCHED TO NEW FUEL TO OFFSET THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT NOW COFFMAN'S CAR, LIKE THE DeLOREAN IN 'BACK TO THE FUTURE,' RUNS O FOOD WASTE

PEOPLE ARE JUST ALL AROUN SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT WE AR RUNNING A RACECAR OFF OF FOOD-BASED PRODUCTS.

IT'S JUST UNHEARD OF

COFFMAN SAYS THE ETHANOL, CALLED THUNDERBOLT RACE FUEL ACTUALLY RUNS HIS CAR BETTER THAN PETROLEUM-BASED RACIN FUEL

WITH THIS FUEL, IT IS 100 CONSISTENT ALL THE TIME.

IT'S AMAZING

THE FUMES ARE ALSO LESS TOXIC FOR HIM TO BREATHE AND THERE'S ANOTHER, UNEXPECTED, BENEFIT.

THE EXHAUST SMELLS LIKE BERRIES.

YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT -- THE EXHAUST SMELLS LIKE BERRIES.

THAT'S BECAUSE THE ETHANOL COMES FROM A COMPANY IN CORNELIUS, OREGON, THAT MAKES DRIED FRUIT MARK SMITH IS THE OWNER OF SUMMIT FOODS, THE COMPAN THAT MAKES THE FUEL.

HE SAYS THE IDEA WAS BOR OUT OF A PROBLEM -- THE PROCES OF DRYING FRUIT MEANT LOTS O SUGARY WASTE JUICE

WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOU 'WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS WASTE?'

LANDFILL DIDN'T WANT IT, AND THE SEWER, IT WAS VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE TO, YOU KNOW, SO W JUST KEPT STORING IT AND STORING IT

THEN THEY STARTED FERMENTIN THE JUICE AND DISTILLING IT IN A VERY PURE ALCOHOL, OR ETHANOL.

WE'D LIKE TO, AT SOME POINT DO MILLIONS OF GALLONS A YEA OF WASTE-STREAM ETHANOL, AND WE'LL JUST KEEP WORKING ON I TILL WE GET IT

COFFMAN SAYS IT'S ONLY MATTER OF TIME BEFOR FOOD-WASTE ETHANOL GOE BEYOND THE RACETRACK

IF THE THUNDERBOL ALL-NATURAL, ECO-FRIENDLY FUEL IS NOT ONLY BETTER THAN TH OTHER RACING FUELS, IT WOULD BE, BY FAR, BETTER THAN TH LOW-QUALITY FUELS THAT AMERICANS ARE SERVED EVERY SINGLE DA INTO THEIR DOMESTIC CARS

IN FACT, COFFMAN SAYS, IT JUST MIGHT BE THE FUEL OF TH FUTURE

AND THAT WRAPS IT U FOR THIS TIME.

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UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN THANKS FOR WATCHING.

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