Cast IT

Cast IT is a popular science podcast about foundations of information technology, hosted at IT University of Copenhagen.

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Ivan Damgård: Secure Multi-Party Computation

Duration: 01:01:23

Description: Ivan Bjerre Damgård is professor of theoretical computer science at Aarhus University, Denmark, and one of the world’s leading researchers in the foundations of cryptography. Among other things, Ivan is known for the Merkle–Damgård construction, which underlies many modern digital signatures. We talk to Ivan about the mathematical basics of modern cryptography, internet security, authentication, secret sharing, and privacy. This includes the emerging field of secure multiparty computation: how can individuals collaborate to compute a solution without revealing too much of their private information?
Ivan’s recent book on these matters is Ronald Cramer, Ivan Bjerre Damgård, and Jesper Buus Nielsen, “Secure Multiparty Computation and Secret Sharing,” Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Espen Aarseth: Game Studies from The Hobbit to Minecraft

Duration: 01:06:30

Description: Espen Aarseth, professor in Game Studies, is the Head of the Center of Computer Games Research at IT University of Copenhagen and the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Game Studies. We talk to Espen about founding computer games research as an academic discipline, the Games study programme at ITU, what a game is (entertainment? sports? waste of time? cultural artefact? social activity? storytelling? shared illusion?), PewDiePie, how the established narratological concepts of literary theory succeed or fail in describing games, playing The Hobbit over a landline phone in the 1980s, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Recorded on 12 October 2017.

Vincent F. Hendricks: The truth in digital society

Duration: 55:21

Description: We ask Vincent F. Hendricks, professor of formal philosophy at Copenhagen University and the director of the Center for Information and Bubble Studies how to think about information, knowledge, and truth, in the internet age, where information is  quickly shared or algorithmically curated, and  where the model of liberal democracy, such as the public sphere, are undergoing rapid change. We talk about fake news, Trump, radical scepticism, social psychology, filter bubbles, power laws of attention economics, and pluralistic ignorance.

Vincent’s web page is at and his 2016 book on explaining individual behaviour on the social net is Hendricks and Hansen, “Infostorms,” Springer 2016.

Rebecca Slayton: Cybersecurity and Star Wars

Duration: 53:56

Description: Rebecca Slayton is a professor at the Department of Science and Technology Studies and Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Cornell University.
We talk to Rebecca about cybersecurity, the early history of software engineering during the Cold War, the role of scientific and technological expertise in public policy, and how to think about risk and reliability. Rebecca’s book on how knowledge about computing was shaped by and influenced the development of US missile defence during the Cold War is “Arguments that Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2012” (MIT Press, 2013), which won the Computer History Museum Prize in 2015.

Recorded on 18 May 2017.

Olle Häggström: Technology and the Future of Humanity

Duration: 01:17:05

Description: Olle Häggström is a Professor of mathematical statistics at Chalmers University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science. He is also a leading Swedish public intellectual and prolific debater in science, pseudoscience, technology, and education. We talk to Olle about the potential dangers associated with various emerging technologies—how do we start thinking about the catastrophic risks that may be associated with scientific advances that we have not completed?

Our focus at Cast IT are potential advances in Artificial Intelligence towards general “Superintelligence,” sometimes called the intelligence explosion, the technological Singularity, or the robot apocalypse. Olle’s 2016 book about these issues is called “Here Be Dragons: Science, Technology and the Future of Humanity,” published by Oxford University Press.

Recorded on 8 May 2017.

Carsten Schürmann: Electronic Elections

Duration: 01:15:14

Description: Carsten Schürmann is the leader of the Demtech research center, which studies the interplay between technology and democracy. Carsten is a world leading expert in computer security and critical digital infrastructure, with a background in the theory of programming languages and logics.

We talk to him about digital democracy, in particular electronic elections, including online voting. The goal of democratic elections is the peaceful transition of government, which means that both winners and loser must trust the outcome of the result. How is this trust generated if the details of voting are no longer transparent?

Recorded on 21 April 2017.

Toby Walsh: Kidneys, Cars, and Killer Robots

Duration: 01:07:41

Description: Toby Walsh is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence and a prolific populariser of computer science. We talk about the mechanisms behind fair allocation of transplanted kidneys, autonomous cars, the ethics of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision making, and killer robots from autonomous weapon systems to the Singularity.

Toby’s blog is at; his forthcoming book on many of these issues will be titled “Android Dreams.”

Troels Bjerre Lund: Poker-Playing Bots

Duration: 58:27

Description: In early 2017, two independent research teams announced progress in artificial intelligence: Libratus from Carnagie Mellon University and DeepStack from University of Alberta. Computer programs are now able to beat the best human players in the two-player card game Heads-Up No Limit Texas’ Hold-Em Poker. 

But what are poker-playing bots? And how do they work work? 

In this podcast Thore Husfeldt talks to Associate Professor Troels Bjerre Lund, IT University of Copenhagen, a researcher in algorithmic game theory and a leading expert on artificial intelligence for poker.