As a former consultant in a “pre-COVID-19” world I used to travel a lot and I always wanted to use this time in a useful way. I have been listening to podcasts on a regular basis for over two years now, and I must say that the variety of podcasts as well as their quality has greatly improved since that time. While cooking or commuting to work, listening to podcasts is still a way to get the most out of my day as its allows me to do two things simultaneously — learning something new while moving forward in my daily routine.
As we approach the end of 2020 it is time to take stock of the past 365 days and learn from the good things that happened this year in the world of data science podcasts. Unfortunately some great data science podcasts stopped being broadcast, like the renowned Linear Digressions podcast this summer. Other podcasts that used to be references are no longer broadcast either, like the O’Reilly Data Show or the DataHack Radio podcasts. But many other data science podcasts greatly improved their content and increased the size of their audience while new ones have emerged. Therefore an update on the greatest data science podcasts is required.
Whether you are already a podcast enthusiast or you plan to deepen your knowledge by listening to podcasts, this article is for you. I will present you the top 5 data science podcasts that I have been listening to this year. In my opinion they are accessible to every listener as they tackle vast subjects and take different perspectives on what data science means. Therefore if some episodes may be more technical than other, you should be able to find the right balance for you among all the episodes available.
- Focus: interviews of data scientists and data analysts, combined with lifestyle advice
- Duration: 1+ hour for interviews, 10 to 15 minutes for solo episodes
- Frequency: twice a week
Every week Kirill Eremenko, a data science coach and lifestyle entrepreneur as he describes himself, releases two episodes of his SuperDataScience podcast. In the first one he discusses with his guests the latest data science trends but also their career path and future aspirations. Featured guests range from founders of AI startups to professors in mathematics. In the second weekly episode, Kirill shares his knowledge about a specific data science topic or gives advice on self improvement and personal well-being.
- Focus: discussions about data science related topics (statistics, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence) and their impact on our modern societies
- Duration: 25 to 40 minutes
- Frequency: weekly
What I like about this podcast is that the topics selected are often closely related to the news. As an example, recent podcast subjects include face mask sentiment analysis or misinformation online. The podcast host, Kyle Polich, discusses with his expert guests what can be learned from their work in relation to current trends. As the podcast’s title suggests, it has a strong pedagogical perspective and it is particularly accessible to non-tech people.
- Focus: full-length interviews of leaders in AI and tech but also of personalities having more diverse backgrounds like philosophy or healthcare
- Duration: 2 to 3+ hours
- Frequency: weekly
Formerly called “The AI Podcast”, this podcast has now broadened its range of interests. From philosophy and history to science and artificial intelligence, it invites you to see data science from a broader perspective. It is hosted by Lex Fridman, a researcher in human-centered AI and deep learning at MIT. As indicated by its duration, this podcast collects extensive interviews with renowned persons from various industries. Remarkable guests of this podcast include Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and many other technology companies, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, and Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone.
- Focus: conversations between the two hosts and sometimes external guests about the impacts of data science and technology on our daily life
- Duration: 40 to 55 minutes
- Frequency: twice a month
Led by two former university friends, Antonio Borges and Jordy Estevez, this podcast is a mixture of their conversations on a data science related topic and their discussions with people working in the data science field. Starting with thought-provoking questions their episodes dig into a topic (e.g. investments in stock markets) and make you think about the interconnections between a certain data science topic and everyday life.
- Focus: discussions about concrete examples of data science applied to various industries, featuring successful women working in data science
- Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
- Frequency: monthly
Being part of the Women in Data Science (WiDS) Worldwide Initiative led by the Stanford University, this podcast features data science female leaders from around the world talking about their work, their career paths and sharing lessons learned along the way. Despite its irregular broadcasting frequency the quality of the episodes and the importance of the WiDS program in the data science world makes it a must-have podcast for your 2021 playlist.
- Focus: conversations about data science and machine learning between a host from the TDS team and a guest working in data science
- Duration: 45 to 60 minutes
- Frequency: weekly
The Towards Data Science podcast is the official podcast series from the Medium publication specialized in data science. Due to the broad range of interviewers and interviewees it covers many topics ranging from prediction models to AI ethics. While some episodes are rather technical, some others include discussions about society or career paths in data science.