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Power, unpacked. “Sway” is a new interview show hosted by Kara Swisher, “Silicon Valley’s most feared and well liked journalist.” Now taking on Washington, Hollywood and the world, Kara investigates power: who has it, who’s been denied it, and who dares to defy it. Every Monday and Thursday, from New York Times Opinion Audio.

New York Times Opinion

    • Nov 22, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 41m AVG DURATION
    • 258 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Sway

    (Yet Another) Emergency Pod: Sam Altman Is Back

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2023 13:48

    In yet another head-spinning twist at OpenAI, Sam Altman was reinstated as the company's chief executive on Tuesday night, a mere five days after the OpenAI board had fired him. The board will be overhauled and a new set of directors, including Bret Taylor and Lawrence Summers, will join.Today, we discuss how Altman returned to the top seat — and whether the OpenAI news will ever slow down.Additional Reading:Late Tuesday night, Sam Altman was reinstated as OpenAI's chief executive. 

    Mayhem at OpenAI + Our Interview With Sam Altman

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2023 90:56

    Last week, we interviewed Sam Altman. Since then, well, everything has changed. The board of OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, fired Altman as chief executive on Friday. Over the weekend, it looked as if he might return. On Sunday night, Microsoft hired Altman to lead a new A.I. venture. Who knows what will happen next.Today, an update on a crazy weekend in tech, and our interview with Sam Altman.Today's Guest:Sam Altman is the former chief executive of OpenAI.Additional Reading:On Sunday, Microsoft hired Sam Altman after OpenAI had fired him.Kevin breaks down the winners and losers from the OpenAI rift.

    Emergency Pod: Sam Altman is Out at Open AI

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2023 21:16

    Sam Altman, the chief executive of Open AI, was pushed out of the company by its board of directors on Friday. The news was a complete shock to much of the company's employee base and to its largest corporate partner, Microsoft. Silicon Valley insiders are scrambling to get answers on exactly what happened and why the board's decision seemed so abrupt. We rundown what we know and the many things we still don't.

    An A.I. Pin Drops + YouTube's Take on Deepfakes + A Lab-Grown Thanksgiving

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2023 59:58

    The tech start-up Humane launched a new device, an A.I. pin meant to be worn on our clothing. Might this be the device that replaces the iPhone? It's the question on Silicon Valley's mind. The pin allows users to take phone calls, catch up on messages and get answers to questions, all without ever looking at a screen.Then, why YouTube is bucking the trend on deepfakes.Plus: We eat a Thanksgiving meal made with meat that was grown in a lab.Today's Guest:Joshua March is the chief executive of SciFi Foods, the lab-grown meat company.Additional Reading:Humane says it's artificial intelligence pin can replace screens. Is the pin the start of the next generation of hardware?Casey on YouTube's latest approach to deepfakes. 

    Personalized GPTs Are Here + F.T.C. Chair Lina Khan on A.I. Competition + Mayhem at Apefest

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2023 68:18

    Warning: this episode contains some explicit language.OpenAI has unveiled a new way to build custom chatbots. Kevin shows off a few that he's built – including a custom Hard Fork bot, and a bot that gives investment advice inspired by his late grandpa. Then, we talk to Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, about the agency's approach to regulating A.I., and whether the tactics she's used to regulate big tech companies are working.And finally, a Bored Ape Yacht Club event left some attendees' eyes burning, literally. That, and Sam Bankman-Fried's recent fraud conviction has us asking, how much damage hath the crypto world wrought? Today's guest:Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade CommissionAdditional reading: OpenAI's new tools allow users to customize their own GPTs.Lina Khan believes A.I. disruption demands regulators take a different approach than that of the Web 2.0 era.More than 20 people reported burning eye pain after a Bored Ape Yacht Club party in Hong Kong.

    Casey Goes to the White House + The Copyright Battle Over Artificial Intelligence + HatGPT

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2023 65:34

    President Biden's new executive order on artificial intelligence has a little bit of everything for everyone concerned about A.I. Casey takes us inside the White House as the order was signed.Then, Rebecca Tushnet, a copyright law expert, walks us through the latest developments in a lawsuit against the creators of A.I.-image generation tools. She explains why artists may have trouble making the case that these tools infringe on their copyrights.And finally, it's time again for HatGPT. We get a taste of the tech headlines you may have missed from the week.Today's guest:Rebecca Tushnet, professor of law at Harvard Law School.Additional reading:Casey's debrief on his trip to the White House.Kevin's breakdown of the executive order.A judge found many of the claims in a lawsuit against Stability AI, Midjourney and DeviantArt to be “defective.” 

    The People vs. Meta + Marques Brownlee on YouTube and Future Tech + DALL-E 3 Arrives

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2023 65:23

    Dozens of state attorneys general has sued Meta, alleging the company knowingly created features that induce “extended, addictive, and compulsive social media use” among teenagers and children. In a country without wide-reaching internet regulations, are lawsuits the way to reign tech companies in? Then, for our first episode on YouTube, we talk with YouTuber and tech reviewer Marques Brownlee about how the platform has changed, and the future tech he's excited about. And finally, A.I. image generators are getting scary good. Casey tells us what he's been using them for. Today's guest:Marques Brownlee is a YouTuber who covers tech.Additional reading: Meta is accused of using features to lure children to Instagram and Facebook.Subscribe to Hard Fork on YouTube.The latest A.I. image generators show how quickly the tech is advancing.

    Peering Into A.I.'s Black Box + Who's The Real Techno-Optimist? + Reading Ancient Scrolls With A.I.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2023 64:33

    A.I. models are black boxes. You input a prompt and the model outputs nearly anything: a sonnet, an image or a legal brief riddled with lies. Today, a look at three ways that researchers are unlocking that black box in hopes of bringing transparency to A.I.Then, Marc Andreessen's techno-optimist manifesto has left us asking, Is he OK?!Plus: decoding a 2,000-year-old ancient scroll with the help of A.I.Today's Guest:Brent Seales is a computer scientist at the University of Kentucky.Additional Information:Kevin Roose on learning more about how A.I. works.Marc Andreessen's 5,000-word manifestoUsing A.I. to decode a scroll that survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

    Social Media In Wartime + Betting on the Future + A.I. Passes the Smell Test

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2023 66:35

    As the Israel-Hamas war broke out, misinformation and fake imagery surged on X, the platform formerly known at Twitter. Can Meta's Threads fill the real-time news hole that X created? Should it?Then, Kevin debriefs us on his reporting on Manifold Markets, where Silicon Valley Rationalists bet on the likelihoods of different events.Plus: The company digitizing smell.Today's Guest:Alex Wiltschko is the founder of Osmo, a company trying to digitize smell.Additional Reading:Casey Newton on how the war in Israel may change Threads.Some tech insiders believe betting can change the world.The company Osmo put out a research paper showing that an A.I. model it had created was performing better than the “average human panelist” in predicting odor. We want to hear from you.

    Google's Trial Heats Up + How to Wear A.I. + It's Our Birthday!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2023 66:20

    The antitrust trial against Google has led to some of tech's biggest players testifying in court, and things have gotten spicy. The New York Times reporter Cecilia Kang tells us the wildest moments in the trial so far.Then, A.I. is jumping off the screen and into your wardrobe. Has the personal assistant of the future finally arrived? Or a dystopian panopticon?Plus: happy first birthday, Hard Fork! Kevin and Casey share some lessons learned.Today's guest:Cecilia Kang covers technology and regulation for The Times.Additional reading:Microsoft's chief executive told the court the internet is really the “Google web.”A.I. wearables like the Ai Pin from Humane are turning heads on the runway.OpenAI is in talks with Jony Ive to build the “iPhone of artificial intelligence.” 

    All Gas, No Brakes in A.I. + Metaverse Update + Lessons From a ‘Prompt Engineer'

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2023 66:05

    ChatGPT can now hear, see and speak — and that's just the start of the deluge of A.I. news this week. Kevin and Casey unpack the lightning-speed updates.Then, Meta's next-generation headset, Quest 3, is here. Is there still hope for the metaverse?And: An interview with a “prompt engineer.” Yes, that's a real job. Today's Guest:Riley Goodside is a prompt engineer at Scale A.I., a San Francisco start-up.Additional Reading:Kevin Roose on ChatGPT, which can now see, hear and speak.Spotify announced a new A.I.-powered voice-translation feature.Meta announced the release of the Quest 3 headset.

    Breaking Bard + Who Owns Your Face? + Gamer News!

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2023 59:12

    Today's Guests:Kashmir Hill is a Times business reporter covering technology and privacy.Additional Reading:Google unveiled new features for its A.I. chatbot, Bard.Kashmir Hill's “Your Face Belongs to Us” tracks the rise of Clearview AI, a facial recognition start-up. 

    Casey v. Kevin on US v. Google + Walter Isaacson on Two Years With Elon Musk

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2023 58:57

    Is Google allowed to spend billions of dollars to make its search product the default browser? That is the question at the center of U.S. et al. v. Google — the most important tech trial of the modern internet era — and Kevin and Casey disagree on the answer.Then, a conversation with the journalist who spent the last two years shadowing Elon Musk.Today's guest:Walter Isaacson is a writer and author of the forthcoming biography “Elon Musk.”Additional reading:Google's antitrust lawsuit against the U.S. government brings the first major tech trial since U.S. v. Microsoft which began in 1998.“Elon Musk,” by Walter Isaacson.

    Escape From Burning Man + Musk vs. the A.D.L. + Listener Questions

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2023 64:00

    This week: How tech executives' favorite place to take their pants off turned into a muddy hellscape. We talk to one executive who couldn't just call a helicopter to escape.Then, Jonathan Greenblatt, C.E.O. of the Anti-Defamation League, on how his organization went from having a “productive” meeting with X's C.E.O., Linda Yaccarino, last week to being threatened with a lawsuit by Elon Musk on Monday.Plus, Kevin and Casey answer your questions.Additional Information:Burning Man left behind a sea of “moop” in the desert.Research from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups found that hate speech had increased on Twitter after it was purchased by Elon Musk.Snapchat's My AI freaked users out after the chatbot appeared to go rogue.

    The Secretive Billionaires Building a Tech Utopia + Casey's External Brain + HatGPT

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2023 59:35

    A group of tech titans is gobbling up land north of San Francisco with aspirations to alleviate the Bay Area's housing crisis, promote innovation, and experiment with new forms of governance. It's not the first time ultra-wealthy people have tried to build the place of their dreams. Will this time be any different?Then, note-taking apps claim to make us smarter. Usually, they don't. Casey Newton, a productivity cult member, on how A.I. could change that.Plus, Kevin and Casey play HatGPT.Additional Information:Tech billionaires want to build a new city. A political fight is coming.Casey takes a look at note-taking platforms and why they usually don't live up to their promise.An Air Force program is embracing A.I. in aerial combat.The S.E.C. took action against a NFT projectYouTube will waive content violation warnings if the creators in violation attend a class.Google Meet's new A.I. program will take notes for users in real time.A smart contact lens can be charged with human tears. 

    N.Y.C. Says Airbn-bye + How Far Would You Go for a GPU? + The A.I. Songs of the Summer

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2023 64:04

    Are New York City's new rules for short-term rentals like Airbnb effectively a ban? And will they accomplish what proponents want them to? Then, The New York Times tech reporter Erin Griffith on Silicon Valley's mad dash for GPUs. And finally, we take stock of the A.I. songs of the summer and discuss YouTube and Universal Music Group's plan to make synthetic voices profitable.On Today's Episode:Erin Griffith is a New York Times journalist based in the San Francisco bureau, where she reports on technology start-ups and venture capital.Additional Information:New York City's new regulations for short-term rentals go into effect soon.Start-ups are on a “desperate hunt” for GPUs. (There's even a song about it.)Creators are using A.I. voices to imitate Freddie Mercury, Johnny Cash, Eric Cartman from “South Park,” and others.Google and YouTube have different approaches to compensating creators whose work is used to train A.I. tools.

    S.B.F Goes to Jail + Back to School with A.I. + Self-Driving Car Update

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2023 70:39

    When Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in December, he was confined to his parents' house — but he was left free to roam the internet. Today, the New York Times reporter David Yaffe-Bellany talks about how access to the cyberworld allowed Mr. Bankman-Fried to violate his bail terms and land himself in jail.Then, how universities can manage a generative A.I. world.Plus: another look at autonomous vehicles.On Today's Episode:David Yaffe-Bellany, a cryptocurrency and financial technology reporter for The New York Times.Ethan Mollick, an associate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who is experimenting with generative A.I. in the classroom.Additional Information:Sam Bankman-Fried was sent to jail after violating his bail terms. The court dispute over his bail focused on a New York Times article that described writings by Caroline Ellison, an FTX executive who had also dated Mr. Bankman-Fried.A driverless car got stuck in wet concrete in San Francisco this week.

    Don't Scrape Me, Bro + The Activists Sabotaging Self-Driving Cars + How Reddit Beat a Rebellion

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2023 71:17

    Users are protesting Zoom's liberal data-collection policy. Authors are shutting down websites that scrape their work. And, in a concession to users, OpenAI is allowing websites to opt out of web scraping. The era of A.I. backlash has begun.Then, street activists are deterring self-driving cars by placing traffic cones on the hoods of vehicles.Plus: How Reddit has squashed the Reddit Revolt.Today's Guests:Adam Egelman and Mingwei Samuel are organizers with Safe Street Rebel, an activist group trying to get cars off the streets.Additional Reading:The publication StackDiary exposed that Zoom's updated terms of service permitted the training of artificial-intelligence models on user content.Benji Smith took down his website prosecraft.io, a database that contained the works of over 25,000 books, after authors discovered that their works were being used to power the website without their consent.

    Superconductor Superconfusion, KOSA's Hidden Costs and HatGPT

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2023 66:47

    Researchers in Korea claim they've identified a material that could unlock a technological revolution: the room temperature superconductor. Material scientists are skeptical, but enthusiasts on Twitter are enthusiastic. Why is the internet so excited about superconductors?Then, the Kids Online Safety Act is headed to the Senate floor. Would it actually keep children safe? And how would it change the internet?Plus: Kevin and Casey play HatGPT.Additional Reading:South Korean researchers released a video they claimed was a superconductor showing levitation at room temperature. Scientists were skeptical.The New York Times reporter Kashmir Hill profiled Mike Masnick, who wasn't so sure about KOSA.

    Elon's X Machina + Crypto Orbs + A Visit to Google's Robot Lab

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2023 59:24

    On Sunday night, a crane arrived in downtown San Francisco to take down the Twitter sign from the company's office building. The crane's arrival marked the death of Twitter, the brand, and the start of X, Elon Musk's everything app. Today, why Elon's acquisition feels more and more like cultural vandalism and what, if anything, will replace the global town square.Then, is Sam Altman's universal basic income cryptocurrency app Worldcoin an iris scanning tool to save humanity, or just another attempt to get rich on crypto?Plus: a trip to Google's robotics lab, where artificial intelligence models are creating breakthroughs.Additional reading:Casey breaks down Twitter's rebrand.The launch of Worldcoin — and the story of how it recruited the first half a million users.Kevin's column is a deep dive into Google's new robotics model, which melds A.I. with robots.

    Dario Amodei, C.E.O. of Anthropic, on the Paradoxes of A.I. Safety and Netflix's ‘Deep Fake Love'

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2023 72:24

    Dario Amodei has been anxious about A.I. since before it was cool to be anxious about A.I. After a few years working at OpenAI, he decided to do something about that anxiety. The result was Claude: an A.I.-powered chatbot built by Anthropic, Mr. Amodei's A.I. start-up.Today, Mr. Amodei joins Kevin and Casey to talk about A.I. anxiety and why it's so difficult to build A.I. safely.Plus, we watched Netflix's “Deep Fake Love.”Today's Guest:Dario Amodei is the chief executive of Anthropic, a safety-focused A.I. start-upAdditional Reading:Kevin spent several weeks at Anthropic's San Francisco headquarters. Read about his experience here.Claude is Anthropic's safety-focused chatbot. 

    Help! My Boss Won't Stop Using ChatGPT

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2023 47:24

    This week, we answer more of your questions, like: What is ChatGPT's carbon footprint? Why are engineers so sure artificial intelligence will keep getting better? And, why are there so many venture capital bros?

    Special Episode: Meta's Twitter Rival Arrives, with Adam Mosseri

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2023 38:59

    Instagram is no stranger to taking product ideas from other companies and turning them into their own successes. Just ask Snapchat about Instagram Stories or TikTok about Instagram Reels. This time, the company is coming for Twitter with Instagram Threads.Today, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, on why the company now wants to take on Twitter.Today's guest:Adam Mosseri is the head of Instagram.Additional reading:Meta announced a new app called Threads intended to rival Twitter. 

    Is A.I. Poisoning Itself? + Billionaire Cage Fight + Cooking With ChatGPT

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2023 68:40

    Whether it's on TikTok or Twitter, A.I.-generated content is already flooding the web. So, what happens when the technology — prone to confidently making things up — starts ingesting itself?Then, the New York Times reporter Joe Bernstein talks about why Mark Zuckerberg wants to fight Elon Musk in a cage match.Plus, we put ChatGPT's recipe generation to the test with A.I. cocktails.Today's guests:Joe Bernstein is a Styles reporter at The New York Times.Priya Krishna is a Food staff reporter at The New York Times.Additional reading:Generative A.I. is already changing the web and potentially harming itself.The Times's Cooking team tried cooking recipes made by ChatGPT. The results were mixed.Mark Zuckerberg has been working out — and he'd like you to know about it.

    A.I. Beach + Vibes-Based R.T.O. + the ‘Black Mirror' Quamputer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2023 61:46

    This week, advertisers swarmed the beaches of southern France for the Cannes Lions advertising festival. Kevin says artificial intelligence is all anyone there can talk about, but admits the conference is making him rethink how quickly generative A.I. will take over the industry — despite the buzz.Then, the New York Times reporter Emma Goldberg on when remote work stopped being the future for tech companies.And finally: What does the newest season of “Black Mirror” tell us about what's next for TV?

    Reddit Revolts + MrBeast's YouTube Empire + Peak Trust and Safety?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2023 79:11

    Moderators on Reddit have shut down their forums in protest of a new policy that charges users for access to the site's API. The revolt has put Kevin in child care-wisdom-withdrawal (RIP r/daddit) — and left many other users without their favorite subreddits. But does the incident say something more about the future of the internet?Then, the MrBeast Philanthropic-Industrial Complex.Plus: Platforms are already fumbling the ball on misinformation.Today's guest:Max Read is a journalist, screenwriter, editor and the owner-operator of Read Max.Additional information:Casey examines the Reddit revolt and why the company isn't backing down on shutting down third-party apps.Max Read on MrBeast's rise as a viral philanthropist.Following the algorithm doesn't always lead to philanthropy, as Kevin explored in a 2019 article on PewDiePie.Platforms are backing away from peak trust and safety.

    Apple's Face Computer + Crypto Chaos + How Teens Really Feel About Social Media

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2023 69:10

    Apple kicked off the week with the announcement of a mixed-reality headset: the Apple Vision Pro. Putting a computer on your face may seem weird AF, but if there's one company that knows how to make nerdy stuff into the thing that everyone wants, it's Apple. Will these fancy goggles be the next Apple revolution?Then, crypto had (another) terrible week after the S.E.C. filed lawsuits against the cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Binance.Plus: Our teenage listeners on how they feel about social media.This week:David Yaffe-Bellany, a cryptocurrency and financial technology reporter for The New York Times.Additional Reading:Why Kevin won't bet against Apple's Vision Pro and why Casey thinks Apple has an edge on Meta's Metaverse.The S.E.C. accused Coinbase of illegally allowing users to trade unregistered securities a day after it sued the international crypto exchange Binance.This Teenage Life (TTL) is a podcast about teenagers being teenagers.

    A.I.'s Inner Conflict + Nvidia Joins the Trillion-Dollar Club + Hard Questions

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2023 65:40

    A few days after a lawyer used ChatGPT to write a brief filled with made-up cases, a group of A.I. experts released a letter warning of the “risk of extinction” from the technology. But will A.I. ever be good enough to pose such a threat?Then, FAANG is now MAAAN, with the addition of Nvidia. Here's how the GPU company became a trillion-dollar behemoth.Plus: Kevin, Casey and the New York Times tech reporter Kate Conger answer Hard Questions from listeners.Today's Guest:Kate Conger is a technology reporter in the San Francisco bureau of The New York Times.Additional Reading:A lawyer used ChatGPT the same week that A.I. leaders released a 22-word statement about the existential risk A.I. poses to humanity.The chip company Nvidia hit a $1 trillion market cap, powered by A.I. demand.The podcast “Acquired” did a two-part series on the history of Nvidia. 

    The Surgeon General's Social Media Warning + A.I.'s Existential Risks

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2023 73:26

    The U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, says social media poses a “profound risk of harm” to young people. Why do some in the tech industry disagree?Then, Ajeya Cotra, an A.I. researcher, on how A.I. could lead to a doomsday scenario.Plus: Pass the hat. Kevin and Casey play a game they call HatGPT.On today's episode:Ajeya Cotra is a senior research analyst at Open PhilanthropyAdditional reading:The surgeon general issued an advisory about the risks of social media for young people.Ajeya Cotra has researched the existential risks that A.I. poses unless countermeasures are taken.Binance commingled customer funds and company revenue, former insiders told Reuters.BuzzFeed announced Botatouille, an A.I.-powered kitchen assistant.A Twitter bug caused the platform to restore deleted tweets.Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced his presidential campaign in a Twitter Spaces event rife with glitches.Two former rivals, Uber and Waymo, are teaming up to bring driverless ride-hailing to Phoenix.

    Mr. Altman Goes to Washington + Casey Goes on This American Life

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2023 72:59

    In a congressional hearing this week, OpenAI's chief executive, Sam Altman, appeared to be on the same page as lawmakers: It's time to regulate A.I. But like so many other proposals to regulate tech, will it actually happen? The Times's technology reporter Cecilia Kang helps us understand whether Congress will actually act, and what that could look like.Then, Casey talks with Twitter's former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, before and after Elon Musk took over the company.On today's episode:Cecilia Kang is a reporter at The New York Times covering technology and regulation.Yoel Roth is the former head of trust and safety at Twitter.Additional reading:Sam Altman urged Congress to pass legislation to regulate A.I., including the proposal that A.I. developers should be required to get licenses from the U.S. government to release their models.Casey Newton reported for This American Life on Roth's time at Twitter, before and after Musk took over. 

    Google's A.I. Bonanza + Driverless Car Talk With Cruise C.E.O. Kyle Vogt

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2023 69:25

    At its biggest event of the year, Google announced an avalanche of A.I. product releases: A.I. in search, A.I. that writes emails and A.I. that generates slides. Is Google pulling ahead in the A.I. arms race?And, after years of hype, self-driving cars are finally hitting the streets of American cities. Kevin and Casey take a ride through San Francisco in Banana Slug — an autonomous vehicle from the self-driving car company Cruise. After their ride, they sit down with Cruise's chief executive, Kyle Vogt, to discuss the role he thinks self-driving cars will play in the future of transportation.On today's episode:Kyle Vogt is the chief executive of Cruise, a self-driving car company.Additional reading:At their annual conference, Google announced dozens of A.I. products and featuresIn a leaked memo, a Google researcher argued that the company did not have a strong A.I. moat because of open-source A.I. companies.Self-driving cars are expanding their footprint. 

    Bluesky Has the Juice + A.I. Jobs Apocalypse + Hard Questions

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2023 56:14

    The Twitter look-alike Bluesky, started by the former Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, is doing the impossible: making social media fun again.Then, A.I. is coming for jobs but not in the way you think.Plus: Kevin and Casey moonlight as advice columnists in a new Hard Fork segment called Hard Questions.Additional reading:Bluesky is vying to replace Twitter.IBM announced a pause in hiring, anticipating that A.I. would replace thousands of jobs at the company in the coming years.The chief executive of the education company Chegg said student interest in the chatbot ChatGPT was hurting its sales.

    Deepfake Drake + HatGPT + Ben Smith on the End of the BuzzFeed Era

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2023 61:26

    A song featuring A.I.-generated versions of Drake and the Weeknd went viral — before being taken down by streaming services. Is censorship of A.I.-generated songs the way forward? Or can singers benefit from synthetic voices, as some artists like Grimes are suggesting?Then, HatGPT: Kevin and Casey pull headlines out of a hat and generate their own takes on the news.And Ben Smith, the former BuzzFeed News editor, discusses the end of the 2010s digital media era.On today's episode:Ben Smith is a journalist and co-founder of the digital media company Semafor. He was a New York Times media columnist and the first editor in chief of BuzzFeed News.Additional reading:An A.I.-generated song made to sound like Drake and the Weeknd went viral before being taken down by streaming services.Grimes invited fans to make songs using A.I.-generated versions of her voice.Snapchat saw a spike in one-star reviews after users criticized its “My AI” feature.Taylor Swift did not invest in FTX, the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange company.Researchers turned a goldfish into a cyborg.The Republican National Committee released an A.I.-generated ad slamming President Biden.The U.K. blocked Microsoft's $69 billion bid for the video game company Activision.Ben Smith's book, “Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral,” is an origin story of digital media.A BuzzFeed article set off a viral debate on the color of a dress.

    Hard Fork Presents: The Most Amazing – And Dangerous – Technology In the World

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2023 61:08

    Today we're bringing you an episode on chips. No, not potato chips. Kevin has been pitching an episode on the truly fascinating world of chips and semiconductors for quite a while, but our friends at the The Ezra Klein Show got to it first. This week on Hard Fork: Ezra Klein's engrossing conversation with historian Chris Miller. It's a must listen. Thank you to Ezra for beating us in our quest for a great chips episode.We'll be back with our regularly scheduled tech coverage, with Kevin and Casey next week.Additional reading: “The Problem With Everything-Bagel Liberalism” by Ezra KleinBook Recommendations:The World For Sale by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy; Nexus by Jonathan Reed Winkler; Prestige, Manipulation and Coercion by Joseph Torigian

    Inside the Hunt for the Discord Leaker + Twitter Chaos Updates

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2023 69:53

    Aric Toler untangles the web of teens, gamers and memes at the heart of the latest intelligence scandal.Then, an update on Twitter — where things have gone from bad to worse.Plus: How A.I. is bringing us closer to “Westworld.”On today's episode:Aric Toler is the director of research and training at Bellingcat, the Dutch investigative site. He worked with journalists at The New York Times to identify the man who allegedly leaked top secret documents on Discord, a social media chat platform.Additional reading:A 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard was arrested for his alleged role in the leak of military intelligence on Discord.A Discord member shared details with The Washington Post about how the hundreds of pages of classified material were leaked.Twitter took steps to block Substack newsletters from circulating on the platform after Substack, a publishing start-up, started a Twitter-like service.NPR announced it was suspending all use of Twitter.Researchers at Stanford used generative A.I. agents to simulate human behavior.

    A.I. Vibe Check With Ezra Klein + Kevin Tries Phone Positivity

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2023 63:24

    The New York Times Opinion columnist Ezra Klein has spent years talking to artificial intelligence researchers. Many of them feel the prospect of A.I. discovery is too sweet to ignore, regardless of the technology's risks.Today, Mr. Klein discusses the profound changes that an A.I.-powered world will create, how current business models are failing to meet the A.I. moment, and the steps government can take to achieve a positive A.I. future.Also, radical acceptance of your phone addiction may just help your phone addiction.On today's episode:Ezra Klein is a columnist at The New York Times and host of “The Ezra Klein Show.”Additional reading:Ezra Klein outlined the dramatic shifts that A.I. will enable.In a 2022 survey of A.I. researchers, nearly half of the respondents said that there was a 10 percent or greater chance that the long-run effect of advanced A.I. on humanity would be “extremely bad.” This year, an A.I. researcher argued that natural selection favors A.I. over humans.A 2017 article in The New Yorker said that, for some, the risks of artificial intelligence are outweighed by the prospect of discovery.Meghan O'Gieblyn's book “God, Human, Animal, Machine” explores the human experience in the age of artificial intelligence.The White House released a Blueprint for an A.I. Bill of Rights to guide the development of A.I. technology.

    Google C.E.O. Sundar Pichai on Bard, A.I. ‘Whiplash' and Competing With ChatGPT

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2023 46:35

    For years, Google was seen as one of the most cutting-edge developers of A.I. But, with OpenAI's release of ChatGPT, and other chatbots beating Google to market, is that distinction still the case? Google's chief executive is in an unenviable position: Scramble to catch up or, in the face of potentially harmful technology, move slowly.Today, Sundar Pichai on Google's delicate balance between A.I. innovation and safety.On today's episode:Sundar Pichai is the chief executive of Google.Additional reading:The launch of ChatGPT caused a ‘code red' inside Google and prompted the release of Google's Bard.More than 1,000 technology leaders and researchers signed onto an open letter calling for a pause in the development of A.I.

    Bard Fork + How to Talk So Chatbots Will Listen

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2023 62:54

    “It's different because it's Google.” Bard, Google's answer to ChatGPT, could prove to be more consequential than any large language model to date — but it isn't there yet.Then, we hear from listeners on how they are using A.I. to negotiate their rent, understand medical results and affirm their gender identity.Plus: Why Spotify's A.I. D.J. may be a tipping point for artificial intelligence taking control of our lives.You can sign up for On Tech: A.I. at nytimes.com/newsletters.Additional reading:Google released a new chatbot, Bard. Here's what it does well — and not so well.After a conversation with Google's executives, Casey Newton answers six questions about the large language model.Interior AI is a design tool that makes interior design mock-ups using artificial intelligence.Spotify unveiled a new A.I.-powered D.J.In his book “Futureproof,” Kevin Roose outlines the concept of “machine drift” — the concept that people will gradually turn over more of their life to the decisions of algorithms.

    BONUS: Hard Fork Live! Big Tech's Arch Nemesis + Bot, or Not?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 20, 2023 43:01

    Jonathan Kanter, who heads up the Justice Department's antitrust division, believes that antitrust laws are critical for innovation — from ad tech to A.I. The assistant attorney general is bringing a new philosophy to enforcing those laws. So, how is his new approach to protecting competition playing out?Plus: Can you guess whether that was a bot, or not?On today's episode:Jonathan Kanter is the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's antitrust division.Additional reading:Jonathan Kanter has long been a critic of big tech.The Justice Department has accused Google of abusing a monopoly over online advertising.

    GPT-4 Is Here + The Group Chat Bank Run

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2023 63:03

    It's acing standardized tests, building websites and hiring TaskRabbits — GPT-4 is “equal parts fascinating and terrifying.” OpenAI has released its latest model, alongside A.I. announcements from Meta, Google and other industry players. The A.I. arms race is only accelerating.Then, what Silicon Valley Bank's collapse means for the future of start-ups, and what Mark Zuckerberg has learned about layoffsAdditional reading:OpenAI released ChatGPT-4. It is exciting and scary.With its release of GPT-4, OpenAI shared a system card — a paper outlining how OpenAI tried to get GPT-4 to do dangerous things.Silicon Valley Bank collapsed. “The Daily” explained how.In his newsletter, Byrne Hobart wrote a post pointing out S.V.B.'s insolvency challenge.S.V.B.'s collapse followed a deregulatory push from its own Chief Executive.Meta announced it planned to lay off about 10,000 employees.

    A Congressman Goes to A.I. School + How to Ban TikTok

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2023 59:21

    Representative Don Beyer thinks artificial intelligence is “the most amazing technology since fire.” So what does it mean that most of Congress seems not to understand it? Then our colleague David McCabe discusses a bill that could dramatically expand the Biden administration's power to ban TikTok.Plus: what can the video game character Waluigi tell us about A.I. chatbots gone rogue?On today's episode:Don Beyer is a U.S. representative for Virginia's 8th Congressional District.David McCabe is a reporter at The New York Times covering technology policy.Additional reading:Lawmakers are trying to understand the technology behind A.I.The White House is pushing Congress to regulate TikTok.A number of countries are trying to ban TikTok.The Waluigi effect is a theory about why chatbots behave erratically.

    Everyone Pivots to A.I. + Bad News for Crypto

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2023 59:34

    Snapchat launches a chatbot. Meta plans to “turbocharge” its A.I. work. Elon Musk explores “BasedAI.” At this point, who isn't making an A.I. play?Plus: Is crypto finally dead? Also, a new TikTok filter is making people terrifyingly hot.On today's episode:David Yaffe-Bellany, a cryptocurrency and financial technology reporter for The New York Times.Hard Fork listeners! We want to hear from you. How is A.I. showing up in your everyday life? In your job, school and families? What are you using it for? Email us a voice memo at hardfork@nytimes.com. Additional reading:Snapchat launched “My AI” to paid subscribers.Mark Zuckerberg announced a high-level group to “turbocharge” Meta's work with generative A.I.Meta AI released LLaMA to researchers.The science fiction and fantasy magazine “Clarkesworld” was flooded with chatbot-generated submissions. The writing is “bad in spectacular ways,” its editor said.Elon Musk is considering starting his own A.I. company.An FTX co-founder pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors investigating Sam Bankman-Fried.A “flurry” of fines, lawsuits and policy statements are spooking crypto executives.Gary Gensler, the chair of the S.E.C., said that in crypto “everything other than Bitcoin” should be treated as a security.Some TikTok users are worried by how realistic its new filters can seem.

    Kevin Killed Sydney + Reddit's C.E.O. Defends Section 230

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 24, 2023 52:03

    Bing AI isn't sentient. But it's more than glorified autocomplete. How do we talk about — and understand — the power of today's large language models? Then, Reddit's C.E.O., Steve Huffman, on Section 230 and why the future of the internet lies with the Supreme Court.Plus: Meta is charging for blue checks. On today's episode:Steve Huffman is the chief executive of Reddit.Additional reading:A Washington Post reporter asked Bing AI its opinion of Kevin Roose. Its response was eerie.Microsoft made changes to Bing's chatbot capabilities after the Chatbot's unsettling behavior with some users. The company is already loosening some of those restrictions.The Supreme Court heard a case challenging Section 230. Reddit is among many social media companies that have filed “friend of the court” amicus briefs against changes to the law.Facebook plans to sell “Meta verified” accounts.

    The Bing Who Loved Me + Elon Rewrites the Algorithm

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 17, 2023 61:19

    Bing's Revenge + Google's AI Faceplant

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 10, 2023 55:07

    Microsoft's release of a ChatGPT-powered Bing signifies a new era in search. Then, a disastrous preview of Bard — Google's answer to ChatGPT — caused the company's stocks to slide 7 percent. The A.I. arms race is on.Plus: What “Nothing, Forever,” the 24/7, A.I.-generated “Seinfeld” parody, says about bias in A.I.On today's episode:Sam Altman is the chief executive of OpenAI.Kevin Scott is the chief technology officer of Microsoft.Additional reading:Microsoft integrated OpenAI's technology into its search engine and kicked off an A.I. arms race.Google released Bard, a rival chatbot to ChatGPT.“Nothing, Forever” was temporarily banned on Twitch. 

    A Trip to TikTok + ChatGPT's Origin Story + Kevin Systrom's Comeback

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 3, 2023 61:49

    TikTok is opening up a “Transparency and Accountability Center” to try to win over skeptics. Is the company's strategy working? Then, the origin story of OpenAI's ChatGPT and how the company kicked off an A.I. arms race.Plus: A co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, hopes to make a “TikTok for text.”On today's episode:Kevin Systrom is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Instagram.Additional reading:TikTok is taking a more aggressive approach toward lobbying.Inside OpenAI's race to build ChatGPT.Kevin Systrom is starting a new A.I.-powered news app.

    Meta's Trump Calculus + Regime Change at Netflix

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2023 59:02

    What does Donald Trump's reinstatement on Facebook and Instagram mean for our politics and platforms? Then, Netflix in its post-Reed era.Plus: How the Bored Ape Yacht Club went from being the Disney of Web3 to handing out sewer passes for their new video game.On today's episode:Lucas Shaw is an entertainment industry reporter for Bloomberg.Additional reading:Meta reinstated Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts.Trump looked to get out of a deal with his own social media site, Truth SocialThe Jan. 8 riots in Brazil mirrored aspects of the U.S. Capitol Riots, including the use of tech platforms to organize rioters.Donald Trump used Truth Social to attack former Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman. 

    Elon's Crumbling Empire + Generative A.I. Goes to Court

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2023 60:54

    Nearly three months into Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, things are in a "shambolic" state. Is the rest of Elon's empire also in trouble? Then, an artist fighting generative A.I. sets the stage for a legal clash.Plus: what goes wrong when A.I. becomes a reporter.On today's episode:Sarah Andersen, a cartoonist and the illustrator of a semi-autobiographical comic strip, “Sarah's Scribbles.”Additional reading:A look inside Elon Musk's first 90 days as chief executive of Twitter.The artist Sarah Andersen on finding her art in the databases behind text-to-image A.I. platforms.Three artists, including Ms. Andersen, filed a class-action lawsuit against the creators of Midjourney, Stable Diffusion and DreamUp.CNET's A.I.-written articles contained errors.

    A Teacher Who Loves ChatGPT + Is 'M3GAN' Real?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2023 62:22

    A high school teacher on how the new chatbot from OpenAI is transforming her classroom — for the better. And, “M3GAN” may be closer than you think.Plus: Why Gen Z is chasing the digital camera aesthetic.On today's episode:Cherie Shields is a high school English teacher in Sandy, Ore.Kalley Huang is a technology reporting fellow based in San Francisco.Additional reading:Gen Z is bringing back the digital camera, and teenagers in Brooklyn are rejecting smartphone culture.Researchers at Columbia University are trying to build conscious robots.The case for using ChatGPT in schools.

    TikTok's Spying Scandal + ChatGPT Puts Google on Notice + Phone Jail

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2023 59:37

    Calls to ban TikTok or force its sell-off from its parent company ByteDance are gaining momentum, especially after reports of ByteDance's surveillance of several U.S. journalists. And could Microsoft's investment in OpenAI mark the end of Google's search monopoly?Plus: New Year's resolutions, including locking up your phone. On today's episode:Emily Baker-White, a technology reporter at Forbes who reports on TikTok.Additional reading:An inside view into Project Texas, TikTok's plan to limit access to sensitive U.S. user data.ByteDance used TikTok to track the location of journalists including Emily Baker-White.On TikTok, Chinese state media outlets pushed divisive videos about U.S. politicians.Shou Zi Chew, TikTok's chief executive, is navigating the limits of his power.The federal government and several states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices.ChatGPT is a “code red” for Google Search.Microsoft and OpenAI are working on a ChatGPT-powered version of Bing.

    SBF Arrested + 2023 Predictions + Your Questions Answered

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2022 56:59

    The year of the “mini-Musk” chief executive, the end of homework as we know it, a crackdown on TikTok and other predictions for 2023.Also, Sam Bankman-Fried's arrest and answers to our listener questions.On today's episode:David Yaffe-Bellany, a cryptocurrency and financial technology reporter for The New York Times.Additional reading:Bankman-Fried, the former chief executive of FTX, was arrested and denied bail by a judge in the Bahamas. Prosecutors accused him of engaging in widespread fraud.John J. Ray III, the new chief executive of FTX, described an “unprecedented” lack of record keeping at the company.Scientists used a quantum computer to simulate a pair of black holes.

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