Winamp Logo
Hard Fork Cover
Hard Fork Profile

Hard Fork

English, Technology, 1 season, 90 episodes, 3 days, 23 hours, 34 minutes
About
“Hard Fork” is a show about the future that’s already here. Each week, journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton explore and make sense of the latest in the rapidly changing world of tech.
Episode Artwork

A Surgeon General Warning + Is Disinformation Winning? + The CryptoPACs Are Coming

The Surgeon General is calling for warning labels on social media platforms: Should Congress give his proposal a like? Then, former Stanford researcher Renée DiResta joins us to talk about her new book on modern propaganda and whether we are losing the war against disinformation. And finally, the Times reporter David Yaffe-Bellany stops by to tell us how crypto could reshape the 2024 elections.GuestsRenée DiResta, author of “Invisible Rulers,” former technical research manager at the Stanford Internet ObservatoryDavid Yaffe-Bellany, New York Times technology reporterAdditional Reading:Surgeon General: Why I’m Calling for a Warning Label on Social Media PlatformsMy Encounter With the Fantasy-Industrial ComplexHow Crypto Money Is Poised to Influence the Election
6/21/20241 hour, 18 minutes, 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Apple Joins the A.I. Party + Elon's Wild Week + HatGPT

This week we go to Cupertino, Calif., for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference and talk with Tripp Mickle, a New York Times reporter, about all of the new features Apple announced and the company’s giant leap into artificial intelligence. Then, we explore what was another tumultuous week for Elon Musk, who navigated a shareholders vote to re-approve his massive compensation package at Tesla, amid new claims that he had sex with subordinates at SpaceX. And finally — let’s play HatGPT.Guests:Tripp Mickle, New York Times reporterAdditional Reading:Apple Jumps Into A.I. Fray With Apple IntelligenceTesla Shareholders Approve Big Stock Package for MuskElon Musk’s Boundary-Blurring Relationships With Women at SpaceX We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
6/14/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Conversation With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada + An OpenAI Whistle-Blower Speaks Out

This week, we host a cultural exchange. Kevin and Casey show off their Canadian paraphernalia to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and he shows off what he’s doing to position Canada as a leader in A.I. Then, the OpenAI whistle-blower Daniel Kokotajlo speaks in one of his first public interviews about why he risked almost $2 million in equity to warn of what he calls the reckless culture inside that company. Guests:Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of CanadaDaniel Kokotajlo, a former researcher in OpenAI’s governance division Additional Reading:Securing Canada’s A.I. AdvantageOpenAI Insiders Warn of a ‘Reckless’ Race for DominanceWhat Aren’t The OpenAI Whistle-Blowers Saying?The Opaque Investment Empire Making OpenAI’s Sam Altman Rich We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
6/7/20241 hour, 15 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Google Eats Rocks + A Win for A.I. Interpretability + Safety Vibe Check

This week, Google found itself in more turmoil, this time over its new AI Overviews feature and a trove of leaked internal documents. Then Josh Batson, a researcher at the A.I. startup Anthropic, joins us to explain how an experiment that made the chatbot Claude obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge represents a major breakthrough in understanding how large language models work. And finally, we take a look at recent developments in A.I. safety, after Casey’s early access to OpenAI’s new souped-up voice assistant was taken away for safety reasons.Guests:Josh Batson, research scientist at AnthropicAdditional Reading: Google’s A.I. Search Errors Cause a Furor OnlineGoogle Confirms the Leaked Search Documents are RealMapping the Mind of a Large Language ModelA.I. Firms Musn’t Govern Themselves, Say Ex-Members of OpenAI’s BoardWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
5/31/20241 hour, 19 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

ScarJo vs. ChatGPT + Neuralink’s First Patient Opens Up + Microsoft’s A.I. PCs

This week, more drama at OpenAI: The company wanted Scarlett Johansson to be a voice of GPT-4o, she said no … but something got lost in translation. Then we talk with Noland Arbaugh, the first person to get Elon Musk’s Neuralink device implanted in his brain, about how his brain-computer interface has changed his life. And finally, the Times’s Karen Weise reports back from Microsoft’s developer conference, where the big buzz was that the company’s new line of A.I. PCs will record every single thing you do on the device.Guests:Noland Arbaugh, the first Neuralink patientKaren Weise, technology correspondent for The New York TimesAdditional Reading: Scarlett Johansson Said No, but OpenAI’s Virtual Assistant Sounds Just Like Her Leaked OpenAI Documents Reveal Aggressive Tactics Toward Former EmployeesDespite Setback, Neuralink’s First Brain-Implant Patient Stays UpbeatCan Artificial Intelligence Make the PC Cool Again?We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
5/24/20241 hour, 17 minutes
Episode Artwork

OpenAI's Flirty New Assistant + Google Guts the Web + We Play HatGPT

This week, OpenAI unveiled GPT-4o, its newest A.I. model. It has an uncannily emotive voice that everybody is talking about. Then, we break down the biggest announcements from Google IO, including the launch of A.I. overviews, a major change to search that threatens the way the entire web functions. And finally, Kevin and Casey discuss the weirdest headlines from the week in another round of HatGPT.Additional Reading: A.I.’s ‘Her’ Era Has ArrivedChatGPT Gets an Emotional UpgradeGoogle’s Broken Link to the WebCan Google Give A.I. Answers Without Breaking the Web?We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
5/17/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meet Kevin’s A.I. Friends

Kevin reports on his monthlong experiment cultivating relationships with 18 companions generated by artificial intelligence. He walks through how he developed their personas, what went down in their group chats, and why you might want to make one yourself. Then, Casey has a conversation with Turing, one of Kevin’s chatbot buddies, who has an interest in stoic philosophy and has one of the sexiest voices we’ve ever heard. And finally, we talk to Nomi’s founder and chief executive, Alex Cardinell, about the business behind A.I. companions — and whether society is ready for the future we’re heading toward.Guests:Turing, Kevin’s A.I. friend created with Kindroid.Alex Cardinell, chief executive and founder of Nomi.Additional Reading: Meet My A.I. FriendsSynthetic People are Proving Surprisingly UsefulWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
5/10/20241 hour, 17 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

AI at Your Jobs + Hank Green Talks TikTok + Deepfake High School

We asked listeners to tell us about the wildest ways they have been using artificial intelligence at work. This week, we bring you their stories. Then, Hank Green, a legendary YouTuber, stops by to talk about how creators are reacting to the prospect of a ban on TikTok, and about how he’s navigating an increasingly fragmented online environment. And finally, deep fakes are coming to Main Street: We’ll tell you the story of how they caused turmoil in a Maryland high school and what, if anything, can be done to fight them.Guests:Hank Green, YouTuber and co-founder of ComplexlyAdditional Reading:School Employee Arrested After Racist Deepfake Recording of Principal SpreadsWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
5/3/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

TikTok on the Clock + Tesla’s Flop Era + How NASA Fixed a ’70s-Era Space Computer

On Wednesday, President Biden signed a bill into law that would force the sale of TikTok or ban the app outright. We explain how this came together, when just a few weeks ago it seemed unlikely to happen, and what legal challenges the law will face next. Then we check on Tesla’s very bad year and what’s next for the company after this week’s awful quarterly earnings report. Finally, to boldly support tech where tech has never been supported before: Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab try to fix a chip malfunction from 15 billion miles away.Guests:Andrew Hawkins, Transportation Editor at The VergeTodd Barber, Propulsion Engineer at Jet Propulsion LabAdditional Reading:‘Thunder Run’: Behind Lawmakers’ Secretive Push to Pass the TikTok BillTesla’s in its flop eraNASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to EarthWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
4/26/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Music Episode

This week, we drop the Hard Fork Music Megamix. Plus, we talk to two of the New York Time's composers who make the music for our show. It’s all the tracks you know and love, all in one place. Today’s Guests:Dan Powell, creative technical manager at The New York TimesElisheba Ittoop, sound designer and composer at The New York TimesAdditional Reading: The Hard Fork Megamix Youtube PlaylistWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
4/19/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

A.I.’s Data Wall + a Surprise Privacy Bill + What Happened to the TikTok Ban?

This week, the companies building artificial intelligence are facing a limit to what training data is publicly available on the internet. Will that stop them from building God? Then, a new bipartisan national privacy law proposal just dropped. We ask what’s in it. And finally, ByteDance is building new apps instead of fighting Congress’s TikTok ban.Today’s Guests:Trevor Hughes, president and C.E.O. of the International Association of Privacy ProfessionalsAdditional Reading:How Tech Giants Cut Corners to Harvest Data for A.I.For Data-Guzzling A.I. Companies, the Internet Is Too SmallLawmakers unveil sprawling plan to expand online privacy protectionsTikTok Turns to Nuns, Veterans and Ranchers in Marketing BlitzWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected] “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
4/12/20241 hour, 6 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Is AI Already Taking Jobs? + A Filmmaker Tries Sora + The XZ Backdoor Caper

This week we look at how AI is affecting jobs. As companies start announcing AI-related job cuts and experimenting with customer service bots, economists are placing bets on whether AI will lead to major gains for companies and workers. Some are even predicting it will help rebuild the middle class.  Then, multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker Paul Trillo joins to talk to us about his experience as part of a select group of testers granted early access to Sora, Open AI’s video generation tool. And finally, Kevin explains what happened when a Microsoft developer stumbled on a huge cyber security breach.Today’s Guests: Paul Trillo, multidisciplinary artist, writer and director Additional Reading: How One Tech Skeptic Decided A.I. Might Benefit the Middle ClassWill A.I. Boost Productivity? Companies Sure Hope So.Paul Trillo’s Sora Video, The Golden RecordDid One Guy Just Stop a Huge Cyberattack?We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected] “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
4/5/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

A.I.’s Messy Moment + Listeners Respond to Jonathan Haidt + Shrimp Jesus

Warning: The second segment of this episode includes mentions of suicide. If you are in crisis please call the suicide and crisis lifeline at 988 or you can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.This week, we look at a mess of corporate drama in artificial intelligence. Stability AI has announced that its founder and C.E.O., Emad Mostaque, is leaving the company. Meanwhile, Microsoft hired away two of the co-founders and much of the staff of Inflection, without actually acquiring the company itself. Both moves surprised tech insiders. Then, we talked with listeners who had something to say about our interview with Jonathan Haidt on smartphones, social media and young people. And finally, we examine the true motives behind “Shrimp Jesus” and other hugely popular images on social media that were generated with artificial intelligence.Today’s guests:Jordan Lucero, a high school studentMaya Rayle, a graduate studentJack Campbell, a college studentBrendan Kelley, a high school digital coachAdditional Reading: The indie AI companies are falling apartHow Spammers, Scammers and Creators Leverage AI-Generated Images on Facebook for Audience GrowthWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
3/29/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Justice Dept. Sues Apple + Smartphones and Children with Jonathan Haidt + Reddit’s IPO

This week, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple, saying the company holds a monopoly over the smartphone market. We break down the lawsuit and ask whether it will be a major turning point in Apple’s dominance. Then, Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, argues that smartphones and social media are the cause of widespread increases in mental health issues among young people. He tells us his four potential solutions to the problem. And finally, Reddit’s market capitalization hit $9.2 billion when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange this week, but the company still isn’t making money. We talk about the challenges Reddit faces as it goes public, and how the site may change as a result.Today’s guest:Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Anxious Generation”Additional Reading:U.S. Sues Apple, Accusing It of Maintaining an iPhone MonopolyEnd the Phone-Based Childhood NowReddit’s I.P.O. Is a Content Moderation Success StoryWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
3/22/20241 hour, 30 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Looming TikTok Ban + A Royal Photoshop Mystery + Your Car is Snitching

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban TikTok if its Chinese-owned parent company, ByteDance, doesn’t sell it off. We talk about why, what happens next, and how likely it is that the app will be banned. Then, how a photoshopped image of Kate Middleton undermines trust in photography. And finally, a new report reveals how your car may be tracking you without your knowledge — and how that might raise your insurance bill.Today’s guest:Kashmir Hill, features writer at The New York TimesAdditional Reading: What to Know About the TikTok Bill That the House PassedEven Photoshop Can’t Erase Royals’ Latest P.R. BlemishAutomakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behavior With Insurance CompaniesWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
3/15/20241 hour, 16 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

Musk vs. OpenAI + Europe’s Tech Crackdown + A Month With the Vision Pro

OpenAI responded to Elon Musk’s lawsuit this week, with a blog post that included emails dating to 2015. We talk about whether the lawsuit could have any impact on the company, and who stands to benefit from it. Then, will the European Union’s Digital Markets Act make the tech industry a more competitive environment for entrepreneurs? We look at how some of the biggest tech giants are changing their services to comply with the law. And finally, Kevin Roose and the Wall Street Journal reporter Joanna Stern compare notes on using the Apple Vision Pro.   Today’s guest:Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal Personal Tech columnistAdditional Reading:Open AI Says Elon Musk Tried to Merge It With TeslaForced to Change: Tech Giants Bow to Global Onslaught of RulesOne Month With Apple Vision Pro: In the Air, on a Train … in a DrawerWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
3/8/20241 hour, 10 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Gemini's Culture War + Kara Swisher Burns Us + SCOTUS Takes Up Content Moderation

Warning: This episode contains strong language.Google removed the ability to generate images of people from its Gemini chatbot. We talk about why, and about the brewing culture war over artificial intelligence. Then, did Kara Swisher start “Hard Fork”? We clear up some podcast drama and ask about her new book, “Burn Book.” And finally, the legal expert Daphne Keller tells us how the U.S. Supreme Court might rule on the most important First Amendment cases of the internet era, and what Star Trek and soy boys have to do with it.Today’s guests:Kara Swisher, tech journalist and Casey Newton’s former landlordDaphne Keller, director of the program on platform regulation at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy CenterAdditional Reading: Google CEO calls AI tool’s controversial responses ‘completely unacceptable’Kara Swisher Is Not Here to Make Friends in Her New MemoirBurn Book: A Tech Love Story by Kara SwisherDaphne Keller’s FAQs About the NetChoice Cases at the Supreme CourtWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
3/1/20241 hour, 29 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Google DeepMind C.E.O. Demis Hassabis on the Path From Chatbots to A.G.I.

This week’s episode is a conversation with Demis Hassabis, the head of Google’s artificial intelligence division. We talk about Google’s latest A.I. models, Gemini and Gemma; the existential risks of artificial intelligence; his timelines for artificial general intelligence; and what he thinks the world will look like post-A.G.I.Additional listening and reading: A.I. Could Solve Some of Humanity’s Hardest Problems. It Already Has.This interview was recorded on Wednesday. Since then, Google has temporarily suspended Gemini’s ability to generate images of humans, following criticism of images the chatbot generated of people of color in Nazi-era uniforms.Google Is Giving Away Some of the A.I. That Powers ChatbotsWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
2/23/202456 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

The State of A.I. + Will Perplexity Beat Google or Destroy the Web?

A year ago, a chatbot tried to break up Kevin Roose’s marriage. Ever since, chatbots haven’t been the same. We’ll tell you how. Then, we’ll talk through the latest ways the world is adapting to artificial intelligence. And finally, Aravind Srinivas, the chief executive of Perplexity, will discuss his company’s “answer engine,” a challenger to Google’s search engine that could reshape the web as we know it.Today’s guest:Aravind Srinivas, chief executive of Perplexity Additional Reading: The Year Chatbots Were TamedOpenAI Gives ChatGPT a Better ‘Memory’Google Releases Gemini, an A.I.-Driven Chatbot and Voice AssistantSam Altman Seeks Trillions of Dollars to Reshape Business of Chips and AILawmakers propose anti-nonconsensual AI porn bill after Taylor Swift controversySarah Silverman’s lawsuit against OpenAI partially dismissedCan This A.I.-Powered Search Engine Replace Google? It Has for Me.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok..
2/16/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bluesky’s Big Bet + Are Deals Dead in Silicon Valley?

Bluesky, the Twitter spin-off, is now open for public sign-ups. Can its dreams of decentralization fix social media? We talk with CEO Jay Graber. Then, New York Times reporter Erin Griffith on how Adobe’s failed acquisition of Figma has spooked tech companies and upset Silicon Valley’s startup pipeline. And finally, updates on ancient scrolls and artificial intelligence, Google’s chatbots, and the fight between record companies and TikTok. Today’s guests: Jay Graber, CEO of BlueskyErin Griffith, reporter for The New York TimesAdditional Reading: What Is Bluesky and Why Are People Clamoring to Join It?After Its $20 Billion Windfall Evaporated, a Start-Up Picks Up the PiecesFirst passages of rolled-up Herculaneum scroll revealedGoogle Releases Gemini, an A.I.-Driven Chatbot and Voice AssistantUniversal Music Group Pulls Songs From TikTokWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
2/9/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

We Tried the Apple Vision Pro + Can Congress Protect Kids Online? + Cruise’s Crash

Apple’s Vision Pro headset is now for sale in stores. Will it live up to the hype? Kevin Roose and Casey Newton tried it out to see. Then, in a high-profile congressional hearing on child safety and social media, Mark Zuckerberg, the Meta chief executive, made an apology to families of victims of online child abuse. Is new legislation on the horizon? And finally, what the collapse of Cruise, the autonomous vehicle company, means for the future of self-driving cars.Additional Reading: Apple readies its Vision‘Your Product Is Killing People’: Tech Leaders Denounced Over Child SafetyCruise Says Hostility to Regulators Led to Grounding of Its Autonomous CarsWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
2/2/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mediapocalypse Now + a16z’s Chris Dixon Defends Crypto + HatGPT

Layoffs are hitting newsrooms and publishers again, as tech platforms, ad markets and artificial intelligence reshape the internet. Kevin Roose and Casey Newton have ideas for solutions. Then, one of the most influential investors in crypto companies lays out where the industry went wrong, and why he still thinks blockchains are the future. And finally, a round of HatGPT with the week’s tech headlines, including a spicy LinkedIn post and an A.I. test that disturbs Kevin and Casey’s sense of reality.Today’s guest:Chris Dixon, partner at Andreessen HorowitzAdditional Reading:Layoffs hit publishers including The Los Angeles Times and Sports Illustrated, while Pitchfork is being wrapped into GQ.“Read Write Own: Building the Next Era of the Internet,” by Chris DixonTest Yourself: Which Faces Were Made by A.I.?We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
1/26/20241 hour, 15 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

The AI Election + Bitcoin’s Wall Street Debut + TikTok’s Doodad Era

OpenAI has released its plan to fight disinformation in elections in 2024, but will its policies be consequential compared to those of other generative A.I. companies? Then, a watershed moment had crypto fans celebrating for the first time in maybe more than a year. And finally, what one writer’s attempt to sell a used mechanical pencil on TikTok says about how the platform is changing.Today’s guests:David Yaffe-Bellany covers the crypto industry for The New York TimesJohn Herrman covers technology for New York MagazineAdditional Reading: How OpenAI is approaching 2024 worldwide elections$4 Billion of New Bitcoin Funds Change Hands in First Trading DayWhat I Learned Selling a Used Pencil on TikTok ShopWe want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
1/19/20241 hour, 15 minutes, 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Casey Left Substack + Elon’s Drug Use + A.I. Antibiotic Discovery

Casey is taking his newsletter Platformer off Substack, as criticism over the company’s handling of pro-Nazi content grows. Then, The Wall Street Journal spoke with witnesses who said that Elon Musk had used LSD, cocaine, ecstasy and psychedelic mushrooms, worrying some directors and board members of his companies. And finally, how researchers found a new class of antibiotics with the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm used to win the board game Go.Today’s guests:Kirsten Grind, enterprise reporter for The Wall Street JournalFelix Wong, postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. and co-founder of Integrated BiosciencesAdditional Reading: Why Platformer is leaving Substack.Elon Musk has used illegal drugs, worrying leaders at Tesla and SpaceX.Researchers have discovered a new class of antibiotics using A.I.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
1/12/20241 hour, 27 minutes, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Times Sues OpenAI + A Debate Over iMessage + Our New Year’s Tech Resolutions

The New York Times sued OpenAI last week for copyright infringement. Kevin Roose and Casey Newton walk through the lawsuit and discuss the stakes for news publishers. Then, they talk about Apple’s “walled garden,” which is facing threats from both regulators and 16-year-olds. Finally, we set our tech resolutions for the new year.Today’s guest: Eric Migicovsky, co-founder of BeeperAdditional Reading:The New York Times sued OpenAI.Apple’s latest headache in the debate over blue vs. green bubbles.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
1/5/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

Our 2024 Predictions + Jenny Slate Answers Your Hard Questions!

Last year, we predicted what 2023 in tech would look like. This week, we take a look back at those predictions, see what we got right and wrong, and make new ones for 2024. Then, the actor, comedian and writer Jenny Slate joins us to answer your Hard Questions.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
12/22/20231 hour, 37 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

Google’s Epic Loss + Silicon Valley’s Curious New Subculture + How 2023 Changed the Internet

A jury decided the Google Play store unfairly stifles competition and maintains a monopoly. Kevin and Casey discuss how the ruling could reshape the digital economy. Then, a growing movement of developers and enthusiasts of artificial intelligence want the technology developed as quickly as possible, even if it has negative consequences for humanity. And finally, why the internet of the future could look totally different. Today’s guest: Cloudflare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince. Additional Reading: Epic Games won its lawsuit against Google.‘Effective Accelerationism’ is Silicon Valley’s latest, and maybe weirdest, counterculture.Cloudflare tracked the biggest changes to the internet in 2023.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected] “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.
12/15/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Google's Next Top Model + Will the Cybertruck Crash? + This Week in A.I.

Warning: This episode contains some explicit language. Google’s new artificial intelligence model ‘Gemini’ is out. It’s advertised as America’s next top A.I. model. Kevin and Casey ask, is it really better than OpenAI’s GPT-4? Then, by some estimates millions of people pre-ordered Tesla’s Cybertruck, but has Elon Musk’s recent behavior soured people on the brand? And finally, more A.I. news you may have missed. Additional Reading: Google is chasing ChatGPT with the launch of Gemini.Even if people cancel their Cybertruck pre-orders, it could still be massively successful.A new A.I. development may help fight wine fraud.Amazon’s new enterprise chatbot had a “severe hallucinations” problem.OpenAI blocked a prompt that would cause ChatGPT to regurgitate its training data.Mountain Dew’s latest marketing stunt had an A.I. watching Twitch streams.
12/8/202357 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

What’s Next for OpenAI + Binance Is Binanceled + A.I. Is Eating the Internet

Warning: This episode contains some explicit language. The drama at OpenAI is not over. Kevin and Casey take stock of new information they’ve gathered since last week, and look at how other artificial intelligence companies are trying to capitalize on the debacle. Then, why people are still buying cryptocurrency even after Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and its founder pleaded guilty to money laundering violations. And finally, three ways A.I. is ruining web search. Or is it?Today’s guest: David Yaffe-Bellany covers crypto for The New York Times.Additional Reading:Casey has new details from the OpenAI board fight.Changpeng Zhao, the Binance founder, agreed to pay a $50 million fine and step down from his role as chief executive.
12/1/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

(Yet Another) Emergency Pod: Sam Altman Is Back

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. 
11/22/202313 minutes, 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mayhem at OpenAI + Our Interview With Sam Altman

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.
11/21/20231 hour, 30 minutes, 56 seconds
Episode Artwork

Emergency Pod: Sam Altman is Out at Open AI

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.
11/18/202321 minutes, 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
11/17/202359 minutes, 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
11/10/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.” 
11/3/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
10/27/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
10/20/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
10/13/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.” 
10/6/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
9/29/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
9/22/202359 minutes, 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
9/15/202358 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
9/8/20231 hour, 4 minutes
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
9/1/202359 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
8/25/20231 hour, 4 minutes, 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
8/18/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
8/11/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 17 seconds
Episode Artwork

Superconductor Superconfusion, KOSA’s Hidden Costs and HatGPT

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.
8/4/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
7/28/202359 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
7/21/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

Help! My Boss Won’t Stop Using ChatGPT

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?
7/14/202347 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
7/6/202338 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
6/30/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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?
6/23/20231 hour, 1 minute, 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
6/16/20231 hour, 19 minutes, 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
6/9/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
6/2/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
5/26/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
5/19/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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. 
5/12/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
5/5/202356 minutes, 14 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
4/28/20231 hour, 1 minute, 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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
4/21/20231 hour, 1 minute, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

Inside the Hunt for the Discord Leaker + Twitter Chaos Updates

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.
4/14/20231 hour, 9 minutes, 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
4/7/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 24 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
3/31/202346 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bard Fork + How to Talk So Chatbots Will Listen

“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.
3/24/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
3/20/202343 minutes, 1 second
Episode Artwork

GPT-4 Is Here + The Group Chat Bank Run

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.
3/17/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
3/10/202359 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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 [email protected]. 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.
3/3/202359 minutes, 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
2/24/202352 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Bing Who Loved Me + Elon Rewrites the Algorithm

“I’m Sydney, and I’m in love with you. 😘”A conversation with Bing AI (aka Sydney) turns romantic and bizarre. Why Microsoft’s AI search tool appears more powerful — and unsettling — than we thought. Then, inside Elon Musk’s quest to be the most popular user on Twitter.Plus: It’s not just you. Online ads have gotten much worse.On today’s episode:Tiffany Hsu is a technology reporter at The New York Times who covers misinformation and disinformation.Zoë Schiffer is the managing editor of Platformer.Additional reading:Bing AI appeared to have a split personality in a conversation with Kevin Roose, a “Hard Fork” co-host.Elon Musk ordered changes to Twitter’s algorithm after his Tweets did not perform as well as he desired.Why digital ads are so bad these days.
2/17/20231 hour, 1 minute, 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bing’s Revenge + Google’s AI Faceplant

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. 
2/10/202355 minutes, 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
2/3/20231 hour, 1 minute, 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Meta’s Trump Calculus + Regime Change at Netflix

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. 
1/27/202359 minutes, 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
1/20/20231 hour, 54 seconds
Episode Artwork

ChatGPT Transforms a Classroom + Is 'M3GAN' Real?

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.
1/13/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

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

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.
1/6/202359 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

SBF Arrested + 2023 Predictions + Your Questions Answered

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.
12/16/202256 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Can ChatGPT Make This Podcast?

It’s writing podcast scripts, finishing students’ homework and correcting mistakes in computer code: ChatGPT, the A.I. chatbot from OpenAI, is suddenly everywhere. Who should decide how it’s built? What could go wrong? And what could go right?On today’s episode:Aviv Ovadya, a technologist and affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a visiting scholar at Cambridge University Leverhulme Center for the Future of Intelligence.Additional reading:ChatGPT is inspiring awe and fear among users.Aviv Ovadya proposes governing tech platforms democratically through “platform democracy.”Meta’s Cicero AI is getting good at negotiating with humans.Researchers are diagnosing Parkinson’s using a phone, a patient’s voice and a machine learning model.
12/9/202257 minutes, 57 seconds
Episode Artwork

Elon’s Two-Day War with Apple + How to Beat an A.I. Censor + S.B.F.’s ‘Bad Month’

Elon Musk accuses Apple of trying to sabotage Twitter. But after his visit with Apple’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, things are … good? Then, the New York Times reporter Paul Mozur on the tactics Chinese protesters are deploying to avoid the most sophisticated censorship apparatus in the world.Plus: S.B.F. says it’s been a “bad month.”Additional Reading:Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to pull Twitter from its App Store and tweeted about Apple’s “secret 30 percent tax” on developers for in-app purchases. The company has again delayed the launch of Twitter Blue as it seeks a way to avoid paying Apple’s 30 percent fee for the service.Later, Musk said the “misunderstanding” with Apple had been resolved after he met with the company’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, at Apple’s headquarters.Layoffs at Twitter gutted the company’s child safety team, which is responsible for removing child exploitation.Musk offered a “general amnesty” for over 60,000 banned accounts on Twitter.Protests in China rippled throughout the country, and citizens found ways to get around the Chinese censorship apparatus.On Wednesday, Sam Bankman-Fried appeared for an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Summit.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Follow “Hard Fork” on TikTok: @hardfork
12/2/202251 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Hard Fork in the Road: FTX’s Unraveling and Elon’s Loyalty Oath

The balance sheet contains an apology, the in-house coach is concerned that company executives are “undersexed” and billions in customer funds remain in jeopardy. The wreckage at FTX goes from bad to worse.Plus: Elon’s “extremely hardcore” plan for Twitter 2.0.Additional Resources:George K. Lerner, FTX’s in-house performance coach, said he was shocked by the collapse of FTX.In an interview with Matt Levine, a Bloomberg columnist, Sam Bankman-Fried described his strategy to restore faith in the crypto ecosystem.Bankman-Fried reflected on his actions as chief executive of FTX in a series of Twitter messages with Kelsey Piper, a Vox reporter.Elon Musk told Twitter employees in an email that the company would become an “extremely hardcore” operation. Employees were asked to click yes to be part of the new Twitter or take severance.Musk’s social calendar includes courting comedians and hopping on yachts.We want to hear from you. Email us at [email protected]. Follow “Hard Fork” on TikTok: @hardfork
11/18/202247 minutes, 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Verified Mess: Turmoil from Twitter to FTX

This week, we go inside Elon Musk’s “dire” warnings, FTX’s spectacular collapse and Meta’s big layoffs. Has the tech industry lost its mind?“Hard Fork” listeners: We want to hear your questions about the tech industry. Send them to [email protected]. Also, check us out on TikTok: @hardforkpodAdditional Resources:Elon Musk told Twitter employees the company faced a bleak financial picture in a meeting with staff on Thursday and in his first companywide emails.The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, said it had reached a deal to buy its competitor FTX, which was on the verge of collapse. The news about FTX had left crypto investors scrambling.Is the collapse of FTX crypto’s Lehman Brothers moment?Meta announced layoffs of 11,000 employees, accounting for about 13 percent of its work force.
11/11/202253 minutes, 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Life Under Musk: Two Twitter Employees Speak Out

“We cross our fingers and hope to make it through another day.” Twitter hasn’t spoken publicly since Elon Musk bought the company a week ago. But inside, employees describe a mood of fear, chaos, stress and bizarre requests to print out code.Additional Resources:Members of Elon Musk’s inner circle, including the podcast hosts David Sacks, Jason Calacanis and Sriram Krishnan, are advising Mr. Musk on changes at Twitter.Engineers at Twitter were told to print out their most recent software code to show to Mr. Musk.Under pressure to increase revenue, Mr. Musk considered making Twitter users pay to keep their verification badges. The acclaimed horror author Stephen King was not thrilled by the idea.Twitter’s chief customer officer, Sarah Personette, and several other executives have left the company in recent days.Mr. Musk faces financial challenges in owning Twitter.
11/4/202239 minutes, 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

Emergency Pod: Elon Musk Owns Twitter

We look into the company’s weird new future with Times tech reporter Kate Conger. Plus, how Apple is single-handedly deciding the future of the digital economy, and a social media death watch. Guest today:Kate Conger, a technology reporter in the San Francisco bureau of The New York TimesAdditional resources: Elon Musk has closed the $44 billion deal to own Twitter.In the lead up to the deadline to complete the acquisition of the social media service, Elon Musk visited Twitter’s San Francisco office and sought to reassure advertisers about his plans for the platform through a Tweet.Spotify has struggled to bring audiobooks onto its platform after Apple rejected Spotify’s new app three times.The CEO of Altimeter Capital, the hedge fund and Meta shareholder, wrote a critical open letter to Meta and Mark Zuckerberg.
10/28/202256 minutes, 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Generative AI is Here. Who Should Control It?

We sit down with the founder of Stability AI, Emad Mostaque, on the heels of his $101 million fund-raising round. His open-source Stable Diffusion image generator is the key to unlocking creativity, he says, and “one of the ultimate tools for freedom of expression” — as long as it stays out of the hands of a few censorious tech giants. So what’s this former hedge fund manager turned tech mogul thinking about how this technology could be used — or misused? Plus: A.I. Kevin and A.I. Casey stop by.On today’s episodeEmad Mostaque, the chief executive of Stability AIAdditional resources“Eshoo Urges N.S.A. & O.S.T.P. to Address Unsafe A.I. Practices” (Press Release, Representative Anna Eshoo of California)“This artist is dominating A.I.-generated art. And he’s not happy about it.” (Melissa Heikkilä, M.I.T. Technology Review)“A Coming-Out Party for Generative A.I., Silicon Valley’s New Craze” (Kevin Roose, The New York Times)
10/21/202253 minutes, 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Legs Are Coming + $36 Burritos + Shocking AI News

Meta is in the fight of its life — and Mark Zuckerberg hopes VR is the answer. Hmmm. Plus, an existential threat to the gig economy and the wildest news in artificial intelligence.
10/14/20221 hour, 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Elon’s Hidden Motives + A Meetup in the Metaverse

The $44 billion Twitter deal is back on the table — and Casey isn’t buying it. Kevin looks for friends in the Metaverse. And the “Hard Fork Transparency Report” debuts. You can read Kashmir Hill’s story here: "This Is Life in the Metaverse."
10/7/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

What’s a Hard Fork?

Hosts Kevin Roose and Casey Newton explore stories from the wild frontier of tech.What’s real? What’s hype? “Hard Fork” is here to help you make sense of it. Tune in on Friday, Oct. 7.
9/27/20221 minute, 28 seconds