Published 05/26/23
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.
Published 05/26/23
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.
Published 05/19/23
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...
Published 05/12/23
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.
Published 05/05/23
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.
Published 04/28/23
Today we’re bringing you an episode on chips. No, not potato chips. While we rarely think about chips, they show up in nearly every aspect of our lives. Our toasters, our cars, our planes, our phones – and, in our politics. 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...
Published 04/21/23
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.”
Published 04/14/23
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...
Published 04/07/23
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.
Published 03/31/23
Google has unleashed its A.I. chatbot, Bard, to the world. And, Spotify’s A.I. D.J. knows your taste – perhaps a little too well.
Published 03/24/23
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?
Published 03/20/23
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 layoffs.
Published 03/17/23
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?
Published 03/10/23
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.
Published 03/03/23
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.
Published 02/24/23
“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.
Published 02/17/23
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.
Published 02/10/23
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: The co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, hopes to make a “TikTok for text.”
Published 02/03/23
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.
Published 01/27/23
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.
Published 01/20/23
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.
Published 01/13/23
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.
Published 01/06/23
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.
Published 12/16/22
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?
Published 12/09/22