“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 rapi... More
5 of 33
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp