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    Hard Fork

    “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
    enThe New York Times93 Episodes

    Episodes (93)

    Alison Roman Answers Your Hard Questions

    Alison Roman Answers Your Hard Questions

    Throw down a picnic blanket, and grab some snacks and drinks: It’s time for some Hard Questions with the food writer, YouTuber and podcaster Alison Roman. We tackle quandaries like, Should you sign away your children’s image rights in order to get them into your preferred day care? Is hacking people for fun ever OK? And does it matter if we’re rude to our digital assistants?

    Guest:

    Additional Reading

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    Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enJuly 12, 2024

    The Interview: The Netflix Chief’s Plan to Get You to Binge Even More

    The Interview: The Netflix Chief’s Plan to Get You to Binge Even More

    We’re off for the Fourth of July, but what’s a better tribute to America than a conversation about the technology that enables us to endlessly stream TV from the couch? This week, we’re bringing you an episode we enjoyed from the recently debuted New York Times podcast The Interview. Lulu Garcia-Navarro interviews Ted Sarandos, co-chief executive of Netflix, about his early days working in a video store, shows to fold your laundry to and the future of the entertainment industry.

    Guest:

    • Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO of Netflix

    Additional Reading

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com.

    Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enJuly 05, 2024

    Record Labels Sue A.I. Music Generators + Inside the Pentagon’s Tech Upgrade + HatGPT

    Record Labels Sue A.I. Music Generators + Inside the Pentagon’s Tech Upgrade + HatGPT

    Record labels — including Sony, Universal and Warner — are suing two leading A.I. music generation companies, accusing them of copyright infringement. Mitch Glazier, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America, the industry group representing the music labels, talks with us about the argument they are advancing. Then, we take a look at defense technology and discuss why Silicon Valley seems to be changing its tune about working with the military. Chris Kirchhoff, who ran a special Pentagon office in Silicon Valley, explains what he thinks is behind the shift. And finally, we play another round of HatGPT.

    Guest:

    • Mitch Glazier, chairman and chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America
    • Chris Kirchhoff, founding partner of the Defense Innovation Unit and author of Unit X: How the Pentagon and Silicon Valley Are Transforming the Future of War

    Additional Reading:

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enJune 28, 2024

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

    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.

    Guests

    • Renée DiResta, author of “Invisible Rulers,” former technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory
    • David Yaffe-Bellany, New York Times technology reporter

    Additional Reading:

    Hard Fork
    enJune 21, 2024

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

    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:


    Additional Reading:

     

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enJune 14, 2024

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

    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 Canada
    • Daniel Kokotajlo, a former researcher in OpenAI’s governance division

     

    Additional Reading:

     

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enJune 07, 2024

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

    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 Anthropic

    Additional Reading: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enMay 31, 2024

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

    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:

    Additional Reading: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enMay 24, 2024

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

    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: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    Hard Fork
    enMay 17, 2024

    Meet Kevin’s A.I. Friends

    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: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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:

    Additional Reading:

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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 Verge
    • Todd Barber, Propulsion Engineer at Jet Propulsion Lab

    Additional Reading:

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

    The Music Episode

    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 Times
    • Elisheba Ittoop, sound designer and composer at The New York Times

    Additional Reading: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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 Professionals

    Additional Reading:

    How Tech Giants Cut Corners to Harvest Data for A.I.

    For Data-Guzzling A.I. Companies, the Internet Is Too Small

    Lawmakers unveil sprawling plan to expand online privacy protections

    TikTok Turns to Nuns, Veterans and Ranchers in Marketing Blitz

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com.
    Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com.
    Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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 student
    • Maya Rayle, a graduate student
    • Jack Campbell, a college student
    • Brendan Kelley, a high school digital coach

    Additional Reading: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com
    Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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:

    Additional Reading:

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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 Times

    Additional Reading: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com

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

    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 columnist

    Additional Reading:

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com. Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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

    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 landlord
    • Daphne Keller, director of the program on platform regulation at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center

    Additional Reading: 

    We want to hear from you. Email us at hardfork@nytimes.com
    Find “Hard Fork” on YouTube and TikTok.

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