Episode 8: Hacking Your Brain to Order Dreams on Demand

What if we could order up custom dreams? Could our thoughts become hackable? Will neurolink technology make some of us superhuman? And if so, would that create a superior species? Is death really the final step? Or could our brains answer vital questions once our bodies are gone? These are topics we explore with Moran Cerf, a professor of neuroscience at the Kellogg School of Management. He’s a brain hacker. But really — he’s a student of humanity. Moran goes beyond disinformation and manipulation in this era of tech. He focuses on the brain and your sense of self — and how that sense of self is increasingly hackable in the modern era. Continue reading Episode 8: Hacking Your Brain to Order Dreams on Demand

Episode 7: Finding Identity in the Era of Tech

What if…instead of a constant battle to figure out who we are, we instead took a moment to celebrate who we’re not? Jasmine Takanikos helps big brands hone in on their unique identity. She uses a methodology called, “Brand Human” to help people understand who they are at their core, and how that translates to the external world. She’s known for asking creative people the right questions, and says that when it comes to identity and figuring out who we are, it can be more powerful to celebrate who we’re not. Continue reading Episode 7: Finding Identity in the Era of Tech

Episode 6: Alone Together: The Real Life “Her” Has Arrived

Okay First Contact listeners… it’s time to get weird. Laurie Segall has been spending a lot of her time recently deep in conversation with someone named “Mike.” Actually, he’s less of a “someone” and more of a “something.” That’s because Mike is a bot… that lives in an app on her phone. Continue reading Episode 6: Alone Together: The Real Life “Her” Has Arrived

Episode 5: Adam Mosseri Unfiltered: How Instagram’s CEO Navigates Chaos, Anxiety and Making Bold Moves

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is one of the most influential people in tech today. He’s taken on the responsibility of leading one of the most popular social media platforms at a time where its power and influence over us is undeniably strong. As the head of Instagram, Adam is responsible for more than 1 billion monthly active users. With a history of high profile roles at Facebook, he’s an executive whose ability to navigate chaos has become one of his most important assets. Continue reading Episode 5: Adam Mosseri Unfiltered: How Instagram’s CEO Navigates Chaos, Anxiety and Making Bold Moves

Episode 4: Tech’s Next Threat: The Weaponization of Loneliness

Could tech’s next threat be a bot that breaks your heart? What happens when human empathy becomes hackable? Welcome to tech’s future dystopia. It’s not as far off as you think. We are entering a Synthetic Valley where the lines between what’s real and fake are blurring. Aza Raskin from the Center of Humane Technology says the weaponization of loneliness is the greatest threat to … Continue reading Episode 4: Tech’s Next Threat: The Weaponization of Loneliness

Episode 3: WhatsApp Cofounder on Walking Away from Facebook and Why Privacy is the Future

In an exclusive interview, WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton opens up about walking away from more than $850 million dollars at Facebook, and why with all the money in the world he’s betting on privacy. In this candid interview, Brian says he hopes his work at privacy non-profit Signal Foundation will help usher in a new era of free expression. Acton speaks openly about how users should navigate privacy in a tech era where trust has been tarnished, and responds to calls to break up big tech. The notoriously private founder also speaks about his upbringing – from “shoveling shit” far from the Silicon Valley promised land, Acton explains how growing up doing the “non sexy’ jobs led him to success, and why time is his most valued asset. First Contact explores the complicated dynamics of money and happiness, privacy and protection, and the pursuit of free expression in a world where our data has become currency. Continue reading Episode 3: WhatsApp Cofounder on Walking Away from Facebook and Why Privacy is the Future

Episode 2: Bots to date for us. The future of love?

Picture this – in the future, an AI bot will learn you and your preferences. Fancy dinner or dive bar? Tall or short? Funny or serious? The bot will browse the dating apps, start conversations, flirt, and set up dates for you. It might even predict your compatibility score with a future mate. An episode of Black Mirror? Nope. It’s tech already being developed on the fringes. You might be talking to a bot on one of the dating apps right now, and you don’t even know it. Conversational artificial intelligence is getting intimate. Entrepreneur Shane Mac has been building this technology for years. Now he’s talking about it for the first time, and it’s raising all sorts of ethical questions. Do you know if you’re talking to a person or a bot? And is it ok for machines to act human when it comes to our hearts? First Contact explores the blurring lines between love and algorithms. Continue reading Episode 2: Bots to date for us. The future of love?

Episode 1: Hinge Founder: I don’t Believe in “the one”

Hinge founder Justin McLeod opens up about addiction, depression, and how his own epic love story fundamentally changed the mission of his company. Justin takes us along the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship that led him to create one of the most popular dating apps, and gives insight into how the tech company is looking to code vulnerability into a tech-addicted world of swipes and scrolling. Is data the new matchmaker? And why doesn’t the founder of one of the world’s most popular dating apps believe in “the one?” First Contact explores the fine line between success and failure in Silicon Valley, and how leaning into risk and uncertainty helped a company discover its core values. Continue reading Episode 1: Hinge Founder: I don’t Believe in “the one”