Inside the Minds of Trolls

Camille Francois studies trolls for a living. She’s the chief innovation officer at Graphika — a social media analytics firm hired by major companies to identify and fight online disinformation. Her team was a big part of uncovering the extent of Russian influence during the 2016 election. She paints a more nuanced picture of Internet trolls. Sometimes, she says, people start out with good intentions … Continue reading Inside the Minds of Trolls

AI: To Kill or Not to Kill?

Anduril is a company focused on building technologies for the future of defense — and war. Tech like covert drones that could bring medical supplies to a battlefield, or a virtual wall that could be used to monitor the US’s southern border. But adding AI to the equation creates increasingly complicated ethical dilemmas. You can start to imagine scenarios where computers are making decisions more … Continue reading AI: To Kill or Not to Kill?

Stark Industries and Lightsabers: The Sci-fi That Inspired a Billion Dollar Defense Company

When you hear “billion dollar defense company,” you probably conjure up certain images in your mind: Business people in suits sitting around a boardroom table… Conservative, measured approaches to new tech… Lots of red tape… You probably don’t think of comic books and fast food. But here we are in 2020 — Silicon Valley entrepreneurs run the world. On First Contact, Trae Stephens tells Laurie … Continue reading Stark Industries and Lightsabers: The Sci-fi That Inspired a Billion Dollar Defense Company

Sam Altman: The Tech Revolution Was Just a ‘Warm Up’ For What’s Next

Sam Altman is known for seeing into the future. For years he led Y Combinator — one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent incubators. He’s invested in companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit. When he makes a prediction, you listen. Sam spoke to Laurie Segall about why he thinks the next ten years in tech could be even more disruptive than the last… Read an edited … Continue reading Sam Altman: The Tech Revolution Was Just a ‘Warm Up’ For What’s Next

Are Human/AI Hybrids the Future Of Humanity?

Sam Altman is known for seeing into the future. For years he led Y Combinator — one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent incubators. He’s invested in companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Reddit. When Sam makes a prediction, you listen. And he has plenty of predictions to go around. Here’s what he thinks might be coming down the pike… Read an edited transcript below, or listen … Continue reading Are Human/AI Hybrids the Future Of Humanity?

He Popularized Crowdfunding, Now He Wants to Reimagine Capitalism

Kickstarter introduced the world to a new way of shopping. It allowed consumers to fund a product into existence. To pre-order something when it was just an idea inside the mind of its creator. Now, years after he left the company, Kickstarter Co-founder Yancey Strickler is out with a new book that asks the world to re-evaluate how we prioritize money. He calls it a … Continue reading He Popularized Crowdfunding, Now He Wants to Reimagine Capitalism

This AI Could Spot Depression Before Friends and Family… And Act On It

Often time our friends, family, and partners only see one side of us. They see what we want them to see. But what if an AI could see *all* of our communication… and get to know us better than any one person? Could it determine how we’re feeling? Even offer guidance when we need help…? Es Lee is a data scientist and founder of a … Continue reading This AI Could Spot Depression Before Friends and Family… And Act On It

Reading The ‘Body Language’ of Your Text Messages

Communication can be tricky… What we mean to say and what gets heard, are often two very different things. But what if we had insight into the other person’s brain… and could tailor our communication to them? Texting with romantic partners, colleagues, your mother-in-law… could get a lot easier. Es Lee is a data scientist and founder of a company called Mei. And his technology … Continue reading Reading The ‘Body Language’ of Your Text Messages

Questions Your Brain Could Answer After You Die

What if our brains could still be useful after we die? They could answer complicated questions… Even solve a murder mystery. It sounds crazy, but Moran Cerf, a professor of neuroscience at the Kellogg School of Management, says it’s more realistic than you think. Read an edited transcript below, or listen to the full interview on the First Contact podcast. Turns out that when you’re dead, … Continue reading Questions Your Brain Could Answer After You Die

Moran Cerf

Ordering Dreams On Demand

What if we could order up custom dreams? Or watch the latest film by Scorsese or Spielberg while we sleep? Laurie Segall speaks with Moran Cerf, a professor of neuroscience at the Kellogg School of Management, about a whole new frontier of entertainment. Read an edited transcript below, or listen to the full interview on the First Contact podcast. This means that suddenly Netflix and Hulu … Continue reading Ordering Dreams On Demand