First Contact Transcripts

  • Episode 20: “People Ahead of Profit:” How to Lead in Uncertain Times
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio.  Jerry Colonna: It’s extraordinary what’s happening, I’m talking to, to thousands of employees at a company, all at the same time, and I’m saying effectively the same thing, which is, “This is a time for pilgrims to travel by the stars.” And what are the stars? The stars are …
  • Episode 19: Quarantine Diaries
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Julie Samra: Hello…? Laurie Segall: Hi. Julie Samra: Hi! I’m Julie. Laurie Segall: I’m Laurie. I love… this is my quarantine call. Julie Samra: Where are you? Laurie Segall: I’m- I’m in New York. I’ve been in self isolation so I signed up for this. Out of my own …
  • Episode 18: It’s “Boss Level Mode” Time: Remote Work Pioneer Matt Mullenweg On Staying Productive
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Matt Mullenweg: It’s worth saying that this is kind of boss level mode in that this is the hardest version of working from home that you could imagine, because a lot of people might have kids or they didn’t really have a chance to prepare for this. Laurie Segall: …
  • Episode 17: Ev Williams on Coronavirus and the ‘Extreme’ Tech of the Future
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a Production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Hey Guys- I want to do something a little different for this episode of First Contact. About two and a half weeks ago I interviewed Ev Williams who founded Twitter and Medium and Blogger. And I had asked him you know about the Corona virus and his thoughts on …
  • Episode 16: Coronavirus: The Rise of Isolation Tech
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Zander Shapiro: The last chance to pull people back from this digital bubble, is now. If people don’t do it now, it’s gone, right? There’s gonna be a moment where you’re gonna go into a hundred percent digital state for a period of time because of a version of …
  • Episode 15: Inside the Minds of Trolls
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Camille Francois: I talk to trolls and hackers who, uh, made a living doing, uh, disinformation, and propaganda for hire. People who said, “Initially I joined because I wanted to do campaign messaging for, you know, for my candidate to win. And then Iwoke up and I was just …
  • Episode 14: AI: To Kill or Not to Kill?
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Laurie Segall: I guess, I come back to this line, maybe it’s a little dramatic, but it’s like AI to kill or not to kill, right? Like this idea that you guys could be building out autonomous systems that can make the decision to, to kill. Um, will you …
  • Episode 13: Ex-Facebook Security Chief Speaks Out on Russia & Spies in Silicon Valley
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Alex Stamos: I expect that every major US tech company has at least several people that have been turned by at least China, maybe Russia, probably Israel, and a couple other US allies. Laurie Segall: Did you ever uncover anybody that had been turned? Alex Stamos: I’m not gonna …
  • Episode 12: She Spent 10+ Years at the CIA. It Didn’t Prepare Her for Life at Facebook.
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Yael Eisenstat: When I left the CIA, it’s you can’t talk about anything classified, which is essentially an NDA. They never said you can’t say anything negative about us. The non disparagement at Facebook was so strong, I would have never been able to talk about even why I …
  • Episode 11: Sam Altman: Growing Up Silicon Valley
    First contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio.  Sam Altman: One thing where I do think Silicon Valley gets a little bit dishonest is, saying like, “Okay. We’re going to build these incredibly powerful systems. They’re going to do all these wonderful things for us on this incredible exponential curve of technology. And then right when we …
  • Episode 10: Kickstarter’s Co-founder on Paralyzing Fear & Staying Punk Rock
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio.  Yancey Strickler: the moment that I can remember where I most felt the pain and pressure of all that was, in my last year as CEO and I was just standing there and my wife thought I left for work and then found me standing by the door. And …
  • Episode 9: Reading Your Text Message ‘Body Language’
    First Contact with Laurie Segall is a production of Dot Dot Dot Media and iHeart Radio. Laurie Segall: Ok so we just got an email from Es who we’re interviewing – i’m interviewing tomorrow and he says “hi here’s some data we got from the conversation” that’s exciting “some are screenshots of the app which i can give you a demo tomorrow and other data …
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 …
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.