Why 9/11 Inspired Trae Stephens to Work on the Future of Defense Tech

Trae Stephens is a co-founder of Anduril. It’s a defense tech company valued at around a billion dollars. But what inspires a man to work on technologies that could shape the future of defense — and war — for years to come? Trae tells Laurie Segall it can all be traced back to a single day in his childhood — 9/11. Read an edited transcript … Continue reading Why 9/11 Inspired Trae Stephens to Work on the Future of Defense Tech

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

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 … Continue reading Episode 14: AI: To Kill or Not to Kill?

"Let's not break into jail": Why Alex Stamos Says Facebook Was Afraid to Create Controversy

Alex Stamos spent three years as Facebook’s chief security officer. He oversaw a counterterrorism team that, he says, prevented multiple terrorist attacks without taking public credit. He also says that this approach to communications may have added to the criticism of the company following the Russian interference scandal in 2016. Read an edited transcript below, or listen to the full interview on the First Contact podcast. … Continue reading "Let's not break into jail": Why Alex Stamos Says Facebook Was Afraid to Create Controversy

Ex-Facebook Security Chief Believes Foreign Spies Are in Every Major US Tech Company

Alex Stamos spent three years as Facebook’s chief security officer, and it was during that time his team discovered Russia’s use of the platform to influence the 2016 presidential election. He knows better than anyone that bad actors are launching constant cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at the big tech companies. But sometimes, he explains, the attempts to infiltrate Silicon Valley are a bit more … Continue reading Ex-Facebook Security Chief Believes Foreign Spies Are in Every Major US Tech Company

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 … Continue reading Episode 13: Ex-Facebook Security Chief Speaks Out on Russia & Spies in Silicon Valley

Former CIA Analyst: Facebook is Playing ‘Whack-A-Mole’

Yael Eisenstat spent six months as Facebook’s global head of elections integrity operations. But before that, she spent more than a decade in the CIA. She also served as a national security advisor to Vice President Biden. During her time working for the government, she was frequently in hostile situations. Sometimes she found herself sipping tea across the table from suspected extremists. Her job was … Continue reading Former CIA Analyst: Facebook is Playing ‘Whack-A-Mole’

Yael Eisenstat: There Was No Way I Was Going to Let Facebook Silence My Voice

For a long time, Facebook’s motto was “Move Fast and Break Things.” And although the company has ditched that tagline after years of public scrutiny, one former employee says the company may still be moving too fast. Yael Eisenstat spent more than a decade as an analyst for the CIA. She also served as a national security advisor to Vice President Biden. But one of … Continue reading Yael Eisenstat: There Was No Way I Was Going to Let Facebook Silence My Voice

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 … Continue reading Episode 12: She Spent 10+ Years at the CIA. It Didn’t Prepare Her for Life at Facebook.