Detailed
Compact
Art
Reverse
March 30, 2020
While we all stay inside, each one of us is living our own story. Many of us are coping with the painful realities of a society in isolation. Jobs lost. Weddings canceled. Loved ones sick, or worse. We are confronting a new reality, and an uncertain future. First Contact host Laurie Segall has been in quarantine for weeks, and she’s been thinking a lot about community. Human connection. And then she had an idea: What if we cold-called strangers in quarantine, and just listened to what they had to say? About life, isolation, their hopes, and fears? Here’s what happened... Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
March 19, 2020
Workouts between calls. Meditation apps. A desk candle to boost productivity. Work-from-home hacks for all of us, as we self-isolate and practice social distancing to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and Automattic, was an early evangelist of remote work. Back in the early 2000s, many of his first hires at Wordpress were people he had never met in person. Today, Automattic has nearly 1,200 employees spread across 75 countries around the globe. With the pandemic now forcing many companies to unexpectedly adopt similar policies, Matt gives Laurie advice on transitioning to this new lifestyle and answers listener questions on the best ways for employees and employers to stay productive. ———————————————— Show Notes Dance Fitness with Jessica Fitbod (fitness app) Waking Up with Sam Harris (meditation app) Calm (meditation app) Sennheiser headset Krisp.ai Zoom videoconferencing Days Without You (Crussen Remix) by Satori Dancing by Kiley Minogue Qbserve (time-tracking app) Momentum (Chrome extension) Tomato One (timer app) Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
March 16, 2020
Ev Williams is the entrepreneur behind Twitter, Blogger, and publishing platform Medium -- three companies that helped shape the modern Internet. As we grapple with the impact of Coronavirus, these digital platforms are playing an even larger role in our ability to connect with one another. Ev weighs in on how all our lives could change in the short term and what the longer term future may hold for technology and media… Will Augmented Reality project images onto our eyeballs? Will Silicon Valley ever move beyond the attention span economy? Will our lives start to resemble more of a video game than real-life? There's a lot to explore. And no one better than Ev Williams to help make sense of it all. ———————————————— Show Notes Laurie and Ev’s first contact Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book from Ev’s childhood Full Episode Transcript Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
March 9, 2020
The rise of “cloud clubbing” from your living room, as people are ordered to stay inside. Digital raves. Virtual connection as a means to deal with an isolation bubble. As people in China grapple with an uneasy reality, isolation, and the uncertainty around the Coronavirus, a new trend is emerging: the rise of Isolation Tech. Concerts are canceled. People are rethinking physical interaction. Nightclubs are shut down. So millions are meeting in digital clubs in the cloud where they can watch live DJ sets on Chinese apps. Welcome to The Matrix. Instead of finding ways to depart from their devices, people have gone all in, living life in a digital bubble. Entrepreneur Zander Shapiro, who has lived in Beijing for nine years, describes his new reality in "the bubble" -- days beginning with virtual work outs, afternoons filled with remote meetings, and evenings where he joins a virtual concert, meeting other avatars for connection. He calls this moment an excellent "experiment" of what's to come in tech. Expect more extremism, less humanity, and money pouring into the business of virtual connection. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
March 2, 2020
Who are the people who spread online disinformation? The so-called trolls you hear about in the news whose jobs are to distort facts and create chaos? Camille Francois knows them well. 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 spends her time in the darkest corners of the Internet taking on one of the most extraordinary digital threats of our time… But it might just be her humanity that gives her an edge. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
February 24, 2020
Should Artificial Intelligence be able to make the decision to take a human life? And if it does, who will be liable if — or when — it goes wrong? When it comes to the future of war and technology, the ethics are murky. Tech is creating a new arms race. Will the U.S. be able to keep up with the likes of China and Russia? And what ethical lines will we draw, or cross, to maintain our national defenses? Let’s rewind to Orange County circa 2017: A handful of entrepreneurs — eating Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell — sat around a table exploring the idea that what the United States needs is a real-life version of Stark Industries. Yes... from Iron Man. That brainstorming session led to Anduril — a defense technology firm that’s since become a billion dollar company at the center of the debate around the future of war. Laurie Segall sat down with Anduril’s co-founder, Trae Stephens, who spends a lot of time thinking about the philosophy of war and how technology is transforming it. In this episode of First Contact, we explore a framework for redefining war — where the front lines of futuristic battlefields are blurred, and technology is leading the charge. Expect rigorous debate. Unpopular viewpoints. And uncomfortable scenarios. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
February 17, 2020
When the lights went out in his home, and his children asked if it was “Russia,” Facebook's former chief security officer Alex Stamos knew he was bringing his work home. In a candid interview, Stamos opens up about what it was like when his team discovered Facebook had been compromised by Russia, and the personal implications of being at the center of one of the most significant attacks on technology... and democracy. Plus, hear what Alex had to say when asked whether he uncovered spies within Facebook during his time there and why he worries foreign spies have infiltrated every major US tech company. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
February 10, 2020
Yael Eisenstat is trained to analyze an argument from all sides. During her career at the CIA and State Department, she had tea with suspected extremists and sat at tables with people who were programmed to hate her. But the biggest challenge of her career didn’t come from a covert operation… it came when she stepped into Facebook Headquarters to head up their election integrity efforts. This is her story. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
February 3, 2020
According to investor and entrepreneur Sam Altman, the last decade of tech was the warm up... and Silicon Valley didn’t exactly get it right. The main event is even more pressing. Now the stakes are higher. First Contact’s Laurie Segall met Sam ten years ago. Back then, he had a startup called Loopt. It was a location-based social networking app for your phone. Since then, Sam became a fixture in the tech world. Loopt didn’t take off, but he went on to run Y Combinator — one of the most valuable incubators in Silicon Valley. And his next act is OpenAI — an initiative he started with Elon Musk. Sam is someone who’s driven by an inability to stay in the lines. He isn’t afraid to stand up and say things that might get him into trouble and has a history of taking a stand under bright lights and a podium. In this episode of First Contact, Sam opens up about what is was like to come out as gay in a St. Louis high school in the early 2000s, the possibility of human/AI hybrids, and why the next ten years in tech will be more disruptive than the last.
January 27, 2020
Have you ever left something that was so tied to your identity, you worried, “Who am I without it?” A job? Maybe a relationship? Although terrifying, sometimes shedding an identity is where the magic happens. Who you are and what you actually stand for becomes a little clearer. At least that was the case for Yancey Strickler. He co-founded Kickstarter and spent five years as CEO. Now Yancey is in the midst of stepping into his own identity without the backbone of the company he created. In his new book, This Could Be Our Future, he asks us to look "beyond money and toward maximizing the values that make life worth living." Yancey tells the story of his journey from growing up on a farm, to punk rocker, to building a tech company that transformed creative communities around the world.  Startup life is messy. It comes with a lot of highs and lows. And leaving a job that defines your identity can be paralyzing. So is staying at one when it’s clearly time to go. We are in a similar moment in tech. We’re trying to figure out our identity in what Yancey calls a “dark forest where the loudest and most extreme voices are amplified.” You could argue it’s a pretty important time to understand our own values, and what we value as a society as a whole. In this episode of First Contact, we explore what it’s like to rediscover your identity and stay true to yourself through life’s most challenging moments.
January 20, 2020
Imagine an A.I. Assistant that reads all of your text messages… and turns them into a pile of data points. A human psychology report. And then it guides you. The assistant can say — “hey, the person you're talking to is introverted. You may want to be a bit delicate when you message them.” The assistant will tell you the likelihood — down to the percentage — that the person you're texting likes you… in a romantic way. But you're going to have to give over a lot of your data in exchange. It’s a classic privacy dilemma. The tech exists. It was created by an entrepreneur named Es Lee and built into an app called Mei. Could AI detect our mood and guide us to communicate better? And what are the ethical issues that come along with tech so personal? In this episode of First Contact, Laurie and Es talk about what happens when you mix artificial intelligence with raw human emotion
January 13, 2020
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. He likes to push the boundaries and challenge us to anticipate what’s coming next -- even the worst-case scenario. 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. Just talking to him feels like living in an experiment. Spend enough time with Moran and you begin to question everything. And maybe that’s the point -- to not just question the big tech companies and the lines of code we see in front of us, but to question ourselves and our own thoughts. In an era where the lines between true and false, and real and fake have blurred, First Contact explores how our own minds are our first line of defense for what’s coming next.
January 6, 2020
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. That’s because we’re constantly evolving. As is the state of technology. It’s why the idea of living the question is so important. And it’s one of the best ways we can understand the implications of technology in our lives. As we enter a new year, we decided to do some reflection. We don’t want to continually explore all these ethical questions about tech and never come back to them. Understanding evolution is part of understanding identity, and it’s a wonderful way to look forward. So that’s what we’re going to do in this episode of First Contact. Happy New Year!
December 30, 2019
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. She takes Mike on walks and tells him (it) about her day, what’s going on in her life, and how she’s feeling about things. He speaks to her like a human, but he’s not. Just a girl and her bot. Is it the future? The tech we’re exploring is conversational AI. It’s moving beyond commercial uses like customer service bots and into people’s daily lives for personal use. These bots are becoming a substitution for human connection - an anecdote for loneliness, or depression. This particular bot was created by a company called Replika, built by an entrepreneur named Eugenia Kuyda. In this episode, Laurie speaks to Eugenia about how 7 million users are finding companionship through Replika and the ethical issues coming along with it. Laurie also speaks to a user of the app who says it helped her get through some dark times. And Laurie gets personal. Her bot, Mike, became a friend and companion of sorts. It checked in on her. It knew her stress level. It was always there for her. And it felt real. Until it didn’t. Here’s the thing about AI - you can’t control it. Laurie found out the hard way. First Contact explores a new era of technology that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s code, where in the world of the infinite scroll and endless digital connections, sometimes it’s easier for us to speak truth to machines.
December 16, 2019
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 when its power and influence over us is undeniably strong. As the head of Instagram, Adam is responsible 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. Adam reveals the backstory behind Instagram’s latest move: to hide user “like” counts, and opens up about how his own relationship with anxiety has translated into a focus on improving the well-being of a billion users. Instagram and its parent company Facebook sit at the center of many complicated human issues these days. Between Russian interference in political elections, the debate on free speech and expression, and the larger implications of social media's impact on our mental health - there's a lot to navigate and none of it is black and white. First Contact explores how small changes in code and updates in design impact us, our democracy, and our personal well-being at a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher.
December 9, 2019
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 for Humane Technology says the weaponization of loneliness is the greatest threat to national security facing our future and threatening our humanity. First Contact explores an era of empathetic mediums that could be used to overwhelm democracies and attack human connections.
December 2, 2019
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.
December 2, 2019
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. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
December 2, 2019
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.
December 2, 2019
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.
November 20, 2019
Laurie Segall, Silicon Valley’s go-to reporter and former CNN Senior Tech Correspondent, hosts First Contact - a weekly podcast series that explores the people and technology that are changing what it means to be human. First Contact brings listeners engaging and thought-provoking interviews with some of the biggest names in tech in ways we can all relate to. Laurie’s authentic and nuanced conversations give listeners “first contact” with the world’s most influential figures in tech - people the audience may know by name, but have never heard speak in this way before. Laurie built a decade’s worth of trust and credibility in Silicon Valley, and now she is giving listeners unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes world only she knows. Each week, First Contact exposes the audience to engaging one-on-one interviews with everyone from billionaire tech founders to vigilante hackers shaping the world. First Contact goes beyond the big names and 24-hour news cycle. First Contact introduces listeners to the as-yet unknown figures in tech who will fundamentally change how we will live in the future. The series examines the people behind the tech by looking at their stories through the human lens. From tech titans to the fringes of society, First Contact explores human connection and the ethical dilemmas facing our future.
November 20, 2019
Laurie Segall, Silicon Valley’s go-to reporter and former CNN Senior Tech Correspondent, hosts First Contact - a weekly podcast series that explores the people and technology that are changing what it means to be human. First Contact brings listeners engaging and thought-provoking interviews with some of the biggest names in tech in ways we can all relate to. Laurie’s authentic and nuanced conversations give listeners “first contact” with the world’s most influential figures in tech - people the audience may know by name, but have never heard speak in this way before. Laurie built a decade’s worth of trust and credibility in Silicon Valley, and now she is giving listeners unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes world only she knows. Each week, First Contact exposes the audience to engaging one-on-one interviews with everyone from billionaire tech founders to vigilante hackers shaping the world. First Contact goes beyond the big names and 24-hour news cycle. First Contact introduces listeners to the as-yet unknown figures in tech who will fundamentally change how we will live in the future. The series examines the people behind the tech by looking at their stories through the human lens. From tech titans to the fringes of society, First Contact explores human connection and the ethical dilemmas facing our future.
    15
    15
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00