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Hard Fork

The New York Times

Technology

4.54.7K Ratings

Overview

“Hard Fork” is a show about the future that’s already here. Each week, journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton explore and make sense of the latest in the rapidly changing world of tech. Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at nytimes.com/audioapp

90 Episodes

A Conversation With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada + An OpenAI Whistle-Blower Speaks Out

It turns out A.I. is surprisingly Canadian.

Transcribed - Published: 7 June 2024

Google Eats Rocks + A Win for A.I. Interpretability + Safety Vibe Check

“Pass me the nontoxic glue and a couple of rocks, because it’s time to whip up a meal with Google’s new A.I. Overviews.”

Transcribed - Published: 31 May 2024

ScarJo vs. ChatGPT + Neuralink’s First Patient Opens Up + Microsoft’s A.I. PCs

“Did you ever think we would have a literal Avenger fighting back against the relentless march of A.I.? Because that's sort of what this story is about.”

Transcribed - Published: 24 May 2024

OpenAI's Flirty New Assistant + Google Guts the Web + We Play HatGPT

It’s been a week of A.I. vertigo - the feeling that we’ve been dragged five years into the future and aren’t sure what to do about it.

Transcribed - Published: 17 May 2024

Meet Kevin’s A.I. Friends

They gave him notes on his outfits and reassurance before a big talk, and they shared made-up gossip about each other.

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2024

AI at Your Jobs + Hank Green Talks TikTok + Deepfake High School

A synthetic chief executive, a bot trained on employees’ personalities, and a regular duel with ChatGPT — our listeners brought us their stories.

Transcribed - Published: 3 May 2024

TikTok on the Clock + Tesla’s Flop Era + How NASA Fixed a ’70s-Era Space Computer

“A clock is ticking on one of America’s most famous apps.”

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2024

The Music Episode

"I feel like we've been at the club. I need some water and some electrolytes."

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2024

A.I.’s Data Wall + a Surprise Privacy Bill + What Happened to the TikTok Ban?

I’d rather not tell you what’s in this episode. It’s private.

Transcribed - Published: 12 April 2024

Is AI Already Taking Jobs? + A Filmmaker Tries Sora + The XZ Backdoor Caper

"I've always said if you have a ChatGPT subscription and a hose, you can get very far in this life.”

Transcribed - Published: 5 April 2024

A.I.’s Messy Moment + Listeners Respond to Jonathan Haidt + Shrimp Jesus

“Being a CEO sucks. Elon was right. It is like looking into the abyss and chewing glass.”

Transcribed - Published: 29 March 2024

Justice Dept. Sues Apple + Smartphones and Children with Jonathan Haidt + Reddit’s IPO

“We’ll see you in court.”

Transcribed - Published: 22 March 2024

A Looming TikTok Ban + A Royal Photoshop Mystery + Your Car is Snitching

Maybe go ahead and download your favorite TikToks.

Transcribed - Published: 15 March 2024

Musk vs. OpenAI + Europe’s Tech Crackdown + A Month With the Vision Pro

Just when we thought the feud was cooling off, OpenAI pulled out the receipts.

Transcribed - Published: 8 March 2024

Gemini's Culture War + Kara Swisher Burns Us + SCOTUS Takes Up Content Moderation

We finally invited someone on the podcast who is meaner to Casey than Kevin is.

Transcribed - Published: 1 March 2024

Google DeepMind C.E.O. Demis Hassabis on the Path From Chatbots to A.G.I.

The mind behind DeepMind.

Transcribed - Published: 23 February 2024

The State of A.I. + Will Perplexity Beat Google or Destroy the Web?

A special Valentine’s Day look back.

Transcribed - Published: 16 February 2024

Bluesky’s Big Bet + Are Deals Dead in Silicon Valley?

Plus, more ancient scrolls deciphered using artificial intelligence, Google’s chatbot updates, and a fight between record labels and TikTok.

Transcribed - Published: 9 February 2024

We Tried the Apple Vision Pro + Can Congress Protect Kids Online? + Cruise’s Crash

Introducing DJ TaskRabbit.

Transcribed - Published: 2 February 2024

Mediapocalypse Now + a16z’s Chris Dixon Defends Crypto + HatGPT

Strangely a lot of pro wrestling in this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 26 January 2024

The AI Election + Bitcoin’s Wall Street Debut + TikTok’s Doodad Era

“Two truly terrible ways to make money this week.”

Transcribed - Published: 19 January 2024

Why Casey Left Substack + Elon’s Drug Use + A.I. Antibiotic Discovery

It’s a drugs episode.

Transcribed - Published: 12 January 2024

The Times Sues OpenAI + A Debate Over iMessage + Our New Year’s Tech Resolutions

“This is sort of the big kahuna.”

Transcribed - Published: 5 January 2024

Our 2024 Predictions + Jenny Slate Answers Your Hard Questions!

Plus, a very special Hard Fork holiday surprise.

Transcribed - Published: 22 December 2023

Google’s Epic Loss + Silicon Valley’s Curious New Subculture + How 2023 Changed the Internet

Looks like Google is on the naughty list this year.

Transcribed - Published: 15 December 2023

Google's Next Top Model + Will the Cybertruck Crash? + This Week in A.I.

Like the Cybertruck, this podcast is also bulletproof.

Transcribed - Published: 8 December 2023

What’s Next for OpenAI + Binance Is Binanceled + A.I. Is Eating the Internet

It’s full steam ahead for the tech world despite, well, everything.

Transcribed - Published: 1 December 2023

(Yet Another) Emergency Pod: Sam Altman Is Back

In yet another head-spinning twist at OpenAI, Sam Altman was reinstated as the company’s chief executive on Tuesday night, a mere five days after the OpenAI board had fired him. The board will be overhauled and a new set of directors, including Bret Taylor and Lawrence Summers, will join. Today, we discuss how Altman returned to the top seat — and whether the OpenAI news will ever slow down.

Transcribed - Published: 22 November 2023

Mayhem at OpenAI + Our Interview With Sam Altman

Last week, we interviewed Sam Altman. Since then, well, everything has changed. The board of OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, fired Altman as chief executive on Friday. Over the weekend, it looked as if he might return. On Sunday night, Microsoft hired Altman to lead a new A.I. venture. Who knows what will happen next. Today, an update on a crazy weekend in tech, and our interview with Sam Altman.

Transcribed - Published: 21 November 2023

Emergency Pod: Sam Altman is Out at Open AI

“Probably the most shocking tech story of the year.”

Transcribed - Published: 18 November 2023

An A.I. Pin Drops + YouTube’s Take on Deepfakes + A Lab-Grown Thanksgiving

The companies changing our phones, our media and our meat.

Transcribed - Published: 17 November 2023

Personalized GPTs Are Here + F.T.C. Chair Lina Khan on A.I. Competition + Mayhem at Apefest

“On this podcast, we’re automating the haters.”

Transcribed - Published: 10 November 2023

Casey Goes to the White House + The Copyright Battle Over Artificial Intelligence + HatGPT

“It’s America, you can always sue.”

Transcribed - Published: 3 November 2023

The People vs. Meta + Marques Brownlee on YouTube and Future Tech + DALL-E 3 Arrives

Dozens of state attorneys general have sued Meta, claiming the company knowingly created features that induce “extended, addictive and compulsive social media use” among teenagers and children. In a country without wide-reaching internet regulations, are lawsuits the way to reign in tech companies? Then, for our first episode on YouTube, we talk with the YouTuber and tech reviewer Marques Brownlee about how the platform has changed, and the future tech he’s excited about. And finally, artificial intelligence image generators are getting scary good. Casey tells us what he’s been using them for.

Transcribed - Published: 27 October 2023

Peering Into A.I.’s Black Box + Who’s The Real Techno-Optimist? + Reading Ancient Scrolls With A.I.

A.I. models are black boxes. You input a prompt and the model outputs nearly anything: a sonnet, an image or a legal brief riddled with lies. Today, a look at three ways that researchers are unlocking that black box in hopes of bringing transparency to A.I. Then, Marc Andreessen’s techno-optimist manifesto has left us asking, Is he OK?! Plus: decoding a 2,000-year-old ancient scroll with the help of A.I.

Transcribed - Published: 20 October 2023

Social Media In Wartime + Betting on the Future + A.I. Passes the Smell Test

As the Israel-Hamas war broke out, misinformation and fake imagery surged on X, the platform formerly known at Twitter. Can Meta’s Threads fill the real-time news hole that X created? Should it? Then, Kevin debriefs us on his reporting on Manifold Markets, where Silicon Valley Rationalists bet on the likelihoods of different events. Plus: The company digitizing smell.

Transcribed - Published: 13 October 2023

Google’s Trial Heats Up + How to Wear A.I. + It’s Our Birthday!

The antitrust trial against Google has led to some of tech’s biggest players testifying in court, and things have gotten spicy. The New York Times reporter Cecilia Kang tells us the wildest moments in the trial so far. Then, A.I. is jumping off the screen and into your wardrobe. Has the personal assistant of the future finally arrived? Or a dystopian panopticon? Plus: happy first birthday, Hard Fork! Kevin and Casey share some lessons learned.

Transcribed - Published: 6 October 2023

All Gas, No Brakes in A.I. + Metaverse Update + Lessons From a Prompt Engineer

ChatGPT can now hear, see and speak — and that’s just the start of the deluge of A.I. news this week. Kevin and Casey unpack the lightning-speed updates. Then, Meta’s next-generation headset, Quest 3, is here. Is there still hope for the metaverse? And: An interview with a prompt engineer. Yes, that’s a real job.

Transcribed - Published: 29 September 2023

Breaking Bard + Who Owns Your Face? + Gamer News!

Hey Bard, can you take a look at my Gmail and psychoanalyze me? Turns out, that’s not a question Google’s chatbot, Bard, can answer with any veracity despite new features that allow it to plug into your Gmail, Google Drive and more . Kevin and Casey on why Bard isn’t answering all their questions correctly — and why Google is OK with that. Then, the New York Times reporter Kashmir Hill on the dangers of facial recognition that are already here. Plus: GAMER TIME! Our new segment on the latest in gaming news.

Transcribed - Published: 22 September 2023

Casey v. Kevin on US v. Google + Walter Isaacson on Two Years With Elon Musk

Is Google allowed to spend billions of dollars to make its search product the default browser? That is the question at the center of U.S. et al. v. Google — the most important tech trial of the modern internet era — and Kevin and Casey disagree on the answer. Then, a conversation with the journalist who spent the last two years shadowing Elon Musk.

Transcribed - Published: 15 September 2023

Escape From Burning Man + Musk vs. the A.D.L. + Listener Questions

This week: How tech executives’ favorite place to take their pants off turned into a muddy hellscape. We talk to one executive who couldn’t just call a helicopter to escape. Then, Jonathan Greenblatt, C.E.O. of the Anti-Defamation League, on how his organization went from having a “productive” meeting with X’s C.E.O., Linda Yaccarino, last week to being threatened with a lawsuit by Elon Musk on Monday. Plus, Kevin and Casey answer your questions.

Transcribed - Published: 8 September 2023

The Secretive Billionaires Building a Tech Utopia + Casey’s External Brain + HatGPT

A group of tech titans is gobbling up land north of San Francisco with aspirations to alleviate the Bay Area’s housing crisis, promote innovation, and experiment with new forms of governance. It’s not the first time ultra-wealthy people have tried to build the place of their dreams. Will this time be any different? Then, note-taking apps claim to make us smarter. Usually, they don’t. Casey Newton, a productivity cult member, on how A.I. could change that. Plus, Kevin and Casey play HatGPT.

Transcribed - Published: 1 September 2023

N.Y.C. Says Airbn-bye + How Far Would You Go for a GPU? + The A.I. Songs of the Summer

Are New York City’s new rules for short-term rentals like Airbnb effectively a ban? And will they accomplish what proponents want them to? Then, The New York Times tech reporter Erin Griffith on Silicon Valley’s mad dash for GPUs. And finally, we take stock of the A.I. songs of the summer and discuss YouTube and Universal Music Group’s plan to make synthetic voices profitable.

Transcribed - Published: 25 August 2023

S.B.F Goes to Jail + Back to School with A.I. + Self-Driving Car Update

When Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested in December, he was confined to his parents’ house — but he was left free to roam the internet. Today, the New York Times reporter David Yaffe-Bellany talks about how access to the cyberworld allowed Mr. Bankman-Fried to violate his bail terms and land himself in jail. Then, how universities can manage a generative A.I. world. Plus: another look at autonomous vehicles.

Transcribed - Published: 18 August 2023

Don't Scrape Me, Bro + The Activists Sabotaging Self-Driving Cars + How Reddit Beat a Rebellion

Users are protesting Zoom’s liberal data-collection policy. Authors are shutting down websites that scrape their work. And, in a concession to users, OpenAI is allowing websites to opt out of web scraping. The era of A.I. backlash has begun. Then, street activists are deterring self-driving cars by placing traffic cones on the hoods of vehicles. Plus: How Reddit has squashed the Reddit Revolt.

Transcribed - Published: 11 August 2023

Superconductor Superconfusion, KOSA’s Hidden Costs and HatGPT

Researchers in Korea claim they’ve identified a material that could unlock a technological revolution: the room temperature superconductor. Material scientists are skeptical, but enthusiasts on Twitter are enthusiastic. Why is the internet so excited about superconductors? Then, the Kids Online Safety Act is headed to the Senate floor. Would it actually keep children safe? And how would it change the internet? Plus: Kevin and Casey play HatGPT.

Transcribed - Published: 4 August 2023

Elon's X Machina + Crypto Orbs + A Visit to Google’s Robot Lab

On Sunday night, a crane arrived in downtown San Francisco to take down the Twitter sign from the company’s office building. The crane’s arrival marked the death of Twitter, the brand, and the start of X, Elon Musk’s everything app. Today, why Elon’s acquisition feels more and more like cultural vandalism and what, if anything, will replace the global town square. Then, is Sam Altman’s universal basic income cryptocurrency app Worldcoin an iris scanning tool to save humanity, or just another attempt to get rich on crypto? Plus: a trip to Google’s robotics lab, where artificial intelligence models are creating breakthroughs.

Transcribed - Published: 28 July 2023

Dario Amodei, C.E.O. of Anthropic, on the Paradoxes of A.I. Safety and Netflix’s ‘Deep Fake Love’

Dario Amodei has been anxious about A.I. since before it was cool to be anxious about A.I. After a few years working at OpenAI, he decided to do something about that anxiety. The result was Claude: an A.I.-powered chatbot built by Anthropic, Mr. Amodei’s A.I. start-up. Today, Mr. Amodei joins Kevin and Casey to talk about A.I. anxiety and why it’s so difficult to build A.I. safely. Plus, we watched Netflix’s “Deep Fake Love.”

Transcribed - Published: 21 July 2023

Help! My Boss Won’t Stop Using ChatGPT

This week, we answer more of your questions, like: What is ChatGPT’s carbon footprint? Why are engineers so sure artificial intelligence will keep getting better? And, why are there so many venture capital bros?

Transcribed - Published: 14 July 2023

Special Episode: Meta’s Twitter Rival Arrives, with Adam Mosseri

Instagram is no stranger to taking product ideas from other companies and turning them into their own successes. Just ask Snapchat about Instagram Stories or TikTok about Instagram Reels. This time, the company is coming for Twitter with Instagram Threads. Today, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, on why the company now wants to take on Twitter.

Transcribed - Published: 6 July 2023

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