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Hard Fork

New York Times

“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


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“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




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

Warning: This episode contains some explicit language. The drama at OpenAI is not over. Kevin and Casey take stock of new information they’ve gathered since last week, and look at how other artificial intelligence companies are trying to capitalize on the debacle. Then, why people are still buying cryptocurrency even after Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and its founder pleaded guilty to money laundering violations. And finally, three ways A.I. is ruining web search. Or is it? Today’s guest: David Yaffe-Bellany covers crypto for The New York Times. Additional Reading: Casey has new details from the OpenAI board fight. Changpeng Zhao, the Binance founder, agreed to pay a $50 million fine and step down from his role as chief executive.


(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. Additional Reading: reinstated as OpenAI’s chief executive


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. Today’s Guest: Additional Reading: Microsoft hired Sam Altmanwinners and losers


Emergency Pod: Sam Altman is Out at Open AI

Sam Altman, the chief executive of Open AI, was pushed out of the company by its board of directors on Friday. The news was a complete shock to much of the company’s employee base and to its largest corporate partner, Microsoft. Silicon Valley insiders are scrambling to get answers on exactly what happened and why the board’s decision seemed so abrupt. We rundown what we know and the many things we still don’t.


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

The tech start-up Humane launched a new device, an A.I. pin meant to be worn on our clothing. Might this be the device that replaces the iPhone? It’s the question on Silicon Valley’s mind. The pin allows users to take phone calls, catch up on messages and get answers to questions, all without ever looking at a screen. Then, why YouTube is bucking the trend on deepfakes. Plus: We eat a Thanksgiving meal made with meat that was grown in a lab. Today’s Guest: Additional Reading: replace screensnext generation of hardwarelatest approach to deepfakes.


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

Warning: this episode contains some explicit language. OpenAI has unveiled a new way to build custom chatbots. Kevin shows off a few that he’s built – including a custom Hard Fork bot, and a bot that gives investment advice inspired by his late grandpa. Then, we talk to Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, about the agency’s approach to regulating A.I., and whether the tactics she’s used to regulate big tech companies are working. And finally, a Bored Ape Yacht Club event left some attendees' eyes burning, literally. That, and Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud conviction has us asking, how much damage hath the crypto world wrought? Today’s guest: Additional reading: new toolsbelievesMore than 20 people reported burning eye pain after a Bored Ape Yacht Club party in Hong Kong.


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

President Biden’s new executive order on artificial intelligence has a little bit of everything for everyone concerned about A.I. Casey takes us inside the White House as the order was signed. Then, Rebecca Tushnet, a copyright law expert, walks us through the latest developments in a lawsuit against the creators of A.I.-image generation tools. She explains why artists may have trouble making the case that these tools infringe on their copyrights. And finally, it’s time again for HatGPT. We get a taste of the tech headlines you may have missed from the week. Today’s guest: Rebecca TushnetAdditional reading: debriefbreakdowndefective


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

Dozens of state attorneys general has sued Meta, alleging 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 tech companies in? Then, for our first episode on YouTube, we talk with YouTuber and tech reviewer Marques Brownlee about how the platform has changed, and the future tech he’s excited about. And finally, A.I. image generators are getting scary good. Casey tells us what he’s been using them for. Today’s guest: Marques BrownleeAdditional reading: accusedYouTubequickly


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. Today’s Guest: Additional Information: how A.I. worksmanifestosurvived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius


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. Today’s Guest: Additional Reading: change Threads betting can change the worldresearch paper


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. Today’s guest: Cecilia KangAdditional reading: told the courtthe runwayin talks


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. Today’s Guest: Additional Reading: ChatGPTannouncedQuest 3


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

Today’s Guests: Kashmir HillAdditional Reading: its A.I. chatbot, BardYour Face Belongs to Us


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. Today’s guest: Additional reading: antitrust lawsuitU.S. v. MicrosoftElon Musk


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. Additional Information: left behindfound that hate speech had increasedfreaked users out


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. Additional Information: build a new citypolitical fightnote-taking platformsprogramS.E.C. took actionwaive content violation warningsnew A.I. programsmart contact lens


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. On Today’s Episode: Erin Griffith is a New York Times journalist based in the San Francisco bureau, where she reports on technology start-ups and venture capital. Additional Information: New York City’s new regulations for short-term rentals go into effect soon. Start-ups are on a “desperate hunt” for GPUs. (There’s even a song about it.) Creators are using A.I. voices to imitate Freddie Mercury, Johnny Cash, Eric Cartman from “South Park,” and others. Google and YouTube have different approaches to compensating creators whose work is used to train A.I. tools.


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. On Today’s Episode: David Yaffe-BellanyAdditional Information: sent to jailNew York Times articlestuck in wet concrete


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. Today’s Guests: Additional Reading: exposedprosecraft.io


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. Additional Reading: released a videoScientists were skepticalMike Masnickwasn’t so sure about KOSA