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Marketplace Tech

American Public Media

Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Description:

Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

Language:

English

Contact:

261 South Figueroa Street #200 Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 621-3500


Episodes
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Tech Bytes – Week in Review: Google doubles down on AI, ChatGPT gets chatty and Congress charts a path for AI regulation

5/17/2024
On this week’s Tech Bytes: Week in Review, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a heap of new spending on artificial intelligence research. We’ll look at where the proposed $32 billion annually is likely to go. And some of the biggest players in AI tried to outdo one another this week. OpenAI said it’s giving ChatGPT an upgrade and a personality while Google is trying to remake search with its AI model, Gemini. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Anita Ramaswamy, financial analysis columnist at The Information, for her take on these stories. Marketplace is currently tracking behind target for this budget year — that means listeners like you can make a critical difference by investing in our journalism today.

Duration:00:11:37

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A vital, mostly invisible undersea industry is facing a labor shortage

5/16/2024
The whole digital economy runs through hundreds of thousands of miles of communication cables no bigger than a garden hose, deep on the ocean floor. So what happens when they break? And they do break, about once every other day, thanks to fishing trawlers or natural disasters. That’s when you call a repair crew of engineers, geologists, marine construction specialists and more who often spend months at sea repairing cables. This vital industry is largely invisible and facing some big challenges. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Josh Dzieza, feature writer and investigations editor at The Verge, who did a deep dive into the industry and those challenges. Marketplace is currently tracking behind target for this budget year — that means listeners like you can make a critical difference by investing in our journalism today.

Duration:00:09:48

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Digital ad spending streams past traditional TV

5/15/2024
This week, media executives have been busy trying to impress advertisers at the annual “upfronts,” where major TV networks showcase their stars, new programs and the potential size of their audiences. It’s a show in its own right. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon did his version of Beyonce’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” at NBC’s upfront Monday. But this year, Big Tech is looking to cash in. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke about it with Reuters reporter Sheila Dang, who said ad spending on digital has surpassed that of traditional TV for the first time. The next $50,000 in donations to Marketplace will be matched, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Joe Rush of Florida. Give now and double your impact.

Duration:00:10:55

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Why deepfakes of foreigners are selling goods on Chinese social media

5/14/2024
A couple of weeks ago, Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak noticed a video deepfake of the Hollywood actor Chris Evans on social media. The AI-generated Evans explains in Chinese how money is at the root of life’s problems. It’s part of a recent trend on mainland China, where deepfakes of foreigners give advice, discuss politics and sell goods online. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Pak about what’s behind the trend and later, the state of online misinformation in China. This conversation was part of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series, “Decoding Democracy.” Watch the full episode here or on our YouTube channel. The next $50,000 in donations to Marketplace will be matched, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Joe Rush of Florida. Give now and double your impact.

Duration:00:11:54

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What happened to the “Texas miracle”?

5/13/2024
Early in the pandemic, many big tech companies based in Silicon Valley exited California, fleeing the high overhead necessary to do business there. One city — Austin, Texas — was consistently tagged as the top destination. The Texas capital offered lower costs, especially in regard to housing and taxes. Another draw for companies: the state’s more lax approach to regulation. Well, after a massive influx, the “Texas miracle,” with Austin at its epicenter, is losing some of its luster. In recent weeks, Tesla, which moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin in 2020, announced it’s laying off 2,700 workers there. And software giant Oracle, which relocated to Austin at about the same time, is moving its headquarters again, this time to Nashville, Tennessee. Last week, at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, Marketplace’s Lily Jamali asked Austin Mayor Kirk Watson about the state of tech in his city. The next $50,000 in donations to Marketplace will be matched, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Joe Rush of Florida. Give now and double your impact.

Duration:00:14:15

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Tech Bytes — Week in Review: Layoffs at Tesla, OpenAI’s deepfake detector and lots of new iPads

5/10/2024
On this week’s Tech Bytes: Week in Review, OpenAI has unveiled its own deepfake detection software and is allowing a small group of disinformation researchers to use it. Speaking of artificial intelligence, Apple this week unveiled a new suite of iPads (just in case you forgot they still make those). The company announced its new iPad Pro will, among other features, run on an AI-powered processing chip. But first, a sales slowdown has hit electric car maker Tesla pretty hard of late. Now, the tech news site Electrek reports there’s been another wave of layoffs this week, directly affecting the company’s software, service and engineering departments. It also follows last week’s mass layoff of Tesla’s entire supercharger unit. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Joanna Stern, senior personal technology columnist with the Wall Street Journal, to unpack these stories. Support our nonprofit newsroom today and pick up a fun thank-you gift like our new Shrinkflation mini tote bag or the fan favorite KaiPA pint glass!

Duration:00:13:45

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How scammers hijack their victims’ brains

5/9/2024
Today’s episode of Marketplace Tech is all about financial scams: how they work, what kinds of technology scammers use, and how to spot a scam before you fall victim to one. We’re passing the microphone to victims of scams to tell their stories and then breaking down how the scammers pulled it off with Marketplace’s Lily Jamali and Selena Larson, staff threat researcher at Proofpoint. Support our nonprofit newsroom today and pick up a fun thank-you gift like our new Shrinkflation mini tote bag or the fan favorite KaiPA pint glass!

Duration:00:18:00

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Pinterest CEO wants to build a “more positive version of social media”

5/8/2024
Pinterest. It’s the platform best known for its viral recipes, fashion forecasts, DIY crafts and ideas for just about any wedding or birthday party theme you could think of. In a sea of outrage and division on social media, Pinterest CEO Bill Ready wants you to think of the platform as a sanctuary of positivity in the online universe. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali recently sat down with Ready and asked him about how Pinterest has changed since its launch.

Duration:00:10:52

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Millions of Americans could lose home internet access next month

5/7/2024
Back in the pandemic depths of December 2020, when so many Americans were working, learning and performing essential daily tasks online, the Federal Communications Commission launched an emergency program to help low-income people connect to high-speed internet with a $50-per-month subsidy. That was extended with the Affordable Connectivity Program, which has provided $30 a month for internet service. An estimated 23 million households currently get the subsidy. But they won’t for much longer. Efforts to renew funding for the ACP have stalled in Congress and are expected to run out by the end of the month. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke to Kelcee Griffis of Tech Brew about her reporting on the ACP and the people who rely on it.

Duration:00:11:19

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Rethinking the lifecycle of AI when it comes to deepfakes and kids

5/6/2024
The following content may be disturbing to some listeners. For years, child sexual abuse material was mostly distributed by mail. Authorities used investigative techniques to stem its spread. That got a lot harder when the internet came along. And AI has supercharged the problem. “Those 750,000 predators that are online at any given time looking to connect with minor[s] … they just need to find a picture of a child and use the AI to generate child sexual abuse materials and superimpose these faces on something that is inappropriate,” says child safety advocate and TikTokker Tiana Sharifi. The nonprofit Thorn has created new design principles aimed at fighting child sexual abuse. Rebecca Portnoff, the organization’s vice president of data science, says tech companies need to develop better technology to detect AI-generated images and commit not to use this material to train AI models.

Duration:00:09:36

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Tech Bytes — Week in Review: Walmart health centers, VCs and Bumble

5/3/2024
This week: Startups are taking longer to go public or sell to a buyer. What does that say about the state of tech? Also, the dating app Bumble once courted women by letting them make the first move. We’ll explain why Gen Z is prompting Bumble to change things up. But first, discount retail giant Walmart announced this week it is shutting down its telehealth business, as well as its network of low-cost health clinics. There were 51 of those clinics scattered across five states throughout the country. They were part of Walmart’s big push into health care, announced in 2019. So what happened? Marketplace’s Lily Jamali is joined by Christina Farr, author of the health tech newsletter Second Opinion, for her take on this week’s tech news.

Duration:00:13:17

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AI is surpassing humans in several areas, Stanford report says

5/2/2024
Just how capable is today’s artificial intelligence at beating humans at their own games? That’s one of the metrics tracked by an annual report put together by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, or HAI. And its latest AI Index report finds the tech is quickly gaining on humans. According to the report, AI now exceeds human capability not only in areas like simple reading comprehension and image classification, but also in domains that start to approach human logic, like natural language inference (the ability to draw inferences from text) or visual reasoning (the ability to deduce physical relationships between visual objects). Still, there are areas where the bots haven’t quite caught up. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Nestor Maslej, research manager at HAI and editor in chief of the index report, to learn more.

Duration:00:10:43

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Can life exist on Europa, Jupiter’s moon?

5/1/2024
In October, NASA will launch the Europa Clipper spacecraft, beginning a deep-space mission to one of Jupiter’s moons to determine if it’s capable of supporting life. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali recently visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the Clipper was built, to learn more about the mission and see the spacecraft before its shipped off to Cape Canaveral, Florida, later this month.

Duration:00:11:10

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Deepfakes and online misinformation in India’s election

4/30/2024
A massive general election is currently underway in India. It’s been described as the “largest democratic exercise in history.” And tech platforms are a big part of it. Many Indian voters get their information online, where misinformation and disinformation can spread quickly. That includes deepfakes of prominent public figures, like Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, spreading false information about who or which political parties they are endorsing. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia Pacific policy director and senior international counsel with the international human rights group Access Now, about how deepfakes and online misinformation have become a problem for voters in India. They also discuss a recent report from Access Now and Global Witness, an environmental and human rights nonprofit, about YouTube’s advertisement moderation standards in India.

Duration:00:09:11

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Atlas, forefather of humanoid robots, gives way to next generation

4/29/2024
Robotics company Boston Dynamics announced this month it is retiring its humanoid robot known as “Atlas.” The 6′, 2,330 lb robot was considered a quantum leap in robotics and was famous for parkour stunts and awkward dance moves. Debuting more than a decade ago in 2013, the Atlas robot was a part of a partnership with the Defense Department. It relied on hydraulic power, using pressurized fluid to generate movement. It could do tasks that can be challenging for humans like lifting heavy boxes and parkour. As the older Atlas lives out its golden years, Boston Dynamics has announced its successor – a smaller version of the Atlas bot that runs on electric power. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Brian Heater, hardware editor at TechCrunch, for his take on what’s next and a look back on the original Atlas.

Duration:00:10:25

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Tech Bytes — Week in Review: The TikTok ban, the end of noncompetes and Sony’s EV

4/26/2024
The noncompete clause is dead! American tech workers are poised to benefit from the Federal Trade Commission’s new crackdown on the agreements, which prevent a company’s ex-employees from working for its rivals for a specified time. Also, Tesla’s profits crashed 55%. As electric vehicle sales sputter, we wonder why more players are still speeding into the space. But first, TikTok’s top executive was defiant after the passage of a massive foreign aid package that included a directive to the company: Sell to a U.S. buyer or get banned. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali is joined by Paresh Dave, senior writer at Wired, for his take on this week’s tech news.

Duration:00:11:11

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Inside Amazon’s business tactics and company culture

4/25/2024
When Jeff Bezos left Wall Street to start Amazon in 1994, the most common question he got was “What’s the internet?” Fast-forward to today, and Amazon is, of course, the country’s leading online retailer, as well as cloud services provider. In 2022, the company controlled almost 38% of the U.S. e-commerce market. Walmart, its closest competitor, had just over 6%, according to Insider Intelligence. In her new book, “The Everything War,” The Wall Street Journal’s Dana Mattioli documents the tactics she says have enabled Amazon to dominate.

Duration:00:08:23

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Training for the next crisis with “serious games”

4/24/2024
Imagine you’re a national security official tasked with monitoring activity off the coast of your fictitious country. Suddenly, a large tanker ship in your area goes silent. Its location sensor is offline, and it’s not responding to radio communication. What do you do? It’s a question Francesca de Rosa, chief scientist for gaming at the Center for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation, poses in the Reliability Game, which she designed. It’s part of a genre known as “serious games.” De Rosa told Marketplace’s Lily Jamali that while serious games can be fun, they’re really meant to prepare people to handle all kinds of situations.

Duration:00:11:53

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Why the Ai Pin fell flat

4/23/2024
A new wearable from tech startup Humane promises to bring an AI assistant to your lapel. It attaches to your jacket, sweater or shirt and operates with voice commands or a digital interface laser projected onto the palm of your hand. It sounds like the stuff of a sci-fi novel, but the reviews so far are not good. The panning of the Ai Pin comes after five years in development, $240 million in funding and partnerships struck with the likes of OpenAI, Microsoft and Salesforce. So, what went wrong? Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino asked Victoria Song, senior reviewer at The Verge, what this device is supposed to be for.

Duration:00:11:39

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When a senior is ill, can an algorithm decide length of care?

4/22/2024
Artificial intelligence has become a big part of medicine — reading images, formulating treatment plans and developing drugs. But a recent investigation by Stat News found that some insurers overrely on an algorithm to make coverage decisions for seniors on Medicare Advantage, a Medicare plan offered by private insurers. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Casey Ross, who co-reported the story. He said an algorithm predicted how long patients needed care and coverage was curtailed to fit that calculation.

Duration:00:10:19