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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.


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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.



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Bytes: Week in Review — Warning labels for social media, Adobe’s hidden fees and a less open OpenAI

Big Tech subscription services are once again in the crosshairs of the Federal Trade Commission, nonprofits with links to OpenAI are becoming less transparent, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is urging Congress to require warning labels on social media. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali speaks with Paresh Dave, senior writer at Wired magazine, for this week’s Tech Bytes: Week in Review


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2014: The year that shaped social media

Picture this: The year is 2014. The song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is playing on every top 100 station, and the Ellen DeGeneres star-studded Oscars selfie has just “broken Twitter.” As all of this is happening, a bunch of content creators in certain corners of social media are about to start making a whole lot of money. Culture reporter Steffi Cao recently wrote in The Ringer that 2014 was the year that shaped the internet we know today. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke to her about what happened online 10 years ago.


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Juneteenth’s viral moment and its future

Shortly after the Union won the Civil War in 1865, a union major general issued an order: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” June 19, known as Juneteenth, has long been celebrated by African Americans. But in 2020, in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic and the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, Juneteenth took the internet by storm. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Brandon Ogbunu, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale, who wrote about that moment for WIRED back then. He revisited what was happening at that time a year before Juneteenth became a national holiday.


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Meet the man who combines science, technology and magic to understand proteins

Marketplace’s Lily Jamali recently visited the headquarters of Nautilus Biotechnology to meet with Parag Mallick, the company’s founder and chief scientist, who is also a magician and an associate professor at Stanford University. Since 2016, Mallick and his team have been building a machine that they say will revolutionize biomedicine by unlocking the secrets of the “dark proteome.”


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How to find a mailbox in Sao Paulo’s favelas

Brazil has densely populated low-income communities living on the outskirts of many cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Ordering online shopping just isn’t an option for residents as these towns don’t have an official address, but that may be changing. The BBC’s Ben Derico reports.


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Bytes: Week in Review — Apple’s AI flex, Uber’s legal loss and X’s hidden “likes”

Ride-hailing company Uber has lost its challenge to the California law that requires gig companies to provide employment rights to workers. We’ll have more about the legal and political saga on this week’s Marketplace Tech Bytes: Week in Review. Also, X — formerly Twitter — has made user “likes” private, marking another change to the platform’s identity and functionality since Elon Musk took over the social media company. But first, they’re calling it Apple Intelligence. That phrase was used about 60 times Monday during Apple’s annual developers confab. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Joanna Stern, senior personal tech columnist at The Wall Street Journal. She attended the Worldwide Developers Conference in Cupertino, California, this week as Apple execs talked through the company’s entry into the AI race.


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Greater, newer AI models come with environmental impacts

Back in 2020, Microsoft made an ambitious pledge to go carbon negative by 2030. But that plan is encountering some headwinds, according to its latest sustainability report. It showed Microsoft’s carbon emissions have increased by 30% since it made that pledge four years ago and comes a reminder of the significant environmental cost of the AI boom. Just how significant? Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino asked Emma Strubell, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who co-wrote a paper about the specific energy demands for common uses of this technology.


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Disinformation on elections, migration is spreading in Spanish too

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have been courting Latinos this election season. Relatedly, perhaps, this voting bloc has emerged as a target for disinformation. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Marketplace senior Washington correspondent Kimberly Adams and Roberta Braga, founder and executive director of the Digital Democracy Institute of the Americas, to learn more about Spanish-language disinformation in the 2024 campaign. This conversation is part of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series “Decoding Democracy.” Watch the full episode on our YouTube channel.


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California AG: Without federal law, kids’ online safety starts with the states

Back in January, a U.S. Senate committee probed executives from Meta, TikTok, X, Snap and Discord about social media’s effect on kids. During a heated exchange with Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stood, turned and apologized to families of victims who were sexually exploited on social media platforms. No federal legislation on the issue has become law, but some states are taking the lead. New York just passed two laws aimed at regulating social media, and California Attorney General Rob Bonta is pushing similar legislation in his state. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali sat down with Bonta to ask about what his state is doing to protect social media’s youngest users.


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Reddit’s CEO on why it’s partnering with OpenAI and Google

The network of online communities known as Reddit has millions of weekly active users. They post on “subreddit” forums like r/WhatShouldICook — a place where people just talk about their dinner plans — and r/ShowerThoughts, where participants share what they’re thinking during routine tasks. The co-founder and CEO of Reddit, Steve Huffman, is a fan of r/Daddit, being a father himself. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Huffman at Reddit headquarters in San Francisco, where they talked about the company selling stock and its recent licensing agreements with the likes of Google and Open AI, which use Reddit content to train their large language models.


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Bytes: Week in Review – AI whistleblowers, Facebook’s future, and meme stock backlash

It’s cornered the market for boomers. Now, Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta hopes to make Facebook once again a favorite social media app for young adults. Plus, the Wall Street Journal reports E*Trade is considering whether to give the boot to user Roaring Kitty, who helped ignite the 2021 meme stock craze. In case you missed it, yes, the craze is back. But first, there’s yet another open letter on AI. This whistleblower letter comes from more than a dozen current and former employees at major AI companies. They warn of the risks posed by the technology being developed. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali is joined by Natasha Mascarenhas, reporter at The Information, for her take on this week’s tech news.


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Deepfake detectors promise to tell truth from AI-generated fiction. Do they work?

Telling truth from fiction online has become a lot harder since the AI boom kicked off a year and a half ago. An estimated 40 deepfake detection startups say they have a solution, but so far none can deliver 100% reliable detection. One organization taking on the challenge is Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Oren Etzioni, its founder and longtime AI researcher, about what sets his organization’s system apart from the rest.


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The universe is expanding faster than we thought, Webb Space Telescope shows

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has been exploring the cosmos for the past three decades, helping scientists understand how fast the universe is expanding and with that, its age. In December 2021, NASA launched the James Webb Space Telescope to further that research. The bonus: All those stunning images from outer space. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Adam Riess, a physicist at Johns Hopkins University who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in physics. He said the Webb telescope has confirmed what Hubble first pieced together: Our universe is expanding faster than first predicted.


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Paris braces for a barrage of cyberattacks

The Summer Olympics, which kick off in Paris next month, are set to bring more than 10,000 athletes and an estimated 15 million spectators to the French capital. Officials hope to keep sports at center stage, but behind the scenes, they’re preparing to fend off cyberthreats in high volume. In recent years, several Olympic host cities have faced and managed cyberattacks, but as Antoaneta Roussi, cybersecurity reporter at Politico, tells Marketplace’s Lily Jamali, this year could be worse.


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The dark side of AI in India’s election

Artificial intelligence has been used to help translate election candidates into hundreds of different languages — but also to create deepfakes of Bollywood stars and spread false news. The BBC’s Arunoday Mukharji reports.


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Bytes: Week in Review — OpenAI’s workplace expansion, data center power woes and the ’80s on TikTok

In the early days of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a chatbot query required about 10 times the electricity of a typical Google search. And as people do more with generative artificial intelligence, we’re going to burn through even more power. Plus, the ’80s are back — on TikTok. A new dance trend is getting Gen X parents to show their Gen Z kids how they danced back in the day, to the tune of Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy.” Also this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that consulting and professional services giant PricewaterhouseCoopers is now OpenAI’s largest customer and the first reseller of ChatGPT’s enterprise tier, which is aimed at businesses. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Jewel Burks Solomon, managing partner at Collab Capital, about these headlines for this week’s Tech Bytes: Week in Review.


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Potential TikTok ban stirs anxieties in small-business owners

A law signed by President Joe Biden last month would force TikTok to divest from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or be banned in the United States because of national security worries. And it’s making a lot of small-business owners anxious. We hear their stories.


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A scientist’s struggle to find the truth behind 3M’s “forever chemicals” problem

Sharon Lerner has been reporting on “forever chemicals” for the better part of a decade. These manmade compounds — known as PFAS for short — resist oil, water and heat, take an incredibly long time to break down in nature, and have been used widely in products like Scotchgard, Teflon and firefighting foam. Lerner has focused part of her work on understanding the flow of information inside manufacturers like 3M. By the 1970s, Lerner says, Minnesota-based 3M had established that they were toxic in animals and were accumulating in humans’ bodies. But who inside 3M knew? And what did they know? Reporting for ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news site, Lerner got a complicated answer after coming across a former 3M scientist named Kris Hansen. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Lerner about her recent investigation.


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What to do when combating misinformation gets personal

When it comes to combating election-related misinformation online, sometimes the real world is the best place to start, but it isn’t always easy. On this week’s installment of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series “Decoding Democracy,” Lily Jamali and senior Washington correspondent Kimberly Adams discuss the personal side of misinformation, take questions from colleagues and hear from experts about best practices for talking with loved ones about this sometimes sensitive topic.


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A not-so-furry dog to help the visually impaired

A team from the University of Glasgow in Scotland is developing a robot guide dog aimed at helping the visually impaired find their way around. They’re calling the AI-powered device the RoboGuide. The BBC’s Shiona McCallum brings us along on her visit with one of the robodogs and its handler, Dr. Wasim Ahmad.