Artificial Intelligence researcher Stuart Russell says that machines are probably a long way from achieving the kind of self-awareness portrayed in films like 2001 and The Predator, but he warns the greater danger is that they might obey our instructions too well. We get into the myriad unintended consequences of AI from the social media algorithms that are actually rewiring our political preferences to how AI that is intended to solve global climate change could go horribly wrong. He suggests that we will need to rethink the standard model of how people use tools and technology to achieve our goals, and he gives just a few examples of the many ways AI will change our lives for the better if we get it right.
Order Stuart Russell's new book Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Bayer, Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin. Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
Actor, comedian, and humorist John Hodgman talks about the strange sense of validation he gets from his airline loyalty program, the perks and perils of hotel living, and the best way to get thrown into Disneyland Jail. We discuss his memorable appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, how his Daily Show colleague Al Madrigal got him into standup, and his podcast where he mediates minor disputes between squabbling couples. He recalls his early days as a fancy New York literary agent, the worst book manuscript he ever read, and the writer who became his stalker. Plus we talk about John’s remarkable skill at gaining entry into all manner of exclusive, and sometimes sinister clubs, from Yale’s secret societies and meetings of the New World Order, to the Church of Scientology’s Flag Land Base and Mar-a-Lago.
Order John Hodgman's book Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Be sure to subscribe to the Judge John Hodgman podcast, and keep up with John at www.JohnHodgman.com or on Twitter at @Hodgman.
Chef David Chang shares that he originally wanted to be Tiger Woods not Wolfgang Puck, and he eventually got into cooking because he hated his job in finance. He recalls learning in some of the best kitchens in New York and Tokyo, then rebelling against New York’s fine dining establishment, and how struggling to get Momofuku off the ground shaped his success. Dave talks about his new Netflix series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, smoking weed and touring Vancouver with Seth Rogen for the show, and exploring the mysteries of Marrakech with Chrissy Teigen. Plus he talks about his love/hate relationship with the California food scene, customers who Instagram their food, how food delivery apps are disrupting the restaurant industry, and what that means for chefs.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is now available on Netflix. Keep up with David at momofuku.com or on Twitter at @DavidChang, and be sure to subscribe to his podcast The David Chang Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, and Belkin. Visit www.belkin.com and use promo code KICKASS for 30% off all Belkin products.
Ambassador Susan Rice has been at the table during the most pressing international crises of the past 30 years and she discusses it in her new memoir Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For. She talk about her family’s unique American story and how playing peacekeeper during her parents troubled marriage made her grow up fast but also prepared her for a life in international diplomacy. She recalls her baptism of fire when she joined the Clinton administration and immediately got thrown into the deep end with back-to-back crises in Somalia and Rwanda. She describes the US Embassy bombings in 1998 as the hardest day in her career, her contentious relationship with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and how she became the public face of the 2012 Embassy attack in Benghazi. Plus she speculates on what might have motivated President Trump to suddenly pull out of Northern Syria, she says Vladimir Putin is a creep and a pig, and she talks about her famous moves on the dance floor.
Order Susan Rice's book Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions, the Invitae Genetic Test, and the TRTL Travel Pillow.
Governor John Kasich shares some of the stories of every day Americans doing great things that inspired his latest book to write the book It's Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change. This two-time Presidential candidate says that the actions of ordinary people matter way more to this country than whose occupying the White House. He talks about the importance of breaking free of political echo chambers, and shares what kind of news outlets make it into his own daily newsfeed. We talk about his uncanny abilities as a political prognosticator, and why he’s staying out of the Republican presidential primary (at least for now). Plus John Kasich on thinking about eternity, what he’d like his obituary to say about him, and the meditative power of playing golf.
Order his new book It’s Up to Us: Ten Little Ways We Can Bring About Big Change on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Look for him regularly as a political contributor on CNN, and keep up with him at www.johnkasich.com or on Twitter at @JohnKasich. Todays episode was sponsored by Kronos HR solutions, Purple Mattress, Belkin, and Purotrader.
Blackstone Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman Stephen Schwarzman shares lessons for how to think about ambition and scale, risk and opportunities, and how to achieve success through the relentless pursuit of excellence. He talks about his middle class beginnings as the son of a linen salesman in Philadelphia, getting paired with a literal Nazi for a roommate at Yale University, and his own version of a summer at sea - working on Scandinavian shipping boats. He reveals how a famous statesman convinced him to go into business instead of politics and how he was completely unqualified for his first job in finance. He recalls how he took $400,000 in 1985 and turned Blackstone into an investment firm that today manages over $500 billion, and how he capitalized the fund just days before Black Monday. He shares how an early loss completely changed how Blackstone evaluates risk, why the firm jumped into real estate at a time when no one was buying or selling, and how the company weathered the 2008 financial crisis. Plus Stephen Schwarzman discusses his his friendship with President Donald Trump, his efforts to backchannel trade negotiations between the US and China, and why the Chinese know him by the nickname “Farmer Blackstone.”
Order Stephen Schwarzman's book What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara Sales Tax Solutions.
Dave Asprey talks about his plan to live to 180 and his new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever. He opens up about a traumatic health crisis that got him interested in health and longevity as a teenager and his battle with early cognitive decline that set him on a path to hacking the human brain. He shares the one food that he never ever eats, the benefits of periodic fasting, and how he manages to feel more rested on less sleep. We talk about the importance of light, gut health, and even jaw alignment to our wellness. Plus he describes some of the more cutting edge treatments that he’s tried from stem cell injections to blood transfusions, including a couple that he wished he hadn’t tried, and he reveals why Russians may have the inside track on hacking longevity.
Order Dave Asprey's new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Subcribe to his podcast Bulletproof Radio on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, and keep up with him at www.bulletproof.com or on Twitter at @BulletproofExec. Today’s episode was sponsored by TRTL the world's most comfortable travel pillow. Visit www.trtltravel.com and use the code KICK for 20% off.
Astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses some of his favorite letters from fans on a diverse array of topics from Pluto and Bigfoot to race and religion. He shares touching personal letters from his cousin wondering about her deceased father’s spirit, and a mother whose autistic son is torn between what he learns in Hebrew school
and what he learns from Cosmos. He talks about the tweet that enraged the musician Moby, the rapper who insisted that the earth is flat, and a man who asked Neil to help promote his "perpetual motion machine." Plus Neil answers your questions about black holes, the speed of light, the moon landing, and more.
Order Neil deGrasse Tyson's new book Letters from an Astrophysicist on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Subscribe to his podcast Startalk on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen, follow him on twitter at @NeilTyson, and visit his webpage at www.haydenplanitarium.org/tyson. Today’s episode was sponsored by Avalara sales tax solutions and Purple Mattress. Text KICK to 84-888 for a FREE Purple pillow with the purchase of a Purple Mattress.
Bestselling author Ryan Holiday discusses his new book Stillness Is the Key, how he became the leading modern proponent of Stoicism,
and why many people today misunderstand what it means to be a Stoic. He says ancient Greeks and Romans were every bit as distracted as we are today and reveals some of their secrets to ignoring the chaos and finding focus. He also shares how he finds silence and serenity in his own life and how his daily routine keeps him calm and prepared even on the most hectic of days. He discusses his definition of "stillness," how TV’s Mr. Rogers personified it, how Tiger Woods eventually attained it, and why President Donald Trump is the precise antithesis of it. We talk about our mutual love of Winston Churchill, how learning to see the world like an artist helped Churchill keep it together while freeing the world from tyranny, and why he once altered a priceless painting by Peter Paul Rubens.
Order Ryan Holiday's new book Stillness Is the Key on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Keep up with Ryan at www.ryanholiday.com and on Twitter at @RyanHoliday. Today’s episode was sponsored by BetterHelp online counseling, Avalara sales tax software, Kronos HR solutions, and Purotrader.com.