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.
Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake have served as the top cyber security experts to three Presidents, and they discuss their new book The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats. They discuss Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and say that Russia will almost certainly try it again in 2020. They warn against the folly of continuing to allow local state bureaucrats to ensure the integrity of America’s electronic voting machines and suggest that Russia’s 2015 shutdown of Ukraine’s power grid might have been a dry run for a similar attack on the grid here in the US. Clarke predicts that the next war that America enters will likely be triggered by a cyber attack. They discuss the offensive and defensive potential of new technology like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and 5G. They advocate for private companies to take greater ownership of their own data security instead expecting the government to protect them from attacks. Plus they offer a few steps that every listener should take to protect themselves from cyber crime.
Order The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. This episode is sponsored by Bank of America’s The Academy for Consumer and Small Business and Capella University's Doctoral Degree Program.
Roger McNamee was a mentor to a young Mark Zuckerberg and an early investor in Facebook, but now he warns that the social media platform has become a threat to democracy, privacy, competition, and even public health. He talks about when he noticed the first signs that not all was well at Facebook and what happened when he brought his concerns to his old friend. He discusses the role that Facebook played in the 2016 election, how its algorithms are actually designed to polarize and spread disinformation, and how Russian trolls and companies like Cambridge Analytica were able to exploit those flaws. Roger shares how Facebook employs tricks from psychology and slot machines to keep us coming back for more, and how you’re paying for the service with your personal data.
Order Roger McNamee's book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe on Amazon, Audible or wherever books are sold. Today’s podcast sponsored by Brother INKestment printers, BetterHelp, and season 2 of Breach podcast. Please support the show by taking our annual listener survey at www.podsurvey.com/kick, and register to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Subscribe to Kickass News on Apple Podcasts and leave us a review, follow us on twitter at @KickassNewsPod, and visit our website at www.kickassnews.com.
Mati Kochavi is the Israeli tech entrepreneur who created the Showtime docu-series Dark Net, which explores the mysterious world of the deep web and how technology is changing our lives for better and for worse. Today, he talks about the dark web, home of illegal arms sales, sex trafficking, drug deals, and chat rooms for hackers, terrorists, and other illicit communities. He discusses how his interest in the deep web began with the our failure to predict the Arab Spring and what the deep web can reveal about our changing society. Plus Mr. Kochavi shares how we may be the last generation to enjoy privacy and why technology may soon make human love obsolete.
Season 2 of Dark Net premieres Thursday, April 6, at 10PM Eastern on Showtime, or you can watch it whenever you want with a subscription to Showtime Anytime. For more information visit www.showtime.com. You check out Mati Kochavi’s news site Vocativ at www.vocativ.com.
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Kevin Kelly is co-founder and senior maverick at Wired magazine. He has a new book called The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Techonological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, and he lays out his optimistic view of the next 30 years. He says right now is the best time in history to invent something, and he has a simple formula for the next 10,000 startups. We talk about big trends like the shift from an ownership society to an access society and how consumers are now becoming active participants, editors, and even creators of content. We talk about how virtual reality will transport us to whole other worlds and why Americans need to get over our Orwellian fear of data tracking. Plus Kevin talks about his love/hate relationship with those pesky software updates.
If you enjoyed today’s podcast, then you can order Kevin Kelly’s book
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future on Amazon or you can also download the audio version for free through a special offer for our listeners at www.audibletrial.com/kickassnews. Keep up with Kevin Kelly at www.kk.org and follow him on Twitter at @kevin2kelly.