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In Machines We Trust

In Machines We Trust

Author: MIT Technology Review

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Host Jennifer Strong thoughtfully examines the far-reaching impact of artificial intelligence on our daily lives. Produced by MIT Technology Review, the podcast explores the rise of AI through the voices of people reckoning with the power of the technology, and by taking listeners up close with the inventors and founders whose ambitions are fueling the development of new forms of AI.

66 Episodes
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Our reporting about farming, AI and satellites turned into three episodes of this podcast, which you can find linked here in the show notes, and as part of this reporting we also toured a satellite factory in downtown San Francisco, called Planet Labs. This week we bring you along for one of our audio postcards to hear how these satellites are built and tested. We meet:  Jacob Stern, director of test engineering at Planet Labs Credits: This episode was produced by Jennifer Strong with help from Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan and mixed by Garret Lang, with original music from Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Art direction by Stephanie Arnett.
A panel of luminaries join us live on stage at MIT Technology Review’s flagship conference, EmTech MIT, and discuss the path forward for AI research. We Meet: Will Douglas Heaven, Senior Editor of AI at MIT Technology Review Ashley Llorens, Vice President & Managing Director at Microsoft Research Raia Hadsell, Senior Director of Research and Robotics at DeepMind Yann LeCun, NYU Professor, VP & Chief AI Scientist at Meta Credits: This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts with special thanks to Will Douglas Heaven, Amy Lammers and Brian Bryson. It was produced by Jennifer Strong, Emma Cillekens and Anthony Green, directed by Erin Underwood, edited by Mat Honan and mixed by Garret Lang.
From chess to Jeopardy to e-sports, AI is increasingly beating humans at their own games. But that was never the ultimate goal. In this episode we dig into the symbiotic relationship between games and AI. We meet the big players in the space, and we take a trip to an arcade. We Meet:  Julian Togelius Will Douglas-Heaven David Silver  David Fahri  We Talked To:  Julian Togelius Will Douglas-Heaven Karen Hao David Silver  David Fahri  Natasha Regan Sounds From: Jeopardy 2011-02:The IBM Challenge https://archive.org/details/Jeopardy.2011.02.The.IBM.Challenge/Jeopardy.2011.02.16.The.IBM.Challenge.Day.3.HDTV.XviD-FQM.avi  Garry Kasparov VS Deep Blue 1997 6th game (Kasparov Resigns) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsMk1Nbcs-s  Attack Like AlphaZero: The Power of the King https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0JK5Fa3AqI  Miracle Perfect Anti Mage 16/0 - Dota 2 Pro Gameplay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59KnNcU9iKc  DOTA 2 - ALL GAME-WINNING Moments in The International History (TI1-TI9) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJcNbuASl-Y  Credits: This episode was reported by Jennifer Strong and Will Douglas Heaven and produced by Anthony Green, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Niall Firth, Michael Reilly and Mat Honan. Our mix engineer is Garret Lang. Sound design and music by Jacob Gorski.
AI is used in farming in some ways you might not expect, like for tracking the health of crops—from space. We travel from test farms to labs in the second installment of our series on agriculture, AI, and satellites.  We Meet: Joseph Liefer, senior product manager of autonomy at John Deere Julian Sanchez, director of emerging technology at John Deere Shely Aranov, CEO of InnerPlant Rod Kumimoto, CSO of InnerPlant Credits: This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Emma Cillekens and Anthony Green. It was edited by Mat Honan, and mixed by Garret Lang, with original music by Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Artwork by Stephanie Arnett.
AI is used in agriculture to precisely target weeds and optimize irrigation practices. It’s also being used in ways you might not expect, like for tracking the health of cow pastures—from space. We travel from test farms to orchards in the first of a two-part series on agriculture, AI, and satellites.  We Meet:  Greg Brickner, Veterinarian and grazing specialist at Organic Valley Geoff Klein, irrigation manager of Bullseye Farms John Bourne, SVP Ceres Imaging Deanna Kovar, VP of Production and Precision Ag Production Systems at John Deere Jahmy Hindman, CTO at John Deere Credits: This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Emma Cillekens and Anthony Green. It was edited by Mat Honan, and mixed by Garret Lang, with original music by Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Artwork by Stephanie Arnett.
We’re in the middle of another major disruption in retail—one that’s been accelerated by the pandemic, and looks to take the convenience of e-commerce and apply it to physical environments. In this episode, we examine how AI is at the center of this transition. We meet: Prakhar Mehrotra, VP, Machine Learning, Walmart Global Tech Jordan Fisher, Chief Executive Officer, Standard AI Terrence Griffin, Quality Control Specialist, Standard AI Suresh Kumar, Global Chief Technology Officer and CDO, Walmart This episode was produced by Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Jennifer Strong and Mat Honan and mixed by Garret Lang, with original music by Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Artwork by Stephanie Arnett.
Face mapping and other tracking systems are changing the sports experience in the stands and on the court. In part-three of this latest series on facial recognition, Jennifer Strong and the team at MIT Technology Review jump on the court to unpack just how much things are changing. This episode was originally published December 8, 2020. We meet:  Donnie Scott, senior vice president of public security, IDEMIA Michael D'Auria, vice president of business development, Second Spectrum Jason Gay, sports columnist, The Wall Street Journal Rachel Goodger, director of business development, Fancam Rich Wang, director of analytics and fan engagement, Minnesota Vikings Credits:  This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.
Algorithms now determine how much things cost. It’s called dynamic pricing and it adjusts according to current market conditions in order to increase profits. The rise of ecommerce has propelled pricing algorithms into an everyday occurrence—whether you’re shopping on Amazon, booking a flight, hotel or ordering an Uber.  We Meet:  Lisa Wilkins, UX designer  Gabe Smith, chief evangelist, Pricefx Aylin Caliskan, assistant professor, University of Washington Joseph Harrington, professor of business, economics and public policy, University of Pennsylvania Maxime Cohen, Scale AI Chair professor, McGill University  Credits: This episode was reported by Anthony Green and produced by Jennifer Strong and Emma Cillekens. We’re edited by Mat Honan and our mix engineer is Garret Lang, with sound design and music by Jacob Gorski.
In the past, hiring decisions were made by people. Today, some key decisions that lead to whether someone gets a job or not are made by algorithms. The use of AI-based job interviews has increased since the pandemic. As demand increases, so too do questions about whether these algorithms make fair and unbiased hiring decisions, or find the most qualified applicant. In this second episode of a four-part series on AI in hiring, we meet some of the big players making this technology including the CEOs of HireVue and myInterview—and we test some of these tools ourselves. We Meet:  Kevin Parker, Chairman & CEO, HireVue Shelton Banks, CEO, re:work Mark Adams, Vice President of North America, Curious Thing AI Benjamin Gillman, Co-Founder and CEO, myInterview Fred Oswald, Psychology Professor, Rice University  Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Computer Science Professor, Brown University Clayton Donnelly, industrial-organizational psychologist, myInterview We Talked To:  Kevin Parker, Chairman & CEO, HireVue Lindsey Zuloaga, Chief Data Scientist, HireVue Nathan Mondragon, Chief IO Psychologist, HireVue Shelton Banks, CEO, re:work Lisa Feldman Barrett, Psychology Professor, Northeastern University Cathy O’Neil, CEO, O'Neil Risk Consulting & Algorithmic Auditing Mark Adams, Vice President of North America, Curious Thing AI Han Xu, Co-founder & CTO, Curious Thing AI Benjamin Gillman, Co-founder & CEO, myInterview  Fred Oswald, Psychology Professor, Rice University  Suresh Venkatasubramanian, Computer Science Professor, Brown University Clayton Donnelly, industrial-organizational psychologist, myInterview Mark Gray, Director of People, Proper Christoph Hohenberger, Co-founder and Managing Director, Retorio Derek Mracek, Lead Data Scientist, Yobs Raphael Danilo, Co-founder & CEO, Yobs Jonathan Kestenbaum, Co-founder & Managing Director of Talent Tech Labs Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst Students and Teachers from the Hope Program in Brooklyn, NY Henry Claypool, policy expert and former Director of the U.S. Health and Human Services Office on Disability Sounds From:  Curious Thing AI  myInterview  Dolly Parton - 9 To 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbxUSsFXYo4 Arirang News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30oCHwwLxy4 CBS News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbRBCU6SHHo  CBS Philly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wiPoCsZFFs  Credits: This miniseries on hiring was reported by Hilke Schellmann and produced by Jennifer Strong, Emma Cillekens, Karen Hao and Anthony Green with special thanks to James Wall. We’re edited by Michael Reilly. Art direction by Stephanie Arnett.
Farming a war zone

Farming a war zone

2022-11-1617:59

Shortages of everything from seeds to fertilizer might accelerate the adoption of technologies that can help supplies go further in war-torn Ukraine. We meet:  Roman Tarasevich, Farmer, Ukraine Morten Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer, OneSoil Inbal Reshef, Program Director, NASA Harvest Olekssi Misiura, Head of Research and Development, IMC Credits: This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Emma Cillekens and Anthony Green. It was edited by Mat Honan and contains original music from Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Our mix engineer is Garret Lang. We had field production help in Ukraine from Orysia Khimiak. Special thanks this week to Max Furman, Ty Walrod, Antonio Regalado and Megan Zaroda Mullenioux. Our artwork is by Stephanie Arnett.
The International Space Station hosts scores of experiments that can’t be done on Earth. But it’s also showing its age—with repairs and safety concerns becoming increasingly common as it draws nearer to its end of life. In this episode, we bring you a conversation with Astronaut Michael López-Alegría about the path forward for research in low Earth orbit, from MIT Technology Review’s flagship conference, EmTech MIT. CREDITS: This episode was created by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan, directed by Erin Underwood and mixed by Garret Lang. Episode art by Stephanie Arnett and special thanks this week to Amy Lammers and Brian Bryson from our events team. SOUNDS:  What the next space station might look like, CNBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRcNxPCC9_A International space station removed from orbit 2031, NBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My_mUGfc418 Space Station to retire in 2031, NASA says, Fox 35 Orlando https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFN9CJGa2TQ
A look at how AI and other tech is being used to help predict, detect, and pinpoint the location of wildfires in the second of a two-part series. We Meet: Tricia Small, Television Producer, Small Fox Films George Whitesides, Space Executive Brittany Zajic, Disaster Response, Planet Labs Dave Winnacker, Fire Chief, Moraga-Orinda Fire District Arvind Satyam, Chief Commercial Officer, Pano Credits: This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan and contains original music from Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Our mix engineer is Garret Lang and our artwork is by Stephanie Arnett.
A look at how AI and other tech is being used to help predict, detect, and pinpoint the location of wildfires in the first of a two-part series. We meet:  Dustin Tetrault, Deputy Fire Chief, Big Sky Fire Department Sankar Narayanan, Chief Practice Officer, Fractal Analytics Credits: This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan and contains original music from Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Our mix engineer is Garret Lang and our artwork is by Stephanie Arnett.
I Was There When is an oral history project that’s part of the In Machines We Trust podcast. It features stories of how breakthroughs and watershed moments in artificial intelligence and computing happened, as told by the people who witnessed them. In this episode we meet Alex Serdiuk, founder and CEO of Respeecher.  CREDITS: This project was produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan and mixed by Garret Lang with original music by Jacob Gorski. The art is from Eric Mongeon and Stephanie Arnett.
AI finds its voice

AI finds its voice

2022-10-1227:20

Synthetic voice technologies are increasingly passing as human. But today’s voice assistants are still a far cry from the hyper-intelligent thinking machines we’ve been musing about for decades. In this episode, we explore how machines learn to communicate—and what it means for the humans on the other end of the conversation. In this encore edition we revisit an episode from last year. Links to our reporting: https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/10/18/1061320/digital-clones-of-dead-people/ https://www.technologyreview.com/topic/artificial-intelligence/voice-assistants/ We meet: Susan C. Bennett, voice of Siri Cade Metz, The New York Times Charlotte Jee, MIT Technology Review Credits: This episode was produced by Jennifer Strong, Emma Cillekens, Anthony Green, Karen Hao and Charlotte Jee. This episode was edited by Michael Reilly and Niall Firth.
I Was There When is an oral history project that’s part of the In Machines We Trust podcast. It features stories of how breakthroughs and watershed moments in artificial intelligence and computing happened, as told by the people who witnessed them. In this episode we meet one of the world's greatest chess players, Garry Kasparov. CREDITS: This project was produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan and mixed by Garret Lang with original music by Jacob Gorski. The art is from Eric Mongeon and Stephanie Arnett.
Digital twins of humans capture the physical look and expressions of real humans. Increasingly these replicas are showing up in the entertainment industry and beyond and it gives rise to some interesting opportunities as well as thorny questions.  We speak to: Greg Cross, CEO and co-founder of Soul Machines Credits: This episode was produced by Anthony Green with help from Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Jennifer Strong and Mat Honan, mixed by Garret Lang, with original music from Jacob Gorski.
Who wants to take a walk around a California vineyard to explore how it’s deploying sensors and other forms of AI? Join us for a field trip as we do something a little bit different this week. We meet:  Dirk Heuvel, vice president of vineyard operations, McManis Family Vineyards Credits: This episode was produced by Jennifer Strong with help from Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Mat Honan and mixed by Garret Lang, with original music from Jacob Gorski. Art direction by Stephanie Arnett.
Retailers face an evolving landscape of fraud tactics each day. It’s why companies are increasingly turning to AI to try and catch threat patterns never seen before, and block attacks before they happen. While this approach lends itself to efficiency, it’s also one that relies on increasingly complex data profiles of consumers. In this episode, we peer into the world of retail fraud detection.  We Meet: David Cost, VP of ecommerce and marketing at Rainbow Apparel Will Douglas Heaven, senior editor for AI at MIT Technology Review Rajesh Ramanand, co-founder & CEO at Signifyd Credits: This episode was reported by Jennifer Strong and produced by Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens, It was edited by Mat Honan and contains original music from Garret Lang and Jacob Gorski. Our mix engineer is Garret Lang and our artwork is made by Stephanie Arnett.
I Was There When is an oral history project that’s part of the In Machines We Trust podcast. It features stories of how breakthroughs and watershed moments in artificial intelligence and computing happened, as told by the people who witnessed them. In this episode we meet Dave Johnson, the chief data and artificial intelligence officer at Moderna. CREDITS: This project was produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green and Emma Cillekens. It was edited by Michael Reilly and mixed by Garret Lang with original music by Jacob Gorski. The art is from Eric Mongeon and Stephanie Arnett.
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