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FT Tech Tonic

Financial Times

We are in the midst of a digital revolution, where the line between our physical world and cyberspace is blurring. Tech Tonic is the show that investigates the promises and perils of this new technological age.




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Episodes

Superintelligent AI: Conscious Machines
12-12-2023
Superintelligent AI: Conscious Machines
As the race to human-level AI accelerates, researchers are increasingly confronted with the question of what it would mean to develop conscious AI. Will sentience emerge naturally from powerfully intelligent artificial systems? Or is consciousness incompatible with disembodied AI? As some human users become more attached to romantic chatbots, will the moral questions surrounding conscious AI become more pressing? In the final episode of our series on artificial general intelligence, the FT’s John Thornhill and Madhumita Murgia speak to Eugenia Kuyda, founder and chief executive of Replika, Anil Seth, ​​professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex, and Henry Shevlin, director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge.Clips: TalkTVLinks:Blake Lemoine transcriptSci-fi writer Ted Chiang: ‘The machines we have now are not conscious’Google places engineer on leave after he claims group’s chatbot is ‘sentient’The golden age of AI-generated art is here. It’s going to get weird EU agrees landmark rules on artificial intelligence Tech Tonic is presented by Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill. Senior producer is Edwin Lane and the producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Peak social media: The power of influencers
18-07-2023
Peak social media: The power of influencers
Social media today is less about making friends and more about following popular content creators. While those creators are starting to hold some power over the platforms themselves, they’re also looking to become less reliant on the platforms that have enabled them to find fame and fortune online. What does it mean for the future of social media platforms? Our producer Josh Gabert-Doyon travels to the VidCon convention in Anaheim, California to speak to the people at the heart of the creator economy.We hear from Kris Collins, a TikTok and YouTube star who goes by the name @KallmeKris and her agent Keith Bielory, as well as Megan Lightcap, a VC investor who specialises in the creator economy, and Lindsey Lugrin, founder of the creator start-up Fuck You Pay Me, which is pushing for pay transparency and higher remuneration in the sector.Mentioned in this podcast:Why social media is hardly social any moreYouTube Shorts takes on TikTok in battle for younger usersWhat de-influencing tells us about the state of the creator economyPresented by Elaine Moore. Produced by Edwin Lane and Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley. Special thanks to Hannah Murphy and Cristina Criddle.We're keen to hear more from our listeners about this show and want to know what you'd like to hear more of, so we're running a survey which you can find at ft.com/techtonicsurvey. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and you will be in with a chance to win a pair of Bose QuietComfort earbuds.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Peak social media: The debate over young users’ mental health
11-07-2023
Peak social media: The debate over young users’ mental health
There’s a growing feeling that social media is bad for us: bad for society and bad for our wellbeing. That trend has culminated in a new wave of legislation in the United States aiming to address social media’s impact on young people’s mental health. But in this episode, Elaine Moore, deputy editor of the FT’s Lex column, looks at some of the unanswered questions over whether social media really causes us harm, and what legislation will mean for the future of the social media business model. Are we in the throws of a technological panic? In this episode, the third in a series on social media, Elaine speaks to Emma Lembke, co-founder of youth advocacy group Log Off; Katie Paul, director at the Tech Transparency Project; Amy Orben, head of the Digital Mental Health Group at the University of Cambridge; and FT tech reporter Hannah Murphy.Since the publication of Katie Paul’s investigation into the trade of looted Middle Eastern antiquities on Facebook, Meta has changed its policy on the sale of historical artefacts.Presented by Elaine Moore. Produced by Edwin Lane and Josh Gabert-Doyon, Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.We're keen to hear more from our listeners about this show and want to know what you'd like to hear more of, so we're running a survey which you can find at ft.com/techtonicsurvey. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and you will be in with a chance to win a pair of Bose QuietComfort earbuds.Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.