Review The Future

Review The Future

reviewthefuture.com
The Podcast That Takes an In-Depth Look at the Impact of Technology on Society and Culture
088: Discussion of Hypocralypse and the Future of Punishment
Sep 19 • 55 min
In this week’s discussion Ted and Jon talk about the new Robin Hanson article positing a future ‘hypocralypse’ in which useful hypocrisies become impossible to pull off because of technology. How will people and culture react? What might happen to laws…
087: What is the Future of Sex Robots?
Aug 21 • 83 min
In today’s episode, we discuss the future of sex robots. Inspired by the book “Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications,” we consider various benefits and harms that sex robots might have on users, society, and even the robots themselves. Will sex…
086: Discussion of Malicious Uses of AI
Jun 27 • 86 min
A team of 26 authors just published a fascinating new report on the malicious uses of AI. Inspired by the structure and content of this report, we decided to do a podcast overview of the various ways AI might be misused in the near future. Many…
085: Grab Bag of Short Topics
Jun 12 • 64 min
In today’s episode we tried an experiment. Lacking topics that we felt were big enough for a whole episode, we instead discussed a lot of little topics including self driving cars, the philosophy of David Deutsch, cryptocurrency in the Marshall Islands, a…
084: Discussion of Conversational AI and Digital Currency
May 15 • 66 min
In today’s episode, we discuss Google’s new conversational AI, known as Duplex. Although impressive as a tech demo, this new technology has not received the warmest of receptions. We discuss the various ethical and possibly criminal implications of robots…
083: Discussion of Moore’s Law and Optimism vs. Pessimism
May 7 • 62 min
We discuss Moore’s law and how it undergirds most futurist predictions, and what that means now that it appears to be coming to an end. We cover the benefits of predictable gains for software developers versus the low hanging opportunities to optimize. We…
082: Discussion of Subvocal Recognition and Domestic Robots
Apr 24 • 61 min
In today’s episode we dive into the implications of two recent news stories. The first involves an exciting new tech demo that came out of the MIT Media Lab for a device called the AlterEgo. The AlterEgo combines subvocal recognition with bone conduction…
081: Discussion of Facebook and Privacy
Apr 13 • 65 min
In today’s episode we wade into the ongoing societal conversation around social media and privacy that has been taking place in the wake of the recent Facebook scandal. But before getting started we do some follow up on previous discussion topics:…
080: Discussion of Self Driving Cars and Body Scanning
Apr 3 • 47 min
For the first time ever, today’s episode was recorded and uploaded on the same day, with no editing. As part of our push to get more content out quicker, we are taking steps towards a live radio format. On this podcast, we discuss coverage of the recent…
079: Discussion of AI Risk
Mar 27 • 53 min
We discuss AI risk argument through two recent articles, one written by sci fi author Ted Chiang and one by Steven Pinker, both of which dismiss the strongest version of the arguments as put forth by Nick Bostrom and others, in this episode. Is insight…
078: Discussion of Black Mirror and Altered Carbon
Mar 12 • 53 min
As part of our new casual discussion series, we do two mini reviews of recent science fiction TV shows. Jon shares his critiques of the the first episode of the new season of Black Mirror, while Ted offers his impressions of the new show Altered Carbon.…
077: Robin Hanson on The Elephant in the Brain
Feb 25 • 94 min
Today we are rejoined by professor and friend of the podcast Robin Hanson. Robin has just co-authored a fascinating new book called The Elephant in the Brain. This book examines our hidden motives, and while it has nothing directly to do with the future,…
076: What Happens When We Design Babies?
Nov 1, 2017 • 79 min
In this episode we discuss the prospect of designer babies. As genetic engineering and reproductive technologies continue to advance, parents are likely to gain unprecedented control over their offspring. We discuss some of the near term prospects for…
075: What Happens in a World of Perfectly Fakeable Audio and Video?
Aug 8, 2017 • 63 min
Impressive demos promise that new technologies will democratize the kind of high-end audio and video fakery we usually associate only with blockbuster films. In this episode Jon and Ted extrapolate on that idea: what happens when many things can be faked,…
074: Are We Living in a Simulation?
Jul 24, 2017 • 59 min
Thanks in part to Elon Musk and other popularizers, many people have encountered the notion that we might be living in a simulation. However, far fewer people are familiar with the exact details of Nick Bostrom’s “Simulation Argument”, the paper from…
X012: Future Express | Categorizing Interactive Systems
Jun 26, 2017 • 56 min
With the explosion of possibilities in new interactive systems brought by ubiquitous computing and VR, we thought it made sense to try to nail down some precise language for how to discuss all these types of systems. In this episode we explore a possible…
X011: Future Express | The Replication Crisis and Challenges to Progress
Apr 26, 2017 • 53 min
In this episode, we have a free-ranging conversation that begins by discussing the modern replication crisis in psychology and other fields. We examine how this development might affect our views on the pace of progress generally. Amidst our many…
X010: Future Express | Attention Economics and Loyalty of Digital Assistants
Mar 7, 2017 • 63 min
In this episode, we discuss the modern Darwinian battle for attention currently playing out on the global internet. We consider some of the psychological methods that have been and will be developed for capturing and keeping people’s attention. We wonder…
X009: Future Express | What Changes Under Trump?
Feb 21, 2017 • 47 min
We’re back! We really didn’t want to talk about Trump, but we felt like we had to at least address it. How does the new US president affect our future predictions? Find out in this episode. Relevant Links: PAPER: Robots and Jobs: Evidence from US Labor…
X008: Future Express | How to Train Your Personal AI and Mailbag
Oct 13, 2016 • 62 min
In this episode, we talk about how to train your AI recommendation engine to give you better results, and discuss the growth in music recommendation quality in particular. How much of the future is about the actual work of training your AI assistants? The…
X007: Future Express | AI in the Legal System and More on Technological Unemployment
Sep 13, 2016 • 72 min
In this Future Express, Jon and Ted discuss bringing AI to legal finance and whether that might push us toward rationalizing our laws. We mention the parking ticket fighting app DoNotPay, and imagine that type of technology growing to cover most legal…
X006: Future Express | Listener Questions and Calum Chace Followup
Aug 26, 2016 • 57 min
In this Express episode Jon and Ted answer a listener question about the future of citizenship, and wonder how it will be challenged and whether it’s even necessary at all. We respond to another question asking for a beginner’s reading list. We follow up…
073: Can Capitalism Survive an “Economic Singularity?”
Aug 10, 2016 • 83 min
Author Calum Chace returns to discuss his new book, “The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism” We discuss the likelihood of long-term technological unemployment and universal basic income, and whether the distribution…
X005: Future Express | Robot Used in Dallas and Pokemon Go!
Jul 22, 2016 • 31 min
In this extra bonus Express episode we weigh in on two topics of the moment: robots being used by police to kill civilian suspects and Pokemon Go. We cover the case for ethical use of unmanned vehicles in police work and wonder about the future of lethal…
X004: Future Express | More on Kevin Kelly’s THE INEVITABLE
Jul 20, 2016 • 39 min
On Future Express this time Jon and Ted follow up on their discussion of Kevin Kelly’s new book THE INEVITABLE, exploring the rhetoric and wondering whether a more straightforward economic analysis might have turned up more insight than the evolutionary…
072: Kevin Kelly on “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future”
Jul 12, 2016 • 44 min
In our first “regular” episode in a while, we are joined by Wired cofounder Kevin Kelly to discuss his new book “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future.” The book takes 12 trends in digital technology and…
X003: Future Express | ConsScale and the Threat of Cheap Weapons
Jun 30, 2016 • 46 min
In this week’s Future Express, we discuss the ConsScale twelve-level consciousness scale and the increasing threat of violence from ever-cheaper weaponry. ConsScale describes a continuum from molecule to supergod and attempts to place some mile-markers on…
X002: Future Express | Autonomous Weapons and Brain to Brain Interfaces
Jun 21, 2016 • 49 min
In this second ever Future Express episode, Jon and Ted each bring a different topic to the table. Jon raises the issue of banning autonomous weapons, the subject of an open letter released last year and of an upcoming UN review conference. Ted shares an…
X001: Future Express | More on Robin Hanson’s AGE OF EM
Jun 15, 2016 • 68 min
The first of a new type of episode, this Future Express features a looser, less polished take on some of the issues raised by Robin Hanson’s recent book The Age of Em. As an addendum to our interview with Hanson last week, this tackles Jon and Ted’s…
071: Robin Hanson on “What Does a Future of Emulated Minds Look Like?”
Jun 3, 2016 • 74 min
We’re back! After a prolonged hiatus, Ted and Jon return joined by guest Robin Hanson, the economics professor and blogger at Overcoming Bias, who discusses the central concept of his new book, The Age of Em: Work, Love and Life when Robots Rule the…
070: Review of BLACK MIRROR: WHITE CHRISTMAS
Feb 3, 2016 • 74 min
In today’s podcast, we review an episode of the British television series Black Mirror. Black Mirror is an anthology show that presents a dark spin on our relationship with technology. The series, despite its flaws, is highly entertaining and full of…
069: What are the Possibilities of Augmented Reality?
Jan 13, 2016 • 73 min
In today’s podcast we offer a broad survey of augmented reality. How will the social and economic aspects of our lives be different in a world where computers are constantly altering our vision? What are the main benefits that AR has over VR? How does one…
068: Does Life Have Meaning in a World Without Work?
Dec 15, 2015 • 73 min
In today’s podcast we get philosophical about work and the meaning of life. Repeat guest John Danaher steers us away from the traditional arguments surrounding technological unemployment and towards a different set of questions: Is it possible for humans…
067: Should You Sign Up for Cryonics?
Oct 22, 2015 • 68 min
In today’s podcast, we discuss cryonics, a topic we only recently became interested in. After a general overview of what cryonics is and where it comes from, we try to determine whether or not cryonics is a service we would sign up for. The rational…
066: George Dvorsky on “What is the Future of Human Advancement?”
Oct 7, 2015 • 63 min
In today’s podcast, Jon talks with futurist and bioethicist George Dvorsky about the future of human enhancement. Topics covered include radical life extension, editing the human germline, multiplex parenting, artificial wombs, intelligence augmentation,…
065: What is the Future of Virtual Assistants?
Sep 21, 2015 • 60 min
In today’s podcast, we discuss the future of virtual assistant software. A long list of major companies and startups are racing to develop voice activated software that can help organize your life. Today’s assistant apps are still incredibly primitive,…
064: Calum Chace on “Is it Time to Start Worrying About AI?”
Sep 9, 2015 • 64 min
In today’s episode, Jon speaks with Calum Chace, author of the new nonfiction book Surviving AI. The potential risk posed by superintelligent AI has recently gained unprecedented coverage in the mainstream press, thanks to the release of Nick Bostrom’s…
063: Bonus Episode: Kickstarter Launch, Social VR, and ADVANTAGEOUS Review
Aug 31, 2015 • 35 min
Our Kickstarter is LIVE! In this bonus mini-episode, we discuss our sci fi graphic novel project LET GO, and how you can help. We also respond to some listener feedback and Jon gives a recommendation for the indie sci fi film ADVANTAGEOUS.
062: What is the Future of Brain-Computer Interfaces?
Aug 26, 2015 • 47 min
In today’s episode we talk about brain-computer interfaces. We discuss the range of available invasive and non-invasive sensor options, the difficulties of processing brain signals, and the wide variety of ways computers might use realtime brain data.…
061: What is the Future of Movies?
Aug 10, 2015 • 60 min
In today’s podcast, we discuss the future of movies. We begin by addressing virtual reality and asking what impacts it will have on traditional moviemaking. In recent times, the cost of making an independent film has gone way down, and we consider whether…
060: Scott Santens on “Is Basic Income Part of Our Future and Should It Be?”
Jul 30, 2015 • 56 min
In today’s episode we are joined by basic income advocate Scott Santens. Scott explains his version of a basic income and how it might be paid for. Although future technological unemployment might increase the need for a basic income, there are actually…
059: What is the Future of Advertising?
Jul 15, 2015 • 67 min
In today’s episode, we discuss the future of advertising, which we define as the ‘sale of attention.’ People mostly hate ads, but why do they? Is it possible to make ads so well targeted that people actually enjoy the experience? We discuss the remarkably…
058: What are the Top Ten Ways Science Fiction Fails to Predict the Future?
Jul 1, 2015 • 58 min
In today’s episode we give a comprehensive list of the sci-fi tropes that bother us the most. While not all science fiction has an obligation to be speculative, we would like to see more science fiction that avoids certain cliches when it comes to…
057: Nikola Danaylov on “What Do Experts Think About the Singularity?”
Jun 15, 2015 • 63 min
In today’s podcast we are joined by Nikola Danaylov, host of the popular Singularity 1 on 1 podcast, and a man who has interviewed 170 experts about singularity related topics. After establishing the meaning of the term singularity, we discuss the wide…
056: Steve Anderson on “What are the Limits of Hollywood’s Portrayal of Technology?”
Jun 2, 2015 • 50 min
In today’s podcast we are joined by Steve Anderson PhD, an associate professor of cinematic arts at USC. We discuss the depiction of computers and surveillance in Hollywood films and the many factors, such as the need to tell a visual story and the…
055: What’ll be the Impacts of Perfect Speech Recognition?
May 20, 2015 • 62 min
In this week’s episode, we consider the rapid progress and recent impressive demos in the realm of speech recognition technology. We consider the difference between transcribing and understanding language, and work out a thought experiment of what might…
054: Martin Ford on “Are We Heading for a Jobless Future?”
May 4, 2015 • 55 min
In today’s podcast, we talk with Martin Ford about his new book Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. We discuss which job sectors are most vulnerable to automation in the near future and to what degree technology might be the…
053: Review of EX MACHINA
Apr 21, 2015 • 39 min
In today’s podcast, we review the new science fiction thriller Ex Machina. We talk about how this is one of the better movies we’ve seen about AI, and how in general movies seem to be getting better at handling these topics. However, we question whether…
052: What is the Future of Synthetic Meat?
Apr 7, 2015 • 56 min
There are many reasons to reduce or eliminate meat production, and in this week’s episode we cover them and ask the question: are we soon going to be eating synthetic meat? From resources to ethics, there is tremendous pressure to bring down the costs…
051: Review of VRLA Expo 2015
Mar 25, 2015 • 53 min
In today’s podcast, we review our experiences at the VRLA Expo, a Los Angeles based event that showcases the latest in virtual reality entertainment. We describe our experiences with a wide variety of Oculus and Gear VR applications and ask the question:…
050: Jesse Lawler on “What is the Future of Brain Enhancement?”
Mar 9, 2015 • 51 min
Intelligence is the most powerful force in the world, and humans are increasingly losing out to computers in various intellectual pursuits. Can you take a pill that will make you smarter? If you couldn’t, would you? We would, and so would our guest Jesse…
049: Mark Lewis on “Have We Reached Peak Education?”
Feb 23, 2015 • 51 min
On today’s podcast, Trinity College computer science professor Mark Lewis joins us to talk about his concept that we’ve reached ‘Peak Education.’ He argues that we cannot educate our way out of technological change and the skill bias that occurs in the…
048: Sarah Perry on “Should We Have Control Over Our Consciousness?”
Feb 9, 2015 • 62 min
Is life a sacred gift or a burden? In this episode, we welcome Sarah Perry, author of Every Cradle is a Grave, to discuss the right to control one’s consciousness. Paramount among consciousness rights is the right to die; we discuss the state of suicidal…
047: David Pearce on “What is the Future of Suffering?”
Jan 27, 2015 • 59 min
In this episode, philosopher, author and cofounder of H+ David Pearce joins us to discuss his concept of the hedonistic imperative, which is the argument that we have a moral obligation to end the suffering of not just all humanity but all sentient life.…
046: James Hughes on “What is Technoprogressivism?”
Jan 12, 2015 • 70 min
In this episode, we talk with Trinity College professor and Institute for Ethics in Emerging Technology (IEET) founder Dr. James Hughes about the political term Technoprogressive and the recent Technoprogressive Declaration he helped develop (and we here…
045: Dave Ross on “What is the Future of Comedy?”
Dec 29, 2014 • 42 min
In this episode we talk with comedian Dave Ross about the ways the technology is impacting the world of stand-up comedy. We discuss how cellphone cameras are disrupting the age-old process of working out jokes in small rooms and about how, soon, virtual…
044: Jason Ganz on “What is the Future of Virtual Reality?”
Dec 15, 2014 • 87 min
In this episode we talk to guest Jason Ganz of Agora VR. You may know Jason from his efforts as a moderator on the Futurology subreddit and the Futurology podcast. He’s an enthusiastic supporter and we had a wide-ranging, informative conversation we think…
043: Review of THE IMMORTALISTS
Dec 1, 2014 • 45 min
In this episode, we review the new documentary THE IMMORTALISTS, which is out in New York and opens December 11 in Los Angeles. The film covers the efforts toward radical life extension of two prominent figures, Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews. We discuss…
042: John Danaher on “Will the Future be Ruled by Algorithm?”
Nov 17, 2014 • 68 min
In this episode we talk with guest John Danaher, a lecturer at National University of Ireland, Galway and blogger. He has coined the term ‘Algocracy’ to describe a future state of rule by algorithm. We define the term and talk about how modern day…
041: What are the Reasons to Protect Privacy?
Nov 3, 2014 • 46 min
In this episode we build on our previous podcast on privacy by examining, from a philosophical point of view, what the instrumental and intrinsic benefits to privacy are. Is there some fundamental, moral reason to protect privacy, or is it simply a way to…
040: What is the Future of Education?
Oct 21, 2014 • 51 min
In this week’s podcast, we discuss the future of education. We examine the advantages and disadvantages of MOOCs and other online courses, and in the process we identify four distinct educational challenges: communication of information, motivational…
039: What is Transhumanism?
Oct 14, 2014 • 54 min
In this episode, we discuss the meaning and origins of the term ‘transhumanism.’ We summarize the primary transhumanist goals of increased longevity, greater intelligence, and enhanced wellbeing. We also explore some of the other implications of…
038: Can We Predict the Future?
Oct 7, 2014 • 36 min
This week’s podcast asks about the benefits and problems associated with both hard “mathematical” prediction and soft “storytelling” prediction. We discuss the limits of mathematical prediction in terms of theory, randomness, chaos, and non-computability.…
037: What is the Future of the Sharing Economy?
Sep 29, 2014 • 42 min
This week’s episode is about the new Sharing Economy. We discuss the term and try to decide if the companies that use it are really doing anything new or just using a buzzword to screw workers and evade regulations. We discuss Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Fold.it,…
036: What is the Future of Hell?
Sep 22, 2014 • 48 min
In this week’s episode, we wonder if it’s technologically possible to create eternal suffering and torture someone forever in a digital hell. We cover the question of why someone might torture a digital being or nano-enabled Prometheus. Punishment?…
035: How Do You Filter Content in an Age of Abundance?
Sep 15, 2014 • 50 min
We’re back with a new podcast about the growing challenge of digital curation. Every day we digitize more content and as the pile of data grows ever larger, how are we going to find the stuff we actually want? What is it going to take for recommendation…
034: We’ll Be Back in September
Aug 18, 2014 • 3 min
Now that we’ve completed 33 episodes, it’s time for us to take a short break. But don’t worry - we’ll be back in early September with new episodes, new discussion topics, and possibly a few surprises. If you only started tuning in recently, now might be a…
033: What’ll be the Impacts of Self Driving Cars?
Aug 11, 2014 • 48 min
Everyone knows by now that self driving cars are coming soon. Somewhere in the next 3-20 years, the human driver will become a thing of the past. What will happen when these capabilities come online? We talk through the obvious and not so obvious…
032: Are we Wielding Technology or Yielding to It?
Aug 4, 2014 • 33 min
In this more conversational episode, we discuss the abstract dichotomy of wielding technology rather than yielding to it. We discuss this wielding/yielding metaphor with regard to form factors, for example how is using a smart phone different from…
031: Who are the Top Ten Living Futurists?
Jul 30, 2014 • 39 min
In this week’s podcast we list the top ten living futurists. These are people who are highly influential in the area of futurology, either for being skillful popularizers or originators of major new ideas. Listen and find out if you agree with our…
030: What is the Future of Emotional Computing?
Jul 21, 2014 • 44 min
In this week’s podcast we tackle Emotional (sometimes called Affective) Computing — when computers read and respond to human emotions. We discuss the types of sensory data computers can read, like faces and inflection but also heat-mapping and pupil…
029: What is Mind Uploading?
Jul 14, 2014 • 52 min
In today’s podcast, we discuss the possibility of “mind uploading,” or emulating a human brain inside a computer. We begin with a survey history of the concept, and then transition into a discussion of the sea of philosophical and ethical questions that…
028: Review of Thomas Piketty’s CAPITAL IN THE 21ST CENTURY, Part 2: Futurist Perspective and Criticism
Jul 7, 2014 • 33 min
In this second part of our review of Capital in the 21st Century, we look at Thomas Picketty’s ideas from the point of view of speculation and futurism, and consider some of the criticisms of the book. Last week in Part 1, we covered the book’s basic…
027: Review of Thomas Piketty’s CAPITAL IN THE 21ST CENTURY, Part 1: Summary
Jun 30, 2014 • 50 min
In this part one of our review of Thomas Picketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, we cover the book in detail and summarize its arguments and conclusions. In the next part, to be released next week, we will look at Picketty’s ideas from the point of view…
026: What is Ephemeralization?
Jun 16, 2014 • 19 min
In today’s podcast, we discuss Buckminster Fuller’s term ephemeralization. Many people today are searching for words to describe the tremendous power of technologies to do more with less. Modern expressions like “dematerialization,” “software is eating…
025: What Does Utopia Look Like?
Jun 9, 2014 • 62 min
We’d all like to live in a better future, and for ages men have imagined what a theoretical best future might be like. What would a utopian society truly look like? Does the answer lie in external approaches like abundance, decentralization and…
024: Will the Future be More or Less Unequal?
Jun 2, 2014 • 29 min
In this podcast we examine the issue of inequality from the point of view of game design and ask whether a variety of resources are likely to become more or less unequal in the future. In addition to the obvious monetary dimension, we also discuss…
023: What is the Future of Net Neutrality?
May 26, 2014 • 63 min
In this week’s podcast we talk about the big topic of Network Neutrality. We define the term and talk about the differences between neutral and biased (or ‘diverse’) networks. We cover the history of the phone network, the Carterfone, and neutrality…
022: Will the Future be Dominated by Games?
May 5, 2014 • 37 min
On this podcast, we talk about games and the future. Eric Zimmerman has pronounced this the “Ludic Century” and has said the 21st century will be defined by games. We approach this idea from three points of view: first we talk about games as an…
021: What Are the Different Types of Intelligence Augmentation?
Apr 28, 2014 • 13 min
In this episode we do a simple thought experiment set at a mathematics competition. Three characters, each with a very different apparatus of enhanced intelligence, compete. One is highly educated, one is enhanced to be able to learn more quickly, and one…
020: What is the Future of Television?
Apr 21, 2014 • 29 min
What is the future of television? Will today’s golden age continue? We discuss the current television model and why TV hasn’t been disrupted to the degree film and other media have, the real scarcity and artificial limits that are keeping it there, and…
019: Who Controls a Future of Decentralized Technologies?
Apr 14, 2014 • 41 min
There is no doubt decentralized powerful technologies are coming, and the conventional wisdom is that you cannot control these things easily. In this episode, we discuss drugs, security, and general purpose computing as decentralized technologies that…
018: What is the Future of Money?
Apr 7, 2014 • 37 min
In this week’s podcast we discuss money as a technology that has progressed through several versions. What’s wrong with our current version of money, and what might we do better in a future version? What are the pros and cons of modern day…
017: What New Job Opportunities Will Exist in an Automated Future?
Mar 31, 2014 • 29 min
Today’s episode focuses on a thought experiment — assuming technological unemployment happens and capitalism continues in its current form, what new platforms might allow average folks to monetize the remaining scarce resources? What kind of jobs and…
016: What is Super-Now Prediction?
Mar 17, 2014 • 24 min
Today on the podcast we talk about a simple way to predict the future — simply exaggerate current trends. But this doesn’t lead to accurate prediction, it leads to “Super-Now” predictions where everything is shinier, faster, or on steroids, but nothing is…
015: What Would be the Cultural Impacts of Increased Longevity?
Mar 10, 2014 • 49 min
In this episode, we ask how culture would be impacted by radically increased lifespans. We go over the main arguments made by longevity research experts like Aubrey De Grey and Ray Kurzweil, and we discuss Sonia Arrison’s book 100+. We discuss expanded…
014: How Might We Respond to Technological Unemployment?
Mar 3, 2014 • 41 min
In this podcast we return to the idea of technological unemployment: if it’s happening, what should we do? We consider three ways technological unemployment might be defeated: rising standards of living might outrun inequality, education and cognitive…
013: What is the Future of Communications Interfaces?
Feb 24, 2014 • 33 min
In this week’s podcast, we discuss common communications and computer interfaces in science fiction and ask whether those AI assistants and videophones really make sense. We retell David Foster Wallace’s story about the failure of the videophone from…
012: How Plausible is Dystopia?
Feb 16, 2014 • 23 min
In this week’s podcast we evaluate the relative plausibility of four dystopias commonly seen in science fiction: Post-Apocalypse, Alien/AI Oppression, Boot-in-the-Face, and Brave New World. These are all fun settings for exciting stories, but which makes…
011: Review of McAfee and Brynjolfsson’s SECOND MACHINE AGE
Feb 10, 2014 • 76 min
In this extra-long podcast, we review the important new book from MIT’s Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, THE SECOND MACHINE AGE: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies. The first half is a detailed, Cliffs-Notes version of…
010: What Will Remain Scarce in the Future?
Jan 27, 2014 • 37 min
In this week’s podcast, we do the thought experiment of what happens in a theoretically super-abundant future: what things remain scarce and still retain economic value? Further, as we approach that point, where are the safe areas to try to find work? We…
009: Is Storytelling More Difficult in a World of Accelerating Change?
Jan 20, 2014 • 24 min
On the podcast this week, we discuss the state of narrative in a world where technological change is accelerating. We start with William Gibson’s now decade-old attempt to write recent-past rather than near-future speculative work and continue to talk…
008: Review of Tyler Cowen’s Average Is Over
Jan 13, 2014 • 49 min
Today’s podcast reviews Tyler Cowen’s new book Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. The book’s thesis is that machine intelligence and other factors are driving a trend toward much greater inequality in America. We…
007: Review of Spike Jonze’s HER
Jan 6, 2014 • 34 min
In this week’s podcast, we review HER, Spike Jonze’s entertaining new movie about a human-AI relationship. How well does it hold up from the point of view of speculation? Is the world fully realized and consistent? Do the characters seem like they inhabit…
006: What is an Intelligence Explosion, and Will It Kill Us All?
Dec 30, 2013 • 28 min
An Intelligence Explosion is the idea that a greater-than-human intelligent machine will quickly design a greater-than-itself intelligent machine, and so on, until very rapidly the intelligence of artificial systems greatly outstrips that of humanity. Is…
005: Are We Addicted to Technology?
Dec 23, 2013 • 24 min
It’s easy to find alarmist articles fretting about how addicted to technology we are becoming. It’s true that we are increasingly reliant on technology and many of us spend exorbitant numbers of hours staring at screens. But is it fair to describe this…
004: Are Generation Gaps Going to be Relevant in the Future?
Dec 16, 2013 • 32 min
When we were growing up, kids knew how to use the internet and adults didn’t. Should we expect that our kids will have a similar experience? Are generation gaps declining as access expands, attitudes change, longevity increases and interest trumps age as…
003: Is Privacy Dead?
Dec 9, 2013 • 39 min
We ask “Is privacy coming to an end, and if so, what does that mean exactly?” We examine progress in the areas of always-on surveillance and lifelogging, facial recognition, and other technologies that are eroding traditional spheres of privacy. Might…
002: Should We Be Worried About Technological Unemployment?
Dec 2, 2013 • 27 min
What is technological unemployment, and should we be worried about it? Hosts Jon Perry and Ted Kupper discuss the problems associated with technological unemployment and some possible responses in this episode .
001: Is Technological Progress Accelerating?
Nov 24, 2013 • 33 min
In this first episode of the REVIEW THE FUTURE podcast, we speculate on the topic of accelerating technological returns. If technological progress is truly accelerating, that has wide reaching implications.