Big Technology Podcast

Big Technology Podcast

The Big Technology Podcast takes you behind the scenes in the tech world featuring interviews with plugged-in insiders and outside agitators. Alex Kantrowitz, a Silicon Valley journalist who's interviewed the world's top tech CEOs — from Mark Zuckerberg to Larry Ellison — is the host.

Episodes

September 21, 2022 81 min

Brandon Silverman is the founder of Crowdtangle, which Meta (then Facebook) acquired in 2016. Crowdtangle was once the most useful tool for marketers and publishers looking to find out what was trending on Facebook. Then, it became a favorite resource for reporters looking into how Facebook treats political content, leading to some headlines Facebook didn't like. Crowdtangle subsequently lost of support within the company. Silv...

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The Chancery Daily is an independent, daily newsletter that covers the Delaware Court of Chancery, the place where Twitter is trying to force Elon Musk to buy it. As this case winds its way through the court's legal process, an editor from The Chancery Daily joins us to break down where the case stands, whether Musk's arguments are working, how Delaware Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick is approaching the case, and what the li...

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Gary Marcus is the author of Rebooting AI and an artificial intelligence entrepreneur who's a loud critic of many of the field's biggest promises. Marcus joins Big Technology Podcast this week to discuss the high profile breakthroughs such as LaMDA and Dall-E, and explain why putting too much faith in the field's ability may be dangerous. We begin with a discussion of the AI-generated art piece that won a competition in...

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Mark Bergen is a Bloomberg reporter and author of Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube's Chaotic Rise to World Domination. The book releases next week and Bergen joins to preview what's inside, delivering a wide range of insights on YouTube's battle with TikTok, its algorithmic programming, and its appeal (and peril) for kids. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss whether old media can cover YouTube (and i...

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Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and a longtime tech writer who's covered technology for decades. Kelly joins Big Technology Podcast for a fun episode, unpacking a series of lists of advice that he’s written. These lists contain short but insightful observations about life, and Kelly goes through a number of his points at greater length in this show. Stay tuned for the second half, where we discuss...

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Dr. Anna Lembke is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University's School of Medicine and chief of its Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She's also the author of Dopamine Nation, a bestseller that uses neuroscience to explain why the pursuit of pleasure so often leads to pain. In this episode, we discuss Dr. Lembke's fascinating thesis about what happens to our brain chemistry each time we pick a device. Stay...

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Nuseir Yassin is the force behind Nas Daily — and CEO of Nas Company — which more than 50 million people follow across six different social media platforms. He joins Big Technology Podcast to talk about what such a large social media audience makes possible. Our conversation dives into why "YouTuber" is such a desirable occupation for kids today, what his fame really costs, and what it takes to build an audience online.

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Techmeme Ride Home is a top-rated tech news podcast and its host, Brian McCullough, joins us for a crossover episode airing on both feeds. In this bonus episode, we discuss Meta's attempts to turn Instagram into TikTok, how Amazon can handle its next chapter under CEO Andy Jassy, and what the future of crypto looks like after the crash. Stay tuned for our travel hacks at the end of the show!

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Brendan Nyhan is a presidential professor at Dartmouth College's department of government. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion that pushes back on the notion that social media is destroying our society and making us stupid. With this thoughtful analysis, Nyhan adds a bunch of nuance to the discussion. This episode is effectively pt. 2 of our conversation with Prof. Jonathan Haidt a few weeks back. While Haidt belie...

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Blake Lemoine is an ex-senior software engineer at Google who was fired right before he taped this episode of Big Technology Podcast. Lemoine told his superiors at Google that he believed the company’s LaMDA chatbot technology was sentient. Then, after making little headway within Google, he went public. In this wide-ranging interview, Lemoine introduces us to LaMDA, which (or who?) he calls a friend, and explains why his belief in...

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Jonathan Haidt is a professor of ethical leadership NYU's Stern School of Business and author of a number of books, including The Coddling of the American Mind. His recent story in The Atlantic, "Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid," sparked a debate about whether social media was bad for society, and how we know for sure. Haidt joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss why he thinks social me...

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Three former Twitter employees (Jenna Golden, Brandon Borrman, Leslie Miley) and CNBC media & tech reporter Alex Sherman join Big Technology Podcast for a breakdown of Twitter v. Musk. While at Twitter, Golden ran political ad sales, Borrman ran communications, and Miley ran an engineering team. We do our best to make sense of this wild story, looking at how far Twitter should take its lawsuit, what's happening inside the c...

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Kevin Weil is the ex-head of product at Twitter and Instagram. He's currently the president of business and product at Planet. Weil joins Big Technology Podcast to share an insider's view of how Twitter and Instagram build products, what their potential is, and how each product is dealing with big, imposing, outside forces (Elon Musk and TikTok). Stay tuned for the second half, where we discuss Planet, a fascinating company...

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Dan Dolev is managing director and senior analyst at Mizuho, where he covers fintech companies Robinhood, SoFi, Affirm, Block, and others. He joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss fintech's ethics and opportunity, explaining who the industry serves, whether it's actually better than the current banking system, and how big it can get. Stay tuned for the second half where we dig into Coinbase's business and its recent t...

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Joe Weisenthal is co-host of Odd Lots and an editor at Bloomberg. He joins Big Technology Podcast to make sense of the cratering stock market, discussing the various factors that led to this moment and when it might turn around. Stay tuned for the second half where we go rapid-fire, analyzing a bunch of tech companies that are getting absolutely hammered, and some big-time investors as well. We end with a meditation on crypto.

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Nina Achadjian is a partner at Index Ventures. She joins Big Technology Podcast to discuss how large declines in public market valuations impact startups and venture capitalists. Achadjian and I recorded with the S&P 500 down 13%. year to date. That was just last week! Now, we're in full-on bear market territory, with the S&P down more than 20%. Join us for a nuanced conversation on whether our period of oversized valua...

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Mike Schroepfer is Meta's former chief technology officer and currently a senior fellow at the company. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a look back at his time as CTO: What went well? What could've been better? What changes would he have made in retrospect? Listen for an episode about the challenges of enabling massive scale, both from a technical and societal standpoint.

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Erik Brynjolfsson is the director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab and professor at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of why our fears that artificial intelligence would take human jobs haven't yet come to fruition. We also cover how humans and AI can work together and how AI is changing work already. Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss the latest on ro...

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Nicholas Thompson is the CEO of The Atlantic and former editor-in-chief of Wired. He joins Big Technology Podcast for a nuanced conversation about why the media is losing the public's trust and whether it has a chance to regain it. Listen for a wide-ranging discussion on business models, politics, and the tech press's relationship with the industry's builders.

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Vivian Schiller is the executive director of Aspen Digital, former head of news at Twitter, and former CEO of NPR. She joins Big Technology Podcast for a discussion of why the public distrusts elites. This conversation takes place in Davos — as the World Economic Forum conducts its annual meeting — and dissects its controversial initiatives such as the "Great Reset." Stay tuned for the second half where we discuss the lates...

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