Tech'ed Up with Niki Christoff

Tech'ed Up with Niki Christoff

What’s happening right now on the frontlines of tech? Silicon Valley veteran Niki Christoff hosts zippy conversations about trending technology with experts, enthusiasts, regulators, policymakers, CEOs, and reporters. New episodes drop every other Thursday.


December 1, 2022 27 min

Former Ambassador and Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund, Karen Kornbluh, joins Niki in the Tech’ed Up studio for a rollicking conversation about whether tech policy is passé, the ongoing Twitter implosion, and misinformation being a loser. This conversation covers the erosion of trust in institutions, cynicism as a by product of social media, and the power of storytelling to combat both.

○ Read Karen’s New York Times profile

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Dante Disparte, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy at Circle joins Niki in the studio hot on the heels of the FTX meltdown in this episode of Tech’ed Up.  They discuss the need for regulation, the role of stablecoins, and the argument for optimism about the future of crypto.   

  • Learn more about Circle
  • Check out Dante’s Website
  • Follow Niki on Twitter
  • Watch "Inside Job"
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    Washington Post reporter Nitasha Tiku joins Niki remotely to discuss the latest innovations in AI. We get to know LaMDA, the AI a Google engineer believes is conscious, and discuss the brand new text-to-image generator, DALL-E. We also wax philosophical about the impact of sci-fi on our understanding of AI technology.  Nitasha dives beneath the fun and viral consumer developments in AI to explore what’s lurking beneath.   

  • LaMDA ...
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    Bloomberg reporter Mark Bergen joins Niki remotely to discuss his new book “Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination.”  We dive into the behind-the-scenes impact Google has had on shaping YouTube into the search juggernaut it is today.  Mark details the outsized influence YouTube has on the social media landscape while remaining a “sleeping giant” largely ignored by regulators and protected from m...

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    October 6, 2022 27 min

    General Counsel of Ripple Labs, Stu Alderoty, joins Niki in the studio to discuss the need for Washington to establish regulatory clarity for digital assets.   He takes listeners on a deep dive into how blockchain can simplify cross-border payments, the crypto industry’s appetite for clear regulations, and Ripple’s engagement in D.C. – including litigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


  • Follow Stuart on Twitter
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    September 22, 2022 25 min

    VP and Head of Global Communications at Grindr and long-time tech veteran, Patrick Lenihan, joins Niki remotely to talk about the iconic dating app. The company is both a “start-up” and one of the first-ever geospatial social networking applications…and now it’s preparing to go public. The conversation ranges from Grindr itself to the company’s business, mission, and current work to bring public health information to the LGBTQ+...

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    Washington Post reporter Tory Newmyer joins Niki in the studio to discuss his coverage of the crypto lobby’s full-court press in Washington. Tory’s watched and reported as the crypto lobby exploded within the last year. In this episode, he joins Niki to discuss what’s working, what’s not, and what’s coming next for the industry’s expanding influence campaign.

  • Read “Crypto finds a bright spot in stormy summer”
  • Follow Tory on Twitter
  • Fo...
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    Commissioner Brendan Carr of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) joins Niki in the studio to discuss his concerns about the viral video app TikTok. Do TikTok’s data practices pose a threat to our national security by collecting and sharing information with the Chinese Community Party? In this episode, Commissioner Carr gives his take on the situation and the stakes. 

  • Follow Commissioner Carr on Twitter
  • Follow Niki on Twitter
  • R...
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    Physicist and Rhodes Scholar, Sean Gourley, founded Primer, a start-up building mission-critical AI capabilities for the United States and its closest allies. He joins Niki in the studio to discuss Silicon Valley’s ambivalence about building and selling defense capabilities necessary to protect democracies. He explains how artificial intelligence is a “third offset” – following nuclear weapons and precision munitions – that could e...

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    Co-founder of venture capital firm Dynamo,  Santosh Sankar, joins Niki from Chattanooga to explain how the supply chain became everyone’s business during the pandemic - and the solutions his portfolio companies are building to fix it. 

  • Listen to The Future of Supply Chain podcast
  • Follow Santosh on Twitter
  • Follow Niki on Twitter
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    Co-founder of Tezos, one of the first blockchains, Kathleen Breitman joins Niki from London to tell the story of the network she founded and her commitment to democratic governance in crypto. She also shares her thoughts on the risks of building a business dependent on a charismatic leader. 

  • Learn more about Tezos
  • Follow Kathleen on Twitter
  • Follow Niki on Twitter
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    CEO of Equal AI and White House technology advisor, Miriam Vogel, joins Niki in the studio to discuss her work to reduce algorithmic bias in the deployment of artificial intelligence. In this episode, Miriam explains why this is a critical moment to make sure we are using AI as a solution to increase fairness and build trust, and not as a scaling function for harms that already exist. 

  • Learn more about EqualAI
  • Listen to "In AI We...
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    Venture capitalist and AgTech (aka agriculture technology) investor, Connie Bowen, is raising capital to help fix some of the toughest challenges facing food systems and farming. She has some straight talk for Silicon Valley investors who are pouring money into agri-farm tech that just isn’t going to work.

  • Learn more about The Yield Lab
  • Follow Niki on Twitter
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    Bumble's Americas public policy lead Payton Iheme joins Niki Christoff in the studio to discuss the company campaign to criminalize cyberflashing.  More than half of women between 18-24 years old have received an unwanted, unsolicited lewd digital image, but that behavior is only illegal in two states. In-person flashing is a crime in all 50 states and it's time for laws to update to protect the digital world too. 

  • Take acti...
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    New York Times technology reporter, Kate Conger, covers social media and the gig economy based in Silicon Valley. She joins Niki in the studio in D.C. at the height of the Twitter drama to discuss what’s going on with Elon Musk, his bid to buy the social media platform, and what it’s like to report on tech during high-stakes moments.

  • Follow Kate Conger on Twitter
  • Feel-good bots: Pomology Watercolors, Emoji Aquarium, Imaginary New Pla...
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    Former FBI agent, Jennifer Vander Veer,  now runs product strategy at TRM Labs.  She joins Niki to discuss what it was like to be one of the first cops on the digital currency beat, how criminals think about emerging technology, and separating fact from fiction when it comes to information retained on distributed ledgers.  She believes that blockchain technology could ultimately lead to a safer financial system. 

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     President of General Dynamics Information Technology, Amy Gilliland, is now the president of General Dynamics Information Technology. Having served for a decade as a U.S. Navy officer, Amy joins Niki in the studio to discuss her passion for mission-oriented tech. Her leadership is focused on hiring veterans, building cool tools with AI and high-performance computing, and focusing on employee mental health. She always asks, “How ar...

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    Author and academic, Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt, Ph.D, applies AI modeling to analyze large data sets of tech coverage to answer the question: Why is there a backlash gainst Big Tech and is their comms strategy working? Her first book, The Techlash and Tech Crisis Communication, chronicles how mainstream coverage of the tech industry shifted from a long period of utopianism to our current state of dystopianism.

  • Find Nirit's book
  • Follo...
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    AI enthusiast and founder of SeedAI, Austin Carson, started a non-profit to get artificial intelligence projects launched in new and diverse communities across America.  We talk about “machines thinking for themselves,” bias in code (and in the world), and Austin finally answers the burning question: Are our computers eavesdropping? 

  • Learn more about SeedAI
  • Subscribe to Jack Clark’s newsletter
  • Watch “Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Con...
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    Attorney Chris Grieco is General Counsel for a crypto startup that has created a stablecoin protocol.  An alumnus of the Department of Justice, White House Counsel's office, and a former federal prosecutor, Chris knows his way around the corridors of Washington. In this episode, he joins Niki at the Tech'ed Up studio to explore the concepts of stablecoins, a digital dollar, and "decentralized finance" AKA DeFi.

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