The Economics of Innovation

The New Bazaar | 18 May 2023 | 1h 11m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Heidi Williams and Caleb Watney about the economics of innovation. Considers the evidence that the Great Stagnation may have ended (increased startups, mRNA vaccines, GPT-4, etc). Discusses policy settings and institutional designs to encourage new technologies and innovations and discusses new ideas for how scientific institutions should approach the process of scientific discovery.

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Tyler Cowen on the Risks and Impact of Artificial Intelligence

EconTalk | 15 May 2023 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Tyler Cowen about the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence. Argues that the worriers – those who think that artificial intelligence will destroy mankind – need to make a more convincing case for their concerns. Suggests that the worriers are too willing to reduce freedom and empower the state in the name of reducing a risk that is far from certain. Also discusses how AI might change various parts of the economy and the job market.

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Ashlee Vance: The Misfits and Geniuses Winning the New Space Race

The Realignment | 9 May 2023 | 0h 46m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Ashlee Vance about his book When the Heavens Went on Sale: The Misfits and Geniuses Racing to Put Space Within Reach. Discusses the geopolitics of the new space race, the cheap and fast rocket and satellite launch revolution, how the “wild west” of lower orbit differs from the business billionaire-led space tourism, and how the new business of space could transform life on Earth.

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Higher Animals with Michael Specter

Revisionist History | 6 April 2023 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Michael Specter about his audiobook Higher Animals: Vaccines, Synthetic Biology, and the Future of Life. Discusses the future of life on Earth, how mRNA vaccines have sparked a biotechnology revolution, how this scientific revolution is bigger than many that came before it, the promise of heritable vaccines for endangered species, and how a smallpox infection could genuinely have wiped out New York in 1947. Includes a portion of the first chapter.

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Your Brain Isn’t So Private Anymore

The Gray Area with Sean Illing | 3 April 2023 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Nita Farahany about her book The Battle for Your Brain. Discusses what brain-scanning technology can and can’t currently do, how new devices might be used by corporations or governments to infringe on our rights, and the prospect of using new technologies to rid ourselves of painful or traumatic memories — even, potentially, before they’ve been formed.

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Avi Goldfarb – The Economic Impact of AI

Invest Like the Best | 21 March 2023 | 0h 57m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Avi Goldfarb discussing the pace of AI’s development compared with other technologies, the transition from a world governed by rules to one governed by decisions, and the disruptive effects of AI on existing businesses and professions. Draws from his book Power and Prediction: The Disruptive Economics of Artificial Intelligence.

See also the New Bazaar episode Artificial Intelligence and the Economy of the Future.

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Progress, Petroleum, and the Future with Brad Harris

Narratives w/Will Jarvis | 23 August 2021 | 0h 52m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Brad Harris discussing the story of the industrial revolution and how petroleum has been important for the development of humanity.

Brad Harris used to publish one of my favourite podcasts, Context with Brad Harris, which considered the historical forces behind humanity’s progress.


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Kevin Roose on His Creepy Chat with Bing and Where AI Is Headed Next

The Next Big Idea | 2 March 2023 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Kevin Roose about his unsettling conversation with Sydney, Bing’s chatbot, in which it professed its love for him and vented its desires to engineer deadly viruses and steal nuclear codes, and announced, chillingly, “I want to be alive. 😈”. Discusses sentience, AI rights, managing the risks developing AI, and the future potential and peril of AI.

I agree that the Bing AI is not sentient – but only because I think none of us are. Aren’t we all just something like a large language model generating thoughts out of associations?

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