8 episodes

At some point in the past few years, humanity collided with a new kind of intelligence. And things are getting strange. People are being accused of crimes by algorithms; falling in love with digital beings; pioneering new ways to fight old diseases; turning to machines for comfort in their worst moments, and using artificial intelligence to commit - and hide from - terrible crimes. The Guardian’s Michael Safi investigates the story of a technology so complex that its own creators have no idea what it is thinking, and captures a snapshot of the era when people first made contact with AI

Black Box The Guardian

    • News
    • 4.8 • 323 Ratings

At some point in the past few years, humanity collided with a new kind of intelligence. And things are getting strange. People are being accused of crimes by algorithms; falling in love with digital beings; pioneering new ways to fight old diseases; turning to machines for comfort in their worst moments, and using artificial intelligence to commit - and hide from - terrible crimes. The Guardian’s Michael Safi investigates the story of a technology so complex that its own creators have no idea what it is thinking, and captures a snapshot of the era when people first made contact with AI

    Black Box: a new podcast series about AI and us – trailer

    Black Box: a new podcast series about AI and us – trailer

    In rural Norway, a young woman’s boyfriend forgets who she is overnight. In Detroit, a man is arrested for a crime, but he was never there. In a Spanish town, disturbing pictures of young girls have appeared, but no one knows who is behind them. In this new series from the Guardian, we’ll explore what it is that connects all these stories: the collision between people and artificial intelligence. Coming soon …

    • 2 min
    Episode 0 - The collision

    Episode 0 - The collision

    The beginning of a new series that explores seven stories and the thread that ties them together: artificial intelligence. In this prologue, Hannah (not her real name) has met Noah and he has changed her life for the better. So why does she have concerns about him?

    • 13 min
    Episode 1 – The connectionists

    Episode 1 – The connectionists

    This is the story of Geoffrey Hinton, a man who set out to understand the brain and ended up working with a group of researchers who invented a technology so powerful that even they don’t truly understand how it works. This is about a collision between two mysterious intelligences – two black boxes – human and artificial. And it’s already having profound consequences

    • 39 min
    Episode 2 – The hunt for ClothOff: the deepfake porn app

    Episode 2 – The hunt for ClothOff: the deepfake porn app

    For the past six months, Guardian journalist Michael Safi has been trying to find out who is behind an AI company that creates deepfakes. Deepfakes that are causing havoc around the world, with police and lawmakers baffled about how to deal with them. And in trying to answer one question, he has been left with a bigger one: is AI going to make it impossible to sort fact from fiction?

    • 45 min
    Episode 3 – Repocalypse now

    Episode 3 – Repocalypse now

    When Eugenia Kuyda created Replika, the AI companion app, she had no idea it would be downloaded millions of times all around the world. The results were more powerful than she could ever have predicted. But so was the backlash

    • 34 min
    Episode 4 – Bing and I

    Episode 4 – Bing and I

    Two stories about the way AI could – in fact, already is – making the world better. In Montana, when Lee Johnson discovered his wife, Yokie, had cancer, he turned to AI – and was surprised by the answers he got. Meanwhile, in Massachusetts Prof Regina Barzilay’s experience with cancer has led her to build an AI system that can detect the disease years before a human

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
323 Ratings

323 Ratings

David Micklem ,

Accessible, prescient, chilling

Brilliantly compiled, intelligent but accessible examination of the opportunities and threats of AI.

cakedandgreen ,

Yay! or FUUUU…

Well then, we are either saved or screwed. Business as usual for humanity then? Great.

Incredibly compelling, well researched and well presented podcast from an organisation who consistently deliver at such a high standard. It is no surprise that this was as good as it was. However, it has done nothing for my general sense of abject terror!

LeeStephens ,

Thought provoking, depressing but ultimately uplifting

What an amazing insight into a pivotal point in humanity’s journey. It made me think. It made me despair. It gave me hope and excitement for our future. Don’t let this podcast (and AI) pass you by, get engaged. Thank you to the entire journalistic team - such amazing quality to your work.

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