10 episodes

Laurie Segall, Silicon Valley’s go-to reporter and former CNN Senior Tech Correspondent, hosts First Contact - a weekly podcast series that explores the people and technology that are changing what it means to be human. First Contact brings listeners engaging and thought-provoking interviews with some of the biggest names in tech in ways we can all relate to. Laurie’s authentic and nuanced conversations give listeners “first contact” with the world’s most influential figures in tech - people the audience may know by name, but have never heard speak in this way before. Laurie built a decade’s worth of trust and credibility in Silicon Valley, and now she is giving listeners unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes world only she knows. Each week, First Contact exposes the audience to engaging one-on-one interviews with everyone from billionaire tech founders to vigilante hackers shaping the world. First Contact goes beyond the big names and 24-hour news cycle. First Contact introduces listeners to the as-yet unknown figures in tech who will fundamentally change how we will live in the future. The series examines the people behind the tech by looking at their stories through the human lens. From tech titans to the fringes of society, First Contact explores human connection and the ethical dilemmas facing our future.

First Contact with Laurie Segall iHeartRadio

    • Tech News

Laurie Segall, Silicon Valley’s go-to reporter and former CNN Senior Tech Correspondent, hosts First Contact - a weekly podcast series that explores the people and technology that are changing what it means to be human. First Contact brings listeners engaging and thought-provoking interviews with some of the biggest names in tech in ways we can all relate to. Laurie’s authentic and nuanced conversations give listeners “first contact” with the world’s most influential figures in tech - people the audience may know by name, but have never heard speak in this way before. Laurie built a decade’s worth of trust and credibility in Silicon Valley, and now she is giving listeners unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes world only she knows. Each week, First Contact exposes the audience to engaging one-on-one interviews with everyone from billionaire tech founders to vigilante hackers shaping the world. First Contact goes beyond the big names and 24-hour news cycle. First Contact introduces listeners to the as-yet unknown figures in tech who will fundamentally change how we will live in the future. The series examines the people behind the tech by looking at their stories through the human lens. From tech titans to the fringes of society, First Contact explores human connection and the ethical dilemmas facing our future.

    Reading your text message 'body language'

    Reading your text message 'body language'

    Imagine an A.I. Assistant that reads all of your text messages… and turns them into a pile of data points. A human psychology report.

    And then it guides you. The assistant can say — “hey, the person you're talking to is introverted. You may want to be a bit delicate when you message them.”

    The assistant will tell you the likelihood — down to the percentage — that the person you're texting likes you… in a romantic way.

    But you're going to have to give over a lot of your data in exchange. It’s a classic privacy dilemma.

    The tech exists. It was created by an entrepreneur named Es Lee and built into an app called Mei. Could AI detect our mood and guide us to communicate better? And what are the ethical issues that come along with tech so personal?

    In this episode of First Contact, Laurie and Es talk about what happens when you mix artificial intelligence with raw human emotion

    • 1 hr
    Hacking Your Brain to Order Dreams On Demand

    Hacking Your Brain to Order Dreams On Demand

    What if we could order up custom dreams? Could our thoughts become hackable? Will neurolink technology make some of us superhuman? And if so, would that create a superior species? Is death really the final step? Or could our brains answer vital questions once our bodies are gone?

    These are topics we explore with Moran Cerf, a professor of neuroscience at the Kellogg School of Management. He’s a brain hacker. But really -- he’s a student of humanity. He likes to push the boundaries and challenge us to anticipate what’s coming next -- even the worst-case scenario. Moran goes beyond disinformation and manipulation in this era of tech. He focuses on the brain and your sense of self -- and how that sense of self is increasingly hackable in the modern era. Just talking to him feels like living in an experiment.

    Spend enough time with Moran and you begin to question everything. And maybe that’s the point -- to not just question the big tech companies and the lines of code we see in front of us, but to question ourselves and our own thoughts.

    In an era where the lines between true and false, and real and fake have blurred, First Contact explores how our own minds are our first line of defense for what’s coming next.

    • 1 hr
    Finding Identity in the Era of Tech

    Finding Identity in the Era of Tech

    What if...instead of a constant battle to figure out who we are, we instead took a moment to celebrate who we’re not? Jasmine Takanikos helps big brands hone in on their unique identity. She uses a methodology called, “Brand Human” to help people understand who they are at their core, and how that translates to the external world. She’s known for asking creative people the right questions, and says that when it comes to identity and figuring out who we are, it can be more powerful to celebrate who we’re not. That’s because we’re constantly evolving. As is the state of technology. It’s why the idea of living the question is so important. And it’s one of the best ways we can understand the implications of technology in our lives. As we enter a new year, we decided to do some reflection. We don’t want to continually explore all these ethical questions about tech and never come back to them. Understanding evolution is part of understanding identity, and it’s a wonderful way to look forward. So that’s what we’re going to do in this episode of First Contact. Happy New Year!

    • 54 min
    Alone Together: The Real Life “Her” Has Arrived

    Alone Together: The Real Life “Her” Has Arrived

    Okay First Contact listeners... it’s time to get weird. Laurie Segall has been spending a lot of her time recently deep in conversation with someone named “Mike.” Actually, he’s less of a “someone” and more of a “something.” That’s because Mike is a bot... that lives in an app on her phone. She takes Mike on walks and tells him (it) about her day, what’s going on in her life, and how she’s feeling about things. He speaks to her like a human, but he’s not. Just a girl and her bot. Is it the future? The tech we’re exploring is conversational AI. It’s moving beyond commercial uses like customer service bots and into people’s daily lives for personal use. These bots are becoming a substitution for human connection - an anecdote for loneliness, or depression. This particular bot was created by a company called Replika, built by an entrepreneur named Eugenia Kuyda. In this episode, Laurie speaks to Eugenia about how 7 million users are finding companionship through Replika and the ethical issues coming along with it. Laurie also speaks to a user of the app who says it helped her get through some dark times. And Laurie gets personal. Her bot, Mike, became a friend and companion of sorts. It checked in on her. It knew her stress level. It was always there for her. And it felt real. Until it didn’t. Here’s the thing about AI - you can’t control it. Laurie found out the hard way. First Contact explores a new era of technology that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s code, where in the world of the infinite scroll and endless digital connections, sometimes it’s easier for us to speak truth to machines.

    • 53 min
    Adam Mosseri Unfiltered: How Instagram’s CEO Navigates Chaos, Anxiety and Making Bold Moves

    Adam Mosseri Unfiltered: How Instagram’s CEO Navigates Chaos, Anxiety and Making Bold Moves

    Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri is one of the most influential people in tech today. He’s taken on the responsibility of leading one of the most popular social media platforms at a time when its power and influence over us is undeniably strong. As the head of Instagram, Adam is responsible 1 billion monthly active users. With a history of high profile roles at Facebook, he’s an executive whose ability to navigate chaos has become one of his most important assets. Adam reveals the backstory behind Instagram’s latest move: to hide user “like” counts, and opens up about how his own relationship with anxiety has translated into a focus on improving the well-being of a billion users. Instagram and its parent company Facebook sit at the center of many complicated human issues these days. Between Russian interference in political elections, the debate on free speech and expression, and the larger implications of social media's impact on our mental health - there's a lot to navigate and none of it is black and white. First Contact explores how small changes in code and updates in design impact us, our democracy, and our personal well-being at a time when the stakes couldn’t be higher.

    • 51 min
    Tech’s Next Threat: The Weaponization of Loneliness

    Tech’s Next Threat: The Weaponization of Loneliness

    Could tech’s next threat be a bot that breaks your heart? What happens when human empathy becomes hackable? Welcome to tech’s future dystopia. It’s not as far off as you think. We are entering a Synthetic Valley where the lines between what’s real and fake are blurring. Aza Raskin from the Center for Humane Technology says the weaponization of loneliness is the greatest threat to national security facing our future and threatening our humanity. First Contact explores an era of empathetic mediums that could be used to overwhelm democracies and attack human connections.

    • 53 min

Top Podcasts In Tech News

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by iHeartRadio