31 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
    • 4.3 • 151 Ratings

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.

    Evernote Founder Wants to Save Us from Boring Video Calls

    Evernote Founder Wants to Save Us from Boring Video Calls

    Our new hyperconnected lifestyles have revealed weaknesses in the technology we use every day. But new problems lead to new solutions. That’s where innovation comes from. Phil Libin is probably best known as the co-founder and former CEO of Evernote. These days he heads up a company called All Turtles, whose latest project mmhmm wants to save us all from the Zoom-apocalypse and revolutionize how we will work in the future. Phil sets a high ethical bar for the creators of new technology, including himself: It’s their responsibility to think about the intentional and unintentional impact of their products, he says. Not just the impact on the technology’s users, but also on people who don’t use it at all…
    ————————————

    Show Notes
    *All Turtles
    *mmhmm
    *The Gray Area Newsletter #1, featuring Phil Libin
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    • 1 hr 28 min
    Inside Facebook's Ambitious Plan To Build Out the Next Dimension

    Inside Facebook's Ambitious Plan To Build Out the Next Dimension

    Facebook has ambitious plans for virtual reality. And Andrew “Boz” Bosworth is in charge of it all. He says we’ve only scratched the surface of how VR and AR technology will transform society. So what does that future look like? How do you make virtual interaction feel as natural as in-person interaction? How do you prevent harassment, without prohibiting intimacy? How will virtual spaces change the way we work? The way we learn? The way we play? And when it comes to your virtual self - who owns your identity? As Facebook dives head first into the next technological frontier, will they manage to avoid the mistakes of their past?

    ———————————— Show Notes

    Douglas


    Engelbart 

    Facebook

    Horizon

    Facebook


    Project Aria 

    Codec Avatar


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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Surveillance Tech & Biased AI: The ACLU Fights Back

    Surveillance Tech & Biased AI: The ACLU Fights Back

    What happens to our civil liberties when an algorithm is used by law enforcement to make an arrest? Even more concerning, what happens when that facial recognitiontechnology is racially biased? As we enter an age of ubiquitous surveillance, it’s minorities - especially people of color - who are disproportionately affected. The ACLU has recently filed a complaint on behalf of a Black man who was wrongfully arrested dueto faulty police facial recognition tech. It’s the first case in the US, but it’s unlikely to be the last because, according to the ACLU - the tech often can’t tell Black people apart. The organization that has been fighting for civil rights protections forover 100 years, is now calling on lawmakers nationwide to stop law enforcement use of facial recognition technology. For Susan Herman, it’s an extraordinary time to be president of the ACLU. Over the years, the American Civil Liberties Union has fought forfree speech, reproductive rights, and privacy. But as technology continues to muddy the waters, the tradeoffs become more complicated. Where do we draw the line between security and privacy? Herman says we must act now.————————————Show Notes

    ACLU

    People Power

    Robert Williams’ Op-ed in The Washington Post




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    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Future of Mindfulness, Love... and High-Stakes Poker

    The Future of Mindfulness, Love... and High-Stakes Poker

    We’re bringing you three interviews from the first at-home edition of the Collision tech conference. Laurie chats with Headspace Co-founder and CEO Rich Pierson about the importance of mindfulness and how to live in the present amidst global uncertainty. Match.com CEO Hesam Hosseini and Plenty of Fish CEO Malgosia Green discuss how COVID-19 has transformed the world of dating. And lastly, entrepreneur and author Molly Bloom shares her incredible life story — one that you may be familiar with from the 2017 film Molly’s Game. She gives Laurie a peak behind the curtain of running one of the highest-stakes illegal poker games in history.

    ————————————
    Show Notes


    Collision

    Headspace

    Match

    Plenty Of Fish

    Molly’s Game


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    • 56 min
    It's Time to Finally Fix Tech’s Diversity Problem

    It's Time to Finally Fix Tech’s Diversity Problem

    It's no secret to anyone: Tech has a major diversity problem. And it's not getting better. How do we finally start making the necessary changes to fix the glaring inequity in Silicon Valley? How do we change the makeup of board members, make companies more diverse, and start putting our money where our mouth is? Venture Capitalist Sarah Kunst is someone who’s not afraid to speak out. She’s been leading a discussion on minorities in tech for a long time. She's made it her life’s work to change things for the better. These are times of listening and learning. We all have to do a better job of informing ourselves, listening to others, and changing our behavior. So let’s listen to Sarah Kunst.

    ————————————
    Show Notes

    The Bail Project

    Code2040

    Black Girls Code

    Black Women Talk Tech

    BLCK VC


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    • 48 min
    Free Speech: The Firestorm Tech Can No Longer Afford to Ignore

    Free Speech: The Firestorm Tech Can No Longer Afford to Ignore

    We are living through pretty surreal times... Most of the country is still shut down due to COVID-19. Over the last few days we’ve seen protests and riots across the country following the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man. All while Facebook faces a crisis of its own: internal and external revolt in response to the company’s inaction towards President Trump’s inflammatory posts.
    Barry Schnitt was Facebook’s Director of Communications for four years and his recent blog post criticizing the company’s stance on free speech has gotten a lot of attention — especially since Facebook employees, even former ones, are normally so tight-lipped. He talks to Laurie about why both current and former employees are speaking out.
    —————————————Show Notes

    Early Facebook employees’ open letter

    Barry’s blog post

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act


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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
151 Ratings

151 Ratings

LauraE💁🏼💁🏼💁🏼💁🏼 ,

Phenomenal Content

Highly recommend this podcast!

LJSelsky ,

Great podcast!

Really enjoying!

name47474739293 ,

🤦‍♂️

Diversity everybody.. The answer to all our problems!

Hey! let’s all replace the ppl who doing their jobs in tech with with like.. slightly less qualified individuals? Why you ask? Well, they LOOK DIFFERENT, you see. DUH..

Diversity, ppl! This is how we’ll fix this country 👌

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