45 episodes

Now that the internet, social media, and AI are integrated into much of our lives, it’s easy to lose our grip on reality. In this season of How to Know What’s Real, co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore the proliferation of misinformation and the rise of deepfakes and even illusions, hoping to understand what’s real and what’s not.

How to Know What's Real The Atlantic

    • Education
    • 4.2 • 1.3K Ratings

Now that the internet, social media, and AI are integrated into much of our lives, it’s easy to lose our grip on reality. In this season of How to Know What’s Real, co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore the proliferation of misinformation and the rise of deepfakes and even illusions, hoping to understand what’s real and what’s not.

    Introducing: How to Know What's Real

    Introducing: How to Know What's Real

    What is “real life,” now that the internet and AI are integrated into so much that we do? In the new season of The Atlantic’s popular How To series, co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore deepfakes, illusions, and misinformation, and how to make sense of where things are really happening. How to Know What’s Real examines how technology has altered our sense of connectedness and how to determine what is authentic and true.

    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.
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    • 2 min
    How to Know Who’s Real

    How to Know Who’s Real

    Social media has made it easier to build more parasocial relationships with celebrities and influencers. What impact are those connections having on our relationships IRL? And how do they shift our understanding and expectations of intimacy and trust? 
    Florida State University assistant professor Arienne Ferchaud defines parasocial relationships and discusses how new technologies are changing the role of entertainment in our lives.
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle”).

    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 28 min
    How to Live in a Digital City

    How to Live in a Digital City

    While the vibrance, innovation, and cacophony of online life can feel completely unlike anything humanity has ever created before, its newness isn’t wholly unprecedented. Humans reckoned with many similar challenges to life as they knew it while navigating a different kind of social web: the city.  
    In this episode, Danah Boyd, a partner researcher at Microsoft Research and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, explains how the sociological work conducted during a time of rapid urbanization in the United States reveals a lot about human behavior and what we need to feel safe, secure, and inspired.
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle Jazz”).
    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com


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    • 28 min
    How to Trust Your Brain Online

    How to Trust Your Brain Online

    This episode explores the web’s effects on our brains and how narrative, repetition, and even a focus on replaying memories can muddy our ability to separate fact from fiction. 
    How do we come to believe the things we do? Why do conspiracy theories flourish? And how can we train our brains to recognize misinformation online? 
    Lisa Fazio, an associate psychology professor at Vanderbilt University, explains how people process information and disinformation, and how to debunk and pre-bunk in ways that can help discern the real from the fake.
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle Jazz”).
    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 33 min
    How to Keep Watch

    How to Keep Watch

    With smartphones in our pockets and doorbell cameras cheaply available, our relationship with video as a form of proof is evolving. We often say “pics or it didn’t happen!”—but meanwhile, there’s been a rise in problematic imaging including deepfakes and surveillance systems, which often reinforce embedded gender and racial biases. So what is really being revealed with increased documentation of our lives? And what’s lost when privacy is diminished? 
    In this episode of How to Know What’s Real, staff writer Megan Garber speaks with Deborah Raji, a Mozilla fellow, whose work is focused on algorithmic auditing and evaluation. In the past, Raji worked closely with the Algorithmic Justice League initiative to highlight bias in deployed AI products.
    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. 
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle Jazz”).
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 28 min
    How to Win at Real Life

    How to Win at Real Life

    Games can serve as an escape from reality—but they can also shape our understanding of trust, collaboration, and what might be possible IRL. Megan Garber talks with C. Thi Nguyen, an associate philosophy professor at the University of Utah, to better understand how games can help us safely explore our current reality and shape new realities, too.
    Write to us at howtopodcast@theatlantic.com. 
    Music by Forever Sunset (“Spring Dance”), baegel (“Cyber Wham”), Etienne Roussel (“Twilight”), Dip Diet (“Sidelined”), Ben Elson (“Darkwave”), and Rob Smierciak (“Whistle Jazz”).
    How to Know What's Real is produced by Natalie Brennan. Our editors are Claudine Ebeid and Jocelyn Frank. Fact-check by Ena Alvarado. Our engineer is Rob Smierciak. The executive producer of audio is Claudine Ebeid, and the managing editor of audio is Andrea Valdez.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
1.3K Ratings

1.3K Ratings

Diano ,

hmmm

excited to listen as

Rainankles ,

Disgusting, pro-genocide publication

Masquerading as a liberal rag. Pro-Israel, justifying the murder of children. Do not support.

ela jean ,

Overall tone deaf and missing all the points

This is a show about big, important topics, told through the lens of a couple of people living in a bubble. It has that production style that makes you think you’re listening to a smart, well-produced podcast that’s going to be enlightening. It’s not though.

It is shocking that so much content can be produced on a topic without even touching on the meat and potatoes of it.

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