Monday through Friday, Marketplace’s Molly Wood demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. Reporting from Oakland, California, she looks past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki on tech regulation and transparency
Today on Capitol Hill, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is again testifying before Congress on how to hold tech companies accountable. She’s one of many voices calling for more regulation of the industry, which could come from dozens of bills being considered by Congress. That legislation could have a big impact on platforms like YouTube. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams recently spoke with Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube. She says the industry is already subject to regulations, both in the United States and around the world, and that Congress should be cautious as it considers new laws.
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What the departure of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey means for other founders
Jack Dorsey has stepped down as the CEO of Twitter, a company he co-founded 15 years ago. Companies are often associated with their founders, and in Silicon Valley, having a smart, charismatic founder can be the difference between getting off the ground at all, or not. But in his note announcing his departure, Dorsey said it’s critical for companies to stand on their own, free of their founder’s influence. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Sarah Kunst, general partner at the venture firm Cleo Capital, about what challenges lie ahead for Dorsey’s replacement as CEO, Parag Agrawal.
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What’s next? The essential question in tech, this time for “Marketplace Tech” host Molly Wood
“Marketplace Tech’s” Molly Wood is leaving journalism after two decades, including the past four years as the host of this show. More recently, Molly has been co-host of the Marketplace podcast “Make Me Smart” and host of the new show about climate change solutions, “How We Survive.” And since Molly’s a reporter who has asked some pretty hard questions of her guests over the years, Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams asks her questions submitted by listeners.
Smart devices are listening to more than our words
This episode was originally published May 17, 2021.
Picture this: You’re not feeling so hot and you say to your smart speaker, “Robot, I’m hungry,” and you cough. And the device says, “Would you like a recipe for chicken soup?” And then, “By the way, would you like to order cough drops with one-hour delivery?” This is the scenario laid out in one of Amazon’s patents. And it shows how voice recognition technology could be used to learn things about us, beyond the words we say to our devices. Like whether we’re sick or depressed. Marketplace’s Amy Scott speaks with Joe Turow, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who writes about all of this in his new book “The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet.”
Water infrastructure: It’s boring. Invisible. We only care about it when things go wrong.
This episode originally aired Sept. 9, 2021.
Water infrastructure — it’s boring. Invisible. We only care about it when things go wrong, and things have been going wrong. Punishing storms have caused catastrophic flooding in New York, Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere. But water systems are expensive, time consuming and hard to fix. Technology may provide some relief. Marketplace’s Jed Kim talks to Paul Robinson, the executive director of RISE, a nonprofit accelerator in Norfolk, Virginia, that helps develop climate tech. Robinson says one of the companies they fund is StormSensor, which puts sensors in storm and sewer pipes.
How safe is your data when you shop online?
Many Americans hand over volumes of personal data to Amazon. The company knows what we buy, what we consider buying, even whom we might be buying things for. And according to a new investigation by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Wired, many Amazon employees have exploited access to that customer data. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Will Evans, a senior reporter at Reveal, who has been covering this.
Excellent, balanced and comprehensive analysis.
Largely through a grievance and progressive lens (Equity, tech is bad, what tech censorship, etc.)
Amazon Ring episode is a standout
Especially great reporting in this episode.
What a combination: ‘can of worms’, ‘Trojan horse’ and ‘pandora’s box’ these devices/systems are!
Their social and legal contexts are far from understood and settled. As in the Chinese proverb, I would prefer not to live in ‘such interesting times’! Also, don’t want to be the Guiana pig for some company money grab with their delusions of grandeur! They bring Big Brother under the guise of ‘doing good’ with cool tech on a road paved with good intentions. I prefer businesses to NOT play god with human playthings.