189 episodes

We are in the midst of a digital revolution, where the line between our physical world and cyberspace is blurring. Tech Tonic is the show that investigates the promises and perils of this new technological age. 


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FT Tech Tonic Financial Times

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

We are in the midst of a digital revolution, where the line between our physical world and cyberspace is blurring. Tech Tonic is the show that investigates the promises and perils of this new technological age. 


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Introducing: Swamp Notes from The FT News Briefing

    Introducing: Swamp Notes from The FT News Briefing

    If you have questions about this year's US presidential election, we have answers.
    Swamp Notes is a new podcast from the FT News Briefing. Listen every Saturday morning as our journalists analyse and discuss the latest happenings in US politics. We’ll go beyond the horse race for the White House and offer a global perspective on the election.  
    You can subscribe to Swamp Notes here or wherever you get your podcasts.

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    • 1 min
    Introducing Untold: The Retreat

    Introducing Untold: The Retreat

    Introducing Untold, a new podcast from the special investigations team at the Financial Times. In its first series, The Retreat, host Madison Marriage examines the world of the Goenka network, which promotes a type of intensive meditation known as Vipassana. Thousands of people go on Goenka retreats every year. People rave about them. But some people go to these meditation retreats, and they suffer. They might feel a deep sense of terror, or a break with reality. And on the other side, they’re not themselves anymore. Untold: The Retreat launches Jan. 24.
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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    • 1 min
    Superintelligent AI: Conscious Machines

    Superintelligent AI: Conscious Machines

    As the race to human-level AI accelerates, researchers are increasingly confronted with the question of what it would mean to develop conscious AI. Will sentience emerge naturally from powerfully intelligent artificial systems? Or is consciousness incompatible with disembodied AI? As some human users become more attached to romantic chatbots, will the moral questions surrounding conscious AI become more pressing? In the final episode of our series on artificial general intelligence, the FT’s John Thornhill and Madhumita Murgia speak to Eugenia Kuyda, founder and chief executive of Replika, Anil Seth, ​​professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at the University of Sussex, and Henry Shevlin, director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge.
    Clips: TalkTV
    Links:
    Blake Lemoine transcript
    Sci-fi writer Ted Chiang: ‘The machines we have now are not conscious’
    Google places engineer on leave after he claims group’s chatbot is ‘sentient’
    The golden age of AI-generated art is here. It’s going to get weird 
    EU agrees landmark rules on artificial intelligence 
    Tech Tonic is presented by Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill. Senior producer is Edwin Lane and the producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.
    Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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    • 26 min
    Superintelligent AI: Transhumanism etc.

    Superintelligent AI: Transhumanism etc.

    What are the ideas driving the pursuit of human-level AI? In the penultimate episode of this Tech Tonic series, hosts Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill look at some of the futuristic objectives that are at the centre of the AI industry’s quest for superintelligence and hear about the Extropians, a surprisingly influential group of futurists from the early 1990s. Anders Sandberg, senior research fellow at Oxford university's Future of Humanity Institute, sets out some of the ideas developed in the Extropians mailing list while Connor Leahy, co-founder of Conjecture and Timnit Gebru, founder of the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR) explain why they worry about the Extropians’ continued influence today.
    Free links:
    OpenAI and the rift at the heart of Silicon Valley
    We need to examine the beliefs of today’s tech luminaries
    OpenAI’s secrecy imperils public trust
    Big tech companies cut AI ethics staff, raising safety concerns
    Tech Tonic is presented by Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill. Senior producer is Edwin Lane and the producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.
    Clips: Alcor Cryonics
    Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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    • 25 min
    Superintelligent AI: can chatbots think?

    Superintelligent AI: can chatbots think?

    Are generative AI systems such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT really intelligent? Large language models such as GPT 4 appear to use human-level cognitive abilities when they engage in legal reasoning, write essays or solve complex problems. Hosts John Thornhill and Madhumita Murgia speak to Emily Bender, professor of computational linguistics at the University of Washington, to find out what’s really happening under the hood, and also hear from Pablo Arredondo of CaseText, which develops AI tools for lawyers; influential computer scientist Melanie Mitchell, professor at the Santa Fe Institute, and Konstantine Arkoudas, an AI expert who’s worked on Amazon’s Alexa. 
    Free links:
    OpenAI set to launch store as ChatGPT reaches 100mn users
    How to keep the lid on the Pandora’s box of AI
    We need a political Alan Turing to design AI safeguards
    ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: how OpenAI’s dramatic weekend unfolded
    Tech Tonic is presented by Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill. Senior producer is Edwin Lane and the producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.
    Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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    • 28 min
    Superintelligent AI: The Utopians

    Superintelligent AI: The Utopians

    If even AI companies are fretting about the existential threat that human-level AI poses, why are they building these machines in the first place? And as they press ahead, a debate is raging about how we regulate this emergent sector to keep it under control. In the second episode of a new, five-part series of Tech Tonic, FT journalists Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill hear from Anthropic’s co-founder, Jack Clark; Dan Hendrycks, founder of the Center for AI Safety; Yann LeCun, chief AI scientist at Meta, and Emily Bender, professor of computational linguistics at the University of Washington.
    Free links to read more on this topic:
    Algorithms are deciding who gets organ transplants. Are their decisions fair?
    ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: how OpenAI’s dramatic weekend unfolded
    How to keep the lid on the Pandora’s box of AI
    We need a political Alan Turing to design AI safeguards
    Tech Tonic is presented by Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill. Senior producer is Edwin Lane and the producer is Josh Gabert-Doyon. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Breen Turner and Samantha Giovinco. Original music by Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.
    Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 24 min

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