Adaam Levin-Areddy + Vanessa M. Quirk & Mehran Sahami + Rob Reich , Uncertain Things

Big Tech VS Democracy (w/ Rob Reich, Mehran Sahami, & Jeremy Weinstein)

12 Sep 2023 • 64 min • EN
64 min
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We bring in the fall with a big conversation about big tech, with the authors of System Error: Stanford professors Rob Reich (expertise in: political science, philosophy, ethics, democracy, digital technology), Mehran Sahami (software engineering, in particular machine learning and AI, and VC funding), and Jeremy Weinstein (political science, government, social impact). We cover the systemic drivers in tech (VC-capital, utopianism, and the “optimization mindset”), bemoan the resulting decline in our democratic values, get into our classic “can politicians really be trusted to regulate this sh*t?” debate, enter into our novel “does any one care about privacy really” debate, and, of course, consider the moral implications of soylent. If you didn’t get enough after this conversation, you’re in luck – we have another tech-focused episode coming soon.  Check out our ‘Uncertainty’ newsletter for updates and rants. To support us and gain access to exclusive content, consider becoming a paid member of Uncertain on Substack. Follow @UncertainPod on your social media of choice. On the agenda: - Riding the emotional rollercoaster of life [0:00-6:22] - The Optimization Mindset [6:23-22:37] - Utopianism [22:38-28:58] - Systemic Drivers & the VC problem [28:59-40:31] - Non-regulatory Solutions [40:32-46:56] - Privacy: Who cares? [46:57-51:30] - The great regulation debate [51:31-1:04:39] Uncertain Things is hosted and produced by Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk. For more doomsday rumination, subscribe to: Get full access to Uncertain Things at

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