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What Next: TBD | Tech, power, and the future

Slate

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Slate

Description:

Every Friday, Slate’s popular daily news podcast What Next brings you TBD, a clear-eyed look into the future. From fake news to fake meat, algorithms to augmented reality, Lizzie O’Leary is your guide to the tech industry and the world it’s creating for us to live in.

Language:

English


Episodes

Alabama’s IVF Mess

2/25/2024
Fertility doctors and their patients trying to conceive via in vitro fertilization (IVF) were stopped in their tracks this week, as the Alabama Supreme Court declared that embryos have the same rights as people. The decision has left doctors wondering if they can be sued for carrying out standard IVF procedures, and experts worry the ruling could have ramifications for IVF around the country. Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Constance, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist in Omaha, Nebraska. Want more What Next TBD? Subscribe to Slate Plus to access ad-free listening to the whole What Next family and across all your favorite Slate podcasts. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts by clicking “Try Free” at the top of our show page. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to get access wherever you listen. Check out Compiler here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:28:09

The Coasts are Sinking

2/23/2024
Studies have found that, in tiny increments, America’s East Coast is sinking into the ground thanks to climate change. Can a new approach to urban planning mitigate the effect? Guest: Matt Simon, senior staff writer at Wired. You can read Matt’s reporting here. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:20:11

Apple Vision Pro: The Ultimate Surveillance Device?

2/18/2024
Apple Vision Pro goggles might be a crime against fashion but with the amount of data they can collect—both on the world around the user and on the users themselves—they have the potential to invade privacy right down to where you’re looking and for how long. Guest: Geoffrey Fowler, Washington Post tech columnist If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Check out Compiler here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:28:54

Warfare Enters the A.I. Era

2/16/2024
The war in Ukraine reordered the priorities of the country’s growing tech sector, and has become a place for foreign companies to test out new tools with less regulation or scrutiny. Guests: Vera Bergengruen, senior correspondent at Time If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:28:03

Breaking Up with Dating Apps

2/11/2024
For a while, it seemed like the only place to meet potential partners was through an app—Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, etc. But as the apps are trying to monetize their matchmaking—and some users now with a whole decade of striking out under their belts—old-fashioned meet-cutes-in-bars or, say, debutante balls look more and more appealing. Guests: Katherine Lindsay, culture writer and cofounder of Embedded Rachael Stein, dating-app spelunker If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:25:36

The NFL’s Concussion Settlement Farce

2/9/2024
The NFL's concussion settlement was meant to provide financial support and medical help for players who developed traumatic brain injuries from the sport. So why are so many players denied the help they need? Guest: Will Hobson, sports reporter for the Washington Post. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:29:34

Streaming Is Cable Now

2/4/2024
The number of TV streaming services is going up—and so is the cost and so are the number of ads. Cordcutters are finding themselves back to cable prices and inconveniences. And these changes don’t just impact the TV viewing experience - they impact the types of shows that get made in the first place. Guest: Alex Cranz, managing editor at the Verge. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:30:39

The Taylor Swift Deepfake Saga

2/2/2024
For all the promise of the technology, one use-case for artificial intelligence reared its ugly head last week: non-consensual pornographic images. As millions of users saw abusive A.I. generated images of Taylor Swift proliferate across X, the pitfalls of this technology became clear. Guest: Emanuel Maiberg, journalist and co-founder of 404 Media If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Check out Compiler here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:26:41

Why Is Everybody Sick?

1/28/2024
Are we still paying off our pandemic-induced “immunity debt,” or is there another reason that it feels like we’re all sniffling and coughing and just feeling sick? Guest: Keren Landman, senior health reporter at Vox If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:23:17

Are You Ready for the A.I. Election?

1/26/2024
In the days leading up to the New Hampshire primary, voters received a robocall purportedly from Joe Biden. Authorities have now determined the call was likely A.I.-generated. In the era of A.I., how can voters tell what’s real and what’s not? And will the general election be thrown into chaos by artificial intelligence-created disinformation? Guest: Makena Kelly, senior writer at Wired covering politics and technology If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Podcast production by Evan Campbell, Paige Osburn and Anna Phillips. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:26:01

Have Algorithms Ruined Our Culture?

1/21/2024
How much of our lives—our tastes, preferences and choices—have been fed to us through an interlocking, impersonal network of algorithms? Guest: Kyle Chayka, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:36:05

The Great British Library Hack

1/19/2024
When a cyberattack knocked the British Library out of commission in October of last year, a nation's researchers, scholars, students, and bookworms were left high and dry. Months later, the library is starting to come back online in limited capacity, but the attack has laid bare just how fragile our digital systems are. Guest: Sam Knight, staff writer at the New Yorker If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:27:33

Is Your Car Tracking You?

1/14/2024
Covered in cameras, full of microphones, and always eager to use location data, our vehicles are “smartphones on wheels”—and privacy nightmares. Guest: Kashmir Hill, technology and privacy reporter for the New York Times. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:22:49

Boeing’s Max Mess

1/12/2024
Shortly after take off from Portland, OR, the plug exit on a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet blew out – causing an uncontrolled decompression of the plane. Now, accident investigators are hard at work, trying to determine what happened in what's the latest catastrophe for the respected commercial airplane provider. Guest: Jon Ostrower, Editor-in-chief of The Air Current If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:35:02

Tesla's Cybertruck Problem

1/7/2024
What the Cybertruck says about safety, regulation, and the degree to which Tesla is beholden to the whims of Elon Musk. Guest: Edward Niedermeyer, author of Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:24:51

Why the New York Times Sued OpenAI

1/5/2024
If A.I. and chatbots are the next wave of innovation, then the New York Times and other media organizations are determined to get paid this time. Guest: Megan Morrone, technology editor for the Axios AI+ newsletter If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:28:17

Who’s Afraid of A.I.? | 2023 In Review

12/31/2023
While the What Next: TBD team spends some time with their families during the holidays, we revisit some of 2023’s biggest, strangest, and best stories. Regularly scheduled programming resumes in January. Artificial intelligence—as it already exists today—is drawing from huge troves of surveillance data and is rife with the biases built into the algorithm, in service of the huge corporations that develop and maintain the systems. The fight for the future doesn’t look like war with Skynet; it’s happening right now on the lines of the Writer’s Guild strike. Guests: Meredith Whittaker, president of the Signal Foundation, co-founder of the AI Now Institute at NYU Originally aired May 12th, 2023 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:33:52

America’s Killer Car Problem | 2023 In Review

12/29/2023
While the What Next: TBD team spends some time with their families during the holidays, we revisit some of 2023’s biggest, strangest, and best stories. Regularly scheduled programming resumes in January. Pedestrian deaths in America have been rising for the last decade, while dropping in Europe and Japan. What makes the U.S. so dangerous for pedestrians? Guest: Jessie Singer, author of There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster―Who Profits and Who Pays the Price. Originally aired July 16th, 2023. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:36:36

Stephen King Is Just as Confused About Blue Checks as You Are | 2023 In Review

12/24/2023
While the What Next: TBD team spends some time with their families during the holidays, we revisit some of 2023’s biggest, strangest, and best stories. Regularly scheduled programming resumes in January. Twitter’s “blue check” verification went from something you applied for, to something you could pay for, to something you had to pay for…to something that many celebrities wouldn’t even accept for free. Master of horror Stephen King told us he wouldn’t pay for a blue check, but he’s not going to fight it either—he just doesn’t really understand what’s going on. Does anyone at Twitter understand? Guests: Alex Heath, deputy editor of The Verge Jon Favreau, co-founder of Crooked Media, speechwriter for President Barack Obama Stephen King, author Originally aired April 28th, 2023. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:34:13

Can Hybrid Cars Save Us?

12/22/2023
Without infrastructure to support all-electric vehicles, consumers have increasingly embraced the hybrid. The lower emissions are good—but are they slowing down our transition into an electric future? Guest: Patrick George, editor-in-chief of InsideEVs.com, contributor to The Atlantic and The Verge. If you enjoy this show, please consider signing up for Slate Plus. Slate Plus members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast, bonus episodes of shows like Slow Burn and Dear Prudence—and you’ll be supporting the work we do here on What Next TBD. Sign up now at slate.com/whatnextplus to help support our work. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:27:07