Introducing Untold: The Retreat
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
1M ago
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 o ..read more
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Superintelligent AI: Transhumanism etc.
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
2M ago
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 o ..read more
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Superintelligent AI: can chatbots think?
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
3M ago
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 Konsta ..read more
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Superintelligent AI: The Doomers
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
3M ago
In the first episode of a new, six-part series of Tech Tonic, FT journalists Madhumita Murgia and John Thornhill ask how close we are to building human-level artificial intelligence and whether ‘superintelligent’ AI poses an existential risk to humanity. John and Madhu speak to Yoshua Bengio, a pioneer of generative AI, who is concerned, and to his colleague Yann LeCun, now head of AI at Meta, who isn’t. Plus, they hear from Eliezer Yudkowsky, research lead at the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, who’s been sounding the alarm about superintelligent AI for more than two decades.  ..read more
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Can AI help us speak to animals? Part two
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
5M ago
A hardware revolution in recording devices and a software revolution in artificial intelligence has convinced some scientists that humans will eventually be able to ‘translate’ animal and even plant sounds into human language. But what would be the consequences of humans learning to ‘speak whale’, chat with bats or converse with elephants? The FT’s innovation editor John Thornhill and producer Persis Love explore the ethics of potential human-to-animal communication. Presented by John Thornhill, produced by Persis Love, sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. The executive producer is ..read more
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Can AI help us speak to animals? Part one
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
5M ago
A hardware revolution in recording devices and a software revolution in artificial intelligence is enabling researchers to listen in to all kinds of conversations outside the human hearing range, a field known as bioacoustics. Some scientists now believe these developments will also allow us to ‘translate’ animal sounds into human language. In a new season of Tech Tonic, FT innovation editor John Thornhill and series producer Persis Love ask whether we’re moving closer to being able to ‘speak whale’ or even to chat with bats. Free links: Google Translate for the zoo? How humans might talk to ..read more
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Can AI help us speak to animals? Karen Bakker interview
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
5M ago
The Canadian scientist and author Karen Bakker, who died unexpectedly in August this year, was a leading voice in the bioacoustic research community. Her 2022 book, The Sounds of Life, explained how it might one day be possible to create a kind of Google Translate for animals and was the inspiration behind this Tech Tonic series. This episode contains the full interview that we recorded with her. We are posting it as a tribute to her remarkable work.  Free links: Google Translate for the zoo? How humans might talk to animals Karen Bakker, scientist and author, 1971-2023 How generative AI ..read more
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Coming soon: Can AI help us speak to animals?
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
5M ago
Some scientists believe that rapid advances in artificial intelligence may also hold the key to decoding animal sounds, allowing us to ‘translate’ them into human language. In a new season of Tech Tonic, FT innovation editor John Thornhill and series producer Persis Love explore how the same technology that powers ChatGPT is being applied to research in animal communication. Could we one day learn to ‘speak whale’ or even chat with bats? And if so, can we trust ourselves to do so responsibly? Presented by John Thornhill, produced by Persis Love, sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco ..read more
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The quantum revolution: Live at Founders Forum
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
6M ago
A bonus episode to go with our Quantum Revolution season. The FT’s John Thornhill and Madhumita Murgia host a panel of experts at the Founders Forum conference, discussing the promise of quantum computing and the state of the quantum industry today. Featuring Steve Brierley, founder and chief executive of Riverlane, a company building the algorithms and software for quantum computers; Ilana Wisby, CEO of Oxford Quantum Circuits, a company building commercially available quantum computers; and Hermann Hauser, co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners and an investor in quantum ..read more
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Introducing: The Russian Banker
FT Tech Tonic
by Financial Times
6M ago
Who is Sergei Leontiev? To the US asylum system, he’s an exiled Russian banker who was persecuted by the state and forced to flee. To Russia, he’s guilty of massive fraud. On The Russian Banker, a new series from the Financial Times, reporters Courtney Weaver and Stefania Palma try to uncover the truth, and find a story that tells us about Russia today and how people in the west build stories about who’s good and who’s bad. The Russian Banker is a special series that will run on the Behind the Money podcast starting Aug. 30. Listen to The Russian Banker by subscribing to the Behind the Money p ..read more
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