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Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000

Emily M. Bender and Alex Hanna

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Artificial Intelligence has too much hype. In this podcast, linguist Emily M. Bender and sociologist Alex Hanna break down the AI hype, separate fact from fiction, and science from bloviation. They're joined by special guests and talk about everything, from machine consciousness to science fiction, to political economy to art made by machines.
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Our Opinions Are Correct

Our Opinions Are Correct

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Explore the meaning of science fiction, and how it's relevant to real-life science and society. Your hosts are Annalee Newitz, a science journalist who writes science fiction, and Charlie Jane Anders, a science fiction writer who is obsessed with science. Every two weeks, we take deep dives into science fiction books, movies, television, and comics that will expand your mind -- and maybe change your life
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The Good Robot

Dr Kerry McInerney and Dr Eleanor Drage

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Join Dr Eleanor Drage and Dr Kerry McInerney as they ask the experts: what is good technology? Is ‘good’ technology even possible? And how can feminism help us work towards it? Each week, they invite scholars, industry practitioners, activists, and more to provide their unique perspective on what feminism can bring to the tech industry and the way that we think about technology. With each conversation, The Good Robot asks how feminism can provide new perspectives on technology’s biggest prob ...
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Will AI someday do all our scientific research for us? Not likely. Drs. Molly Crockett and Lisa Messeri join for a takedown of the hype of "self-driving labs" and why such misrepresentations also harm the humans who are vital to scientific research. Dr. Molly Crockett is an associate professor of psychology at Princeton University. Dr. Lisa Messeri…
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Psyops are used by the military against foreign enemies, but now these dangerous weapons of demoralization and chaos are being used in culture wars between Americans. In this episode, Annalee tells us about their new book Stories Are Weapons, a history of psychological warfare in the U.S. (yes, it includes scifi!) -- and an exploration of the ways …
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In this episode, we talk to Dr. Isabella Rosner, a curator at the Royal School of Needlework and a research consultant at Witney Antiques. Isabella tells us about the evolution of embroidery as a technology, and the complex relationship between needlework and feminism. We use this history to shed light on technology and feminism today. This episode…
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Dr. Timnit Gebru guest-hosts with Alex in a deep dive into Marc Andreessen's 2023 manifesto, which argues, loftily, in favor of maximizing the use of 'AI' in all possible spheres of life. Timnit Gebru is the founder and executive director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR). Prior to that she was fired by Google, wh…
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Science fiction has been warning us about fascism for decades — so why haven't we listened? How did Nazis become just another monster in our stories, like werewolves or cyborgs? Plus we talk about the new wave of book censorship with Maggie Tokuda-Hall, co-founder of the new organization Authors Against Book Bans. Show notes: www.ouropinionsarecorr…
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We're talking about the Turing Test, the grandmother of all tests for AI sentience. Joining us are AI researchers Alex Hanna and Emily M. Bender, hosts of the Mystery AI Hype 3000 podcast. We discuss why the Turing Test is so influential in both fiction and reality – and why it is completely wrong. Later in the episode, we’ll talk about another thi…
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Award-winning AI journalist Karen Hao joins Alex and Emily to talk about why LLMs can't possibly replace the work of reporters -- and why the hype is damaging to already-struggling and necessary publications. References: Adweek: Google Is Paying Publishers to Test an Unreleased Gen AI Platform The Quint: AI Invents Quote From Real Person in Article…
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In this episode, we talked to Darren Byler, author of Terror Capitalism and In the Camps, Life in China's High Tech Penal Colony. We discussed his in depth research on Uyghur Muslims in China and the role played by technology in their persecution. If you're just listening to this on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts, you can now watch us on…
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It's a scary time for LGBTQIA+ folks — and many of us are turning to horror stories that take our real-life terrors and make them even more monstrous. To find out why, we talk to Dr. Chuck Tingle, the author of Camp Damascus and Bury Your Gays, and we geek out about why queers love to be scared. Also, we talk about horror movie soundtracks — and th…
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Alex and Emily put on their social scientist hats and take on the churn of research papers suggesting that LLMs could be used to replace human labor in social science research -- or even human subjects. Why these writings are essentially calls to fabricate data. References: PNAS: ChatGPT outperforms crowd workers for text-annotation tasks Beware th…
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In this episode we talk to Thuy Linh Thu, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. We talk about how good technology disperses power, while bad technology concentrates power, the racial history of dermatology, including the connections between the Vietnam War, medical experimentation on incarcerated men in the U. S., and retinol creams,. P…
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At last, videogame movies have defeated comic book movies. We learn about why from Evan Narcisse, who writes for comic books and videogames, as well as being a journalist and critic. Then we rant about why so many people are obsessed with psychoanalyzing villains, and are flocking to stories that reveal the innermost traumas of bad guys. Why do we …
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In this very special Good Robot hot take we talk about our new book, The Good Robot: Why Technology Needs Feminism. It's a beautiful new illustrated book where the top scholars, activists, artists, writers, technologists, all come together to respond to the prompt: good technology is... Kerry and Eleanor chat about getting its illustrations as tatt…
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Science fiction authors and all-around tech thinkers Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders join this week to talk about Isaac Asimov's oft-cited and equally often misunderstood laws of robotics, as debuted in his short story collection, 'I, Robot.' Meanwhile, both global and US military institutions are declaring interest in 'ethical' frameworks f…
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Science fiction and fantasy fans love to argue about canon — both meanings of the word. Which stories in a fictional universe really "happened"? Which stories deserve to be enshrined as the best of the genre? We don't think either of those things is worth yelling about! Also, did you know that tsunamis can happen in lakes, rivers and even creeks? W…
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In this episode we chat to Shannon Vallor, the Bailey Gifford professor in the ethics and data of AI at the University of Edinburgh and the Director for the Centre for Technomoral Futures. We talk about feminist care ethics; technologies, vices and virtues; why Aristotle believed that the people who make technology should be excluded from citizensh…
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Just Tech Fellow Dr. Chris Gilliard aka "Hypervisible" joins Emily and Alex to talk about the wave of universities adopting AI-driven educational technologies, and the lack of protections they offer students in terms of data privacy or even emotional safety. References: Inside Higher Ed: Arizona State Joins ChatGPT in First Higher Ed Partnership AS…
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Inspired by The Super Mario Bros Movie, we're talking about a humble class of heroes whose lives are devoted to infrastructure maintenance and repair. There are heating engineer rogues and space janitors and, of course, plumbers. Later in the episode we’ll head down to Antarctica, where our guest Ariel Waldman spent her summer vacation studying the…
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In this episode, we talk to Emily M. Bender and Alex Hanna. AI ethics legends and now the co-hosts of the Mystery AI Hype Theatre 3000 podcast which is a new podcast where they dispel the hype storm around AI. Emily is a professor of linguistics at university of Washington and the co-author of that stochastic parrots paper that you may have heard o…
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Is ChatGPT really going to take your job? Emily and Alex unpack two hype-tastic papers that make implausible claims about the number of workforce tasks LLMs might make cheaper, faster or easier. And why bad methodology may still trick companies into trying to replace human workers with mathy-math. Visit us on PeerTube for the video of this conversa…
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Anne Rice is best-known for her Vampire Chronicles, which began in the 1970s with her novel Interview with the Vampire. But did you know she also wrote bestselling BDSM erotica and two novels about Jesus? In this episode, we do a deep dive into Rice's strange career, including that time she unleashed her fans against Tom Cruise. We also discuss the…
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New year, same Bullshit Mountain. Alex and Emily are joined by feminist technosolutionism critics Eleanor Drage and Kerry McInerney to tear down the ways AI is proposed as a solution to structural inequality, including racism, ableism, and sexism -- and why this hype can occlude the need for more meaningful changes in institutions. Dr. Eleanor Drag…
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Science fiction and fantasy are full of portrayals of disabled bodies, some of which are nuanced and positive, and many of which... aren't. Join us as we talk about disability tropes and the realities of disabled life with Elsa Sjunneson, author of the brand new book Being Seen. Plus we answer reader questions from our Patreon! Show notes: www.ouro…
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AI Hell has frozen over for a single hour. Alex and Emily visit all seven circles in a tour of the worst in bite-sized BS. References: Pentagon moving toward letting AI weapons autonomously kill humans NYC Mayor uses AI to make robocalls in languages he doesn’t speak University of Michigan investing in OpenAI Tesla: claims of “full self-driving” ar…
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