It's the question of our times: How is technology impacting our humanity? "Should This Exist?" invites the creators of radical new technologies to set aside their business plan, and think through the human side: What is the invention’s greatest promise? And what could possibly go wrong? Show host Caterina Fake (Partner, Yes VC; Cofounder Flickr) is a celebrated tech pioneer and one of Silicon Valley’s most eloquent commentators on technology and the human condition. Joined by a roster of all-star expert guests who have a knack for looking around corners, Caterina drops listeners into the minds of today’s ingenious entrepreneurs and guides them through the journey of foreseeing what their technology might do to us, and for us. Should This Exist? is a WaitWhat original series in partnership with Quartz.
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Should This Exist?
4.8 out of 5 stars
Based on 20 reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Sometimes You Just Know...
I listen to and love a lot of podcasts, but it took just a couple of episodes to become convinced that this is the one. I look forward to many future listens.
5 out of 5 stars
Makes you think
Great podcast concerning the ethical implications of new technologies.
5 out of 5 stars
Loved the episode about alternatives to standardized testing. inspiring and innovative. And beautifully produced.
5 out of 5 stars
Terrifying and inspiring
I'm not sure how, but this podcast makes me both terrified and inspired. And I end up thinking about the ethical questions C Fake has raised for a week later. Until the next one comes out. Then I start thinking all over again. That's pretty amazing.
5 out of 5 stars
My favorite tech podcast!
Love it. Each episode focuses on a particular technology, considers its historical importance, and questions its impact on our world. A playful, challenging and engaging listen. Should this podcast exist? Definitely.
5 out of 5 stars
Provocative and beautifully produced!!!!
In season two Caterina Fake explores important questions with fascinating guests, produced in a captivating way. Some of the issues raised are still reverberating in my mind - like the potentially catastrophic effects of learning TOO much about the virus that causes COVID 19. Not to be missed!
5 out of 5 stars
Waiting for the next and the next and the next
Well if the first two episodes are any guage about this new series, this show is going to be amazing. Those were two jaw droppingly thoughtful, articulate guests and topics. I was stopped cold while listening and am still thinking them days later. Told my kids I couldn't be interrupted, because I could hardly take out my earbuds!! Waiting for the next and the next and the next.
5 out of 5 stars
Solid podcast here. I was referred to this podcast after sharing my story of chronic pain. One of the authors former coworker sent it to me. I just listened to several episodes and really enjoyed the Lyme and Mold episode. Going to start putting daily affirmations, meditation into my daily life to give myself some energy back in my day.
5 out of 5 stars
The question of our time!
Loved the first two episodes of Season 2! It has a more human and conversational tone than the first season, and the new soundtrack creates a more pleasant listening experience. Two thumbs up!
5 out of 5 stars
This podcast SHOULD exist
If we’re posing the question “should this podcast exist?”, the answer is a resounding YES. I didn’t know I needed this pod and its content in my life until I stumbled upon it. I feel enriched and enlightened after each episode. It’s become required listening in my library.
5 out of 5 stars
On the deepfake technology episode
Very insightful episode on a subject that will surely become much more mainstream in the near future but the hate and abuse involved in some of the ways that destructive people choose to use this tech for is nothing new to societies which is not to say that it makes it any less disturbing. However I would personally rather have it be out in the open where everyone can see the disturbing ways that abusive and hateful people choose to use democratized tools for destruction rather than to advance humanity as a whole towards a better future. And I would emphasize that these people are not creators - they are simply misusing the technology and creation of well intentioned human beings for their own selfish needs such as for revenge and abuse of power over vulnerable people. But an upside to tech is that it can’t be hidden the way that narcissistic personalities such as Trump, Epstein and Maxwell tend to otherwise hide their exploitation and abuse of vulnerable children, women and in some cases also men. Such monsters who project their twisted desires onto vulnerable people and use their empathy or silence as consent and justification for their actions have always existed and technology will only bring that out in the open much more than it has ever been. Just like the recording of Trump saying that if you’re famous women let you do it. So in some ways it’s helpful for a lot more people to see the ugly greed and vindictive nature of some people so that societies can find solutions with the help of psychology/psychiatry for the humans who are the problem and not the tools or technology. Sexual abuse, exploitation and humiliation of women and children is unnatural and self destructive to humanity as a whole so there is a far greater disturbing issue going on with women and men who take pleasure in abusing and exercising power over vulnerable people who they feel can’t stand a chance against them in the first place. Only a serious disconnect would make a human being feel powerful after such abuses and easy wins that have nothing to do with creation or competition. If there is or should ever be a deepfake revenge porn video of me out there I would just want everyone who watches it to know who the destructive person behind it is who can’t express their emotions properly on a human to human level.
5 out of 5 stars
Obsessed with this podcast
All the conversations we desperately NEED to be having.
5 out of 5 stars
Stoked for season two!!
5 out of 5 stars
Looking forward to this
So happy to hear this podcast is coming back.
5 out of 5 stars
Need more episodes
4 out of 5 stars
This well-produced podcast is hosted by someone who knows what she is talking about. If she's not telling one of her knowledgeable stories it's because she's asking an equally-informed guest for their take. The only element I view as a drawback is their use of the same cartoonish, childish audio embellishments that "Meditative Story" also uses.
5 out of 5 stars
Always making me think
Thanks for changing up my list of product podcasts with something that makes me stop and think harder about what I build and its consequences. A great listen every time.
3 out of 5 stars
Stick to your mission please
In general, I enjoy this podcast. Fake is knowledgeable and a good host. They choose interesting topics and get good guests to interview. Some good questions are raised, which are the first steps toward understanding and discussion.
4 out of 5 stars
LOVE LOVE LOVE this podcast so much!
Love this podcast!!! Really wish there was an episode once a week 🥰
5 out of 5 stars
THIS podcast should exist!
I really enjoy this podcast from a number of angles. The first would be the introduction of the topic invention. These inventions are so mind-blowing that simply learning about their existence or soon-to-be-existence is thrilling and offers so much to think about. Not only that but they are always presented in philosophically exciting ways, with the inventor on the show discussing the way the technology works, their vision, and how it was conceived. At the same time, the very revelation of these inventions often gives a feeling of dis-ease, an inherent eeriness is felt in the power they each hold, which is then addressed in the second part of the show. “This invention is clearly incredible, but should it exist? What are it’s implications?” Fake voices emotionally relevant concerns about the topic invention, valid fears and anxieties, discussing the ways the technology might be misused by users or co-opted by ill-intended corporations/governments. Could this technology lead to addiction? Thought policing? Could this technology converge into an episode of Black Mirror? There is comfort in having this dis-ease validated and addressed, and it makes this show the perfect combination of technologically enthusiastic and curious as well as sensitive to our vulnerability as humans and being accountable to that. If you have a longing for this kind of two-sided wholistic Inquiry into technological development, this podcast with gratify it.
- Amount of episodes
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- Last upload date
- December 23, 2020
- Last fetch date
- September 29, 2022 4:05 AM
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- © WaitWhat Inc.
- Can we trip our way to better mental health?You’d be forgiven for being surprised if your doctor wrote you a prescription for ecstasy, ayahuasca, magic mushrooms, or LSD. But a recent resurgence in psychedelic research shows that a number of mental health conditions can be treated directly and effectively with potent psychoactive drugs. Dr. Dave Nichols has been studying the chemistry of these drugs for over 40 years, and he’s convinced of their therapeutic potential — and aware of the dangers of abuse. After a long psychedelic winter, are we ready to welcome these drugs back into the psychiatric fold?0 comments0
- Nuclear power in a six-packWhen you think of nuclear power, what do you envision? For many people, the answer is Chernobyl or Fukushima: massive meltdowns that turned vast areas into radioactive wastelands. But those were meltdowns — and without meltdowns, nuclear power could be a valuable source of clean energy. Dr. Jose Reyes, the co-founder of NuScale, has designed a small, modular reactor that, he claims, cannot melt down. A six-pack of these reactors could power a good-size city, and though that power comes at a higher price than natural gas or renewables, the cost might be offset by the gains in climate goals. Bottom line: How safe is safe enough for nuclear power?0 comments0
- Cloud brightening for climate feverKelly Wanser is a climate activist who wants to use a strategy called cloud brightening to fight climate change, using a naturally occurring process to bounce rays from the sun back out to space. She and others have described it compellingly as “emergency medicine for the earth’s climate fever,” and suggest it could buy us more time to implement policies addressing the root causes of climate change. But climate change is a planetary problem – so who gets to decide what countries or groups are allowed to take the risk of geoengineering to fix it? How can one country pursue a risky mitigation strategy if neighboring countries would be the most adversely affected if things went wrong? Get the Should This Exist? newsletter! Discussion questions, reading list, more: http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- The promise of a bioartificial kidneyUCSF bioengineer Shuvo Roy and his team have created the world’s first bionic kidney. The coffee-cup-sized device includes a silicon nanotechnology filter to cleanse the blood, while living kidney cells grown in a bioreactor perform the other functions of a natural kidney. A bioartificial kidney could save kidney patients from being stuck on a dialysis machine for life – or dying while waiting for a rare transplant. But is the promise of such a life-changing device enough to convince investors to bring such a thing to market? We talk through the ethics of artificial organs. Get the Should This Exist? newsletter! Discussion questions, reading list, more: http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- A world without our devicesCould you, would you, go one full hour without your phone? The average American spends one-third of their waking hours on a smartphone; we’ve been told our devices make life better, faster, and easier. What happens when we choose to live without them – or when we are forced to? In this episode, we’ll talk to media studies professor Douglas Rushkoff, get the down low from a U.S. senator who sat in a “digitally sequestered” hearing for three weeks (guess which one) – and travel to the WiFi-free town of Green Bank, West Virginia, to find out exactly what happens when we unplug. Listen to Douglas Rushkoff’s podcast Team Human: http://teamhuman.fm Get Douglas’ book Team Human : https://rushkoff.com/books/team-human-book Find more resources about this episode at shouldthisexist.com Subscribe to our excellent newsletter at http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- Could this game replace the SAT?Standard college admissions tests are: a. based on an outdated model of intelligence; b. exclusionary; c. a lucrative business and a near-monopoly; d. all of the above. 28-year-old Harvard dropout Rebecca Kantar is disrupting the paradigm of pencil-and-paper tests like the SAT and ACT by designing interactive scenarios that play like video games, and that test for qualities like grit and creativity. But is another test the answer? Given the spotty history of aptitude tests, maybe it’s time to completely reevaluate how colleges evaluate prospective frosh.0 comments0
- VR vs. PTSDA VR system called Bravemind allows combat veterans with PTSD to confront and process their trauma in a virtual environment. The therapy, developed by psychologist Skip Rizzo, shows promise for PTSD and potential for other issues like phobias and addiction – and it may have applications to help healing more broadly. But does the potential for harm from virtual self-medication outweigh the good it can do in a clinical setting? And given what we know about how VR affects the brain – is it as safe as it seems? Find an episode transcript at shouldthisexist.com Get our spectacular newsletter at eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- Young blood / old brainsWhat if you could extend your healthy life by 10 or 20 years – with a blood transfusion from someone younger and healthier than you? Research by Stanford professor Tony Wyss-Coray shows potential to treat Alzheimer’s and prevent age-related cognitive decline: He’s discovered that proteins found in the blood of young mice can dramatically reverse the effects of aging when transfused into older mice. Doing the same thing in humans could increase our quality of life as we age, and our life expectancy too. We’re years away from seeing any clinical applications of this research, which gives us time to ask about its implications. Who will have access to this treatment? Who are the donors providing young blood? We could add years to our lives – but is that what we really want? Get the weekly Should This Exist? newsletter for reading list and discussion questions: http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- Grandma, here’s your robotIs it the loneliest idea you’ve ever heard? Or an ingenious hack that helps human caregivers be more attentive and empathetic? You might have these questions when you meet the robot caregivers who roam the halls at retirement homes, doing basic tasks for residents and keeping them connected. Is elder care something we want a robot to do? Roboticist Conor McGinn from Trinity College Dublin actually moved into a retirement home in Washington, DC, to gain a deeper understanding of what residents might want from a robot. The answer surprised him, and it prompts deeper questions: As humans, what responsibility do we have toward our elders? When we fail them, should robots close the gap? And is that the future we want for ourselves? Get the weekly Should This Exist? newsletter for reading list and discussion questions: http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- Contact tracing: So promising. So invasive.It’s one of the best weapons we have to contain a pandemic. But can it defeat the disease without spying on people who might carry it? MIT’s Kevin Esvelt has a bold idea: Let’s try a new form of contact tracing that could more than double the program’s impact. Bi-directional tracing looks both forward and backward from a known transmission, building a chart of the “undiscovered branches of the viral family tree,” and identifying potential spreaders other systems can’t see. But how much of our data are we willing to give the government, even if it’s to fight Covid-19? Get the weekly Should This Exist? newsletter for reading list and discussion questions: http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- The deepfake detectiveChances are, you’ve seen a “deepfake” video. But did you know it? A new breed of tech detectives are building tools to spot these hyper-realistic videos – built with AI – where people say things they didn’t say or do things they’d never do. Some of these clips are just good, fanciful fun. But a deepfake deployed at the right moment could sway an election, or wreck a life. That’s why UC Berkeley professor Hany Farid is working on a “deepfake detective" – a tool to help media outlets know what’s real and what isn’t. But the same program could also give deepfakers a blueprint for how to make their work undetectable. Deepfake technology already exists. This episode asks: What should we do now? Get the weekly Should This Exist? newsletter for reading list and discussion questions: http://eepurl.com/gnZTf90 comments0
- Season 2 Trailer: Should This Exist?How is technology impacting our humanity? It’s the question of our times. Join host Caterina Fake for Season 2 of Should This Exist – where each week we take a single technology and ask: What’s its greatest potential? And what could possibly go wrong? With fascinating guests telling great stories, we’ll talk about some astounding technologies. Robots who could become our caregivers in old age. Video games that aim to replace the SAT. And virtual reality that could heal our trauma and rewire our brains. Our boldest new technologies can help us flourish as human beings. Or destroy the very thing that makes us human. You can’t uninvent these technologies. So what are we going to do with them now? Season 2 of Should This Exist? starts October 14, with 11 all-new episodes. Subscribe now, wherever you listen. And join the Should This Exist newsletter at shouldthisexist.com0 comments0
- What went wrong with the world wide web – and how we can fix itThe web is broken. Data is mined, sold, and exploited. Social media is an endless and biased scroll through the worst of humanity. Nobody’s personal information is safe. And worst of all, it’s inescapable. The web is a cornerstone of our lives. It’s how we work, communicate with each other, and get information. And it wasn’t supposed to be like this. How did a utopian vision of a free, open, and democratic internet turn into nothing more than a machine for marketing and surveillance? In the season finale of Should This Exist?, Caterina Fake is joined by early web adopters Steven Berlin Johnson, Anil Dash, and Kevin Delaney to ask: Where did the web go wrong? Could we have prevented it? And what, if anything, can we now do to fix it? It’s a question that affects us all and will determine the future of our lives online… and off.0 comments0
- How to hack your way out of agingImagine meeting your great-great-great-grandkids. Or going to law school in your 80s, learning to snowboard at 110, taking a gap decade instead of a gap year. Greg Bailey dreams of a world where everybody lives twice as long, and no one gets sick. His startup, Juvenescence, is developing a whole ecosystem of anti-aging medications to help you live longer, healthier. Which sounds great. But would this world of perky centenarians wreak havoc on our already strained resources? Would natural aging become taboo? Would dying? It's a technology that prompts us to ask some of the biggest questions of all.0 comments0
- The next gen of meat will be grown in a labImagine biting into a steak that didn’t come from a cow. Or a chicken breast that did not come from a chicken. Imagine if your favorite meat dish did not involve an animal getting killed. This is Isha Datar’s dream. She is a scientist on a mission to not only reinvent meat but the entire meat industry. If Isha's dream comes true, we'll live in a post-animal bioeconomy where animal products – from meat to leather and wool – are harvested from cell cultures, not animals. And we're able to feed a growing global population sustainably, affordably and safely. But does meat grown in a lab really take animals out of the picture? And do we want to step further into a landscape of man-made, mass-produced food? Host Caterina Fake discusses the possibilities and pitfalls with Isha Datar, executive director of New Harvest, and Kevin Delaney (Quartz Editor-in-Chief); Ben Turley and Brent Young (owners, The Meat Hook); and Andrew Pelling (biophysicist).0 comments0
- What if you could Photoshop your voice?Mike Pappas and Carter Huffman believe their invention fulfills the promise of the digital world: the complete freedom to design your identity. But what if we all used it? The human voice is a key marker of authenticity and individuality, and Modulate uses A.I to transform your voice into anything you want it to be. In real time. If you’re a woman and want to sound like a man, Modulate can help you. If you’re a teen and want to sound like a grandparent, Modulate can do that. If you’re from Italy but want to adopt a French accent, speak into Modulate, and you will. Should this exist? The gift of free expression also comes with a price. Yes: Modulate could allow people to be their true selves and speak in a voice that represents who they are. Yes: Modulate could expose institutional vocal bias against certain sounds and accents. But it also could contribute to the world of deep faking and harassment. At what point is digitizing our real-world identity too much?0 comments0
- We can change the DNA of an entire species — in the wildKevin Esvelt knows the stakes are high. As a geneticist at the MIT Media Lab, Kevin discovered a technique called a gene drive, which gives humans a power we’ve never had before: to change the DNA of entire species in nature. This capacity is so new and so unprecedented that when Kevin made the discovery six years ago, it was “literally unimagined by any human being at that time — not in science fiction, not in any form of literature, not in any scientific journals.” Used successfully for good, a gene drive has the potential to save millions of lives by eliminating diseases like Malaria. But in the wrong hands — or even in well-intentioned hands — the results could be catastrophic. How do we weigh the potential for enormous good against the terrifying unknowns? Host Caterina Fake thinks it through with scientist Kevin Esvelt as well as special guests Baratunde Thurston (Comedian and host of the podcasts Spit and #TellBlackStories); Janna Levin (Director of Science Programs at Pioneer Works, Columbia Professor of Astronomy) and Joi Ito (Director of the MIT Media Lab).0 comments0
- When your invention becomes a weaponWhat do you do if your invention becomes a weapon? This happened to Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired Magazine, who launched DIY Drones, an open source community that helps anyone build their own flying machines. Chris and his community evolved drones from a military tool to an everyday gadget. Now, drones are used by conservationists to monitor bird's nests, contractors to insure safety standards at building sites, and filmmakers to capture sweeping vistas, among other things. But, they're also used by ISIS to drop bombs on civilians. So, what is Chris' responsibility? Did he foster innovation for a community of like-minded do-gooders or democratize a weapon for a terrorist group across the globe? Host Caterina Fake discusses the possibilities with 3DR founder and CEO Chris Anderson and special guests comedian Baratunde Thurston and Quartz Editor-in-Chief Kevin Delaney.0 comments0
- The return of supersonic flightThroughout human history, we’ve wanted to fly – and to fly fast. So it’s hard to resist Blake Scholl’s idea. His startup, Boom, is building a new supersonic jet, which will fly at twice the speed of sound. If he succeeds, it could be the biggest disruption to air travel since the Jet Age of the 1960s. But progress always has a price. There’s the sonic boom, yes. But also — what happens when the world’s wealthiest can descend en masse on places that used to be hard to reach? And what happens to all of us when supersonic speeds up our already sped-up world? To help us see around this corner, host Caterina Fake discusses the possibilities with Boom Founder and CEO Blake Scholl, and special guests including author Anand Giridharadas, physicist Janna Levin, comedian Baratunde Thurston, and Quartz Editor-in-Chief Kevin Delaney.0 comments0
- What if your phone could detect how you feel?What if your computer had an "emotion chip" — AI that could read the expression on your face (or the tone in your voice) and know how you’re feeling? Could online courses teach you better if they knew when you were bored or confused? Could your car help you stay awake if you drift off when driving? These are the questions Rana El-Kaliouby asked when she built an AI tool that examines every micro-muscle in the human face to detect universal emotions — happiness, fear, grief, disgust. Through her company Affectiva, Rana wants to make technology more human, which she believes will serve us better. But if put the wrong hands, could this emotion-reading engine take advantage of us at our most vulnerable moments? Could our inner thoughts be displayed publicly if we don’t want them to be? How might advertisers exploit us if they are able to read our facial expressions? To help us see around corners — we’re joined by special guests including Esther Perel (Relationship expert; host of podcast “Where Should We Begin?”), Joy Buolamwini (Founder, Algorithmic Justice League); Sam Altman (Chairman Y Combinator, Cofounder Open AI); Greg Brockman (Cofounder, Open AI); and Joi Ito (Director, MIT Media Lab).0 comments0
- Tell your troubles to the chatbotWoebot is a mobile app that gives one-on-one therapy and gets 2 million messages a week. But Woebot isn't a person – it's a chatbot. It was invented and developed by psychologist Alison Darcy and it uses AI to guide users through a session, anytime, anywhere. Darcy hopes that Woebot will help break down the stigma of therapy and help provide services to communities with a lack of mental health resources. But what happens when we remove the human therapist from therapy? Host Caterina Fake, Woebot founder and CEO Alison Darcy, and experts Esther Perel, Baratunde Thurston, and Kevin Delaney debate the possibilities.0 comments0
- This headset helps you learn faster. But is that fair?Neuroscientist Daniel Chao created a headset that hacks your brain with electricity so you can learn as fast as a kid again. It’s called Halo, and it helps you learn motor skills faster. Athletes use it; musicians too. But we’re not far from a future when Halo could help anyone master anything. Where will that take us? Host Caterina Fake leads the journey, joined by Comedian Baratunde Thurston and Quartz Editor in Chief Kevin Delaney, who help Daniel future-cast, and see his invention through the future best for humanity.0 comments0
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