2019, Podcasts

Sleepwalkers (2019)

I have long been stuck on what to do about reviewing podcasts:

  • do I review them when I finish their first reason?
  • do I review each season?
  • do I wait to the end – like a TV show – and review?

The solution I’ve come to now is to review the first season and maybe review further seasons if those seasons deviate enough from the initial premise.

The reason I’ve come to this conclusion is because many of these shows seem to be running forever. And, frankly, I don’t know how many of them I will stick with till the ends of time. (My life? Their lives?)

But this is one of those shows I will definitely keep listening to, which is, I guess, why I’ve decided to review it now that I’ve finished its first season. Because the show is coming back sometime in the future and I don’t know how long they plan to run the show for. (In theory the content could never end, given what it’s about: AI.)

This is an excellent show about the challenges of Artificial Intelligence. The hosts are clearly skeptics but also see the huge possibilities of AI.

The result is a pretty decent balance between skepticism and paranoia and hope. Yes, they err on the side of skepticism but that’s where I’m at and the last thing I would want to listen to is a tech utopian podcast, as that wouldn’t actually help me think about technology.

Each episode poses some pretty good questions about both the potentials of a particular type of AI technology and also the likely pitfalls. Though hardly objective the hosts do their best to stay open-minded which is key in general but particularly with stuff most people don’t understand.

The stories are approachable and more about ethics and possibility than they are about technical details. That makes it really accessible for lay people like me, which is extremely valuable given the world we’re currently living in and the future we are likely to live in.

It’s performing a great service, really, and I’m very glad it exists. My only criticism is some of the material is repeated.


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