EconTalk
Russ Roberts

In this week's EconTalk episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks with NYU's Gary Marcus on how artificial intelligence may influence human flourishing and when such effects might become a real concern.

As always, we want to hear what you think.

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Podcast episode Gary Marcus on the Future of Artificial Intelligence and the Brain

EconTalk Episode with Gary Marcus
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Gary Marcus of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of artificial intelligence (AI). While Marcus is concerned about how advances in AI might hurt human flourishing, he argues that truly transformative smart machines are still a long way away and that to date, the exponential improvements in technology have been in hardware, not software. Marcus proposes ways to raise standards in programming to reduce mistakes that would have catastrophic effects if advanced AI does come to fruition. The two also discuss "big data's" emphasis on correlations, and how that leaves much to be desired.

Size:26.7 MB
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In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks with James Otteson about socialism and capitalism, touching on camping, G.A. Cohen, Adam Smith, and education along the way.

Use the questions below to check your knowledge or respond. As always, we love to hear from you.

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Podcast episode James Otteson on the End of Socialism

EconTalk Episode with James Otteson
Hosted by Russ Roberts

James Otteson of Wake Forest University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, The End of Socialism. Otteson argues that socialism (including what he calls the "socialist inclination") is morally and practically inferior to capitalism. Otteson contrasts socialism and capitalism through the views of G. A. Cohen and Adam Smith. Otteson emphasizes the importance of moral agency and respect for the individual in his defense of capitalism. The conversation also includes a discussion of the deep appeal of the tenets of socialism such as equality and the impulse for top-down planning.

Size:29.3 MB
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Bostrom follow-up

EconTalk Extra
by Russ Roberts

Bostrom Follow-up

For me, the interview with Nick Bostrom was mind-blowing. I've been thinking about it quite a bit since we did the interview and the thoughtful comments from listeners have continued the process.

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In this week's futuristic episode, Roberts chatted with philosopher Nick Bostrom on the promises and potential dangers of superintelligence, smart machines which he believes will be able to radically outperform humans in the future.

Are you as concerned as Bostrom about these supermachines? Do you share Roberts' skepticism about their danger? Wherever you fall, share your thoughts with us in the comments. As always, we love to hear from you.

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Podcast episode Nick Bostrom on Superintelligence

EconTalk Episode with Nick Bostrom
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Bostrom argues that when machines exist which dwarf human intelligence they will threaten human existence unless steps are taken now to reduce the risk. The conversation covers the likelihood of the worst scenarios, strategies that might be used to reduce the risk and the implications for labor markets, and human flourishing in a world of superintelligent machines.

Size:31.5 MB
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EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back University of Chicago's Emily Oster in this week's episode, in which they discuss the differences in infant mortality rates across nations, as well as the challenges and opportunities afforded by health data.

Share your thoughts on this week's conversation by responding to any or all of the questions below in the comments. We love to hear from you!

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Podcast episode Emily Oster on Infant Mortality

EconTalk Episode with Emily Oster
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Emily Oster of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why U.S. infant mortality is twice that in Finland and high relative to the rest of the world, given high income levels in the United States. The conversation explores the roles of measurement and definition along with culture to understand the causes of infant mortality in the United States and how it might be improved.

Size:27.3 MB
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This week's EconTalk episode with Vernon Smith helped me understand something that has been bothering me for a long time.

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