How technology has transformed our connection and our disruption


So now you can subscribe and receive E. Jean weekly as a Substack newsletter. I’m suscribed. The first issue came out this week and it’s fantastic. So that’s my recommendation. You get all kinds of really great, quick, and fun writing. You get really good advice and you get those somewhat messy calls for help from the public that you can’t help but laugh at as you read the beautiful responses she writes. So that’s my recommendation.

AP: I can’t wait to read this. I saw this recently announced on Twitter and just made a silent cheer in my head. Subscriber.

MC: Subscribe. Lauren, what is your recommendation.

LG: My recommendation is a recycled recommendation from an old Gadget Lab. You might remember that a few weeks ago, Kate Knibbs brought in Kate Knibbs to break up the wild world of NFT. And at the end of this episode, Kate Knibbs recommended a book. I took his recommendation seriously. I read it. It is a beautiful book. It’s called Klara and the sun, it is written by Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro. He also wrote several other novels, I haven’t read any of his previous works, but Klara and the sun is the story of an AF, an artificial friend, as she is called, who befriends the girl whose family she mainly joins in this world that Ishiguro writes about. These families buy all these AFs. I see them as a kind of humanoid robot for their kids to have companions and also for help and that sort of thing.

And this AF Klara in particular is an incredibly astute and observational robot who actually begins to perceive, interpret, and feel emotions, which makes him interesting. And it’s just a really brilliant and beautiful book about the human experience and I guess the human-AI experience in our new world. So i recommend Klara and the sun.

AP: Yes. And after you’ve finished the book or before, you can also read a fantastic interview our colleague Will Knight did about the book with the author on WIRED.com. It’s a really interesting conversation about artificial intelligence and literature and the future between two men who lived in England.

LG: We’re going to link to that in the show’s notes.

MC: Absolutely. I can’t wait to read this book, but it’s about 19th on my list. So I’m sure I’ll be the last person in this circle to read the book as I am with most books.

LG: I also bought the Ram Dass book you recommended, Mike, a few episodes before that, but haven’t opened it yet.

MC: The coverage is amazing, isn’t it?

LG: It’s beautiful. In fact, I’ll give it to you when I’m done, because it’s such a beautiful book.

MC: Oh, I got it. I bought it on the Kindle, thanks.

LG: Of course you did.

MC: I appreciate it. Very good. Well, this is our show of the week. Thanks again to Arielle Pardes for joining us.

AP: It is an honor to be nominated.

LG: It was so much fun seeing you again.

MC: You can claim your reward from the person in the bunny costume, who is currently standing in front of your apartment.

AP: Thank you. Thank you.

MC: And thank you all for listening. If you have any comments, you can find it all on Twitter. Just check the ratings of the show. This show is produced by Boone Ashworth. Goodbye. And we’ll be back with our 500th episode special.

[Gadget Lab outro theme music]


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