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This Machine Kills

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This Machine Kills

A podcast about technology and political economy /// Agitprop against innovation and capital /// Hosted by Jathan Sadowski and Edward Ongweso Jr., Produced by Jereme Brown /// Hello friends and enemies Listen anywhere that fine podcasts are distributed. Subscribe at patreon.com/thismachinekills to get premium episodes every week.

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Recent Episodes of This Machine Kills


342. Superalignment with Sam Altman’s Values

342. Superalignment with Sam Altman’s Values

We talk about how everybody on the superalignment team at OpenAI—focused on safety, risk, adversarial testing, societal impacts, and existential concerns—is resigning, including high-profile people like Illya Sutskever. And nobody can talk about it because of draconian rules (even for Silicon Valley) about non-disclosure and non-disparagement people must sign (or risk their vested equity) upon exiting the company. For us, the turmoil of OpenAI is indicative of conflict between true believers (superalignment) and cynical operators (Sam Altman). Outro: Aunty Donna – Real Estate Agents https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGm267O04a8 ••• “I lost trust”: Why the OpenAI team in charge o...

Episode 23 May 2024 1h, 16m and 33s


Patreon Preview – 341. Cyber Freak Beat

Patreon Preview – 341. Cyber Freak Beat

After revisiting our discussion of stimulants from last episode, we dive deep into a new hive of freaks on the internet and examine the psychology of forum posters on the Cybertruck Owners Club. ••• Cybertruck Owners Club https://www.cybertruckownersclub.com/forum/ Subscribe to hear more analysis and commentary in our premium episodes every week! https://www.patreon.com/thismachinekills Hosted by Jathan Sadowski (www.twitter.com/jathansadowski) and Edward Ongweso Jr. (www.twitter.com/bigblackjacobin). Production / Music by Jereme Brown (www.twitter.com/braunestahl)

Episode 21 May 2024 9m and 20s


340. With AI Friends Like These, Who Needs Society?

340. With AI Friends Like These, Who Needs Society?

First we dive into some exciting news of actual innovation: ultrasonic extraction for cold brew coffee. Then offer a live react to OpenAI’s new product GPT-4o, which is its new flagship model in the form of a voice assistant, and jump from there to talk more deeply about the problems with AI companions via a tech column in the NYTimes. ••• Scientists Use Ultrasound to Make Cold Brew Coffee in 3 Minutes Instead of 24 Hours https://www.404media.co/scientists-use-ultrasound-to-make-cold-brew-coffee-in-3-minutes-instead-of-24-hours/ ••• Hello GPT-4o https://openai.com/index/hello-gpt-4o/ ••• Meet My A.I. Friends https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/09/technology/meet-my-a...

Episode 16 May 2024 1h, 29m and 59s


Patreon Preview – 339. Reality is Downstream from the Unreal Engine

Patreon Preview – 339. Reality is Downstream from the Unreal Engine

In what feels like a curse of eternal return, we discuss the news that Softbank is leading a $1 billion funding round into what is now the premier UK AI startup, Wavye, which has a generative simulation model for driving data. We then transition to talking about a long piece of reporting on video game engines like Unreal and Unity, the dream of creating perfect simulations of reality, and how everything is now downstream from video games. ••• SoftBank leads $1bn funding for UK artificial intelligence group Wayve https://www.ft.com/content/a5704e29-545c-45e6-b7e3-d0a8cda285...

Episode 11 May 2024 7m and 10s


338. Certified Rap Beef // Campus Actions, Deranged Reactions

338. Certified Rap Beef // Campus Actions, Deranged Reactions

Because we are all rap heads at TMK, we have been feeling juiced up by the beef between Kendrick and Drake, so we spend the first half breaking that down. Then we catch up on the campus protests and collective actions, the vibes on the ground in the encampments, and the range of deranged reactions by people who are disconnected from reality. Subscribe to hear more analysis and commentary in our premium episodes every week! https://www.patreon.com/thismachinekills Hosted by Jathan Sadowski (www.twitter.com/jathansadowski) and Edward Ongweso Jr. (www.twitter.com/bigblackjacobin). Production / Music by Jereme...

Episode 8 May 2024 1h, 26m and 22s


*Unlocked* – 333. JSOC for the Environment

*Unlocked* – 333. JSOC for the Environment

[Jathan got married last weekend! So no new shows until next week.] We dig into reporting on a special forces unit in the Brazilian ministry of environment which is composed of tier one operators who are also all scientists that are driven by a singular righteous mission of protecting the Amazon rainforest, wildlife and Indigenous communities from illegal miners and loggers. It’s almost like if the EPA had a wet works team—or, at least, it’s a good start. ••• The Brazilian Special-Forces Unit Fighting to Save the Amazon https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/04/08/the-brazilian-special-forces-unit-fighting-to-save-the-amazon Subscribe to hear more analysis and...

Episode 28 April 2024 1h, 9m and 28s


Premium – 337. A History of Fossil Empire in Palestine, Part 2

Premium – 337. A History of Fossil Empire in Palestine, Part 2

We continue our discussion of Andreas Malm’s new, giant, magisterial essay, which lays out a longue durée analysis of the ongoing genocide in Gaza, situating it in a history of fossil empire, colonial annihilation, and ecological catastrophe that stretches directly back to 1840. The project of settler-genocide today is one that kicked off nearly two hundred years ago. ••• The Destruction of Palestine Is the Destruction of the Earth | Andreas Malm https://www.versobooks.com/en-gb/blogs/news/the-destruction-of-palestine-is-the-destruction-of-the-earth ••• Palestine Speaks for Everyone | Jodi Dean https://www.versobooks.com/en-gb/blogs/news/palestine-speaks-for-everyone ••• Special issue on Ideologies and Power in AI https://firstmonda...

Episode 24 April 2024 6m and 21s


336. A History of Fossil Empire in Palestine, Part 1

336. A History of Fossil Empire in Palestine, Part 1

We start with the announcement of Jathan’s new book, plus direct attention to a new special issue on ideologies and power in AI. Then we send our solidarity and support to Jodi Dean and others who are being punished for speaking out for Palestinian emancipation, before digging into the main subject of this episode and the next one: a giant, magisterial essay by Andreas Malm which lays out a longue durée analysis of the ongoing genocide in Gaza, situating it in a history of fossil empire, colonial annihilation, and ecological catastrophe that stretches directly back to 1840. The project of...

Episode 23 April 2024 1h, 19m and 14s


Patreon Preview – 335. Seto Kaiba is My Role Model

Patreon Preview – 335. Seto Kaiba is My Role Model

First we eulogize the dream deferred of Neom, then we add more lore to Palmer Luckey who, as we find out, has modeled his whole life on a literal-minded interpretation of a character from Yu-Gi-Oh!, then we talk more about the conspiratorial and immaterial thinking of the China-TikTok Hawks, finally we heap praise on a very astute essay about the material reality of SHEIN. ••• Saudis Scale Back Ambition for $1.5 Trillion Desert Project Neom https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-04-05/saudis-scale-back-ambition-for-1-5-trillion-desert-project-neom ••• How Silicon Valley’s ‘Oppenheimer’ found lucrative trade in AI weapons https://www.ft.com/content/ce6f96f8-6ab8-4089...

Episode 19 April 2024 9m and 32s


334. Israel’s AI Kill List: “Once you go automatic, target generation goes crazy.”

334. Israel’s AI Kill List: “Once you go automatic, target generation goes crazy.”

In the first part of the show, we talk about a ridiculous new paper funded by OpenAI that aims to reconcile all human values by combining them into a “moral graph” to train Socratic LLM through reinforcement learning by people “voting on wisdom upgrades.” Then we dig into the latest reporting on yet more AI systems that Israel is using to intensify and justify its genocide in Gaza. This time through generating kill lists and tracking when targets are at home with their family before bombing them. The horrors of reality—not some speculative potentiality, but what already exists—are truly beyond...

Episode 14 April 2024 1h, 25m and 50s

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