Marketplace Tech

Marketplace

Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.

  • 11 minutes 13 seconds
    “Right-to-mine” crypto laws are making their way across the U.S.

    If you drive 45 miles north of Little Rock, Arkansas, you’ll come across a facility packed with thousands of computers trying to “mine” the next bitcoin. The popular cryptocurrency’s value recently shot past $60,000 per bitcoin. Mining those bitcoins is a lucrative operation, and several crypto mining outfits have moved to the state since the passage of the Arkansas Data Centers Act last year, also known as the “right-to-mine” bill. Similar bills giving crypto mining operations protections from local regulations have popped up a couple of states. But it turns out residents don’t particularly welcome many of these operations. And Arkansas recently changed course and restored to municipalities the ability to regulate crypto miners. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali recently spoke with Gabriel Dance, senior deputy investigations editor at The New York Times, about the crypto mining situation in Arkansas. He explained what the biggest complaints have been since these mining operations moved in.

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    20 May 2024, 10:36 am
  • 11 minutes 37 seconds
    Tech Bytes – Week in Review: Google doubles down on AI, ChatGPT gets chatty and Congress charts a path for AI regulation

    On this week’s Tech Bytes: Week in Review, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling for a heap of new spending on artificial intelligence research. We’ll look at where the proposed $32 billion annually is likely to go. And some of the biggest players in AI tried to outdo one another this week. OpenAI said it’s giving ChatGPT an upgrade and a personality while Google is trying to remake search with its AI model, Gemini. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Anita Ramaswamy, financial analysis columnist at The Information, for her take on these stories.

    Marketplace is currently tracking behind target for this budget year — that means listeners like you can make a critical difference by investing in our journalism today.

    17 May 2024, 10:08 am
  • 9 minutes 48 seconds
    A vital, mostly invisible undersea industry is facing a labor shortage

    The whole digital economy runs through hundreds of thousands of miles of communication cables no bigger than a garden hose, deep on the ocean floor. So what happens when they break? And they do break, about once every other day, thanks to fishing trawlers or natural disasters. That’s when you call a repair crew of engineers, geologists, marine construction specialists and more who often spend months at sea repairing cables. This vital industry is largely invisible and facing some big challenges. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke with Josh Dzieza, feature writer and investigations editor at The Verge, who did a deep dive into the industry and those challenges.

    Marketplace is currently tracking behind target for this budget year — that means listeners like you can make a critical difference by investing in our journalism today.

    16 May 2024, 10:13 am
  • 10 minutes 55 seconds
    Digital ad spending streams past traditional TV

    This week, media executives have been busy trying to impress advertisers at the annual “upfronts,” where major TV networks showcase their stars, new programs and the potential size of their audiences. It’s a show in its own right. “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon did his version of Beyonce’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” at NBC’s upfront Monday. But this year, Big Tech is looking to cash in. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke about it with Reuters reporter Sheila Dang, who said ad spending on digital has surpassed that of traditional TV for the first time.

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    15 May 2024, 10:10 am
  • 11 minutes 54 seconds
    Why deepfakes of foreigners are selling goods on Chinese social media

    A couple of weeks ago, Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak noticed a video deepfake of the Hollywood actor Chris Evans on social media. The AI-generated Evans explains in Chinese how money is at the root of life’s problems. It’s part of a recent trend on mainland China, where deepfakes of foreigners give advice, discuss politics and sell goods online. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Pak about what’s behind the trend and later, the state of online misinformation in China.

    This conversation was part of “Marketplace Tech’s” limited series, “Decoding Democracy.” Watch the full episode here or on our YouTube channel.

    The next $50,000 in donations to Marketplace will be matched, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Joe Rush of Florida. Give now and double your impact.

    14 May 2024, 10:06 am
  • 14 minutes 15 seconds
    What happened to the “Texas miracle”?

    Early in the pandemic, many big tech companies based in Silicon Valley exited California, fleeing the high overhead necessary to do business there. One city — Austin, Texas — was consistently tagged as the top destination. The Texas capital offered lower costs, especially in regard to housing and taxes. Another draw for companies: the state’s more lax approach to regulation. Well, after a massive influx, the “Texas miracle,” with Austin at its epicenter, is losing some of its luster. In recent weeks, Tesla, which moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin in 2020, announced it’s laying off 2,700 workers there. And software giant Oracle, which relocated to Austin at about the same time, is moving its headquarters again, this time to Nashville, Tennessee. Last week, at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, Marketplace’s Lily Jamali asked Austin Mayor Kirk Watson about the state of tech in his city.

    The next $50,000 in donations to Marketplace will be matched, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Joe Rush of Florida. Give now and double your impact.

     

    13 May 2024, 10:07 am
  • 13 minutes 45 seconds
    Tech Bytes — Week in Review: Layoffs at Tesla, OpenAI’s deepfake detector and lots of new iPads

    On this week’s Tech Bytes: Week in Review, OpenAI has unveiled its own deepfake detection software and is allowing a small group of disinformation researchers to use it. Speaking of artificial intelligence, Apple this week unveiled a new suite of iPads (just in case you forgot they still make those). The company announced its new iPad Pro will, among other features, run on an AI-powered processing chip. But first, a sales slowdown has hit electric car maker Tesla pretty hard of late. Now, the tech news site Electrek reports there’s been another wave of layoffs this week, directly affecting the company’s software, service and engineering departments. It also follows last week’s mass layoff of Tesla’s entire supercharger unit. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Joanna Stern, senior personal technology columnist with the Wall Street Journal, to unpack these stories.

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    10 May 2024, 10:07 am
  • 18 minutes
    How scammers hijack their victims’ brains

    Today’s episode of Marketplace Tech is all about financial scams: how they work, what kinds of technology scammers use, and how to spot a scam before you fall victim to one. We’re passing the microphone to victims of scams to tell their stories and then breaking down how the scammers pulled it off with Marketplace’s Lily Jamali and Selena Larson, staff threat researcher at Proofpoint.

    Support our nonprofit newsroom today and pick up a fun thank-you gift like our new Shrinkflation mini tote bag or the fan favorite KaiPA pint glass!

    9 May 2024, 10:05 am
  • 10 minutes 52 seconds
    Pinterest CEO wants to build a “more positive version of social media”

    Pinterest. It’s the platform best known for its viral recipes, fashion forecasts, DIY crafts and ideas for just about any wedding or birthday party theme you could think of. In a sea of outrage and division on social media, Pinterest CEO Bill Ready wants you to think of the platform as a sanctuary of positivity in the online universe. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali recently sat down with Ready and asked him about how Pinterest has changed since its launch.

    8 May 2024, 9:43 am
  • 11 minutes 19 seconds
    Millions of Americans could lose home internet access next month

    Back in the pandemic depths of December 2020, when so many Americans were working, learning and performing essential daily tasks online, the Federal Communications Commission launched an emergency program to help low-income people connect to high-speed internet with a $50-per-month subsidy. That was extended with the Affordable Connectivity Program, which has provided $30 a month for internet service. An estimated 23 million households currently get the subsidy. But they won’t for much longer. Efforts to renew funding for the ACP have stalled in Congress and are expected to run out by the end of the month. Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino spoke to Kelcee Griffis of Tech Brew about her reporting on the ACP and the people who rely on it.

     

    7 May 2024, 9:45 am
  • 9 minutes 36 seconds
    Rethinking the lifecycle of AI when it comes to deepfakes and kids

    The following content may be disturbing to some listeners.

    For years, child sexual abuse material was mostly distributed by mail. Authorities used investigative techniques to stem its spread. That got a lot harder when the internet came along. And AI has supercharged the problem.

    “Those 750,000 predators that are online at any given time looking to connect with minor[s] … they just need to find a picture of a child and use the AI to generate child sexual abuse materials and superimpose these faces on something that is inappropriate,” says child safety advocate and TikTokker Tiana Sharifi.

    The nonprofit Thorn has created new design principles aimed at fighting child sexual abuse. Rebecca Portnoff, the organization’s vice president of data science, says tech companies need to develop better technology to detect AI-generated images and commit not to use this material to train AI models.

    6 May 2024, 9:41 am
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