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This is the story of what happens when Evan Ratliff, co-host of Longform and a longtime tech journalist, makes a digital copy of himself, powered by AI, in order to understand how amazing and scary and utterly ridiculous the world is about to get. In Episode 1, Evan clones his voice, hooks it up to ChatGPT and his phone line, and sends it off to ta…
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What would happen if you created a digital copy of yourself, powered by AI, and set it loose in the world? Over the past six months, Evan Ratliff has been trying to find out. He combined a clone of his voice, an AI chatbot, and a phone line—many phone lines, actually—into what are called “voice agents.” Then he sent them out… as himself. They talke…
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John Jeremiah Sullivan is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and has written for Harper's, The New Yorker, and GQ. He is the author of Pulphead and the forthcoming The Prime Minister of Paradise: The True Story of a Lost American History. “I love making pieces of writing and trying to find the right language to say what I mean. It…
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is an author and journalist. His next book is The Message. “I don’t think we have the luxury as journalists of avoiding things because people might say bad things about us. I don’t even think we have the luxury of avoiding things because we might get fired. I don’t think we have the luxury of avoiding them because somebody might ca…
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Jay Caspian Kang is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a co-host of Time to Say Goodbye. “At some point, you have to kick it out the door, and it’s never finished to the degree that you would finish a magazine piece. But it, in some ways, is more interesting because it is produced in a short amount of time, and it’s read as something that is not…
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Joseph Cox is a cybersecurity journalist and co-founder of 404 Media. His new book is Dark Wire: The Incredible True Story of the Largest Sting Operation Ever. “In the not too distant future, I will be a very old man, and maybe I won't be able to spend all day talking to drug traffickers. I will be mentally and physically exhausted. So I will dogge…
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Tavi Gevinson is a writer, actor, and the founder of Rookie. Her new zine is Fan Fiction. “Stories are unstable, and memory is unstable, and identity is unstable. All of these things that I've tried to make permanent in writing, they're actually unstable. So even though it's tempting to go, Oh, that was fake, it's more like, No, it was just tempora…
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Rachel Khong is a journalist and author whose latest novel is Real Americans. “It's about the ways in which we miss each other as human beings and can't fully communicate what it is like to be ourselves. … And I think that's what makes it so interesting to me, to work on a novel and to spend so much time trying to get down on the page what it feels…
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Kelsey McKinney is a features writer and co-owner at Defector.com. She hosts the podcast Normal Gossip and is the author of the upcoming book You Didn't Hear This From Me: (Mostly) True Notes on Gossip. “I was always very interested in how you strategize a creative career. And I think that that is an unsexy thing to talk about, right? It's much sex…
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Lissa Soep is an audio producer, editor and author whose latest book is Other People’s Words: Friendship, Loss, and the Conversations That Never End. “I am so keenly aware of how much my own voice is a product of editing relationships and co-producing relationships with other people's words. … I will forever feel indebted to those then young people…
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PJ Vogt is the host of Search Engine. “One of our tests editorially is if we think we’ve got something good, but we haven’t started reporting or recording on it, I’ll just try asking the question at dinner and stuff. If it derails conversations, that’s a really good sign.” Show notes: @PJVogt Vogt’s Substack Vogt on Longform Podcast 03:00 “Why Are …
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Lindsay Peoples is the editor-in-chief of The Cut. “You see so many incredible people make one mistake and lose their job or they speak out about something and then the next day something blows up. And so I do think that I often feel like I have to be so careful. And that's hard to do because I'm just naturally curious and I want to know and I want…
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