Episode 41. Jennifer Strong of In Machines We Trust

“In Machines We Trust is a podcast about the automation of everything.”

The automation of everything sounds impossibly extensive, but automation is everywhere.

The artificial intelligence (AI) that drives automation is increasingly part of how individuals live and work, do business, spend leisure time, and consume news and entertainment. AI is also behind systems that process and make decisions about large amounts of data. Decision-making technology enables the automation of processes that would otherwise be handled less efficiently by humans. Such systems dictate dynamic pricing online or “read” and interpret job applications before they even reach the eyes of a human.

“I think a lot of the stuff that we talk about on the show surprises even us,” says Jennifer Strong, host of In Machines We Trust.

“We start by saying, ‘hmmm, I wonder how this is being used in retail?’ or ‘I wonder how this is being used in HR?’ You’d be surprised by how many different ways things have changed and we’re not really aware that things are changing.”

In this episode of MetaPod, we talk to Jennifer Strong about artificial intelligence and its application in the activities of daily life. We hear Jennifer’s observations on how AI-driven processes work or don’t work.

We also discover the unintended outcomes of decision-making technology and the potential consequences for individuals, institutions and society at large.

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About Jennifer Strong

Jennifer Strong is the editorial director of audio and live journalism for MIT Technology Review. She’s the host and executive producer of In Machines We Trust, a podcast about artificial intelligence. She’s also the executive producer of The Extortion Economy, a podcast about the ransomware epidemic produced in collaboration with ProPublica.

In Machines We Trust has appeared on podcast charts in more than 70 countries. The show has won two Front Page Awards for investigative audio. It was a finalist for the 2021 Webby for “Best Tech Podcast” and an Ambie, the podcast industry’s award for excellence in audio. Strong previously led long-form audio for The Wall Street Journal, where she created and hosted The Future of Everything podcast—winner of the 2019 Webby for “Best Tech Podcast,” the New York Press Club Award for “Best Podcast,” and an iHeartRadio Podcast Awards finalist.

Jennifer pivoted to podcasting after a decade of reporting and producing for public and commercial radio networks.