Michael Moynihan is one of my favorite podcasters. I always enjoy him at his Fifth Column home and, of course, when he visits HoS.
The genesis of this pod is Michael’s 2018 Vice interview with Open AI CEO Sam Altman, which was on the topic of UBI (Universal Basic Income). To give a sense of how the interview went, here’s Moynihan’s recent Instagram description of the exchange, posted in the aftermath of Altman’s firing (and before his rehiring):
So OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was fired. This is apparently news requiring a New York Times homepage takeover, with three (!) stories speculating about the reason for his ouster. Allow me to offer an alternate theory: Altman was fired because he’s an insufferable asshole. I interviewed him back in 2018…one of the most pompous, absurd, unpleasant people I’ve ever spoken to on camera. You see, Altman suffers from that most common Silicon Valley delusion…the one convincing billionaires that because they are very clever with computer code, they can also solve the world's most vexing social problems. Altman is a proponent of universal basic income and believes that when jobs are automated away, a more socialist government can make it all better with UBI-like transfer payments to the newly unemployed. I gently pushed back on this idea. He didn't handle it well. Here are two clips from the tail end of my interview with Altman.
So that’s our jumping off point to questions about the damage well meaning utopians can cause, whether AI will replace journalists, and, obviously: Would people prefer AI Sports Illustrated writers or AI Sports Illustrated swimsuit models? Also we get into an Israel/Gaza detour and address whether the culture war has ended. Great talk, hope you enjoy.