142. WIRED Editor Nick Thompson on Free Speech, Fake News, Regulating Big Tech and Coming Cold War with China

Nick Thompson WIRED

Nick Thompson (@nxthompson) is the editor-in-chief of WIRED, the 5th since its founding. Under his leadership, WIRED has broken massive stories about Facebook, cyber-warfare, the Robert Mueller investigation, and numerous other topics. Prior to WIRED, he was the editor of newyorker.com. Nick is also a co-founder of The Atavist, a software company and National Magazine Award-winning digital publication that was acquired by WordPress in 2018. He’s the author of The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War and has appeared multiple times on every major cable and broadcast news network. He has given public speeches on the most important issues facing the tech industry, the future of narrative journalism, how computers are changing our minds, the role of tech in political revolutions, and the way that Silicon Valley thinks about circular economics. Nick’s also testified in front of the Mexican Senate about fake news and moderated/spoken at events hosted by WIRED, The New Yorker, the World Economic Forum, CES, Google Zeitgeist, Google I/O, and many more…

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In today’s episode we discuss:

  • The future of media and state of fake news
  • A deeper dive into the issues of social media and how to address them
  • Why Nick’s optimistic Facebook can become a force for good 
  • An insider’s perspective on the Huawei debate and China trade war
  • Possible ways to redesign democracy
  • Nick’s thoughts on AI and its potential to upend existing power structures
  • Why Nick is very concerned with the prospect of nuclear war
  • How Nick thinks about privacy, convenience, and future of the internet
  • Why there’s no impeachment coming from Mueller’s investigation
  • An in-depth examination of existential risk
  • What the government should do about big tech
  • The reason Nick’s not worried about AGI
  • How AI can empower individuals or inspire tyranny
  • Why climate change is still the biggest problem to tackle
  • Can we save journalism

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