Ars on your lunch break: There’s hope, and we’ll all be fine… probably

Ars on your lunch break: There’s hope, and we’ll all be fine… probably

Enlarge / This robot doesn’t want to murder you or give you weaponized SARSbola! It just wants to vaccinate you! (Probably!) (credit: Donald Iain Smith / Getty)

Today we’re presenting the fourth and final installment of my conversation with Naval Ravikant about existential risks. This interview first appeared in March as two back-to-back episodes of the After On Podcast (which features fifty unhurried conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists). Ravikant is one of tech’s most successful angel investors and the founder of multiple startups—including seed-stage investment platform AngelList. Please check out parts one, two, and three of this conversation if you missed them. Otherwise, you can press play on the embedded audio player or pull up the transcript—both of which are below.

The theme of today’s installment: there’s hope. Yes, really! If there’s one thing that any religious, national, or political mindset should agree on, it’s that

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Ars on your lunch break: engineering superbugs, accidentally or otherwise

Ars on your lunch break: engineering superbugs, accidentally or otherwise

Enlarge / “George, you’ve heard about this virus? Shall I cough on you, George?” (credit: Warner Bros.)

Today we’re presenting the third installment of my conversation with Naval Ravikant about existential risks. This interview first appeared in March, as two back-to-back episodes of the After On Podcast (which now features 50 unhurried conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists). Naval is one of tech’s most successful angel investors and the founder of multiple startups—including seed-stage investment platform AngelList. Please check out parts one and two of this conversation if you missed them. Otherwise, you can press play on the embedded audio player or pull up the transcript, both of which are below.

In this segment, Ravikant and I move on from yesterday’s topic of AI risk to the dangers inherent in the rise of synthetic biology, or synbio. Here, I should disclose that I am a hopeless synbio fanboy. I’ve

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Ars on your lunch break: The fate we might be making for ourselves

Ars on your lunch break: The fate we might be making for ourselves

Enlarge / Suck it, Skynet.

Today we’re presenting the second installment of my conversation with Naval Ravikant about existential risks. Naval is one of tech’s most successful angel investors and the founder of multiple startups—including seed-stage investment platform AngelList. Part one of our conversation ran yesterday. If you missed it, click right here. Otherwise, you can press play on the embedded audio player or pull up the transcript—both of which are below.

This interview first appeared in March as two back-to-back episodes of the After On Podcast (which offers a 50-episode archive of unhurried conversations with world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists). As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, my conversation with Naval led to a last-minute invite to give a related talk at April’s TED conference. TED posted that talk to their site this morning, and

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Ars on your lunch break: Let’s talk about the extinction of humanity

Ars on your lunch break: Let’s talk about the extinction of humanity

Enlarge / It looks so peaceful up there. (credit: alxpin / Getty)

Welcome back to Ars on your Lunch Break! It’s been a while since we’ve done this, so I’ll start with a brief orientation. This series is built around the After On Podcast—which itself is a series of deep-dive interviews with thinkers, founders, and (above all) scientists.

Often exceeding 90 minutes, After On episodes run longer than the average busy Ars reader’s lunch break. So we carve these unhurried conversations into three to four 30-ish minute segments, and run ‘em here around lunch, Ars Daylight Time. You can access today’s segment via our embedded audio player, or by reading the accompanying transcript (both of which are below).

We’ve presented two seasons of these episodes so far and are planning a third one in the fall. As for this week’s run, it’s sort of a summer special. The impetus

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