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Six Pixels of Separation Podcast

Mar 31, 2024

Welcome to episode #925 of Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast.

Here it is: Six Pixels of Separation - The ThinkersOne Podcast - Episode #925. The transformative impact of artificial intelligence on business and society is going to be a technological shift unlike anything we have ever experienced. Russ Neuman, a distinguished scholar in new media and digital education, is currently a Professor of Media Technology at New York University, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. With a storied career that spans from the University of Michigan to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Russ has been at the forefront of understanding and shaping the digital landscape. Russ' recent book, Evolutionary Intelligence - How Technology Will Make Us Smarter, delves into the complex relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence (a topic that is near and dear to my heart). How can we better navigate the myriad perspectives on AI, from its potential to disrupt employment and amplify polarization to its capacity for enhancing human decision-making and fostering societal advancement. In Evolutionary Intelligence, Russ offers a refreshing counter-narrative to the doom-laden discourse surrounding AI. Russ argues that, rather than fearing the emergence of AI, we should embrace its potential to augment human capabilities and address the cognitive limitations that have bounded humanity since its hunter-gatherer days. By integrating AI into our daily lives — from laptops to headsets — Russ envisions a future where computational intelligence complements human judgment, empowering individuals to adapt to rapidly changing environments. As we delve into Russ's latest book and his extensive research on media technology's impact on society, we have a challenging and thought-provoking discussion that might upend your preconceived notions about AI and offers hope for a smarter, more collaborative future. In an era where the buzz around artificial intelligence swings dramatically between utopian promises and dystopian warnings, Russ stands out with a refreshingly balanced perspective. Enjoy the conversation...


  • AI elicits diverse and conflicting perspectives, ranging from doomsday scenarios to optimistic possibilities.
  • Unemployment due to AI may be a gradual transition, and the impact on social unrest may be mitigated by the creation of new jobs.
  • AI has the potential to amplify polarization and hate speech, but efforts are being made to identify and filter such content.
  • The alignment problem in AI raises questions about control and the ability to ensure that AI systems align with human values.
  • The future of work will involve collaboration between humans and AI, with AI augmenting human capabilities rather than replacing them.
  • The redefinition of intelligence and the exploration of new models of decision-making are key to the future of AI.
  • Mistakes and challenges are expected in the development of AI, but the hope is that we will learn from them and ultimately get it right.
  • The impact of media technology on society is profound, influencing various aspects of our lives, including politics, culture, and communication.
  • Artificial intelligence plays a crucial role in media, enabling personalized content recommendations, automated content creation, and data analysis.
  • The future of media technology holds exciting possibilities, such as immersive experiences, enhanced personalization, and advancements in AI-driven content creation.


  • 00:00 - Introduction and Diametrically Opposed Perspectives on AI
  • 03:12 - Unemployment and Polarization
  • 07:37 - Regulation and Openness in AI
  • 08:05 - Concerns and Warnings from AI Creators
  • 16:10 - Concerns and Optimism about AI
  • 22:07 - Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) and Evolutionary Intelligence
  • 25:31 - The Contentious Nature of AGI
  • 28:34 - The Alignment Problem and Control
  • 34:30 - The Role of AI in Work and Professions
  • 43:52 - The Future of Work and Redefining Intelligence
  • 46:50 - Concerns about AI and the Future
  • 51:12 - Hope and Making Our Own Rules
  • 10:00 - The Evolution of Media Technology
  • 20:00 - The Impact of Media Technology on Society
  • 30:00 - The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Media
  • 40:00 - The Future of Media Technology