March 15, 2023

EP. 308 — How Smart Is AI? (Part One) with Meredith Broussard

Every time you interact with a targeted advertisement, use a drop-down menu, or scroll through TikTok, you’re engaging with an algorithm. And these algorithms are anything but objective. This week, Meredith Broussard returns to the show for a special two-part episode about algorithms and artificial intelligence—and how they shape our daily lives.


In part one, we’re learning all about chatbots like ChatGPT, the origins of algorithmic bias, and WTF Francis Galton has to do with all of this. Join us tomorrow for part two, featuring an in-depth discussion about gender and racial bias in algorithms, the current state of the tech industry, and the future of AI.


Meredith Broussard is Associate Professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University and Research Director at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology. She is the author of Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World (MIT Press). Her work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, BBC, Wired, the Economist, and more. She appears in the 2020 documentary Coded Bias and serves on the advisory board for the Center for Critical Race & Digital Studies.


Make sure to check out Meredith’s new book More Than A Glitch, out now from MIT Press.


You can follow Meredith on Instagram and Twitter @merbroussard, and at MIT Press is on Instagram and Twitter @mitpress.


Curious for more? Here’s a list of people, projects, and other resources mentioned in this episode:


Algorithmic Justice League (Joy Buolamwini)

Algorithms of Oppression (Safiya Noble)

Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights

DAIR Institute (Timnit Gebru)

Deb Raji’s work
Design Justice (Sasha Costanza-Chock)

Mimi Onuoha’s work

Race After Technology + Viral Justice (Ruha Benjamin)

Rumman Chowdhury’s work

Take My Hand (Dolen Perkins-Valdez)

The Gender Shades Project

The Markup (Julia Angwin)

Under the Skin (Linda Villarosa)

Weapons of Math Destruction + ORCAA (Cathy O’Neil)


Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.


Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Transcripts for each episode are available at


Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our editor is Andrew Carson.


Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & Meredith Broussard PART I   JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a gorgeous conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, we are joined by not once, twice, but three-time returning guest Meredith Broussard! Who we love so freakin’ much. And we’re going to be trying something new: a two-part release. In part one, we’ll be breaking down the basics—that was just, I don’t know what that was, y’all, but I don’t know if you heard that bang and the boom, but I’m recording in my apartment in New York City, honey, and it is bangy and boomy sometimes. So in part one, we will be breaking down the basics on AI. And tomorrow—yes, you heard that right, tomorrow—we will be back with a more in-depth discussion of algorithmic bias and what the future holds for artificial intelligence. I had the best time speaking w

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