Peering Into A.I.’s Black Box, Who’s the Real Techno-Optimist? and Reading Ancient Scrolls With A.I.


Kevin Roose and

Davis Land and

Dan Powell and

A.I. models are black boxes. You input a prompt and the model outputs nearly anything: a sonnet, an image or a legal brief riddled with lies. Today, a look at three ways that researchers are unlocking that black box in hopes of bringing transparency to A.I.

Then, Marc Andreessen’s techno-optimist manifesto has left us asking, Is he OK?!

Plus: decoding a 2,000-year-old ancient scroll with the help of A.I.

Today’s Guest:

  • Brent Seales is a computer scientist at the University of Kentucky.

Additional Information:

  • Kevin Roose on learning more about how A.I. works.

  • Marc Andreessen’s 5,000-word manifesto

  • Using A.I. to decode a scroll that survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

Photo Illustration: The New York Times; Image: Artur Debat/Getty Images

“Hard Fork” is hosted by Kevin Roose and Casey Newton and produced by Davis Land and Rachel Cohn. The show is edited by Jen Poyant. Engineering by Alyssa Moxley and original music by Dan Powell and Rowan Niemisto. Fact-checking by Will Peischel.

Special thanks to Paula Szuchman, Pui-Wing Tam, Nell Gallogly, Kate LoPresti and Jeffrey Miranda.


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