Psych Warn

The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the most famous and compelling psychological studies of all time, told us a tantalizingly simple story about human nature. This experiment has been included in many, many introductory psychology textbooks and is often cited uncritically. But its findings were wrong. Very wrong. And not just due to its questionable ethics or lack of concrete data — but because of deceit. Jeff and Anthony try the experiment out for themselves and flip a coin to see who gets to be the guard.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Doggie Data Care

What can artificial intelligence learn from dogs? Quite a lot, say researchers from the University of Washington and Allen Institute for AI. They recently trained neural networks to interpret and predict the behavior of canines. Their results, they say, show that animals could provide a new source of training data for AI systems — including those used to control robots. Jeff and Anthony learn that you can teach a new bot an old dog’s tricks.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Polyphasic Spree (Live From PAX East 2018)

Around a third of the population have trouble maintaining sleep throughout the night. While nighttime awakenings are distressing for most sufferers, there is some evidence from our recent past that suggests this period of wakefulness occurring between two separate sleep periods was the norm. Throughout history, there have been numerous accounts of segmented sleep, with a common reference to “first” and “second” sleep. Jeff and Anthony hope you can make it all the way through this episode. Recorded live in Boston at PAX East 2018.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Big Haply Family

IN THE LAST 20 years, genealogy websites have attracted more than 15 million customers by promising insights into your past. It’s deeply personal, affecting stuff. But when your family tree contains thousands, millions, even tens of millions of people, it’s no longer a personal history. It’s human history. Recently, scientists from the New York Genome Center, Columbia, MIT, and Harvard scraped crowdsourced public records into family trees the size of small nations. Their analysis, which was published today in Science, includes the single largest known family tree, containing 13 million people. Your cousins Jeff and Anthony discuss this story.  More Details/Download MP3 →