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The Technician
No Imperfections Noted
The Jeff and Casey Show
Jeff and Casey Time
Casey Muratori
Seattle, WA
The TED Singularity
"We can't imagine the extremeness of other aliens. We can only assume that they are extreme."
Original air date: May 12th, 2014
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Transcript
Jeff:
Damn it. Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Jeff & Casey Show.
Casey:
Hello and welcome to the Jeff & Casey Show. Jeff, I feel like it is time for us to address…
Jeff:
I’m interrupting you. Did you see these reading glasses? They make me look a little bubbly.
Casey:
Dude, those make you look like a fucking grandpa. You look like a grandpa with those on.
Jeff:
They’re also reading glasses so you have to put them at the end of the nose so that it really grandpas up.
Casey:
It really does grandpa at.
Jeff:
“Will start at the approaching convoy, his mind racing. That’s the target. And that’s our target.” Alright.
Casey:
Our target as opposed to the other people’s target but we somehow know about it…
Jeff:
No, getting reading glasses means you’re officially old. But while I was at the reading glasses stand…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
Having never bought them before…
Casey:
Stand? Reading glasses stand?
Jeff:
Just a big old Walgreens display case.
Casey:
Oh, is this one of those things where you rotate the thing around and then there’s ugly glasses and then uglier glasses and then really ugly glasses?
Jeff:
We’re just going through them, me and this really old woman next to me.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
And all I can say is she was going for 375’s and I was going for 100’s.
Casey:
And that’s high?
Jeff:
That’s +375…
Casey:
What is 100 versus 375? Those don’t sound on the same scale to me.
Jeff:
3.75 and 1.00…
Casey:
Oh, okay…
Jeff:
And that’s, like, just the magnification, I guess, of some kind.
Casey:
Okay. How is 1.00 a magnification? Obviously, it’s not a scaler.
Jeff:
I assume… Yeah, I would have to go look. I thought that meant 100% strong, like a doubling…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
I don’t know.
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
It’s enough that I can read without holding the book at maximum arm length…
Casey:
Which is good if you want to read the entire spy catcher… Did you say spy…
Jeff:
Slingshot.
Casey:
No, spy…
Jeff:
It’s [ a “Spy Catcher” ] novel.
Casey:
If you want to read the entire “Spy Catcher” series…
Jeff:
Oh, yeah.
Casey:
Then you will need these reading glasses.
Jeff:
That is not going to happen. Matthew Dunn got the last Dollar he’ll ever get off Jeff Roberts.
Casey:
Alright, fair enough.
Jeff:
Okay. Alright.
Casey:
So what I was going to say was I feel like there has been an issue that we need to address here.
Jeff:
Really? Okay.
Casey:
Because it was sent to me by Jonathan Blow. It has not been addressed. And at this point, because we have to record the podcast a little bit in advance now due to your schedule to kinda keep things flowing…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
If we don’t address it now, it’s going to be so past the time when we can actually help…
Jeff:
Oh, we’ve got to address it.
Casey:
We can help.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
We can help out. This is not just an issue of addressing…
Jeff:
Jeff & Casey Consulting…
Casey:
This is… I want to say it’s kind of like…
Jeff:
I feel like if we were consultants, they’d bring us in… First of, we say we need some Thai iced teas.
Casey:
Right, yeah.
Jeff:
Then, after we drink our Thai iced tea, we would spend 20% of the time barely listening to how their processes work that we’re supposed to fix.
Casey:
Right. Yes.
Jeff:
20% of the time telling them they’re fucking idiots.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And then the other 60% just arguing amongst ourselves. “Ah, you’re doing it wrong.” And we’d leave like I did with the product… The whole project in disarray.
Casey:
Right. But I feel like there could be magic in that because the thing is maybe our deal, right, is we just need a third person. So what it is, the way that this works is probably at some point during that argument, one of us will say the thing that you actually want to do.
Jeff:
Oh, [inaudible 3:23] I see.
Casey:
So we just need a third person who listens to the whole argument and can pick out which one of the things was not totally wrong, right?
Jeff:
That poor bastard.
Casey:
We need, like, Sean to sit there and go, “Wait a minute. I’ve actually thought some of this through, what they’re saying. And here’s the corrected version…
Jeff:
Of what they were saying.
Casey:
Like you used to post the links, remember, with the [inaudible 3:44] He’s like, “When Jeff said ‘blah’, he actually means this. And here’s the link. Here’s the actual squirrel. It’s not 400 pounds. It’s not a squirrel. It’s a [ Kapa bear ] and it’s 100 pounds,” or whatever, right?
Jeff:
Awesome.
Casey:
So that kind of thing, right?
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
’Cos then it could work out. We’re sort of… We’re the entropy. So we just need someone who can harness that entropy and turn it from the…
Jeff:
Entropy Consulting…
Casey:
Or that it is from the sort of unrefined…
Jeff:
“Harnessing the Entropy” by Malcolm Gladwell.
Casey:
It is the oil from the earth. It is the crude… It is the Texas T…
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
You can take that and refine it into petroleum.
Jeff:
I see. Alright. So what are we going to argue about?
Casey:
So the thing that we’re going to address here… Like I said, Jonathan Blow sent in that TED…
Jeff:
TED? Oh, the conferences?
Casey:
The conference…
Jeff:
Which we’ve spoken of many times.
Casey:
Certainly, the finest conference, right? If ever there was a conference to mirror the rigor…
Jeff:
For $5,000 White people…
Casey:
The rigor and attention to detail of Malcolm Gladwell…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
If ever there was such a conference, it is TED.
Jeff:
He had to have given a talk, right?
Casey:
If he wasn’t speaker # 1, I don’t want to know who is because he basically TED…
Jeff:
TED is just Malcolm Gladwell’s sloppy seconds.
Casey:
Right. Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
It’s just like we’re all in the same [ womb ] together…
Casey:
TED is audio Malcolm Gladwell. It’s the AV version of a Malcolm Gladwell book.
Jeff:
It’s just feel good glossed over nonsense.
Casey:
So whatever the fuck you came up with, just say it like it’s the way to move forward with the world.
Jeff:
And then with dramatic pauses.
Casey:
And it is, right? It’s like I don’t even want to know.
Jeff:
Heavily produced.
Casey:
The best thing about TED is the TED X thing when they’re like, “Let’s open this up to everyone or whatever it is.” It’s like, I like the implication that somehow your actual shit wasn’t just opened up to everyone. If you’re telling me that these were the screened fucking speakers….
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Who just get up there and say whatever the hell goddamn thing they want…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And now you’re like, “No, no, no, no… These are heavily curated…”
Jeff:
TED X…
Casey:
“Here’s you uncurated…” I’m like, “What is that going to be?”
Jeff:
TED X is like going down to my street corner and then listening to somebody while they’re pouring Pepsi from a bottle to a can…
Casey:
Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
Expounding about Obama… That’s TED X.
Casey:
Yeah. I’ve got to figure out… So they’re doing something right. I don’t know what it is. Because basically, as far as I can tell, basically they’re the 20-minute version of the Jeff & Casey Show. They're just some people who say some shit.
Jeff:
Downstairs?
Casey:
No, at TED.
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
But yet, they are getting all kinds of money and stuff like this and we get nothing.
Jeff:
Oh, yeah. We’ve got to get on on that.
Casey:
So we just need to figure out how you bullshit your way into all of that instead of just having a podcast you release.
Jeff:
I think you have to stride around on a stage…
Casey:
A stage… We just need the traffic.
Jeff:
Well, the other thing is we are very…
Casey:
Graphs, do we need graphs?
Jeff:
Do we need graphs? We need to be positive and it’s very difficult for us. I think it might not be possible because we have to the saying like, “Listen,” you know…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
And we have to convince people that whatever our nonsense bullshit…
Casey:
Yes, yes.
Jeff:
It’s going to make the world a better place ‘cos it’s all about feeling better without having to do anything.
Casey:
To do anything, that’s right.
Jeff:
In fact, all you have to do is buy a ticket to this bullshit and you feel better.
Casey:
So here’s the topic of the Jeff & Casey Show. Here's the Jeff & Casey Show. The Jeff & Casey Show is going to be called “How Using Your iPhone More Will Help Save the Planet”.
Jeff:
Yeah, that’s good.
Casey:
’Cos I feel like if you get…
Jeff:
You’ve got to get… You encourage the things they already do.
Casey:
Right. You using your iPhone like an asshole all the time…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
It’s going to make the world green…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
That’s what I think they want to hear.
Jeff:
Right. Eating at McDonalds to a better tomorrow, like that kind of…
Casey:
I don’t feel like the people like to eat McDonalds.
Jeff:
Oh, you think they’re above McDonalds?
Casey:
They’re all eating the pricey… They want to have the fancy… ‘Cos TED attendees are wealthy.
Jeff:
They’re wealthy, yeah.
Casey:
They’re charged a lot of money to get in there. It’s not someone who has to go to McDonalds.
Jeff:
It’s not the general American. You have to…
Casey:
It’s not John Q public…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
It’s like fancy pants CEO… It’s someone who has given themselves the title of CEO. That is who’s attending TED Talks in my mind.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Not someone who’s eating at McDonalds.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
But maybe that’s not true. I don’t know.
Jeff:
“How Leading People Makes the World a Better Place”.
Casey:
Right. “How to Use Your Natural Talents for Leadership to Make the World a Better Place”.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
And we’ll all be, the entire talk, outsourcing…
Casey:
Through the iPhone…
Jeff:
Outsourcing everything to China.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
Alright. So what is this particular thing? Because TED is like target rich environment. And in fact, a long time ago, we were like, “Let’s not do any more TED. We’ve had that talk.”
Casey:
Right, ‘cos it’s just gonna get…
Jeff:
Like, it’s just shooting fish… It’s too easy.
Casey:
Right. Yeah. It’s beating the dead horse into little horse pulps. But here’s the thing, Jeff. Now, I’m an atheist. It’s true. Okay.
Jeff:
Yes. Most of our listeners are probably…
Casey:
But I was raised Catholic.
Jeff:
That’s true.
Casey:
And Jesus says… Jesus says, Jeff, that we must help those in need. We must forgive. We must forget.
Jeff:
[ Ourselves? ]
Casey:
“Let he who hath no fault cast the first stone,” and so forth.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
Right? So maybe we’ll just stop casting those stones for a moment.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
TED has come to us for help.
Jeff:
Oh, really?
Casey:
So as much as we dislike TED…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
I think we need to do the Christian thing here, put those differences aside, and now that they have come to us for help, we should help them in their time of need.
Jeff:
Okay. Alright, what is TED having trouble with?
Casey:
And to be fair, it’s not exactly TED.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
It’s kind of all the same people, though, in my mind.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
The XPRIZE people…
Jeff:
The space thing?
Casey:
No, they’re just a…
Jeff:
The rocket shop?
Casey:
I mean, yes that was an XPRIZE but the XPRIZE is just an institute that basically attaches…
Jeff:
Oh, I had no idea.
Casey:
The XPRIZE Institute is like the TED of prizes. They take private corporation money…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
They stamp a big old brand on a prize…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
For doing something technological…
Jeff:
Wait, have they always done this? ‘Cos I thought the XPRIZE was just about space at one time.
Casey:
I don’t follow it very closely so I don’t know.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
But the…
Jeff:
Now they’re just a brand?
Casey:
Yeah, so what happens is let’s say you have some technological thing…
Jeff:
That’s amazing. I had no idea.
Casey:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So let’s say you have a technological thing…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
We need to figure out how to sequence the human genome.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
So we have the human genome project or something, right. So let’s say we’re doing that today. We haven’t sequenced the human genome yet or whatever.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
So they’re like, “We want to encourage people to make progress towards sequencing the human genome so we are introducing the Glaxo SmithKline human genome sequencing XPRIZE…
Jeff:
Hold on. The prizes are sponsored?
Casey:
Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. The prizes…
Jeff:
So it’s like the Chobani Yogurt?
Casey:
Right, yes.
Jeff:
You’re killing. You’re fucking killing me.
Casey:
Yes, Chobani Yogurt presents Human Genome Sequencing Prize although it wouldn’t be that, it would be Bovine Genome Sequencing Prize, right, ‘cos…
Jeff:
And there’s multiple of these?
Casey:
Oh, there’s tons of them.
Jeff:
Okay. Can we look at… We have to look them all up.
Casey:
Alright, you want to see that, alright.
Jeff:
I want to know…
Casey:
Do you want to see that now or do you want to see that later?
Jeff:
I want to hear the sponsors of each one.
Casey:
Alright, so let me… I’ll go ahead and get that for you…
Jeff:
So that means… So what you’re saying is… Just to recap here, you’re saying that one of these prizes is sponsored by TED?
Casey:
So, well back up… I’m answering your first question. So the active prizes…
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
I mean the prizes that are currently out there…
Jeff:
By the way, this is a very Silicone Valley…
Casey:
Silicon. Silicone Valley…
Jeff:
Silicon Valley, sorry…
Casey:
Silicone Valley is…
Jeff:
I know… So it’s that solution…
Casey:
Yeah, yeah.
Jeff:
They think that, like, every problem just needs VC money.
Casey:
Exactly.
Jeff:
It’s like they’re like, “The reason kids are not learning today is there are not other kids with money paying them for their grades.”
Casey:
Yes, exactly.
Jeff:
It’s just like, “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”
Casey:
What we need in schools is a great economy.
Jeff:
Exactly.
Casey:
It’s like, right now there’s no incentive like, “Oh, yeah, I could do the extra work and get an A+. But an A is good enough. However, if I can take that plus, [ arbitrize ] that plus to the dumb kid, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And in exchange get myself football cred…
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And then basically [inaudible 12:01] like, “I do the homework for the jock,” situation… If we can systemize that and turn that into some kind of electronically-traded market, everyone gets smarter.
Jeff:
Yeah. Alright.
Casey:
Everyone will be smarter, Jeff.
Jeff:
So okay, this is the XPRIZEs…
Casey:
These are the XPRIZEs that are out… They’re ones that you could go after right now, Jeff, if you, an enterprising individual with means…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Decided you wanted to assemble a team, pay them to do something, you could choose to go for one of these XPRIZEs. And if you succeed, they will give you the money that they have set aside for this prize.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
The 4 outstanding XPRIZE, current outstanding XPRIZE are — the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
Jeff:
Goddamn it.
Casey:
The Qualcomm Tri-Quarter XPRIZE, The Nokia Sensing X Challenge, and the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE…
Jeff:
The Wendy Schmidt… Oh, that’s Eric Schmidt’s wife?
Casey:
Probably.
Jeff:
So that’s probably a double Google. It’s a double Google.
Casey:
The past prizes were the Ansari XPRIZE, the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE…
Jeff:
Holy Shit…
Casey:
The Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge.
Jeff:
This is literally [ infinite ] [inaudible 13:13]
Casey:
Hold on. The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X Challenge and the Arcon Genomics XPRIZE.
Jeff:
Oh, my God.
Casey:
So now you’ve kind of been bathed in it a little. You’ve had a little, you slap it around a little bit…
Jeff:
So the only thing that hasn’t happened there is… Those are all companies with a vested interest in those prizes. What needs to happen is they get a little more popular and it literally will be the Mountain Dew Lunar Prize.
Casey:
Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
And then like [inaudible 13:37]
Casey:
Do it.
Jeff:
Crazy…
Casey:
“You can jump so much higher in space. Extreme.” And it’s got like a bicycle… That’s what it is. It’s like do a 360 with your front wheel on the moon.
Jeff:
On the moon.
Casey:
That’s like the Mountain Dew XPRIZE Challenge.
Jeff:
We can joke about… Red Bull would totally pay that.
Casey:
Oh, totally.
Jeff:
They have no problems shooting up Shawn White and having some shit on the moon. And they’d paint red shit where his hair is on the goddamn space suit.
Casey:
The alien…
Jeff:
Fuck.
Casey:
This is the real problem. I know that there’s a lot of people who do, like, steady research in earnest, you know, and whatever.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
And I hate to break it to them ‘cos I don’t really know that much about anything astronomy-related, really. Here’s the thing… By the time… You’re probably not gonna be able to contact aliens in the next year or whatever. I don’t know how many tens, hundreds of years if we ever contact aliens. By the time we contact aliens, the shit that’s gonna be out there, the people who contact, it’s gonna be like the Britney Spears of space… They’re gonna see our worst representatives. It’s gonna Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee are the people who are gonna first make contact with aliens. The aliens are gonna be, “What the fuck is this, guys?”
Jeff:
No, I think you’ve got to think of it the other way.
Casey:
What’s the other way?
Jeff:
The other way is they’re the same. So they also… It’s like extreme aliens but they have different physical features…
Casey:
Right, right, right.
Jeff:
Right? So they’re like doing crazy… They’re not doing high fives. They’re doing high twelves, something crazy.
Casey:
And they’ve got silicone ear implants ‘cos that’s the sexy thing on them or whatever…
Jeff:
Yeah, exactly. And they’re octopuses, fall out of a plane and spine their tentacles to last longer. They’re doing the same thing. So when we get together…
Casey:
Right, it’s the best high five ever.
Jeff:
Oh, it’s gonna be so much BMX.
Casey:
I see. It’s gonna be super BMX.
Jeff:
There’s gonna be so much BMX.
Casey:
How many pedals does an octopus bike have? I don’t even know.
Jeff:
It’s gonna have a whole lot.
Casey:
4 or 8? I don’t know.
Jeff:
We can’t imagine the extreme-ness…
Casey:
We can’t.
Jeff:
Of other aliens…
Casey:
No. It’s not possible.
Jeff:
We can only assume that they are extreme.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And we need to get there…
Casey:
Yeah, exactly.
Jeff:
Because it will be really embarrassing if we’re the lame ones.
Casey:
We don’t want to… That’s right.
Jeff:
God. We need to drink some Red bull and we need to start practicing with our skateboards for the time we meet said aliens.
Casey:
That’s right.
Jeff:
It’s gonna be totally, totally embarrassing ‘cos they’re gonna say, “The lamers on earth, they’re just using bikes with 2 pedals, man! They just have 2 pedals.”
Casey:
They might… ‘Cos we’re right now… We right now are on N2 sports. Like, we’re only on take one sport and add another sport.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
That’s all we’ve gotten to, right? We’ve only gotten to, like, “Oh, you parachute out of a plane with a surfboard.” It’s like we’ve only done it that way. Aliens could be on cubed or to the fourth power of sports, right?
Jeff:
Exactly.
Casey:
They could be doing things that we can’t even imagine ‘cos we have never drank enough… We haven’t drank Red Bull and Mountain Dew together for [inaudible 16:23] We haven’t combined these things in ways that we need to. So I agree with you there but let’s put that aside for a minute.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
While I do agree that perhaps there should be the rad XPRIZE that addresses these things, you could start that, Jeff. You could encourage [ this extremeness. ]
Jeff:
Right. Yeah.
Casey:
It’s not that much… XPRIZEs are like a million Dollars. So they’re actually within reach…
Jeff:
It’s totally affordable.
Casey:
They’re within the reach of… Sort of non-IPO style companies, could actually do it.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Anyway, let me get to the one that I want to talk about here.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
The one that we’re supposed to address.
Jeff:
This is another open one…
Casey:
Which is TED. This is the TED part.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
This is an XPRIZE that will be posted but has not yet been posted because they need… Basically, they have not come up with the rules. They are in an open comment period to try and determine what the rules of this prize will be.
Jeff:
Interesting.
Casey:
The rules that are active, the ones that I read you, are the ones where the rules have been finalized.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
You can read a document. You can find out exactly what kind of moon lunar BMX-ing you have to do to claim that XPRIZE in an unequivocal indisputable fashion.
Jeff:
Right. How many space school buses you have to [ jump ].
Casey:
Exactly.
Jeff:
Alright, I’m with you.
Casey:
You totally… You get it?
Jeff:
Alright, I do get it.
Casey:
It’s like, you know, you can’t just go down one side of the crater. You’ve got to go down that side and up the other side of the crater
Jeff:
And jump something.
Casey:
You’ve got to stay on that shit. You’ve got to spin it around, right…
Jeff:
And come on back down…
Casey:
You know what I’m talking about, right?
Jeff:
Yeah, I’m with you.
Casey:
That’s how that shit goes. And… I mean, I don’t want to have to point out the obvious but if you think that XPRIZE is happening on the bright side of the moon, you’re wrong. Dark side. Glowsticks not optional. That is how that XPRIZE rolls. Anyway, moving on. This is in the category of XPRIZEs that have not yet been officially activated.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
They’re in their comment period and they’re looking for experts in the field…
Jeff:
This is like…
Casey:
Experts in the field, Jeff.
Jeff:
Yes. This is a little XPRIZE embryo.
Casey:
This is to come up with the rules so that when they do activate this XPRIZE, it is clear, it is concise, it is unambiguous what a team has to do to claim their XPRIZE.
Jeff:
Okay. Now I understand why they need our help. This is in our wheelhouse.
Casey:
This is in our wheelhouse.
Jeff:
Clarifying…
Casey:
We clarify…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
We analyze. We examine more hypotheticals than the Supreme Court on their best day.
Jeff:
Yes, alright. I’m with you.
Casey:
Their best oral arguments, we are way ahead of them.
Jeff:
I’m very excited by this.
Casey:
The prize is to be… And I’m going to read it ‘cos I don’t want to mischaracterize anything about this.
Jeff:
Very exciting.
Casey:
I don’t want to be accused of extrapolation or obfuscation. “On March 20th, from the TED 2014 stage, Chris Anderson and Peter Diamandis,” (I know neither of these people), “join forces to announce the A.I. XPRIZE presented by TED, a modern-day Turing test to be awarded to the first Artificial Intelligence to walk or roll out on stage and present a TED Talk so compelling that it commands a standing ovation from you, the audience. The detailed rules are yet to be created because we want your help to create what the rules should be.”
Jeff:
Okay, I’ve lost my enthusiasm already but…
Casey:
You see what [inaudible 19:49]
Jeff:
I see…
Casey:
Now, wait a minute, Jeff.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
I can understand your loss of enthusiasm and I know where it’s from. I know why you’re not enthusiastic. The reason you’re not enthusiastic is because you’re like, “It’s not enough to go on… Help me, Casey, it’s not enough to go on.” Don’t worry. They have provided a sample set of rules.
Jeff:
Oh, a possibility…
Casey:
To get those juices flowing, to put you in the right mindset.
Jeff:
Okay, I’m ready.
Casey:
“Draft prize concept (This is for example purposes. Elements of this concept may or may not be used. We’d like to hear your ideas. In advance of the TED Conference, a group of judges develop 100 different TED Talk subjects. During the TED Conference, the TED Audience chooses one of these subjects (or the subject is randomly chosen) and then the competing A.I. is given 30 minutes to prepare a compelling 3 min TED Talk. The Team could decide how their A.I. would present on stage — would it be a physical robot that walks out to present? Or a disembodied voice? After the talk, the audience would vote with their applause and, if appropriate, with a standing ovation. Next, the A.I. would need to answer two questions from Chris Anderson, the host of the conference, and then a panel of experts would also add their votes. Each year at the TED Conference, an interim prize would be offered for the best A.I. presentation until such time that an A.I. truly delivers a spectacular TED Talk, and the A.I. XPRIZE presented by TED winner is crowned.”
Jeff:
So, I actually now think this is kinda awesome.
Casey:
Yep.
Jeff:
Yeah. Because if somebody does this…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
It’s the end of TED. They actually made a prize to destroy TED because if it takes 3 minutes to kick out a standing ovation of TED.
Casey:
30 minutes. You’ve got 30 minutes to make a 3-minute talk.
Jeff:
You just run that thing night and day spewing out YouTube videos all day long, you just saturate the market with [ TED-ness ], right? This is actually kinda amazing if somebody goes through the trouble to do this, this is like the TED singularity. It’s the point at which TED can make TEDs and then that’s the end of TED.
Casey:
You’re right. It is a generative… It’s TED eating itself like some kind of [inaudible 22:07] picture that I don’t want hanging on my wall.
Jeff:
That’s amazing. Also, I like that they call this “The A.I. Prize”. This has almost nothing to do with like…
Casey:
It’s A.U. Prize. It’s Artificially Unintelligent, right? It’s can you make TED Talk, right? You don’t have to have smarts. You have to have bullshit. It’s the Artificial BS Generation Technology, right?
Jeff:
But there’s also paper generators that are…
Casey:
Yeah. Those people have a leg up here. People who did the random bullshit papers that are [inaudible 22:39]
Jeff:
I feel like all we’ve got to do is put this thing…
Casey:
In a voice generator…
Jeff:
We just gotta get an iPad on a fucking Roomba and we’re there. We’ve got the million bucks. We already did this, right? They’re already kicking this shit out. We just need to make some dramatic pauses and some weird little gestures from flippers like…
Casey:
So here’s the first thing that I want to point out to you (’cos there’s a lot of things I really like about these sample rules)… And I really hope that something like these sample rules is what stopped it, actually. The first thing is it doesn’t sound to me like… TED Talks are usually 20 minutes long, I think.
Jeff:
Wait, I have to say something. Can you imagine the first year of this, you paid $5,000 to go to a TED, and you sit down and you’re like, “I’m gonna be blown away.” And this janky-ass robot comes out and it immediately crashes, like, it’s over. And they’re like, “Hold on.” And then they’d be like, “Reboot the robot.” They reboot the robot and it’s completely wrong.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
It starts [inaudible 23:39] to use the robot…
Casey:
It comes out and it’s the PHP team and the thing just goes, “String concept was not terminated. Line 397…”
Jeff:
So you paid good money. if they wanted to try this on a real TED audiences, those poor people that show up for the TED, the A.I. TED, those are going to be the best talks.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
It’s just going to be fail after fail after fail.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And then the applause is going to get more tepid as the night goes on. It’s like, “I don’t feel better about myself at all. I’ve been here almost an entire day and no one has said what I already do is good enough to make the world a better place. What the fuck? I want my money back!”
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Alright, continue. Sorry. I was just thinking…
Casey:
I was at least hoping for something I could pour into the gas tank of my car that would get better gas mileage…
Jeff:
Yeah, exactly.
Casey:
Or make me think [ I did. ]
Jeff:
Yeah, it would shoot out peanut butter sandwiches for the poor in Africa.
Casey:
Exactly, the poor in Africa. Peanut butter is very popular in [ Africa, actually. It’s a big crop, ] it’s true.
Jeff:
Alright. That’s amazing.
Casey:
Okay, so things that I like about this, actually. The first thing is a TED Talk is normally 20 minutes, and these are 3-minute long.
Jeff:
Yes, you’ve got to pack that in there.
Casey:
The TED Talks that you see online anyway, they don’t have questions asked. So maybe that’s something that they do live, I guess.
Jeff:
Oh, I see.
Casey:
And there’s no panel of judges, right?
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
So this is… A lot of things like this, I wouldn’t really say, they don’t sound that much like a normal TED Talk. What they sound like is a Miss America pageant.
Jeff:
Yes, exactly.
Casey:
Right? It sounds exactly like a Miss America… You have 3 minutes to do whatever you need to do…
Jeff:
You’re right.
Casey:
Swimsuit, parade around, [inaudible 25:21] competition… Then there’s going to be a panel of judges and 2 questions [inaudible 25:26]
Jeff:
That’s totally an XPRIZE I’d get behind like the robot…
Casey:
The robot Miss America?
Jeff:
The robot Miss America…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
[inaudible 25:31]
Casey:
[inaudible 25:32]
Jeff:
… and the such where the maps go. Error…
Casey:
Which is [inaudible 25:40]
Jeff:
It says Error 390. She crashed.
Casey:
That’s exactly what they’re gonna sound like. They actually should’ve set the bar lower. They should’ve been like, alright, this is a little too hard. It’s a TED Talk, yes, it’s dumb. But it’s still… Someone erudite oftentimes. These people are educated [ on giving ] the presentations. They don’t sound like idiots.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Right? Whereas Miss America, that should be… We should’ve started with Miss America. Can you replace Miss America’s response to the question of, “How are you going to change the world?” Which is amazing ‘cos you never will change the world. You don’t have any hope of that.
Jeff:
Nope.
Casey:
We don’t know why we’re asking. So they could’ve done that and that could’ve been a legitimate stepping stone, right?
Jeff:
Well, I guess the thing is… Yeah, I think the whole concept here is very small domain presentation, right. Both TED Talks and Miss America talks aren’t all that different, content-wise. They’re just presented a little better, right?
Casey:
Right. It’s how you dressed it up.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Right. In one case, you’re hoping that you thought she was hot so you didn’t pay attention to the fact that it doesn’t make any sense.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
In the other one, you were paying attention to the fact that you wanted to feel better about your industry. So you didn’t mind that it didn’t make any sense, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
In either case, you’re trying to sell yourself on something that was not actually the content and the fact that what they’re saying is not going to work.
Jeff:
Right. That’s pretty amazing. I do agree it’s way more Miss America feeling in the sense of the length and just having the questions come out.
Casey:
But here’s the part that I like the most about this, what this sounds like to me. What this sounds to me is it sounds to me like we could enter.
Jeff:
That’s true.
Casey:
So it sounds to me when they announce, the first time you get to submit these fucking “robots”… And I’m air quoting here, the listeners cannot see the air quoting “robot”… When these “robots” have to answer, we could strap an iPad to a Roomba and it can say whatever the fuck we want, right? And that, to me, sounds like a very good opportunity. I am going to put together the XPRIZE team.
Jeff:
This just looks like Facetime, just like us, “Hey, welcome.” Like, maybe we put a filter on so we look a little computer-y, “Hey, welcome.”
Casey:
[inaudible 28:00]
Jeff:
And we just put some tinfoil around us. It would be really good.
Casey:
“We are [ computers ] from the future.”
Jeff:
Do you remember the first time… Do you remember they had that prize where the Department of Defense did this thing… I think it was Department of Defense. Where you’re like, “We’re going to have self-driving cars in the desert. And here’s the track, it’s like, 40 miles through terrain and all this…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
And then the first year…
Casey:
One thing made it to…
Jeff:
No, the first year, the maximum distance was 40 yards.
Casey:
No, no…
Jeff:
They had pictures.
Casey:
That was not true. The first year, there was somebody who made it, like, 2 miles. The Carnegie Mellon Team [inaudible 28:38]
Jeff:
Yeah, it rolled down the hill. It went off…
Casey:
No, no, the Carnegie Mellon Team was like a tank thing and it did make it, like, 2 miles…
Jeff:
I thought it was the one that rolled down the hill, Carnegie Mellon…
Casey:
No, and it got stuck on a stump or some shit.
Jeff:
They had the one… They had a video of the one car where they started it and it right turned right into the start pole. Bam!
Casey:
You are correct that, like 90% of the vehicles did not make it out of the gate basically, right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They were like a Seattle Tunnel digging machine. They’re not making anywhere but there was, like, one or two who had been long-time automated vehicle people. They had been working on this shit forever. And their cars did not finish…
Jeff:
I thought it was the second year of them… Oh, okay. I was gonna point out that…
Casey:
They did not finish but they did make it [inaudible 29:20] Now to be fair, the DARPA Challenge, they did get way better. A couple of years in, they actually can finish the thing now. Now, granted, we still don’t have [inaudible 29:30]
Jeff:
I’m looking forward to A.I. XPRIZE 1, not A.I. XPRIZE 2.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
’Cos A.I. XPRIZE 2, they’re just like, “Alright, we know what…” They’re like…
Casey:
[inaudible 29:37]
Jeff:
[inaudible 29:37] the paper thing…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
We know, [inaudible 29:40]
Casey:
Nothing’s falling off the stage…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Nothing like… They don’t have the awesomeness of the first one…
Jeff:
There goes our first robot, it turns, runs straight into Chris Anderson.
Casey:
Exactly.
Jeff:
It starts humping him or something inappropriately. We’re like, “Turn it off.”
Casey:
“Turn it off. Off. Off. Unplug it. It’s not responding.” So [inaudible 29:59]
Jeff:
Could we just send Moshi out in a Roomba [inaudible 30:04]
Casey:
Well, this is what I’m wondering. I feel like…
Jeff:
What is the minimum bar…
Casey:
I feel like it is a massive missed opportunity if we do not enter this contest.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
I feel like it is a moral imperative for us to enter a robot in the TED XPRIZE, should it come to [inaudible 30:21]
Jeff:
Well, especially since it’s just a disembodied voice.
Casey:
We can get John Miles to weld us something robot-y…
Jeff:
That’s true. Robot-looking…
Casey:
With a screen and a crazy loud speaker, as loud as he can make it, right? It should be deafeningly loud. Like, when it comes out there…
Jeff:
That’s my favorite part.
Casey:
And the voice on the thing should be, like, me at full volume. So it should be like…
Jeff:
You can’t even understand the person’s…
Casey:
“Waste products are a huge problem in our current economy. We need to do something about the landfill…” That should be the robot that we ship to TED and that, by the way, what I just did on the microphone, that should be Metallica-level [inaudible 31:11] right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
This should not be a robot that could run absent AC power. This thing should have to be hooked into a 440 line of some kind in order to run the amplification.
Jeff:
We want the TED audience to be frightened as it rolls out and they realize the huge number of speakers on this…
Casey:
It’s just a PV wall. It’s a PV amp wall on wheels, on several Roombas. It wheels out there and the first thing you hear is just massive feedback. So it’s just like…
Jeff:
Oh, man. That’s killing me.
Casey:
“Check 1. Check. Check. [inaudible 31:54]” Yeah.
Jeff:
Oh, my God.
Casey:
And then it plays some theme song that we licensed, something like “God Bless America” or something. And then it starts screaming at the audience. It screams for 3 minutes and then it’s over. That, to me, is what makes life worth living. It’s moments like those. If we could achieve that, it would be my true… That’s what I would look back upon fondly when I’m 80.
Jeff:
The other thing, I think…
Casey:
If I live to 80…
Jeff:
The reason why I think that is achievable…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Is they are going to give you the talks at the show time.
Casey:
That’s right.
Jeff:
So you just do it.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
First of, I think we can predict the TED-style topics that would be given us.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
And just pre-record all the possibilities. Worst case is they surprise us…
Casey:
It’s just math stuff…
Jeff:
Yeah, exactly. He just comes out and we just hit play. We could come out with all the speaker systems. It wheels out autonomously and then one of us walks out and presses play on a tape recorder and then that’s what comes out.
Casey:
Right. Well, on the other [inaudible 33:05]
Jeff:
The other thing is even if it wasn’t…
Casey:
So whatever the topic is, it’s just like, I’m yelling but it has a computer voice that goes in and inserts something right there which is…
Jeff:
“Poverty”.
Casey:
Exactly, yes.
Jeff:
“Poverty”. “Poverty”.
Casey:
“Maps.” “Maps.” “Maps.” In light of all… In all the places where I would’ve said the topic…
Jeff:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think that’s probably very doable.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
So wait, is it sponsored by TED? Is that like… Do they have enough money to sponsor one of these? I guess it’s a million bucks. Yeah, they could do that. They could give [ that and more ]
Casey:
Yes, it’s A.I. XPRIZE presented by TED but because it’s not an active XPRIZE yet, I don’t know exactly what the prize is unless it’s just a rule that all prizes are a million Dollars. I don’t know if they have a thing that’s like, “The prizes are always this much,” or if it’s like, whatever the person [inaudible 33:56]
Jeff:
Now, that’s a good point. There’s another whole direction to go with this.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Which is if it only costs a million Dollars to have your own XPRIZE, we can make the rules whatever you want, right?
Casey:
Right. Right.
Jeff:
“The most efficient way to shoot tennis balls at someone’s crotch.” Right? A whole bunch of, like, robots and we want to see as many…
Casey:
So, okay, so here’s…
Jeff:
A million Dollars is relatively cheap. We can…
Casey:
I’ve got it, Jeff. The Roberts XPRIZE is as follows — “Record a full length video for every species of mammal getting kicked in his testicles.” Or not kicked but getting injured, having an impact, an unexpected impact to its genitalia. That is the Roberts XPRIZE.
Jeff:
That’s the Roberts XPRIZE. And then the longest one wins. If you can…
Casey:
No, the first. That’s [inaudible 34:57] The first person to turn over to you a digital archive of ever species of mammal having an unexpected testicular impact gets a million Dollars. That is the Roberts XPRIZE.
Jeff:
Yeah, that’s totally doable.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
But we can get them to do whatever you want…
Casey:
I want to do it… Just to bring it back here to the topic at hand, what I read you and the things that we just spent some time… I want to almost say “hoping will come true”… Those are just samples. Those are the sample rules. And what they asked us for, Jeff, what they asked us for and what I believe I argued persuasively at the opening of the podcast, it was a Christian thing to do is to help them define what the actual rules are in order to define… I mean, essentially, what they’re asking us to do is to create rules that define what a TED Talk is. And in my mind, we are very good people to do that work.
Jeff:
Yes. Okay, wait. So are we thinking of the rules… So let’s say we’re thinking about these rules in a way that prevents people from doing the obvious cheats.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Okay. Establish actual A. I.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Okay. Because the two questions at the end are not enough.
Casey:
Well, more specifically, what is a TED Talk standing ovation? Because the first thing I would point out is I’ve never seen a TED Talk that doesn’t get a standing ovation.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
So for all I know, all of the… That’s not actually gonna be much of a metric ‘cos the robot’s gonna come out, it’s going to fall of the stage, and it’s gonna get a standing ovation.
Jeff:
[inaudible 36:36]
Casey:
Because that’s not that far, yet.
Jeff:
“That was amazing.”
Casey:
Right. It’s like, whatever.
Jeff:
“Did you see what it did?”
Casey:
“Yeah, it fell off the stage. It fell off the stage.”
Jeff:
[inaudible 36:47] comes out, “Microloads,” and explodes. This is getting better and better.
Casey:
That’s the buzz word, right? It’s like, the robot wars, shooting each other…
Jeff:
Only they don’t fight each other. They just float on their own.
Casey:
They self-destruct. Yeah. Yes, the exactly. So we need constraints to say, “You’re not going to get this prize unless it actually sound like a TED Talk.” You have to define what that means.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
What does it mean to give a TED Talk?
Jeff:
Okay, well, we have to define also how you measure, like you said… We need some sort of, like, a [inaudible 37:23] meter or little sensors to see how much they stomp their feet…
Casey:
The vibration of the clapping and stuff…
Jeff:
Right. And you have to weight all of those because, like, you might have two people clapping an equal amount but one is just a person and one is, like, a VC fund manager. He’s way more important.
Casey:
More important. Yeah, that’s a good point.
Jeff:
So we need to scale…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
All the seats need to be weighted by the net worth…
Casey:
Yeah, net worth weight…
Jeff:
So, net worth weighted…
Casey:
If Bill Gates claps for your robot, you win, right?
Jeff:
Yes, exactly.
Casey:
’Cos that’s how that goes.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
If the dude riding the mechanical bull claps, you lose or you don’t get zero…
Jeff:
We just need a lot of bull clappers, right?
Casey:
A lot.
Jeff:
Yeah, to match up.
Casey:
Everyone who’s ever ridden that bull had better be clapping for you at that point if that’s what you’re gonna…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Should I say “ride to victory on” or “buck to victory”.
Jeff:
Okay. So then, we also have to decide what is a TED Talk, right?
Casey:
Yeah, that to me is a little harder to define because, like I said, there’s fuzzy things. Like I just said, it has to make the audience feel good about themselves. It has to paint Silicon Valley as the place where the future will happen.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
We can’t be like, “Hey, guess what, we figured out that a piece of world is totally possible if we just follow the way the Native Americans live completely and get rid of technology.” They’d be like, “This is the worst TED Talk we’ve ever seen.” They’d be like, “That’s a horrible idea. I don’t know what you’re talking about, you fucking hippie. Get off the stage.” Right? So how do you [ co-define ] those things?
Jeff:
Well, I think you have to start saying what are… You know, whenever you’re trying to define a group of people like that, what are their principles, right?
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
Like obviously…
Casey:
Alright.
Jeff:
Money is huge.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Stock options, all of that stuff…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Like, how you employ capital…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
Is as important as what the thing does. Like, you can’t have things… Like, that’s why microloans was such a big deal.
Casey:
Exactly.
Jeff:
Right? Is you’re like, “Oh, my God.” This thing we do for everybody else, it works for them, too, just lower so it has to be…
Casey:
No, no. Microloans is better than that. Microloans is the best thing ever, right, ‘cos microloans was basically telling people like, you know that charity thing that you do that you’re not that fond of ’cos like…
Jeff:
You just lose the money.
Casey:
It doesn’t make sense. It’s not capitalist, right? It turns out, it works way better if you’re a dick and charge interest, right?
Jeff:
But you’re missing charity all this time…
Casey:
You’re like, “Oh, my God. Charity all the time… The thing that was missing is the asshole factor which I am. I can bring my own ruthless asshole view of the world to charity and make it better.”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
It’s like…
Jeff:
So capitalists.
Casey:
Yeah, [inaudible 40:10] the Whole Foods has things where they’re like, “Do you want to donate your [ bag refund ]?”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
“The 5 cents,” or whatever the fuck it is, “to our thing every month?” Right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And I’m usually like, “Yes.” But I make them tell me what it is first. I’m like, “[ I want to know what I’m going into here.” ] And I’m almost always like, “Yeah, it sounds okay.” And then one time, Michael was like, “Nope, give me the bag refund, bitch. That’s coming right back to me.” Anyway, keep going.
Jeff:
Okay, so capital and using capital is very important.
Casey:
So capital?
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Okay. I would say…
Jeff:
Technology as a savior is a huge…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
There is nothing bad technology ever does. We just haven’t figured out [inaudible 40:49]
Casey:
There is a problem. What happens sometimes, Jeff, is technology gets you into a bad place but fortunately, the thing that will get you out of it is technology.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Right? It’s like gas goes from accelerating the fire to putting it out.
Jeff:
I feel like it’s more like the people that brought rabbits to Australia, that brought foxes, and then brought…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
[ And keeps, you know, ] this arms race…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
That’s what it is.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
It’s like, we just keep… They just don’t have enough [ battery left ].
Casey:
So our rules so far is, A, the talk must mention the transformative power of capital. B, the robot must explain how technology will solve, will do whatever… It has to be about the cause.
Jeff:
I’m sorry. I think I just had it.
Casey:
You had it?
Jeff:
I think I just had the idea that will win the TED Talk.
Casey:
Okay, hit me.
Jeff:
What they need to talk about is… Listen, TED changes lives. It makes all of our lives better. So by making a robot that can TED and make more of itself… It has to be a robot that can make other TED…
Casey:
Self-replicating TED…
Jeff:
A self-replicating TED robot. That’s what we need. And then TED goes everywhere.
Casey:
That’s right.
Jeff:
Whether we want it to or now, right?
Casey:
That’s right.
Jeff:
And in fact, it might turn on us where we have to stop the TED robots, where there’s too many.
Casey:
No, that’s the thing you can’t say. Technology only goes forward, Jeff.
Jeff:
That’s true.
Casey:
The only thing we need to do there is introduce technology of ensuring that TED robots did not go out of control. [inaudible 42:21]
Jeff:
Oh, my God. The way you do that is you make audience robots.
Casey:
Right. Exactly.
Jeff:
Yes, so pretty soon… And then there’s just huge amount of radiating good waves…
Casey:
It’s amazing.
Jeff:
Right. Of just, like… Yeah.
Casey:
Holy shit. Holy fuck.
Jeff:
Did we miss it?
Casey:
You’re brilliant. No, I’m just looking at the logical conclusion of this idea. This is why there’s stuff like famine. It’s because they don’t have TED Talk there.
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Right?
Jeff:
That’s what I’m saying. Once they go out to the world…
Casey:
You’ve totally nailed it. It’s like, there are people who aren’t able to get enough food in some remote part of the world, in a 3rd world country. If they could go to a TED Talk… But they can’t right now because of 2 reasons — lack of TED technology, lack of TED capital. So what we need to do is get the capital and technology to bring the TED Talks to these places where, instead of giving them drinking water or giving them crops that they can plant, we’ll simply give them talks about drinking water and crops…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And it’ll solve itself.
Jeff:
Right, like we don’t eat…
Casey:
Teach a man to fish… Give him a TED Talk about a fish, that’s the thing.
Jeff:
Right, exactly.
Casey:
TED Talk about the fish [inaudible 43:32]
Jeff:
TED Talk about the fish solves it all…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Because then, you may not have clean drinking water.
Casey:
No.
Jeff:
But once you see the fact that, like, “Oh, there’s this talk about a tube that makes the water magically good…”
Casey:
Here’s the thing…
Jeff:
Then you go, “I just need that tube.”
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
“I’m just missing the tube.”
Casey:
Right. And that’s… No, no. You’re missing the whole point. I’m talking to you about the metaphor for real. It used to be, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day.”
Jeff:
Yep.
Casey:
“Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for life,” right?
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
That used to be how the metaphor goes.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
The new metaphor is, “Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for life. Teach a man about teaching a man about fish, and he can do everything.”
Jeff:
I see.
Casey:
We need to bring to him the concept that you don’t teach people to fish. You teach them to go to conferences where they learn about fishing.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Because then, they can learn about everything. They’ll go to these conferences. They’ll learn about fishing.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They’ll learn about microloans. They’ll learn about electric cars, Jeff. And if they ever get electricity, they won’t have to worry about gas.
Jeff:
The only thing is all these conferences have, like, donuts and coffee. So like, they will actually get some food. The food’s just sitting there. I don’t know why they’re in Africa right now and starving, anyway. They should be at TED.
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
This is really on them.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
They haven’t figured out… But I mean, that’s part of the TED self-replicating TED robot that goes out and teaches them about TED, [inaudible 44:56] them together…
Casey:
Fuck the [ world arts ]. Our planes are not going to drop care packages. They’re going to drop seats. Those, like, bucket seats that you have. They’re going to drop a whole bunch of those and when people are sitting on them, we drop the TED robot.
Jeff:
We’ve got to drop all the seats first…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
’Cos we’re not going to TED if there’s no audience, right?
Casey:
No.
Jeff:
And the audience robot, that’s a harder nut to crack…
Casey:
Here’s the other thing…
Jeff:
Because first of, if you’re going to have the automated TED robot, you have to give those robots a lot of cash…
Casey:
You do.
Jeff:
Because if they don’t have their own basic fund that they can choose to disperse money from, they’re not a real TED audience member.
Casey:
No. That’s probably not true. Yeah. So here’s the thing. I feel like there’s a big… There’s one lynchpin because this will solve the world problems.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
Just more TED Talks is all we really need. The rest is details.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
The TED Talks is the part. Details can get sorted out later. Here’s the thing you’re messing. There’s one thing that TED would never be put on without. There’s one thing that, even if everything else fell away…
Jeff:
Tell me.
Casey:
It’s a lynchpin. And I think you know what it is. You’re just not thinking hard enough. And that is the sponsors.
Jeff:
Yes, that’s true.
Casey:
TED is not TED. TED is TED brought to you by BMW.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Driving toward the future, let’s say. So you need a sponsor and a tagline air-dropped in along with these TED robots and the TED seats. And so, that has to I think be in the mix. It’s got to be in the mix, Jeff.
Jeff:
Well certainly, for the talk, I think when we send the robot out, it has to be pretty sponsored…
Casey:
Oh, yeah.
Jeff:
Just to show them, like… This is… You know, we’re thinking… We’re covering all the bases, right?
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
So if the Jeff & Casey Show jankathon rolls out there and says, “Brought to you by Mountain Dew” and tips over and then the speakers start…
Casey:
The bass level really kicks in right there.
Jeff:
And we pretend like we’re fucking with them [inaudible 46:57] we’re protected as we deafen everybody in the TED conference, yeah.
Casey:
So here’s the thing I will say about that, though… All of that’s very good. I say we steal a play… I mean, you’ve spent a lot of time in New York now so I feel like you’ve probably seen this in action. I feel like we take this concept and we stick it right in there for the sponsorship. So if you’ve ever been to a play or a musical in New York, there’s a really uncomfortable moment that comes after it’s over where the actors come out and they ask you for money. You know what I’m talking about, right? It’s like the AIDS fund drive or some shit for kids, whatever it is. They’re like, “There’s going to be one of the actors from the play at the exit with a bucket. Please give generously.” Right? so I feel like what we could do is after our robot gets the standing ovation, it launches into a minute or two for the sponsors. So Mountain Dew or whoever our sponsor for our extreme robot is, it then says, “Thank you, thank you. If I can just have a minute of your time. Millions of children all around the world are not able to do it to the max. You can help them by donating to our Jeff & Casey Do It to the Max Fund. Code red. There will be robots with buckets at all the entrances.”
Jeff:
It just emits… Just starts shooting buckets out…
Casey:
Or a mist of Mountain Dew covers the audience, like, squirting…
Jeff:
Squirting it all…
Casey:
It’s like a [inaudible 48:31] concert of Gallagher all of a sudden.
Jeff:
I just thought it would shoot buckets out everywhere.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
’Cos let’s be honest. We’re not gonna put a lot of time on the robot. Our robot’s gonna be pretty janky.
Casey:
It’s going to be pretty bad.
Jeff:
So I think what we just grab is one of those t-shirt [ washers ] and it just starts spraying buckets that say, “Place money in here.”
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
And it just shoots them [inaudible 48:53] ‘cos we’re not gonna make… We’re not making usher robot sitting outside…
Casey:
No, we’re not. That’s a lot of work.
Jeff:
That’s a lot of work. Oh, my God. That’s nuts.
Casey:
I feel like… My only concern for the TED XPRIZE… There are only 2 drawbacks to this prize that I see. Number 1 is that if we do want to enter it, we would probably have to attend TED.
Jeff:
Yeah, that’s true.
Casey:
Major downside, okay. But number 2 is if we don’t do the robot and we really do want to see those 1st year robots ‘cos I think we do…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
Is that they won’t post a complete video, right?
Jeff:
That’s true.
Casey:
There won’t be a way for us to get the raw footage that is the 50 robots that fell off the stage which is what we want to see.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
They’ll edit it down to the one that’s sort of managed to get a speech out…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And it was, like, fucking… Pulling from websites based on the words so it had some kind of… And it’s subject to, like, the Google link-baiting and shit, too, so it’s reading a porn site, it got off on a tangent.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
And it’s like, you know, “All anal action. Poverty. Anal poverty.” It starts getting into the words that are all in black text at the bottom…
Jeff:
The screen reader is going straight over to pop-up…
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
We use Wikipedia to pull this off and then a pop-up…
Casey:
Right, yeah. “Jimmy Wales would like to tell you…”
Jeff:
“We need your [inaudible 50:29]”
Casey:
Right.
Jeff:
What’s happening?
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
No, that’s pretty amazing. I feel like… Is it AIX… Just as a side thing. It says AIX there…
Casey:
[ It’s UNIX ].
Jeff:
Yeah, it’s like an IBM UNIX, right?
Casey:
It was the old IBM UNIX that used to ship on the… When they shipped to power PC…
Jeff:
I see. That’s what I keep thinking of.
Casey:
IBM is like the master of doing partnership deals that they’re like, “Oh, we’re going to sell a ton of these, too.” Nope. No, you didn’t.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
You didn’t sell a ton of these, too. But it doesn’t matter, I mean. It’s not their core business, obviously, but it’s just funny. So AIX is what ran… If you bought an IBM PowerPC Workstation, for example, back in 1994, it was running AIX.
Jeff:
You just had no idea that someday, AIX was going…
Casey:
Was AI XPRIZE…
Jeff:
I’m just saying…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
You have…
Casey:
Presented by TED. Get the fucking sponsor. The AI XPRIZE [ are ]…
Jeff:
Presented by TED.
Casey:
Presented by TED. TED does not have an [ are ] next to it so I’m not sure what…
Jeff:
I like that the TED’s in red. They have to be red.
Casey:
That’s their color. That’s their branding logo color.
Jeff:
I bet there were meetings about that.
Casey:
Yeah, I bet there were.
Jeff:
Yeah, where they’re all really obsessing over this, the exact right shade of red.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
Of course, there’s not a browser in the world that will ever reproduce that red correctly ever again.
Casey:
That’s correct.
Jeff:
But they had it right there.
Casey:
Yeah. So I think… Yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things where in my mind I’m thinking here, like, “Yeah, we’ll probably never enter the robot or whatever ‘cos we’ll just have shit to do,” but I really want it to happen. Like, I feel like if we did actually spend the month or two making a TED robot and enter it and go down there, it would kind of be one of those highlights of my life. It would really be a big moment that I would look back on fondly. It was like, I went down to this asshole conference and shat robot stuff all over them would be the greatest… I was like, “This is fantastic.”
Jeff:
Okay, so here’s the problem. It would have to be plausible…
Casey:
Wait, no. I’m done. I’ve got it.
Jeff:
Okay.
Casey:
I’ve totally solved it.
Jeff:
Okay, tell me.
Casey:
This is even legitimate. This is not even taking the piss out of them. This is completely legitimate. It’s not a robot. We don’t enter a robot to this AI XPRIZE.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
We enter two robots. One of them is programmed to talk like me and one of them is programmed to talk like you. And they come out onstage and whatever the fucking topic is, we have literally written programs to just argue… Immediately can’t come to… It’s not even on the topic at all, right. It just fucking searches the web and pulls words and then it just argues the shit for 3 minutes about that topic [ ends ]…
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
That would be amazing.
Jeff:
here’s what I’m thinking. We really want to get on the stage ‘cos that would be the best part.
Casey:
Who, you and me?
Jeff:
No, the robots.
Casey:
Yeah, the robots with our faces. They’d be like a digital version of our faces.
Jeff:
They’re going to… Cut down on nonsense. They’re gonna pre-check the robots. You’re gonna have to go through some sort of… They would have to be plausible in the early stages. And then when it gets out there, we can go fully… We can have a little thing of oil that, like, it gets out there and turns it over so it just seems like its seeping fluid.
Casey:
It smokes.
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
It starts smoking.
Jeff:
It’s like, “Why is there a fluid? Why does this robot have so much oil?” Oh, yeah. It would have to be plausible to get to the good joke. That’s the problem. Wait.
Casey:
Yeah. Do you think you have something better than a Jeff & Casey arguing robot? There's nothing better than that.
Jeff:
No, I’m not saying what… What probably has to happen is one robot comes out and then it separates into two so it argues. But that’s a separate thing. What I’m saying is the hard part’s getting the plausibility working ‘cos then you have to do some work…
Casey:
It’s not that hard, though, if we entered the first one ‘cos we’re all gonna be really shitty. It just has to do something. And they’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, this one’s kinda crappy. It’s not gonna win.”
Jeff:
Right.
Casey:
But they’re not gonna disqualify it. It just doesn’t start. It doesn’t argue ‘til the game day, right. Game day, it argues the fuck like they just argue with each other the whole time.
Jeff:
Right. So here’s the thing. I don’t think it’s gonna cost that much to make the plausible one. Like, we just form that part out and it is the robot that contains our real robot.
Casey:
And that one breaks apart…
Jeff:
Breaks apart to two little robots…
Casey:
And you see two little robots come out.
Jeff:
And everyone… And then they’re very racist, perhaps. We get a little…
Casey:
I don’t think you need to do that. I think just us yelling at each other will be so… Like, all it is is just a giant in joke for people who watch this show. It’s just 3 minutes out of Jeff & Casey Show on the TED stage. That is the ultimate punk. You don't need to spray the audience with anything. You don't need to do anything. That's perfect right there.
Jeff:
We also get a full 30 minutes…
Casey:
To generate, to have it do its thing.
Jeff:
Yeah. That’s kind of… Assuming they stick to those rules…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
That’s really easy…
Casey:
’Cos we just go do it.
Jeff:
We just go quickly in the backroom and scream at each other for 3 minutes and then separate… The mic separation won’t even be that good…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
So you get crossover bleed from one robot to the other. Yeah. If we could get that, that’d be pretty good. Alright, so what this means is we have to keep up on the rules…
Casey:
We have to find out when it actually gets posted.
Jeff:
Yeah.
Casey:
When they actually activate the XPRIZE, we’re going to have to… Now, we could choose to indulge the subterfuge in a deeper level and say, “Alright, we’re gonna start submitting ideas for the rules that are favorable to what we need to have happen for this, to pave the path.” But I feel like no matter what the rules are, we will be able to do exactly what we want to do. I think we’re good.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
It’s gonna be great.
Jeff:
We’re gonna keep our eyes on it.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
When does it come out? It’s 2 year away? 3 years away?
Casey:
Well…
Jeff:
They don’t even have rules yet so…
Casey:
So I feel like it’s sort of suggesting that it will start arbitrarily…
Jeff:
Wait, this is the head?
Casey:
Oh, I don’t know what the fuck that is. Did you notice it has a BMW logo on the head? Did you notice that?
Jeff:
Oh, my God. It does.
Casey:
Right? It’s like the branding, they’ve already pre-branded it because TED’s sponsor is BMW.
Jeff:
This is a dream of BMW. It’s like, if all people had the logo in their head all the time…
Casey:
Right. Yeah. It looks like a crash test dummy, too, kind of…
Jeff:
It doesn’t… Yeah, I didn’t realize the actual…
Casey:
But anyway, point being it sounds like what they’re going to do is as soon as they get the rules finalized, they’ll just be doing it at TED’s from now on…
Jeff:
Wait a second. I just saw something. I’m sorry.
Casey:
What? This is why I don’t give you the iPad. Shit goes crazy.
Jeff:
Well, on the side…
Casey:
[inaudible 57:31] over there…
Jeff:
Oh, my God. Alright, this might be good. Their benefactors page has a whole bunch of pictures…
Casey:
What is a benefactors page?
Jeff:
I don’t know but they’re called the Vision Circle which is not that different from my…
Casey:
Vision Keeper for the zoo…
Jeff:
My zoo vision keeping…
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
So I can…
Casey:
So those are people who donated a lot of money?
Jeff:
“XPRIZE is fortunate to have a group of courageous visionaries…”
Casey:
Courageous?
Jeff:
Yeah. “Who support our ongoing efforts and growth.”
Casey:
They braved the trip to the bank to sign that check? What does that mean? Where was the courage exactly?
Jeff:
“Vision Circle members are our largest contributors, fueling our capacity to add prize competitions and enhance educational outreach. Vision Circle members are our core shareholders and their input is vital to our long-term…”
Casey:
Shareholders? This is a corporation?
Jeff:
I don’t know. “And their input is vital to our long-term focus and success. To find out how you can help support the XPRIZE Foundation, click here.” We’re doing that. So Larry Page is on here, Richard Merkin, I assume he…
Casey:
Who’s that?
Jeff:
I don’t know. Maybe he’d been at the Merkin. There’s a whole bunch… Yeah, I don’t recognize any of the… Oh, there’s… Yeah, it is Wendy Schmidt. Yeah.
Casey:
Eric Schmidt’s wife.
Jeff:
Yeah. Alright, I know he did a lot of ocean research.
Casey:
Wendy Schmidt Ocean Clean-Up Prize
Jeff:
Okay, wait a second so… Yeah, so we’ve just got to find out how much it cost. I think [inaudible 58:57] might have…
Casey:
You’re gonna try to get yourself on the XPRIZE sponsor page?
Jeff:
If I can get… I don’t know if I can get on the sponsor page because I’m assuming they’re giving billions…
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
But I’m sure I can get listed on this…
Casey:
But why do you want to be?
Jeff:
I like [inaudible 59:11] to be as many… Oh, here’s… Oh, “Spotlight on Wendy Schmidt”.
Casey:
Okay.
Jeff:
“I would love to fund another XPRIZE. It was the best kind of experience a philanthropist can have — to provide a relatively…”
Casey:
It sounds like someone who fucking went on a class trip and wrote the thing like, “Thank you so much for letting us come backstage at the play house. I had a good time. We learned lots of things. The actress was pretty.
Jeff:
“To provide a relatively modest investment and to have such a measurable and valuable outcome delivered to the world.” Wendy Schmidt. That’s a picture of her right there.
Casey:
Oh, yeah.
Jeff:
Alright.
Casey:
Philanthropying around…
Jeff:
Yep. Oh, my God. Alright…
Casey:
Ladies and gentlemen, if that wasn’t a highly technological educational, philanthropic Jeff & Casey Show, I do not know what was.
Jeff:
That’s a good point. We were just giving to them…
Casey:
That was an hour and 13 seconds of pure giving.
Jeff:
So with such a minimal investment that we had to do there…
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
It’s going to have such far-reaching effects.
Casey:
Yes, that’s right, absolutely.
Jeff:
I hadn’t thought about it like that.
Casey:
Yes.
Jeff:
I’m a hero, basically. I mean, I don’t want to call myself that but others will…
Casey:
Right. I mean, you don’t want to apply a label to yourself but at the same time, you don’t want to be rude and duck the label.
Jeff:
Right, exactly.
Casey:
I mean, if it’s coming right at you, you might as well let it hit you.
Jeff:
You let it hit you, right.
Casey:
Yeah.
Jeff:
Alright, well, if you have something that you’d like to have us weigh upon…
Casey:
If you have such a hard-hitting technological issue such as an A.I. that… I mean, to the fair, the A.I. community, they don’t make a lot of progress, it’s true. They haven’t made a lot of progress. So they’re throwing them a bone. All they have to do is get a TED audience to give them a standing ovation which is pretty easy. So kudos. In all seriousness, kudos to the XPRIZE Foundation for picking a very easy A.I. challenge for the A.I. community. They could use the help.
Jeff:
Right, exactly.
Casey:
If you have a similarly hard-hitting technical piece that you would like us to review…
Jeff:
Yes.
Casey:
Please do not hesitate to email us — Podcast@JeffAndCaseyShow.com. . .
Jeff:
That’s right.
Casey:
We will read it. We will analyze it…
Jeff:
We will get back to you, too.
Casey:
We will turn it around. We will tech it up. We will apply capital. We will tell you how you are saving the world and being a good person to make you feel good about themselves on next week’s show.
Jeff:
We’ll use… You know, when our 2 robots come out to prevent them from running into each other…
Casey:
Yes, exactly.
Jeff:
We’ll just use, like, [ STP A-Star ].
Casey:
Yes, that’s right.
Jeff:
And they’ll just come out there. There’ll be no problems…
Casey:
No problems.
Jeff:
It will be absolutely fine.
Casey:
It’ll be great. And if we do manage to enter a robot into the A.I. XPRIZE, you’ll be the first to hear about here on the Jeff & Casey Show. Thank you for listening.
Jeff:
Thanks, everybody.
Casey:
We’ll see you next walk.
Jeff:
Talk to you…
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casey muratori
the jeff and casey show - season 4 - episode 12
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