If you had to sum up the year in tech in one word, what word would you choose? That’s what we at the Gadget Lab asked ourselves as we looked to somehow recap a year’s worth of tech-related drama in approximately 45 minutes. 2018 was the year that we learned about Cambridge Analytica; that social media’s role in the 2016 U.S. election came into sharper focus; that top tech executives were put in the Congressional hot seat; and that tech workers spoke out about everything from brutal work environments to how their firms’ technologies were being used by government agencies.
At the same time, 2018 was also a year of remarkable advancements in artificial intelligence, space exploration, and even the future of transport. And at the very least, our increasing awareness of some of the tech industry’s practices could lead us to a place in the new year where we’re making better decisions about what’s good and what’s not-so-good for us tech-consuming mortals. That’s what we’re telling ourselves, anyway.
Also on this week’s podcast, Lauren talks to Brynn Putnam, the founder and CEO of Mirror, a new digital health-and-fitness company that live streams workout classes through a mirror in your living room. The future of fitness has arrived, and we are never leaving our homes.
Show notes: For a rundown of just some of the Facebook scandals that have happened this year, check out Issie Lapowsky’s story. And here’s Lauren’s story about new interactive fitness systems, including Mirror.
Recommendations this week: Arielle recommends reading Charles Duhigg’s story about anger in the latest issue of The Atlantic. Mike recommends a podcast from Malcolm Gladwell called “Broken Record.” Lauren recommends taking advantage of the “screen time” dashboards on your smartphone, getting a sense of how much time you’re spending on non-essential tasks, and then really, truly, seriously guys, putting down your phone more in the new year.
Send the Gadget Lab hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes can be found at @pardesoteric. Lauren Goode is @laurengoode. Michael Calore can be found at @snackfight.
Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
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