The Gradient
The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
Joss Fong: Videomaking, AI, and Science Communication
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Joss Fong: Videomaking, AI, and Science Communication

On video journalism and science communication, bias in generative AI, incentives in journalism, and how video production is changing.
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Transcript

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“You get more of what you engage with. Everyone who complains about coverage should understand that every click, every quote tweet, every argument is registered by these publications as engagement. If what you want is really meaty, dispassionate, balanced, and fair explainers, you need to click on that, you need to read the whole thing, you need to share it, talk about it, comment on it. We get the media that we deserve.”

In episode 117 of The Gradient Podcast, Daniel Bashir speaks to Joss Fong.

Joss is a producer focused on science and technology, and was a founding member of the Vox video team. Her work has been recognized by the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, and the News & Documentary Emmys. She holds a master's degree in science, health, and environmental reporting from NYU.

Have suggestions for future podcast guests (or other feedback)? Let us know here or reach us at editor@thegradient.pub

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Outline:

  • (00:00) Intro

  • (01:32) Joss’s path into videomaking, J-school

  • (07:45) Consumption and creation in explainer journalism

  • (10:45) Finding clarity in information

  • (13:15) Communication of ML research

  • (15:55) Video journalism and science communication as separate and overlapping disciplines

  • (19:41) Evolution of videos and videomaking

  • (26:33) Explaining AI and communicating mental models

  • (30:47) Meeting viewers in the middle, competing for attention

  • (34:07) Explanatory techniques in Glad You Asked

  • (37:10) Storytelling and communicating scientific information

  • (40:57) “Is Beauty Culture Hurting Us?” and participating in video narratives

  • (46:37) AI beauty filters

  • (52:59) Obvious bias in generative AI

  • (59:31) Definitions and ideas of progress, humanities and technology

  • (1:05:08) “Iterative development” and outsourcing quality control to the public

  • (1:07:10) Disagreement about (tech) journalism’s purpose

  • (1:08:51) Incentives in newsrooms and journalistic organizations

  • (1:12:04) AI for video generation and implications, limits of creativity

  • (1:17:20) Skill and creativity

  • (1:22:35) Joss’s new YouTube channel!

  • (1:23:29) Outro

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The Gradient
The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
Deeply researched, technical interviews with experts thinking about AI and technology.