Casey Newton is the founder and editor of Platformer, an independent publication devoted to exploring the intersection of technology and democracy. Of Platformer, it is said “there's no better way to understand how social networks and the modern internet shapes our lives.” Always evolving with the news, Casey’s current work focuses on the rise of artificial intelligence, how social media affects human behavior and politics, government regulation of Big Tech, as well as the declining trust in government and ongoing threats to democracy. He also co-hosts Hard Fork, the critically acclaimed New York Times podcast about the future that is already here, alongside fellow Leigh Bureau speaker Kevin Roose.
Offering a mix of original reporting, analysis, and commentary, Platformer serves as a daily live blog for this tumultuous period in the history of technology and governance. Over 150,00 people—including big tech executives and their counterparts in academia, government, and journalism—trust the newsletter to keep them informed on the industry’s most important developments of the day. Nothing quite captures the significance of the newsletter to the tech community more than the anecdote that many Twitter employees, during Elon Musk’s takeover, learned of their layoffs from Platformer, not through internal means.
In 2020, Casey was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for his series of investigative reports about content moderation that lead to a $52 million settlement for Facebook moderators who developed PTSD on the job.
Prior to founding Platformer in 2020, Casey spent 10 years covering Silicon Valley for The Verge, CNET, and the San Francisco Chronicle. While at The Verge, he authored The Interface, a daily newsletter with over 20,000 subscribers, and hosted the Converge podcast, offering humorous and revealing conversations with Silicon Valley’s most fascinating entrepreneurs.
The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence
Every few years, a technology comes along that splits the world neatly into before and after. The arrival of ChatGPT and other generative AI signaled such an inflection point with artificial intelligence. Ten years from now, will we look back at this time as the start of something incredible or the beginning of the end? Will AI leave populations jobless and impoverished, or will it augment workflows to enhance productivity and prosperity? Will positive, neutral, or harmful uses of these technologies ultimately have the greatest impact on society? In this talk, tech journalist Casey Newton offers a nuanced exploration of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of our rapidly changing tech landscape with special emphasis on the impacts of AI.
Exposing the Madness and Brilliance of Silicon Valley
Platformer’s Casey Newton, the journalist who brought news of the mass layoffs to Twitter employees before their boss did, brings his insider knowledge of Silicon Valley to the stage. Delivered with the humor, candor, and wit that fans have become accustomed to on the weekly "Hard Fork" podcast, Casey answers the latest questions surrounding the changing landscapes of tech: Is social media a force for good or ushering in the downfall of society? Will self-driving cars become the norm or will misplaced traffic cones stymie their rise? Is your degree useless because AI is making jobs obsolete or will it become a tool to open new paths to success? What's going on with crypto and were NFTs just an elaborate scam? Casey separates passing fads from revolutionary breakthroughs and leaves audiences better informed about the coming developments poised to reshape their lives.