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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Marc Stein, the New York Times' star NBA reporter, has partnered with Locker Room to create live audio content, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Locker Room, Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and other social audio apps have surged in popularity during the pandemic, leading some to believe the future of social networks might be audio.

  • Stein's partnership with Locker Room is a seminal moment for the emerging medium, which is more live than a podcast, more accessible than sports radio and more casual than a livestream.

How it works: Social audio apps allow users to host virtual rooms and join live conversations.

  • Upon entering a room, the audio switches on and you can hear people on the "stage" speaking. You can also see who else is in the audience.
  • The room's creator, plus any designated hosts, control who speaks. Listeners request to speak when they have something to say and hosts can call them up on stage.
  • Unlike Clubhouse, Locker Room has a chat room where text-based discussion can happen in tandem with the audio-based conversation.

What they're saying: I spoke with Stein about the future of social audio, his partnership with Locker Room and how he plans to use the app.

  • On social audio: "Audio is evolving in fascinating ways. ... Fans have been calling into radio shows forever, but this is a totally new genre. The host and the audience have never been able to hang out like this without being rushed. I see it as the old ESPN.com chats of yesteryear springing back to life in audio form."
  • On the fit with Locker Room: "Locker Room has quickly become synonymous with sports in this space, and I've seen (and heard) several of my colleagues on the app. Now it's my turn to give it a whirl, expand my audio game and have some fun."
  • On his content plans: "The goal is to do it on Wednesdays and Fridays, often at night when games are happening, in part because I think the consistency of when the rooms are happening is important."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

Meet your doctor's AI assistant

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Artificial intelligence is breaking into the doctor's office, with new models that can transcribe, analyze and even offer predictions based on written notes and conversations between physicians and their patients.

Why it matters: AI models can increasingly be trained on what we tell our doctors, now that they're starting to understand our written notes and even our conversations. That will open up new possibilities for care — and new concerns about privacy.

What we know about the victims of the Indianapolis mass shooting

Officials load a body into a vehicle at the site of the mass shooting in Indianapolis. Photo:

Eight people who were killed along with several others who were injured in a Thursday evening shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis have been identified by local law enforcement.

The big picture: The Sikh Coalition said at least four of the eight victims were members of the Indianapolis Sikh community.

Pompeo, wife misused State Dept. resources, federal watchdog finds

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.