Sep 19, 2019

Podcast: Groupon founder's second act

Six years after being fired as CEO of Groupon, Andrew Mason has founded a podcast production startup called Descript that basically works like an audio word processing platform. But it also lets users add words they never spoke, thus raising security and deepfake concerns.

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Bogus Putin interview reveals a real deepfake threat

The real Putin. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty

At an MIT conference on Wednesday, a journalist pointedly asked Russian President Vladimir Putin whether he would interfere again in U.S. elections. Putin demurred.

What's happening: The world leader was actually a glitchy deepfake. His face was a real-time AI-generated mask that made a performer look like Putin on screen — but because the mask stopped at the forehead, this was Putin with a fresh head of hair.

Go deeperArrowSep 19, 2019

Trump refuses to answer what he asked Ukrainian president to do about Bidens

President Trump refused to answer a question from Reuters' Jeff Mason about what he was asking Ukraine's president to do about Joe Biden and his son during a now-infamous July 25 phone call. Instead, Trump criticized European countries for not providing aid to Ukraine, attacked the impeachment investigation as a "hoax" and berated Mason for being "rude."

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Podcasting's rosy future

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The podcast boom shows no sign of slowing down.

Driving the news: Shonda Rhimes, who already has a nine-figure TV deal with Netflix, has now signed a 3-year podcasting deal with iHeartPodcast Network, creating Shondaland Audio in the process. Other TV companies, like HBO, are making podcasts themselves, with significant success.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019