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Consequential is a narrative podcast about public policy, its impacts, and its potential for building a better future. Season 5 premieres Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

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S5 E1: Economy, Rebooted

Gee whiz, ever wonder why the 1950s were so swell for the economy? Technological advancements in things like telecommunications, transportation, and consumer electronics helped ignite the most expansive period of growth and productivity we’ve ever seen.

For some time, economists have been watching AI and other tech-industry wonders of the present, and wondering: Could a new boom be on the horizon? What policies could help usher in a new era of economic prosperity? CMU’s Lee Branstetter and MIT’s David Autor have some ideas.


Read the full transcript.





Season 4: Infrastructure

What are the long-term impacts of targeted investments in our physical and human infrastructure? Beginning November 24, Season 4 of the Consequential Podcast will examine how policymaking in such areas as public transportation, energy, and workforce development will affect our future.


Season 3: Knowledge Is Power

In Season 3 of Consequential, hosts Eugene and Lauren will be exploring knowledge production in the Information Age. This season will examine how AI and machine learning will impact research practices and data collection, as well as the development and dissemination of knowledge. Topics will include combatting disinformation, the ethics of crowdsourced research, and representation in open source software development.

Season 2: COVID-19 Mini-Season

In light of recent developments related to COVID-19, we have decided to push back our second season to focus instead on what we can learn from the coronavirus in terms of technology and society. In our Consequential mini-season, we will cover the use of large-scale public health data, remote education, and the future of work.

Season 1: The human side of technological change

Our future isn’t a coin flip. In an age of artificial intelligence and increasing automation, Consequential looks at our digital future and discusses what’s significant, what’s coming and what we can do about it. Over the course of our first season, hosts Lauren Prastien and Eugene Leventhal will unpack the narrative of technological change in conversation with leading technologists, ethicists, economists and everything in between.

Episode Transcripts

Click the episode title below to access the full transcript.