The ghost of Steve Jobs only has himself to blame. If it wasn’t for his pioneering work in making the magic of computers accessible to the masses, maybe we wouldn’t be here today, listening to AI versions of Jobs and Joe Rogan discuss psychedelics and super-solders.

But we also have to thank the evil geniuses behind podcast.ai, a site that currently features a “podcast” with host “Joe Rogan” sitting around and chewing the fat with “Steve Jobs.” An ominous and no doubt nonhuman voice introduces the proceedings: All content is generated by artificial intelligence. Even AI Joe knows how creepy it is that he’s speaking to his weird, brilliant, and insufferable guest -- “you’re like Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost, you’re a memory from the past.” Goosebumps!

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So they're both Dead Steve Jobs?

The podcast is the brainchild of a Dubai voice synthesis company that uses voice cloning technology to replicate the voices of Rogan and Jobs. (Since this is all in an effort to promote said technology, is it even legal to use the two virtual icons to promote it? Good luck trying to get Lindsey Graham to understand the concept, must less legislate around it.) The result is occasionally robotic, but not by much--it’s not hard to imagine the day, probably sometime next week, when the voices of AI Joe and Real Joe will be indistinguishable. 

But it’s not just the voices. The actual words they’re saying are also generated by AI, based on biographies and transcripts of speeches, podcasts, and writings. The result can be a mess of word salad -- no individual sentence sounds wonky but the combined thoughts don’t always completely make sense. In other words, it sounds a lot like an actual Joe Rogan podcast.

As for the actual conversation? It’s pretty mundane -- discussions around creativity, innovation, and of course, LSD -- until things get downright spooky. 

Fake Joe asks Ghost Jobs if we need to get more into nature rather than getting implants in our faces. “I think we’re right on the edge,” warns Ghost Jobs. “Take the Human Genome Project, for instance. That was a huge double-edged sword. The medical payoff is going to be huge. But it’s also going to be used by maybe some crazy paramilitary group that wants to create the super-soldier of the future.”

Geez, Ghost Jobs, that’s … dark. He also warns of computers that are just like people -- except they never get tired, they always get the job done, “and they will have many more orders of intelligence than people have.” Can we stop for a second and consider that it is actual artificial intelligence that’s writing these warnings for Ghost Jobs to deliver? 

“It kind of scares me, to be honest,” admits AI Joe.

Us too, man. Us too.

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