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American Innovations

Author: Wondery

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DNA science. Artificial intelligence. Smartphones and 3D printers. Science and technology have transformed the world we live in. But how did we get here? It wasn’t by accident. Well, sometimes it was. It was also the result of hard work, teamwork, and competition. And incredibly surprising moments.

Hosted by bestselling author Steven Johnson (“How We Got To Now”), American Innovations uses immersive scenes to tell the stories of the scientists, engineers, and ordinary people behind the greatest discoveries of the past century. From Wondery, the network behind Business Wars, American History Tellers, and Dirty John.

125 Episodes
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The leaps of mankind, as they happened.Premieres May 10.Listen to new episodes 1 week early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/innovations
Where Are Past Seasons?

Where Are Past Seasons?

2018-05-1043:5854

Hey American Innovations listeners! You might be wondering what happened to some of our older seasons. We’ve moved them to our new premium service, Wondery+, where you can listen ad-free and get access to more Wondery shows. For a limited time, we’re offering listeners of American Innovations a free week of Wondery+. Just go to wonderyplus.com/AI.
It's a new year and a new decade, and that means a lot of new innovation and tech to look forward to. But, as we wonder what the future has in store, it's important to look back at the past year and what it has taught us. Author Clive Thompson joins us to talk about the innovations that caught his attention in 2019 and what he's looking forward to in 2020 and beyond.
In Wondery’s newest series, Business Movers, host Lindsay Graham dives deep into the inner workings of some of the most successful companies of all time. From the origin stories of their famed leaders to the million dollar idea that catapulted them to success, how exactly did these companies grow from an idea and a dream to multi-billion dollar corporations? Hear the landmark decisions, the scandals, and the stunning triumphs that made them who they are. First up: Walt Disney. Listen at wondery.fm/business_movers.
Lewis Howes is a New York Times best-selling author, 2x All-American athlete, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur. The School of Greatness shares inspiring interviews from the most successful people on the planet—world-renowned leaders in business, entertainment, sports, science, health, and literature—to inspire YOU to unlock your inner greatness and live your best life. Click to listen to School of Greatness: wondery.fm/SOG
The weed whacker. The microwave. Instant noodles. Three simple yet ingenious inventions that challenged the status quo and made our lives easier. On this special episode, we tell the stories of three inventors who, through their visionary products, showed us the way things should be. Presented by Carmax.
Artificial Intelligence is no longer the stuff of science fiction. And it’s about to get much more powerful: machines that can reason, create, predict the future, even dream. AI is likely to be one of the most transformative technologies of the 21st-century.This is the first in our four-episode series about the rise of artificial intelligence and humanity's quest to breathe intellectual life into computers. In this episode, we're going to meet the mavericks who first dreamed of a world where machines capable of being smarter than the people who created them.And what better way for smart machines and their creators to face off in a battle of wits -- than by playing chess?Pre-order Steven Johnson’s new book Farsighted now before it is released on September 4th. American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter.Try it for free at ZipRecruiter.com/AIOther sponsors include:Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.comSimplisafe- Protect your home and family today by visiting Simplisafe.com/innovations
With six different kinds of pieces, 64 squares to move in, and billions of possible combinations of moves, chess is a good test for a computer. The number of distinct 40-move games is far greater than the number of electrons in the visible universe. For all intents and purposes: almost infinite.Gary Kasparov is the world’s best chess player. Deep Blue is a computer. It’s humanity v machine. There’s a lot at stake and things turn controversial fast with accusations of cheating, a very human meltdown and a computer that hallucinates.American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter.Try it for free at ZipRecruiter.com/AIOther sponsors include:Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com
The development of smartphone Artificial Intelligence from early government research funding and the first experimental robot in Silicon Valley to the rise of the personal assistant known as Siri.American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter.Try it for free at ZipRecruiter.com/AIOther sponsors include:Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.com
A leap in the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence causes concern about the dangers ahead.  Written by Tom SimoniteAmerican Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter.Try it for free at ZipRecruiter.com/AIOther sponsors include:Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.comSunbasket - Get $35 off your first order at sunbasket.com/AI
Can a computer pass for human? And more importantly, can a computer beat a human at Jeopardy? It’s all fun and games until we start putting life-changing decisions in the hands of machines.Written by Steven JohnsonAmerican Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter.Try it for free at ZipRecruiter.com/AIOther sponsors include:Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.comSunbasket - Get $35 off your first order at sunbasket.com/AI
An interview with the Grandmaster himself: Garry Kasparov. In 1985, he earned international fame when he became the youngest world chess champion at just 22-years-old. He went on to defend his title for more than a decade. But it’s his 6-game match against IBM’s supercomputer “Deep Blue” in 1997 that will be remembered as a defining moment in the history of chess -- and artificial intelligence.American Innovations is presented by ZipRecruiter.Try it for free at ZipRecruiter.com/AIOther sponsors include:Wix - Launch a professional-looking website in no time for your innovative ideas with total design freedom, industry-leading SEO, and advanced code capabilities at Wix.comSimplisafe- Protect your home and family today by visiting Simplisafe.com/innovations
In the wake of the Civil War, Atlanta emerged as both the cultural capital of the New South, and the epicenter of its snake oil trade. A shell-shocked populace, haunted by poverty, hunger and disease sought salvation in the dubious cure-all tonics of the pharmacy trade. What they got instead would go on to become the most famous beverage in the world: Coca-Cola. Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter - Listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
Things are really picking up for Coca-Cola, thanks to its industrious new—and most importantly, sober—owner, Asa Candler. Over the past year, Candler’s sold enough syrup to make half a million glasses of soda. The drink is loved by everyone who tries it, but on the business side, Candler is still just scraping by. To turn Coca-Cola into the sensation he knows it can be, he will have to battle a slew of imposters, take a massive marketing risk, and deal with one very problematic ingredient: cocaine.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter - Right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order!
Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are preparing to land on the Moon. The whole world is watching live on television. But something is very wrong, their warning alarms are flashing and they don't know what it is. There’s only one woman who can fix it: MIT software engineer Margaret Hamilton.This is the first episode of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod.Support us by supporting our sponsors!The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order!
The first self-made female African American millionaire is how she’s known. But Madam C.J. Walker’s story is much more than a rags to riches tale of a cosmetics industry mogul. She was an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. Along the way, she faced challenges from inside her own community and found a way to transform them into successes.Part of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod.Support us by supporting our sponsors!ZipRecruiter - Right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
A machine to mass produce paper bags. Seems unremarkable today, but in the 1800s, it was cutting edge. The technology would change everyday life, and maybe, the life of one inventor: Margaret Knight. That is if she could get people to believe she invented it. Part of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod. Support us by supporting our sponsors!The Art of Shaving - Go to theartofshaving.com and enter promo code AI at checkout to get 15% off your first order!ZipRecruiter - Right now, listeners of American Innovations can try ZipRecruiter FOR FREE at ZipRecruiter.com/AI
Glamour. Hollywood. Drama. Although she was known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Actress Hedy Lamarr’s greatest life work was far from the silver screen. At the height of her film career, and in the midst of a world war, Hedy invented the basis for all modern wireless communications: signal hopping.Part of a special series with Smithsonian Magazine highlighting the lives of women inventors to celebrate Women’s History Month. Head over to Smithsonian.com/Wondery to go deeper, or find us on Twitter @InnovationsPod. Support us by supporting our sponsors!Stitcher - You can find episodes of American Innovations, completely ad-free, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month, go to stitcherpremium.com/wondery and use promo code “WONDERY”.
Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. The past year has brought a backlash against these companies and others over data privacy and their treatment of speech. Tech visionary and critic Jaron Lanier discusses his take on social media and why he thinks you should delete yours.Read Jaron’s latest book: Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Right Now.Support our show by supporting our sponsors!Cayman Jack - Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
Think for a moment about some of the pioneering developments from the earliest days of American aviation: The first pilot’s licence; the first flight from one city to another; the first airplane sold commercially. More than a century later, most people attribute these milestones to the Wright brothers. But the Wright brothers were responsible for none of these firsts. In fact, all of these achievements belong to just one man: Glenn Hammond Curtiss, the father of modern aviation. So why is it that most Americans have never heard his name? Support us by supporting our sponsors! Cayman Jack - Cayman Jack provides premium prepared cocktails for those with good taste and little time. Find Cayman Jack at a store near you by visiting caymanjack.com. Please drink responsibly. Premium malt beverage. American Vintage Beverage Co. Chicago, Illinois.
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Comments (86)

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Mar 3rd
Reply

Brownfield

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Feb 26th
Reply

Che M

What is this guy talking about? How does he know why Musk wants to go to Mars?

Feb 15th
Reply (1)

Christine Bitanga

you can break someone's ribs doing the Himelich maneuver. Push backs and blow backs are more effective this is dated.

Jan 23rd
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ID19004056

love the discussion

Jan 3rd
Reply

Charlbarl

This guy explicitly says he has a social justice warrior bias against "insidious power companies." Why would I listen to a history lesson from him?

Sep 17th
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Tony

Margaret Sanger, a murderous eugenecist and racist.

Sep 9th
Reply

David Bohnsack

LEDs in 1966?

Aug 6th
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Emilie Sandell

I like wondery, but this is very US centric, and that just comes across as bad research

Aug 1st
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Julie homewood

this is a great podcast, the stories are well written and very interesting, well worth a listen.

Jun 4th
Reply

Maria Jouravleva

Beachbody is an MLM. Why is this podcast supporting that, especially on an episode about disinformation? Unsubscribed.

May 27th
Reply (1)

Elham Kaviannasab

That was perfect! Thanks a million!!!

Mar 30th
Reply

Aaron

nice

Mar 25th
Reply

Butch Brown

just binge watched the Netflix mini series. He was one wacky bastard. should've lived in Florida

Mar 24th
Reply

Christian Polovich

Mobeel Alabama, Not Mobile, Alabama

Jan 27th
Reply

Mohammad Mortazavi

Thanks! Great information about the new era of computation.

Jan 27th
Reply

BC

... Being convinced that these symptoms were psychosomatic is kinda a yikes.

Dec 4th
Reply

BC

This is fascinating

Dec 4th
Reply

Slyyy

AHHHH HELP

Nov 29th
Reply

Canada Ward

Aw heck yeah

Nov 9th
Reply (3)
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