Jon Stewart reveals troubling information about his experience with Apple

Fast Facts

  • Jon Stewart recently interviewed FTC Chair Lina Khan on "The Daily Show."
  • Stewart related a incident he experienced with Apple in regards to Khan
  • Khan succinctly explained the problem with Amazon, Apple, and more

In a recent episode of "The Daily Show", Jon Stewart not only interviewed Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, but revealed some experiences with one of the world's biggest tech companies that were concerning to say the least.

"I gotta tell you, I wanted to have you on a podcast," Stewart said, referring to his Apple  (AAPL)  show "The Problem with Jon Stewart."

"And Apple asked us not to do it. They literally said 'Please don't talk to her.' Having nothing to do with what you do for a living. I think they just – I didn't think they cared for you, is what happened. They wouldn't — they didn't even let us do that dumb thing we did in the first act about AI," Stewart said, referring to an earlier segment of the show.

"What is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?"

Unruffled, Khan said, "I think it just shows one of the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision making in a small number of companies. I mean, going back all the way to the founding, there was a recognition that in the same way you need the constitution to create checks and balances in our political sphere, you also need the anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws to safeguard against concentration of economic power bc you don't want an autocrat of trade in the same way that you don't want a monarch."

Stewart then turned the conversation to AI, asking Khan what she would do "to control this new AI technology that is looming."

"Look, the first thing we need to do is be clear-eyed that there's no AI exemption from the laws on the books," Khan says. "We see sometimes businesses try to dazzle enforcers by saying 'Oh, these technologies are so new, they're so different, let's just take a hands-off approach.' And that's basically what ended up happening with web 2.0 and now we're reeling from the the early 2000s, the initial set of companies that ended up innovating but ultimately ended up becoming monopolistic, ultimately adopting business models that are premised on endlessly surveilling people."

"Are you optimistic that we will be able to catch up in time before something truly catastrophic happens with AI?" Stewart asked.

"Well look, there's no inevitable outcome here," Khan replied. "We are the decision makers. And so we need to use the policy tools and levers that we have to make sure that these technologies are proceeding on a trajectory that benefit Americans and we are not subjected to all the risks and harms."

Related: Researcher has a warning about the future of the AI boom

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