Shell Game
Shell Game
Episode 1: Quality Assurance
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Episode 1: Quality Assurance

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Hello everyone, welcome to Shell Game!

This is a show about things that are not what they seem, and in our first six-episode season, the thing in question is… my voice. Six months ago I made a clone of it, then I hooked that clone up to a phone line and powered it with an AI chatbot, to create a “voice agent” that could make and receive its own calls. I was curious what it could do—as me—and how people would respond to it.

Shell Game takes you through the wild, bizarre, and sometimes creepy story of what happened when I tried to replace myself, before someone else could replace me. In Episode One, we tangle with customer service.

Take a listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever. I hope if you find yourself thinking and talking about the show that you’ll spread the word.

Later this week I’ll also be sending paid subscribers some extras from today’s episode, including a more detailed look at the prompts that I used to power the voice agents. Paid subscribers will also get to listen to the Discover call featured in parts of the episode, in its full glory.

If you aren’t a paid subscriber and want to get in on that and other bonus stuff, and get a better sense of how exactly I make these voice agents operate, please consider signing up. Not only do you get a peek behind-the-scenes, but you’ll also be supporting our independent show and helping us make more episodes. (If you have already signed up as a paid subscriber, thank you! You’ll be hearing more from me soon.)

You can even sign on as a founding member, which will give you a direct line to me, and to my AI. Literally. Founding members can email me about whatever aspect of the show they want, and if it strikes their fancy, have their own conversations with my voice agent.

With that, please enjoy Episode One.

Evan

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Shell Game
Shell Game
A podcast about things that are not what they seem, hosted by journalist Evan Ratliff. In Season One, that thing is Evan’s voice. By creating a voice clone and hooking it up to an AI chatbot, Evan set out to discover what happens when you try to take control of the very technology that threatens to replace you.
Over the course of six episodes, Evan’s voice agents talk to spammers and scammers, to Evan’s friends and family, to colleagues and sources, to other AIs, and even to a therapist—all to better understand what AI voice is able to do, what it can't yet do, and what to expect from a future in which more and more of the people we encounter in the world aren’t real.
Visit shellgame.co to find out more and support the show. New episodes drop on Tuesdays.