Want some suggestions on the best episodes of the Lex Fridman podcast? We've got a list of 21 episodes of the show for you to get started with. The show was launched in 2018 by computer scientist Lex Fridman and delivers fascinating conversations with some of the world's best thinkers.
1) Jordan Peterson
Date: Aug 19, 2022
In this intriguing interview with Jordan Peterson, the renowned psychologist and author, a multitude of compelling topics are explored. Peterson shares his insights on societal issues, his perspectives on individual responsibility, and the importance of free speech. The discussion takes a personal turn as he delves into his own journey, touching on his battle with health issues and personal growth. The interview provides a deep and thought-provoking look into the mind of a prominent public intellectual.
2) Elon Musk (2021)
Date: Dec 28, 2021
This captivating interview with Elon Musk offers a deep dive into the mind of the tech magnate and visionary. Beginning with a lighthearted moment of Elon singing, the conversation swiftly delves into his ambitious plans, such as SpaceX's human spaceflight and the Starship project. Musk's unwavering determination is a recurring theme, exemplified by his belief that quitting is not in his nature. He shares insights into his unique thinking process and the ultimate goal of human colonization on Mars, even delving into the intriguing concept of wormholes. To end on a lighter note, he participates in a "Meme Review," discusses his experiences with stand-up comedy, and even talks about his love life and the quest for the meaning of life.
3) Jimmy Wales
Date: Jun 18, 2023
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, delves into the fascinating story behind the creation of the world's most renowned online encyclopedia. He discusses Wikipedia's design, its ever-growing number of articles, and the unique challenges presented by pages for living persons. The conversation extends to the profound impact of AI, particularly ChatGPT, on the platform, exploring Wikipedia's perceived political bias and its role in combatting conspiracy theories. Wales also shares his thoughts on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The interview covers Wikipedia's funding, the balance between AI like ChatGPT and human editors, and the legacy of Larry Sanger, another co-founder.
4) Betül Kaçar
Date: Dec 29, 2022
Betul Kacar, esteemed astrobiologist at the University of Wisconsin, takes us on a journey through the profound history of life on Earth. She explores the enigmatic origins of life, decoding the genetic language that underpins it and delving into the intimate relationship between life and energy. Kacar shares insights on her work with ancient DNA, the mechanisms of evolution, and even speculates about the existence of alien life. The conversation touches on the concept of panspermia and the possibility of rebooting life on Earth. Kacar also reflects on the sources of inspiration, the intersection of science and language, and the universal theme of love.
5) Yeonmi Park
Date: Jul 1, 2021
In this riveting interview, Yeonmi Park shares her harrowing journey growing up in North Korea, her awakening through George Orwell's "Animal Farm," and the relentless search for meaning and love in the face of unimaginable hardships. She discusses the power of language and the profound impact of her father's sacrifices, recounting her daring escape from North Korea.
Yeonmi emphasizes the world's indifference to the genocide there, delves into the origins of the regime, and speaks on the horrors of famine. She boldly labels Kim Jong-un as pure evil while celebrating the value of freedom.
The conversation touches on her collaboration with Michael Malice, exploring themes of diversity and political correctness. Yeonmi reflects on her admiration for Jordan Peterson and discusses Michael Malice's book on North Korea. She imparts valuable advice for young individuals and even shares her experiences of facing assassination.
6) Matthew McConaughey
Date: Jun 13, 2023
Lex speaks with Academy Award winning actor Matthew McConaughey about a wide range of thought-provoking topics. He reflects on relationships, dreams, and the universal fear of death, discussing how to overcome pain and the importance of the Amazon rainforest. McConaughey shares insights on truth, ego, and his roles in acclaimed projects like "Dallas Buyers Club," "True Detective," and "Yellowstone." The interview takes a deeper dive into his Texan roots, political views, and experiences in films like "Interstellar" and even speculates about the existence of aliens.
7) Mohammed El-Kurd
Date: Jul 24, 2023
In this conversation with Palestinian poet and writer Mohammed El-Kurd, the discussion spans from the complex situation in Palestine, concerns about hate and antisemitism, and the elusive quest for peace in the Middle East. The conversation explores the West Bank, the role of Hamas, and the potential of a two-state solution. El-Kurd shares insights on the intricate matters surrounding Jerusalem, the influence of the United States, and the legacy of Ghassan Kanafani. The interview touches on the 2024 elections, the power of poetry and language, and concludes with a message of hope.
8) Simone Giertz
Date: Apr 16, 2023
In this interview with Simone Giertz, she discusses her early creations, her experiences with"Sh*tty Robots," and the deep human connection that can be fostered through her unique inventions. Giertz delves into her experience dating an AI and her pride in being a "parent" to a machine. She shares her creative process, highlights projects like the bubble wrap music box, and underscores the value of education. The conversation touches on the challenges of difficult projects and her engaging TED talk. Giertz opens up about her battle with a brain tumor and her fear of death. The discussion spans mass production, her "Truckla" project, and the ethical implications of weaponized technology.
9) Mark Zuckerberg
Date: Sep 28, 2023
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg joins Lex in this episode to discuss the concept of the Metaverse, its potential, and the forthcoming Quest 3. He also discusses the nature of reality and the role of AI within the Metaverse. The conversation also covers the significance of large language models and their impact on the future of humanity.
Date: Feb 10, 2023
In this rollercoaster of an interview with the ever-enigmatic Aella, prepare for a whirlwind tour through the world of sex work. We dive into the philosophical pool, pondering free will, consciousness, and even the strange landscape of childhood. Get a peek behind the scenes of camming and OnlyFans and wrap up this hilarious and thought-provoking adventure with a dose of psychedelics, a sprinkle of romance and some body count banter.
11) Leonard Susskind
Date: Sep 26, 2019
In this interview with physicist Leonard Susskind, we get into a wealth of compelling subjects. He delves into the role of ego in the scientific community and academia, shedding light on his own experiences developing groundbreaking ideas. The conversation then turns to quantum computers, the universe as an information processor, and the intersection of physics and machine learning, even discussing the potential for predicting the future. Susskind shares his perspectives on string theory, free will, and the enigmatic concept of the arrow of time. He also touches on monumental achievements like capturing the first image of a black hole and distinguishes questions within the realm of scientific inquiry from those that remain beyond its grasp.
12) Jack Dorsey
Date: Apr 24, 2020
Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and Square talks to Lex about a wide array of topics including engineering at scale and the importance of increasing access to the global economy. He sheds light on machine learning at Square and offers insights into the future of the digital economy, including the role of cryptocurrency. The conversation moves onto artificial intelligence and Dorsey's concerns about its impact, touching on his exchange with Elon Musk about AI-driven bots. He also shares thoughts on Andrew Yang, his unconventional eating habits, and contemplates the existential question of mortality.
Date: Dec 9, 2022
In this engaging conversation between Lex Fridman and journalist Coffeezilla, they cover a wide range of topics. They start with coffee, naturally, and then explore the recent FTX collapse, where $8 billion was at stake. They discuss the fine line between evil intent and sheer incompetence. The conversation turns to the key lessons learned from the FTX incident and the debate over whether SBF should face legal consequences.
Intriguingly, they touch on the role of influencers and celebrities in financial matters and how FTX attempted to conceal fraud. The conversation also brushes on the psychology behind investigating fraud and its application in politics and corruption cases.
Coffeezilla shares his origin story and experiences investigating MLM marketing scams, Andrew Tate's Hustlers University, and the Save the Kids crypto scandal. Money and fame's allure is scrutinized, along with stories about MrBeast and the prevalence of fake gurus and get-rich-quick schemes. They dive into the investigative process, touch on the Twitter Files release, discuss time management and productivity, and wrap it up with valuable advice for young individuals.
14) Sam Altman
Date: Mar 25, 2023
Sam and Lex discuss the development of GPT-4, the concern of political bias in AI, and the importance of AI safety. Altman touches on the implications of neural network size and the eventual arrival of AGI. The interview explores the fear and competition surrounding AI advancements, and Altman's journey from leading a non-profit organization to capping profit. The conversation delves into the concept of power, Elon Musk's influence, and the political pressures faced. The interview concludes with thoughts on Microsoft, the SVB bank collapse, anthropomorphism in AI, future applications, advice for young individuals, and the age-old pondering of the meaning of life.
15) Kanye West
Date: Oct 24, 2022
Kanye West is a highly influential and multifaceted American artist, renowned for his contributions to music, fashion, and more. He speaks to Lex about his high-profile marriage with Kim Kardashian and then ventures into the future of humanity, discussing the relationship between technology, sex, and happiness.
Fashion is a significant part of his life, and he discusses his thoughts on it. West also delves into his potential involvement in the 2024 US election, humor, media, and the issue of antisemitism. He reflects on trust, accountability, and the legacy he aims to leave behind.
Date: Jan 11, 2023
In this interview with MrBeast, the YouTube sensation with over 1 billion views and 1 billion subscribers, the conversation touches on diverse subjects. From discussing mortality and improving YouTube content to brand deals, audience retention, and effective hiring practices, MrBeast provides insights into his successful YouTube journey.
17) Elon Musk (2019)
Date: Apr 12, 2019
Musk joined Lex for an early interview to discuss the ideas and motivation behind Tesla's Autopilot, detailing the technology's perception of driving scenes, development processes, handling edge and common cases, and the path towards full autonomy.
Date: Apr 29, 2022
Grimes discusses her artistic identity, music production, and the challenges of the modern music industry, particularly on platforms like Spotify. She then opens up about her passion for experimental music and her vision of the future.
The conversation takes a personal turn as she explores the transformative experience of motherhood, consciousness, and love.
19) Richard Dawkins
Date: Apr 9, 2020
Lex and Professor Richard Dawkins contemplate the existence of intelligent life in the universe, the efficiency of the evolutionary process, and the connection between the human brain and artificial general intelligence. They also touch on the idea of simulation, Dawkins' most influential books and where morals come from in humans.
20) Katherine de Kleer
Date: May 17, 2021
The conversation includes discussion of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, studying planets and moons, volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io, the potential for life in Europa's oceans, and the uniqueness of Earth in hosting life. Professor de Kleer wraps up with book recommendations and sage advice for young minds interested in planetary sciences.
21) Andrew Bustamante
Date: Aug 8, 2022
Andrew Bustamante, also known as "Everyday Espionage," is a former covert CIA intelligence officer and a public speaker. He joins Lex to talk about the CIA's interactions with the President, the war in Ukraine, and the ranking of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world. Bustamante also shares insights into his experiences with figures like David Petraeus and the art of undercover disguises.
Lex Fridman FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions people have about Lex Fridman.
Who is Lex Fridman?
Lex Fridman is a prominent figure in the fields of artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. He is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he works on human-centered artificial intelligence, deep learning, and autonomous driving systems. In addition to his work in academia, Fridman is famous for his podcast where he conducts in-depth interviews with notable experts, researchers, and thought leaders across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including science, technology, and academia.
What watch did Joe Rogan give Lex Fridman?
The watch was an Omega Speedmaster or to give it its full name an Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph Master Chronometer.
Where did Lex Fridman go to college?
Fridman attended Drexel College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 2006 and 2014. He completed BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and a PhD in electrical and computer engineering.
How popular is Lex Fridman's Podcast?
The Lex Fridman Podcast regularly ranks in the top 50 podcasts in the United States according to the Spotify Podcast charts. He has over 3.3m subscribers on YouTube and over 500 million views as of 2023.
Best Lex Fridman Podcast Episodes
- Jordan Peterson
- Elon Musk (2021)
- Jimmy Wales
- Betül Kaçar
- Yeonmi Park
- Matthew McConaughey
- Mohammed El-Kurd
- Simone Giertz
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Leonard Susskind
- Jack Dorsey
- Sam Altman
- Kanye West
- Elon Musk (2019)
- Richard Dawkins
- Katherine de Kleer
- Andrew Bustamante