Episode 130

Shoplifting, Broke Millennial Myth, Should We Regulate AI?

Ravi, Rikki, and Joe look at new reporting from the New York Times, which found that a small number of repeat offenders accounted for almost one third of all shoplifting arrests in New York City last year. How did we get here? And is this part of a larger, national issue? We talk with local bodega owners to see what they’re experiencing. Then we pivot to a discussion about the unluckiest generation: Millennials. But are they really so unlucky? We speak to psychology professor Jean Twenge who argued in The Atlantic earlier this week that Millennials are doing just fine. Finally, we discuss regulating the burgeoning industry of artificial intelligence. Is it the right time? Will it ever be the right time? We speak with Professor David Gunkel and Reason’s science correspondent Ronald Bailey to get to the bottom of it.


NYC Shoplifting [1:35]
A Tiny Number of Shoplifters Commit Thousands of New York City Thefts (The New York Times, 4/15/23)
A THIRD of NYC’s retail theft is driven by just 327 seasoned shoplifters — professional crooks ransack pharmacies and department stores and resell on eBay (Daily Mail, 4/17/23)
Is there really a shoplifting ‘epidemic?’ (Poynter, 3/3/23)
NYC shoplifting hit record highs last year: ‘We can’t stop them’ (New York Post, 2/10/23)
Stores say shoplifting is a national crisis. The numbers don’t back it up (CNN, 1/18/23)
The Great Shoplifting Freak-Out (The Atlantic, 12/23/21)
What the Panic Over Shoplifting Reveals About American Crime Policy (The Marshall Project, 2/27/23)
The recent spike in shoplifting is both overblown and real. And almost everyone is profiting from it (including you). (New York Magazine, 1/18/23)
Retail theft is worse than ever (The Daily News, 2/15/23)
CompStat (Police Department City of New York)
Organized Retail Crime: An Assessment of a Persistent and Growing Threat (National Retail Federation / K2 Integrity, 4/13/23)
2022 Retail Security Survey (National Retail Federation)
Shoplifting and Other Types of Petit Larceny in New York City (Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 4/14/23)
Prosecuting serial NYC shoplifter would’ve been ‘a waste of resources:’ Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg (New York Post, 11/29/22)
NYPD brass rip bail reform while shouting out recently-freed repeat offender on live TV (New York Post, 11/28/22)
Lawmakers express outrage over NYC’s ‘revolving door’ shoplift crisis that’s killing local businesses (New York Post, 1/9/23)

Broke Millennial Myth [21:37]
The Myth of the Broke Millennial (The Atlantic, 4/17/23)
Millennial life: How young adulthood today compares with prior generations (Pew Research, 2/14/19)
Millennials are not as badly off as they think — but success is bittersweet (Financial Times, 4/6/23)
The unluckiest generation in U.S. history (The Washington Post, 6/5/20)
Millennials on their very real fears about money (The New York Times, 7/11/22)
Half of Millennials Own Homes. The Rest Fear They Never Will (Bloomberg, 4/19/23)
60% of millennials earning over $100,000 say they’re living paycheck to paycheck (Insider, 9/16/21)
70 percent of millennials are living paycheck to paycheck, report says (The Hill, 2/17/22)
Information on the Economic Status of Millennial Households Compared to Previous
(United States Government Accountability Office, 12/19)

Should We Regulate AI? [40:46]
The Surprising Thing A.I. Engineers Will Tell You if You Let Them (The New York Times, 4/16/23)
Chuck Schumer’s Hasty Plan To Regulate Artificial Intelligence Is a Really Bad Idea (Reason, 4/14)
Regulating AI (Texas A&M Today, 4/11/23)
Self-Regulation Is the Standard in AI, for Now (Datanami, 4/17/23)
I’m a Congressman Who Codes. A.I. Freaks Me Out. (The New York Times, 1/3/23)
Beijing lists the stuff it wants generative AI to censor (The Register, 3/12/23)
The takeaways from Stanford’s 386-page report on the state of AI (Tech Crunch, 4/3/23)
Measuring trends in Artificial Intelligence (Stanford, 3/23)
Scoop: Schumer lays groundwork for Congress to regulate AI (Axios, 4/13/23)
Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter (Future of Life Institute, 3/22/23)
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt on the challenges of regulating AI (MIT Sloan, 11/7/22)
Don’t Regulate Artificial Intelligence: Starve It (Scientific American, 5/4/20)
Schumer Launches Major Effort To Get Ahead Of Artificial Intelligence (Senate Democrats, 4/13)
Whose Opinions Do Language Models Reflect? (Arxiv, 3/20/23)
Measuring trends in Artificial Intelligence (Stanford, 3/2023)
Policymaking in The Pause (Future of Life Institute, 4/12/23)