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Primed

It started with books. Today, Amazon is transforming virtually every facet of the American consumer economy. Primed explores what happened when Amazon set up shop in Seattle, what might be in store for its next headquarters, and how this iconic company is changing life as we know it.

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Episodes

  • Amazon Prime packages are loaded on a cart for delivery in New York.

    After online shopping binge, a plastic packaging hangover

    We’re entering the biggest shopping season of the year. For many people, that means online shopping — packages piled on doorsteps, delivery cars and vans whipping down streets. But what do we do with the packaging after we rip it open?

  • Dr. Eric Topol wrote the book Deep Medicine, which argues that AI has an important role to play in revolutionizing health care.

    'The AI will see you now.' How tech might alter the doctor-patient relationship

    On this week’s episode of Primed, we talk to Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist whose book "Deep Medicine" explores the impact of AI technology on health care. Dr. Topol believes AI can help doctors build a more nuanced model of their patients’ profiles — a model that more accurately represents the complex human beings who need care.

  • Amazon recently bought Pillpack, a drug distribution company.

    Should an AI be managing your meds?

    Joyce Lee, a pediatrician and professor at the University of Michigan, thinks a lot about how technology and design can help people remember to take their pills. Her inspiration? A ketchup bottle.

  • Astronaut James B. Irwin, lunar module pilot, uses a scoop in making a trench in the lunar soil during Apollo 15 extravehicular activity (EVA). Irwin had a heart attack while orbiting the moon, which made NASA realize that they needed a better health monitoring system.

    What Alexa can learn from a heart attack on the moon

    Minutes after the Apollo 15 lunar module blasted off the surface of the moon, Astronaut James Irwin’s heart began to stutter. Down at Mission Control, Dr. Charles Berry watched the astronaut’s EKG. He saw a series of rapid double beats with long pauses in between. If Irwin was on Earth, Dr. Berry said, “I’d have him in ICU being treated for a heart attack.”

  • Brittney Svach sells Amazon smart homes in Black Diamond, WA.

    There's a neighborhood of Amazon 'smart homes' south of Seattle

    This week's Primed podcast explores Amazon's smart home technology. You can listen to the episode here. In the first part of the story, we baked muffins with Alexa in Amazon's smart home lab. Here, we talk to people who live in an Amazon smart home development in Black Diamond, WA. We also explore some very troubling consequences of having a fully wired home.

  • Carolyn Adolph and Joshua McNichols, hosts of KUOW's Primed podcast, pose for a portrait on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at Amazon's spheres in downtown Seattle.

    We’re living longer. Can Alexa help us live better?

    On this week’s episode of Primed, we explore how smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo fit into the lives of older people. Some elders find Alexa annoying or intrusive. But others interact with the technology in practical, creative ways. Here are a few of their stories.

  • Oscar Pulkkinen, 4, chats with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant through the company's Echo smart speaker.

    Parenting in the age of Alexa? It’s complicated

    This week’s episode of Prime(d) talks about the relationship between children and Alexa, Amazon’s AI-powered virtual assistant. Kids love to ask Alexa questions. And Alexa is listening.

  • Preview: Primed Season 3

    Amazon is ending up in more and more of our homes. But are we asking the right questions when we invite Amazon and Alexa into our lives?