The Stack Overflow Podcast

Driverless cars give us the heebie jeebies

Episode Summary

As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. But if you work in tech as an engineer, you have the unfortunate perspective of knowing all of the tiny details that have the potential to go wrong. Even when everything is going right, those edge cases can still feel haunting. In today’s podcast episode, the home team and Jon Chan get together to laugh at themselves as they reflect on their fears of self-driving cars and share horror stories of recruiters promising job offers that turned out to be scam artists.

Episode Notes

Before jumping into driverless car talk, Ben shares a heads up about fake jobs at credible companies that are actually phishing scams meant to steal your identity and hijack your bank accounts. Beware the job offer that seems too good to be true!

Jon, Cassidy, Ceora, Matt, and Ben reflect on whether they trust software to operate a vehicle.

Cassidy tells us that she once sat in a car that parked itself and screamed the entire time.

Matt brings us back to reality, reminding us that airplane flights have been automated for a while now.

Matt and Ben point out that in the medical technology space, robotic surgeons are so advanced that they have become more precise than human hands.

Shoutout to lifeboat badge winner GKG4 for a great answer to the question “how can I check if an array index is out of range?” which has been viewed 67,000 times.

Follow Jon, Ben, Ceora, Matt, and Cassidy.

Episode Transcription

[intro music plays]

Ben Popper Do you want to explore ways to innovate with data using UiPath and Snowflake? How about discovering the power of automation for SAP? Dive into CI/CD pipelines, see document understanding overviews, and enhance your AI and ML models. You can do all this when you join the UiPath community dedicated events at

BP Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the Stack Overflow Podcast, a place to talk all things software and technology. I am Ben Popper, Director of Content here at Stack Overflow, joined as I often am by a wonderful crew of co-hosts, Matt, Cassidy, Ceora, and Jon. Hello, everybody! 

Cassidy Williams Hello! 

Ceora Ford Hi!

Jon Chan Hey!

Matt Kiernander Hello!

BP Jon, I had the privilege of seeing you in person at our Flow State Conference last week. Super fun. Got some T-shirts printed, got some 360 degree selfies made. What did you think about the conference? What was your take? 

JC Oh, I had such a great time. I've been at Stack Overflow for almost a decade and we've been talking about actually having something in person for the longest time, so not only to one, seeing everybody at the company in person but also a lot of our users too has been such a fantastic experience. So to me it's sort of like a dream realized. I had such a great time. 

BP Yes. There were some power users there who had helped create stack exchanges. I met one who was there for I think computational finance or quantitative finance. There was another one there who put up an amazing recap blog post of the entire event with photos. And now I look bad because I was supposed to do that, and now this user has already done it so they get all the reputation points and I just get yelled at by my boss. But yeah, it was a blast. I'm glad to see us back at IRL events. I think it's something we'll probably do again in the future. So success on that front. I wanted to drop a few news links in here and let folks give their thoughts. This one's from ZDNET and says, “Microsoft is telling folks hackers are using open source software and fake jobs in fishing attacks.” I know there has been a few of these floating around, people pretending on LinkedIn to be from Stack Overflow trying to recruit folks. But yeah, curious what everybody thought of these attack vectors and if you've experienced them yourself. 

CW I haven't experienced them but I've seen people and friends of friends experience these kinds of fake jobs. It's wild, they will make fake job postings that people apply for, and sometimes the people who I know are technical people who submit code challenges and everything, and then suddenly they have this job and they start and it feels very legit and people are asking for all of their ID information and everything, and yet they haven't gotten a work laptop or things like that. And it's a really scary way of getting information from people and making them think that they have a job.

BP We just need all your bank information so we can wire you your salary. 

CW Right. Picture of your passport.

BP Do you want to do direct deposit? Yeah, exactly.

CF I really don't like this. I mean, hackers always do this where they come for vulnerable people, like old people who aren't tech savvy. But for people looking for a job, that's really mean. I know it's more than mean, but it's really mean. I know before I got into tech, I felt like I was constantly looking for a job on Indeed or some of those other job sites, and it was always something really sketchy, some sketchy job posting, and that got me into the habit of always triple checking. Like, where's the location of the office? Who is this person, looking the person up. Is this company even real? Stuff like that just because the sketchiest people would be trying to hire you. I never had to do that much with LinkedIn, but I kind of hate that this is a thing now so people have to be extra careful when you're already in a tight spot looking for a job. That's not fun. 

CW It's not fun.

JC It's especially bad now, I mean especially with the market conditions that we're in overall. There's a lot of people that just got laid off. There's a lot of people, especially people that might be earlier on in their careers too, that might be a bit more vulnerable and maybe you don't even know what a sketchy job listing or even company might look like. And so people are particularly vulnerable right now especially with just how hot the developer hiring market is it feels like. I didn't actually realize until this conversation that it got so deep as people signed an offer and started a job. I thought it was just like, “Oh, send me your resume so I can get more PII.” But taking them along for weeks, probably months, even longer, just to siphon that information when people are that vulnerable, that's a really scary thing.

BP You make a great point about it being this time, because normally you might go to the office and meet people there and that would kind of check it out, but now it's all remote. If they have a super quality website and maybe they threw together a GitHub repo or something, they can appear substantive without having to have a lot of traditional infrastructure.

CW Again with the friend of a friend, the company was just like, “Okay, make sure you buy your own laptop and we'll reimburse you,” and did all of this stuff to get bank information, finance information, just so much stuff. Ceora, you put it well, it's very mean and it really hurts my feelings that people would do that.

MK I thought the attack vector was also very strange as well. It looks like what they were doing is they were getting candidates off LinkedIn and onto WhatsApp, and then sharing a Trojanized instance of PuTTY, which is like an SSH software essentially. And so they were using that modified instance as an attack vector, really. I think just as a thing here, typically with interviews and stuff like that, it's all done through email. Recruiters aren't trying to foster you off to WhatsApp or Telegram or another messaging platform. So just keep an eye out for that. The article will be in the show notes as well just in case you are dealing with somebody who's trying to push you off to WhatsApp or another thing. Yeah, have a look to make sure you're aware of how this thing actually works. 

BP And Jon, to your earlier point, I do think a lot of developers get one or two or three job offers a day. Recruiters and headhunters can be very aggressive, so that can kind of make you tune out. They start to all feel very samey and then your guard might not be up when one of them is worth looking into, but you're kind of just doing it as part of your routine or whatever.

CF Yeah. Just be extra careful if you're job searching. Be on the look out for that stuff. 

BP All right, I wanted to touch on another news thing here. This is Intel’s self-driving unit Mobileye files for IPO. During the period of 2021, there was a ton of tech IPOs and SPACs and everything like that. I think there's been basically none. It's a very small amount over the last year as we enter a bear market and a correction. But Intel is trying to get things restarted and they feel like self-driving technology is something with a lot of future potential. Curious to know what folks’ interaction with this has been like, if at all. I wrote about it a bunch at The Verge. I was super pumped when Waymo put stuff in Phoenix and started driving people around who were differently abled or on the older side, and this was a really amazing thing for them to be able to hail a cab anytime and get to a supermarket or a friend's house without needing to rely on somebody. But in my life it still remains very abstract. I don't see driverless cars around. I don't see it gaining any steam. For the four of you, do you have any experience with driverless tech and do you feel bullish about it? Are you going to buy shares of Mobileye right when the IPO launches? 

CF I think that generally people might be a bit distrustful at this point of self-driving cars just because there's been a couple instances where someone got ran over, or during the nighttime a person wasn't detected, things like that. I've seen some footage of simple car crashes happening that were easily avoidable because something went wrong with a self-driving car. So I think that there could definitely be a market for it. Like you mentioned, there are people who are disabled or who are older or people who just don't always feel like driving if you have a long drive or something like that. But I do think there are some kinks in the technology that they have to work out before people kind of get on board on a broader scale. And for that reason, I have never interacted personally with self-driving cars. I've never been in a car and been like, “Just drive for me, I'm cool with that.” And I don't know if I will feel comfortable doing that in the near future. But I don't know. How does everyone else feel? Maybe some of you are more risky than I am. I don't know. 

CW I mean, I did demo a car once that did a self parking thing and I screamed the entire time but it was also cool. In general, I think because I work in software I just don't trust software enough for this. Edge cases exist. I saw this one video for example, where someone in a Tesla was driving behind a truck full of streetlights that people hadn't put up yet, it was a construction truck. And that just broke the entire system. 

BP Right. That's a hilarious edge case. 

CW It wasn't even self-driving. They were driving the car, but the Tesla kept trying to brake and they're just like, “No, you don't need to brake. This is just a truck in front of me.” I just think maybe someday it'll be really good, but right now the world has so many edge cases.

BP That's like a New Yorker cartoon where the truck in front of you is covered in stop signs and right hand turn signs and the self-driving car is just like, “I was just trying to obey the laws here.” 

CW Right, exactly.

JC There's a part of me that would be like, “Oh gosh, when am I going to see a Stack Overflow question about, I'm trying to actually get a self-driving car to work. How do I make this actually stop the way that I need to?” I don’t know if I want those questions necessarily. I don’t really want to get into a car when that's going to be happening. Oh, gosh. 

BP Right. You don't want to take on that ethical hazard. Like, “Here, let me just write a little code for you and share it,” but then it doesn't work. You don't want that on your shoulders. 

CF Driving has too many factors, there's too many chances for things to go wrong. Because I feel like there's a lot of autopilot with planes and stuff like that, but I feel like you're more likely to get into a car crash than a plane crash. If there was some sort of self-flying feature, which maybe there is, I don't know, with planes, I would feel more comfortable with that than driving. There's just so much that can go wrong when you're driving. I just wouldn't trust it. That would make me nervous.

CW My cousin is a pilot and that is a thing, autopilot is a thing. But the pilots also have to be there. They’ve got to keep an eye out, but it exists. 

MK I was going to say, so I've had a chat to my dad about this who's been a pilot for his entire career, and one of his biggest complaints about the industry now is that you're not actually flying anymore. A lot of the stuff that you're doing while you're up in the air is all automated. You're basically there as a catchall in case something does go wrong. And that's, I'm guessing, how driverless cars will eventually work. There's a ton of edge cases and stuff like that around what could go wrong. I want this to happen, I would love this to happen. I think there's a lot of human error that can be attributed to accidents, and as soon as we rule people out of the equation I'm hoping that it gets a lot safer. My biggest concern is people sleeping at the wheel, drunk drivers, removing all those kinds of bad actors from the system and hopefully having something one day. I don't think this is going to be in the next five years or the next 10 years, but hopefully in the next 30, 40, 50 years we'll have something that is safe, reliable, and does work, and then reduces all of those potential bad situations from happening.

BP Yeah, I think you're right that if it was just someone who would snap their fingers and do it overnight, self-driving cars are probably safer than human error, just because we're always texting and drinking and yelling at our kids in the back, but it's hard to give up that control and every self-driving mistake we see becomes that anecdote that's sort of like, “I don't want this for me.” Matt, I don't know if you know this, I don't even know if this is true, I heard it at a party, but that in Australia now in all new cars they have like a breathalyzer built in and when you get in the car, you have to breathe to turn it on. Have you heard about something like this? 

MK No, I haven't. 

BP Does that ring a bell?

MK Somebody was speaking about this a while ago. I don't think that's a bad idea as well, because New Zealand and Australia don't have the best relationship with alcohol as countries. I mean, this will obviously be a controversial opinion. People might hate this and some people might be for it, but I would be personally for that. 

BP The guy was from Australia and he said this was true, and here's a story from October of 2021. Australian cars will soon be fitted with the technology sensors that can sniff out alcohol and they won't turn on if you can't pass the breathalyzer when you get in. So you at least need to have one sober person in the car and hopefully that person decides they should be the driver.

CF Doesn't that happen when you've had enough DUIs?

JC Yeah, you can add something to them. I've heard that before in the United States. 

CW Here's a hot take: more funding for public transportation so we don't have to rely on cars! 

CF Yeah! Here we go! 

JC I’ve had this conversation being in New York City, and I moved from Los Angeles over to New York City and a big part of it was so I don't need to deal with driving and being in traffic all the time. But it's because New York City has such a fantastic public transportation system. Los Angeles did at one point too with the trolley system, but that feels like ancient history now at this point. Matt, I'm with you. In theory, I would absolutely love self-driving cars to happen, but what this conversation has reminded me of is that there isn't just suddenly a moment when self-driving cars just happens and it's perfect. It's an iterative process, just like any other sort of technology that we're seeing, and for it to cross the threshold when it's better than humans at this, which I think to everyone's point, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with humans driving, it's still going to take us some time. I feel like this conversation about self-driving cars, everybody's holding their breath for like, is this the moment now? Is this the time? Is this the development where we can finally get into this utopia of self-driving cars? I don't think that moment is ever going to quite happen. It's going to be a slow burn for us, and at least at this point I'm not ready to jump into one just yet. 

MK I feel like this is quite similar to how they were talking about robotic machines for surgery and that kind of thing. I love the idea that somebody would be able to fix my ACL with a robot that would be able to do this with absolute certainty, but I'm not going to advocate for that just yet. I would like a surgeon doing the thing that they're doing. Maybe in like 20 years after it's been proven, but yeah. 

BP This is so interesting because I remember Ceora, you said this before. In the world of medical technology you might trust things a little bit differently than you would in the world of consumer technology. I can't remember the episode, but this was a while back. My dad actually recently had a hip replacement and it was done entirely by a robot. There was super precision and the robot has done it a million times. I mean, I assume there's a human there to oversee it, but they don't touch you at all. The robot does everything and the outcomes are just way better because it's so much more precise. Actually, there's two cool pieces of technology. They used to look at you and say, “Your hip is about this size, so we'll go in there and break it open and then replace it with a size two or a size three or a size four,” like a shoe, roughly whatever your size is. Now they do a 3D scan and they produce a hip joint that's your hip joint because they can see it and scan it. And then also the robot goes in and does most of the surgery for this delicate operation. 

CW Well I got LASIK recently and the doctor held the machine, but I know 10 years ago there was a knife involved and all kinds of stuff. There was none of that. It was all lasers where the doctor held things but the robot did everything for my eyes. And I can see today. 

BP The way you said it is like the doctor is comforting the machine. He held the machine. Gave it a pep talk. 

CW You’ve got this, LASIK.

MK Just affirmations.

CF I feel like with medical situations maybe it's a bit more controlled, if that makes sense.  The environment is more controlled I mean. Driving is so not controlled. You can have anything happen at any time and what kind of scares me is the unpredictability of it. Because I would still be nervous having a robot do surgery on my hip. I would still be a little like, “Ehh.” But the probability of extreme chaos happening in the surgery room is totally different from–

CW Doctors around with very high degrees trained for this. Meanwhile, in public it could be anyone. 

BP There's drunk people running into your car, who knows? Too soon. Sorry, too soon.

JC When we're talking about the difference between how much we would trust a robot doing surgery versus cars, I actually think it's another thing where part of the reason we have experts doing surgery is because there are so many things that can go wrong, and so that's why we're okay offloading it to an expert. But I think that the actual hesitation around self-driving cars is that anybody, or at least most people that are over the age of 18 should be able to do that so don't take that level of autonomy away from me. If we were to take that to its natural extreme and do something like we're going to let a computer start speaking for us, I think people would have a similar amount of hesitation around it because I want that level of control. I'm not giving up a lot of control or not nearly as much when I'm having a doctor do something that I have very little expertise in anyway. 

CF Yeah, that's true. 

JC It's less I think maybe about the number of external factors or things that can go wrong because a lot of things can go wrong with surgery too. But how used to are we about having control over something and are we willing to give up that control and trust something like a self-driving car?

BP Yeah. You make the libertarian point, which is like, “I can own a car and then I can drive it where I want.” Whereas with a driverless car, maybe it's going to say, “You're not allowed to go to this state.” Or, “Sorry. If you want to go here, you'll need to sign these terms of service.” And that's a big loss of freedom.

CW And I feel like that comes back to transit again too. When I lived in New York I didn't need a car because I knew these things would be taken care of for me. I would be able to get on a bus at this time, on a train at this time or whatever. When I moved to Seattle that was not the case. I could find a bus, but less reliable service, less infrastructure around it, and that's just kind of how it was. I could get deep on the transit side of things, but I do think that there's an element of that there.

MK I do wonder if and when this does become a thing, they'll start rolling out in more controlled environments, say for example a highway or a motorway or a freeway or whatever it's called wherever you're from in the world. 

CW A train line.

MK Yeah, true, very true. If they start rolling this out in particular instances, so for example, they keep all of those functions off while you’re in rural or suburban areas and they keep it to predefined sets where there's not going to be somebody walking out across the road in front of you hopefully, and that kind of thing. And then they roll it eventually.

JC There's an interesting point that you bring up here Cassidy, about public transportation too because we're talking about a technology. What if there was public transportation but it wasn't trains and buses and all in the subway but it was self-driving cars? Would that change the conversation? If we got to a place where maybe the technology was good enough or we could make sure that self-driving cars had the same level of access and affordability that the New York City subway system does, for example. There's a lot of gaps in between there, but does that change the trust that we have with the technology anymore? In some ways it's almost agnostic to me, or could be. I'm really curious what that might look like in the future.

BP I think I've heard some discussions of that, Jon, where it's sort of like in this utopian version of the world where everybody can just hail a self-driving car at any time and go where they want, suddenly you have all this freedom of mobility, which is great. But from an environmental perspective, every single person taking a car instead of just sharing a train and doing a little bit of work to get out at this stop and walk here, it's definitely going in the wrong direction. 

CF I was going to say, have any of the ride sharing companies done anything with self-driving cars?

BP Yeah, Uber has a huge one. 

CW I was going to say, Uber does. 

CF Okay. Because I know that they've had a huge labor thing with paying drivers and things like that. And not to be an evil capitalist person here, but it seems like a solution to that would be self-driving cars. So that's why I'm asking if they have tried to get in on this new market or whatever. I don't know. Not that I'm a fan of that idea, but it seems like something they would be interested in. 

CW Again, that's giving up a lot of trust. Could this robot drive me somewhere safely? 

MK What would it take for you to get into an Uber next year that would be a driverless car? 

BP I would be comfortable getting into a driverless car driving around a city at 25 miles an hour. Getting into a driverless car on a highway at 65 feels like I know I would be very frightened. The ones that are in Phoenix right now, they drive around a known neighborhood. The whole neighborhood is mapped. It's like 25, 30 miles an hour. It’s basically driving around a suburb excerpt and to me that feels like, “Okay, what's the worst accident we could get into?” And the car knows the road and everything like that. But every time I get on a plane I'm a little bit scared and every time I land and there's a little bit of turbulence I'm like, “Why did I do this?”

JC You know what, Ben? It's funny when you mention getting on a highway. We have cruise control. That's a thing that's been around for such a long time.

CF I still don’t use it.

JC And so the jump from, “Great, let's get to 25 miles per hour and just make sure that we don't hit a pedestrian,” that seems scary to me. But getting on and off the highway, changing lanes, how much of a gap is there? It's interesting, I think about this too where even the cars that people are driving right now, there's a certain extent to which it's already a computer. When you're hitting the brake, it's not like you're actually hitting something that's going to hit the tire that's going to make it stop. It's a computer. 

BP My car right now, in cruise control, will keep a certain distance from the car in front of it at the speed you want, slow down if the car in front slows down, stay in the lane, and on a highway, make the turns for you. It will do all of that, but you're supposed to keep your hands on the wheel and I do because I don't really trust it, but it does all of that already. Oh, and if I forget, like sometimes I'm doing whatever at a red light and I let go of the break and I'm getting close, it sounds an alarm when I'm about to hit something. So it's got all that stuff. 

CF I think for me to get into a self-driving car within the next year, it would have to be like a 15 minute ride and they would have to pay me. Then I would do it. 

BP Yeah, you pay me to ride in this car. Speaking of cutting edge technology from the future, we have a link here in the show notes that says, “Tim Cook questions the metaverse.” I didn't drop this link, so how skeptical is he? What does he think is going on?

MK Yeah, so I put this one in because I'm not sure about you all, but it seems like most of my LinkedIn at the moment is full of recruiters saying, “Hey, we have this new Metaverse, NFT, so and so technology. Would love you to come work for us.” And I'm not too enthused about it. And so I was having a look around the metaverse and what it is and what companies are doing for it, and it seems like there are some companies that are very bullish on the metaverse and then there are kind of a few that are much more skeptical, but nobody's outwardly saying this is rubbish or this is trash. And this was something that I found quite interesting and this is the closest I've come to finding a top level CEO kind of poo-pooing on the metaverse a little bit and saying, “This is not something for us.” And one of the points and takeaways from that is that they don't actually refer to it as the metaverse because if you ask 200 people what it is, they're first of all not able to articulate what the metaverse is and they're all going to have different definitions around what it is. And I'm curious as to all the folks here, what are your thoughts on the metaverse as it stands? Is it something that you are even remotely interested in? Are you paying attention to it? What is the general sentiment? 

BP So here's my thought. The metaverse does exist powerfully in the sense that some people value their virtual world more than their physical world. I know kids who are that into gaming, they care more about their avatar and their skin than they do about their actual clothes. They spend all their money to get the next greatest thing in Roblox or Minecraft or Fortnight. So in that sense the Metaverse exists, but the metaverse of all the digital worlds are interconnected and you carry this avatar with you back and forth and the metaverse extends out into the real world, it seems like we're pretty far from that world. And also, I don't know, I guess to me it seems like there is a certain generation that got really sucked very deep into this, but also an awareness among people my own age and among a younger generation of rising teenagers that being that online all the time can be dangerous and it's something that you need to sort of moderate and that it's not necessarily healthy to live 24/7 in the metaverse.

CW I have a lot of internet friends. I hang out on Discord all the time. I like being able to be online and talk with people who aren't necessarily near my home. I like that aspect of it. The concept of the VR side of things I'm not as fully sold on yet, and maybe it's because I wasn't sure how I felt about the world in the book Ready Player One or what. But I know that for myself, if I'm in VR for too long I get seasick. I kind of just want to sit and be in my house and not be in some kind of virtual world. And so, kind of like what Ben was saying, I think there's different layers to it. There are virtual worlds that exist, whether it's just a chat room with friends or you're playing a video game or something. But yeah, the VR side of things, I see it as a game at this point. I haven't enjoyed it enough to be like, “This should be my life” yet. 

JC Yeah, I’m with both of you on this. When I think of the metaverse it feels like, okay, maybe it's just sort of the next natural step for what internet connectivity looks like except it's a much richer experience than what we're currently experiencing where it's largely screens that we’re interacting with. It’s a different form factor to the internet, which is VR and AR and all of that stuff. But I share the same sort of concerns or the sort of considerations that you're both raising here. I think about remote work. Already everything that's been happening with the pandemic where everybody seems to just be in front of a screen for sometimes the entire day and that's all you are doing and then suddenly you get up in an empty apartment, is that what we're going to be getting to even more when we're talking about a form factor like VR headsets that are connected to the universe? I've always been really interested in how technology can enable sort of communities but there's a certain sort of line that you draw where it's like, how much is this really the same level of richness that I'm getting in meat space or IRL or whatever you want to call it versus the metaverse that we're talking about? 

MK As someone who was very into World of Warcraft at a specific time and just knowing how I put a lot of hours into that game, hundreds and hundreds of hours, and it was something that I deeply cared about. I cared about upgrading my character to get all the different loot and transfiguring, transmogging all of the different gear and getting all the mounts and all that kind of stuff. And so I can kind of see the appeal behind building up an online character like this and being so deeply invested into something that is just an online reality basically. I can see the draw with that. To Jon's point, I think the idea of what it means to have a community and how the metaverse might impact community building and networking, especially if you are considering that for example with some NFT projects at the moment, if you buy an NFT, you get access to a certain community and that enables you certain benefits within that. And I'm curious and a little bit concerned around how the metaverse is going to cope towards creating communities and fostering those and then locking out people who aren't specifically part of that particular group or cohort or whatever that is. 

BP Right. I mean, getting back to World of Warcraft, that was one where people from certain areas made careers out of farming virtual gold for other people. The virtual currency in the meta world was valuable enough to certain people that other people could build a life for themselves around it. And so in that sense I think the metaverse is real. People are that attached to their virtual avatars and skins and all that other kinds of stuff. But yeah, I think to everyone's point, where the line is for me is, do I want that to seep out into the real world? Do I want all my online identities and avatars to start to connect and do I want to be wearing something on my face? How often do I want to be wearing something on my face to make that all sort of start to happen and I feel pretty trepidatious about that last part of it. 

JC When we talk about the metaverse and how it's going to get us even more plugged into screens, it's going to get us even more plugged into these platforms that technology companies are thinking about, one of the things that I always think about is, when we talk about these things like natural extensions of the ideas around social networks like with Twitter and Facebook, et cetera. But the sort of term around social technologies, it always seems strange to me how we have not sort of figured out technologies that actually get us to meet in person more and use all of that power to actually get you to have richer experiences in person. It seems like we're talking about the metaverse as the inevitable place that technology needs to take us, but what if there was another direction that technology could take us? The closest I can think of when I think about those kinds of technologies in that direction are dating apps. That's actually a thing where you're using this app and you're using it to facilitate really rich sometimes relationships that you have in person, but it doesn't draw you into staying on your screen forever. Hinge for example has this whole campaign about, “The whole point of this app is so that you can eventually delete it afterwards.” What is the natural extension of that instead of getting even deeper into the screen or a digital sort of world?

BP I never had to do online dating. Just my age and I got married a little early, but to the idea, it just occurred to me that it would be kind of fun to go on that first date, that blind date, in a VR setting that's safe but where you could feel intimate, just you and that person and you could have a conversation and feel each other out and have a dialogue. That to me is an interesting application of the metaverse, like one of those things that gets you excited about it. Although, yeah, then I agree. Inevitably then it would be like, “Well now let's meet in real life.” That would be step two. But not necessarily. Cassidy, you make a good point. Some people do prefer to just be internet friends and that's okay. I'm not begrudging anyone who prefers to do it that way.

CW I mean, I always hope to eventually meet my internet friends, but I'm perfectly fine with regular interactions being virtual because I'm introverted. 

BP Right.

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BP All right, everybody. Let's end on that positive note and let's shout out somewhere from the community who came on and helped out some other folks. Awarded two days ago to GKG4, a lifeboat badge: an answer score of 20 or more to a question score of -3 or less that goes on to receive a score of 3 or more. So they saved a question from the dustbin of history with a great answer. The question is, “How can I check if an array index is out of range?” 67,000 people have viewed this question, so appreciate all the help GKG4. I am Ben Popper. I am the Director of Content here at Stack Overflow. You can always find me on Twitter @BenPopper. You can email us with questions or suggestions, And if you like what you hear, leave us a rating and a review. 

CW I'm Cassidy Williams. I am CTO over at Contenda. You can find me @Cassidoo on most things. 

CF My name is Ceora Ford. I'm a Developer Advocate at Auth0 by Okta, and you can find me on Twitter. My username there is @Ceeoreo_. 

MK I'm Matt Kiernander. I'm a Developer Advocate here at Stack Overflow. You can find me online at @MattKander on YouTube and Twitter. 

JC And I'm Jon Chan. I'm Director of Engineering here at Stack Overflow, and you can find me on all socials @JonHMChan.

BP All right. Here we go. Bye-bye! 

CW Bye!

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