Kim Horcher

Host, futurist, EP of Nerd Alert on TYT

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON May 25, 2016

Discussion

Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
Hi - I'm Kim Horcher, creator and host of Nerd Alert, on the TYT Network. I started my career in traditional journalism, and relearned everything to make the leap to digital content creation and new media! I created my own job talking about and participating in the topics I love and care about...and now I'm ready for you to ask me anything! EDIT: Thank you everyone! I'm all done now. I hope I've answered your questions satisfactorily. You can always fine me on twitter at https://twitter.com/kimscorcher, and if you have 140+ characters, https://www.facebook.com/KimHorc... Nerd Alert airs every day at youtube.com/nerdalert, and through various other platforms like Watchable, Pluto TV, and on Virgin America, Virgin Australia, and Emirates Airlines. Please come by and give us a watch/subscribe? It really helps support the show, and it's totally free to do! Thanks again, everyone. It's been a real pleasure. ❤
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
As a futurist, where do you look for emerging trends (e.g. sources, events, websites, etc.)?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@candriopoulos I get a lot of pitches in my inbox, but it's rare that I follow up on them (a lot of them are for things I see as very one-use, one-shot, unnecessary). There are plenty of sites I respect and like to read though-- Wired, The Verge, Ars Technica, Tech Dirt, the EFF... I wouldn't necessarily want to comb through CES again looking for that one "thing" among the thousands of very similar things. I think much of it is wading though and finding something that will actually enable doers.
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
If you had to build a YouTube competitor, what would be some core features of your new platform?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@tomstocklein YouTube has a lot of good things going for it, but the most obvious problem is clearly the comment section. I'm lucky enough to be able to chat with non-toxic audience members often, even on things I've messed up on. I like that we can talk like normal people and I generally will take criticism/suggestions if they're presented in a plain way. But we all know that's not how it typically happens.
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
Hello Kim, Thank you very much for taking our questions. What are the methods/tools you use to discover emerging technology trends?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@candriopoulos Hmm. There isn't much of a "tool" per se, but I think a lot of it can be discerned by analyzing one specific trend or field, let's say "VR Headsets" and figuring out what its uses could be. So, you could think, "Well, there's interactive storytelling, video games, movies, etc..." but then you come to think of the less conventional uses. Perhaps this technology could be applied to the medical industry. Perhaps porn (which is exponentially more influential on consumer technology than you may think!) How can people use this, how should people use this, and ultimately how WILL people use this are important things to consider. I like tools that can galvanize people into innovating something else on top of it. An innovation that can enable something/someone else entirely. Raspberry Pi is the coolest idea, to me, and it isn't even necessarily a new thing in itself, per se. A lot of the time, I do get gadget pitch emails that, by the end of them, I've realized this idea isn't ultimately going to go far. Some things seem cool, but have extremely limited uses, or they don't achieve purposes well. Eventually, you do get a sense for these things, but the beauty is that it's not always cut and dry what will make a huge difference and what won't.
COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS@candriopoulos · https://medium.com/strictly-curious
@kimscorcher Dear Kim, thank you so much for your detailed answer. I appreciate it.
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
Hi Kim! Would love to hear more about making the transition out of traditional journalism. Any advice you can give to others looking to make that jump?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@mscccc Ohhoho! I've been waiting for this one! I want to start by saying, there isn't one path for everyone-- we all have different skills, situations, timing, and opportunities. For me, I had always wanted to be a journalist. I wrote traditional print articles for a while, but I felt stifled by a college editor who told me, "just basically copy this wire story in your own words." No thanks. I did see a little more freedom in storytelling through broadcast journalism, so naturally I went that way for the rest of my college career. I interned (for FREE. for a damn YEAR) for a local LA news station and eventually got an entry level assignment desk job, eventually transitioning to a web writer/producer. Things went good, I got a local Emmy there, and then things went BAD. I don't want to get into precise details, but I will say I was very disillusioned by the way that particular station handled me and other employees and also attempted to prevent me from collecting unemployment benefits through a dishonest interview I read the transcript of 6 months later before my (successful) appeal with a judge. I took an on-camera job at a tiny but wonderful small-town station in Southern California where I was a writer, producer, anchor, and field reporter. I loved the people there, and I loved writing news pkgs, but I wasn't making the leap to my first news market. Why? Why did I like it, but not like it enough to move away and take a low paying reported job for 2 years? I realized I wasn't just disillusioned by what the LA station thought was a fine way to treat me and other hardworking employees. I didn't believe in the institution of local broadcast news itself-- I didn't feel connected to the stories, the people, the method of delivery. It was just like a fun activity for me that ultimately didn't fill me with confidence or satisfaction. I thought I might like hosting, since I could apply my practical skills into something where I didn't have to hold my tongue or abide by antiquated rules I didn't honestly believe in. I went to auditions where I frequently was the only one with no acting background whatsoever, and then I had to explain exactly what I was doing and why. Some worked out here and there, a lot didn't. Eventually, I came in for an audition for TYT University. I was familiar with it because I knew of Ana Kasparian-- a woman around my age who was seriously kicking ass at this new media thing. It's weird to admire someone who is now your peer, but hey, it worked out. Anyway, I was cast on Common Room as one of two female hosts. I almost left after the pilot taping went off the wall, but John Iadarola pleaded with me to stay, saying he thought I had a unique and interesting voice, and the show would be retooled. It's a good thing I listened to him, huh? I stayed on Common Room, dilled in on TYT U, got my own "Geek Speak" segment that eventually turned into its own channel, "Nerd Alert," after I pitched it to Steve Oh. Now I actually have a platform to speak my mind (seriously, carte blanche is such a treasured and wonderful thing to have) on the things that matter to me, and it has opened doors to a lot of other opportunities. I know my path was weird, and full of incredibly lucky turns. I feel so honored to be here, and I truly try my best to make every sacrifice and wrong turn worth it. I want to use my platform to say something, do something, that matters and needs to be vocalized.
Tamaro Benz@tamaro_benz · Blogger
@kimscorcher @mscccc BIG KUDOS to John Iadarola for seeing how talented and unique Kim was and for pleading with her to stay!
MAPBill@marco_possamai
@kimscorcher @mscccc Very nice story! I hope that NerdAlert continues to flourish and be successful.
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
Hey Kim, I have a couple of questions: Q1. Where do you think we are heading with AI? Are chatbots the future of internet applications? Q2. What is your definition of Artificial Intelligence? Can you give me example of an artificially intelligent app? Thanks!
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@sarim_haq A1: A lot of luminaries have fear of AI-- an uprising, a dawn when we have to start thinking of and treating AI as we would another human citizen; a time when AI can legitimately take away most human jobs. I don't think it's so crazy, but I do think it makes awesome sci fi fodder-- and for the record, I would be in favor of super-advanced AI being treated with dignity and getting rights. I don't think chatbots are the future, more like the present. What is the true purpose of a chatbot? Is it to help humans, let's say, in customer service situations? I think right now, the deeper purpose is to collect data that can be used to improve the technology itself, for deepened future applications in much broader fields. A2: There are a lot of ways at arriving at this, but I think the goal of AI is to be incredibly adaptive, to help mankind, and to learn and teach itself. Perhaps you could even argue that it's entwined with the goal of mankind-- I certainly would. I don't think the idea is to give us a relaxed, lazy Wall-E future (shudder), but to evolve with us and to amplify our potential when we endeavor to more, much in the way the industrial revolution. There's a lot of value to be gained. Oh oops, didn't answer the last part. Probably Siri and Alexa (Echo) for the time being. We aren't there yet, we're in the learning/data phase. I do think we have a responsibility to source data legally and respectfully, for that matter.
Sarim Haq@sarim_haq · AI Whisperer
@kimscorcher Hey Kim, thank you so much for your answer. I think we are still far away in terms of technology to start thinking about AI in philosophical terms. It would be similar to Charles Babbage worrying about how a handheld difference engine could potentially turn teenagers into social recluse. Pop culture/Hollywood has always been light years ahead of reality.
Jay Chen@chenjay12 · CEO, myHealthyBee.com
Kim, I did a talk at a Silicon Valley group on the future of Baby Care using IoT...I'd like to get your POV on a few lifestyle changes we could see in technology enabled lifestyle, especially around parenting, baby care, etc.
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@chenjay12 Unfortunately, I can't answer this question fully-- I'm not a parent and don't know the stone cold truths they know about child rearing. However, the internet of things does have a lot of potential (once major security concerns are addressed) to enable parents who have busy lives, be they travelers, full-time employees, or telecommuters. It's a fine line though...you don't want comparisons to the Cyberdine video of a kid being tucked in by a cold impersonal robot arm.
Jay Chen@chenjay12 · CEO, myHealthyBee.com
@kimscorcher thx Kim. My view is that technology will be embedded to lifestyle, rather then our lifestyle being replaced by robot. happy to keep this conversation open perhaps chat more in the future! :)
greg@os1r1s87
What's your favorite starting pokemon? What's your favorite cosplay that you've done? WHERE did you get that black shirt with the scales on the left sleve that you wore on the show? Badass.
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@os1r1s87 Okay, here we go: 1. Charmander 2. I'm fond of Chell from Portal 2 or Han Solo sheerly for comfort reasons. Wonder Woman was fun, but damn, do I not have the endurance to wear that at a con all day. 3. Oh geez, that shirt has a bigger career than I do 😅. It was bought from a defunct website, so I don't know if I can get another one. I did find a knockoff blue one on ebay, but it isn't the same.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
Hey Kim! Thanks fro joining us :) Can you tell us more about how the TYT Network of shows works? Do all the shows created in LA, the strategy behind the different topics, etc.? (Nerd Alert is excellent) 🤓
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@nivo0o0 Thank you! Very kind of you to say. TYT Network is a network (oh man, that was redundant), but it's not playing things in the exact way you might think most online media networks do. There are owned and operated shows like Nerd Alert, TYT Sports, and What the Flick that are shot in our studios, but there are also several partnered channels. I work generally in the owned and operated side as part of a media company, so I can speak more to that. There isn't a hand telling us what to do-- for the great majority, each channel has its own philosophy, editorial judgment, and responsibilities. I'm not just the host-- I'm the executive producer. I do a lot of pre-production and post-production. It's really funny to hear people say "get rid of that host, she's reading the script wrong." There is no script. In any normal show, I don't use teleprompters at all and I was the one who chose my topics. In the less common scenario where I do use a prompter (Nerd Rage segment), I wrote 100% of the script and decided on the topic myself. There is no one to stop or mold my editorial voice, and it's amazing and rare. I love that I can do this, and I love knowing I have the support of TYT all the way.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@kimscorcher did not know all that super interesting. Happy subscriber / member :)
Emmanuel Johnson@reallukejohnson · Luke Johnson
What advice would you give to someone who is growing up?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@reallukejohnson Last question, and maybe the most important one! Don't give up. Don't let people tell you who you are, where your limit is, and where you end. They don't know! And honestly, you don't know yet either if you're still growing up! At least give the goals you really want an honest shot. Worst case scenario, you learn a lesson. Unless your goal involves fire or knives. Oh an also, no one gives a shit about who was cool in K-12. That's a fact. You may think everything is terrible and that you'll be lonely and misunderstood forever, but nothing could be further from the truth. I'm so much happier as an adult than I was in middle and high school. When you're a kid, you want nothing more than to fit in. When you're grown, you realize the ways you didn't are what make you truly special, and people will probably admire those parts most. Don't hate yourself for your shortcomings--- be kind and constructive always. You're your own greatest ally!
Emmanuel Johnson@reallukejohnson · Luke Johnson
@kimscorcher Thanks Kim, great answer.
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
As a futurist, what are some emerging or future technologies you're excited about that most people may not be aware of yet?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@tomstocklein Ah! So many. 3D-printing construction for sure, but people know a lot about it. I like in-vitro meat, vertical farming, amorphous metals, "programable matter," consumer-level DNA analytics, phased array optics, solar power in a space-based environment, nano medicine, anything involving quantum computing
greg@os1r1s87
@kimscorcher @tomstocklein for some reason I read this in my head as a dating profile and when I finished went... I wanna hug her brain!!! I love intellectual curiosity. :)
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What upcoming movies (other than Star Wars episodes VIII and IX) are you looking forward to?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@tomstocklein Hmm. I'm interested in Beauty and the Beast now that I've seen the live-action teaser, Suicide Squad has my curiosity piqued, along with GotG 2 for that matter. Doctor Strange. The Dark Tower is intriguing.
greg@os1r1s87
Are you excited about the current advancements in VR? If the Russia 2045 movement is successful would you ever download your consciousness into a mainframe for 100% immersion? What do you think the future of gaming will be regarding platforms ie... will consoles ever be replaced by VR sets.
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@os1r1s87 I just answered a bit in another question about VR's current state. In short, the industry has a good foothold, but needs to provide accessible proof as to why this tech is without a doubt necessary. It's not there yet. There could be a day where the VR headset is a vital gaming device, but right now it's up against a lot in that market, and it needs to make a major statement to achieve that goal. I doubt I would upload my consciousness at this point, but things can always change.
MAPBill@marco_possamai
What do you think of this new iteration of Virtual Reality and its latest products?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@marco_possamai 👍 We're going to get there. There are some issues like latency that spatially confuse the brain. I think VR is off to a good start, but needs to prove itself in a way, as a can't-miss section of consumer technology. Right now, many think it's a gimmick and its on the industry to provide a starting-point of access that will show people why it matters and how it will improve their experience.
MAPBill@marco_possamai
Is it live?
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@marco_possamai Hi there! Yes Kim is LIVE now. She'll be answering questions live on this page. 💫
Ryan Hoover@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Hi, Kim! If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@rrhoover Uh...I really love Bioware games. I adore them. I loved Dragon Age Inquisition, but I prefer Mass Effect to Dragon Age Inquisition...so maybe Mass Effect Andromeda? The Witcher 3 also has A LOT going for it!
Peter Vongpaseuth@peter_vongpaseuth · Math and Physics Geek
Hello Kim, what are your favorite Science Fiction TV shows?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@peter_vongpaseuth Ah! My favorite of all time is The Twilight Zone. I'm also partial to Star Trek and want to rewatch TNG. Does Futurama count as sci-fi? I'm obsessed with that show. Right now I'm getting into Black Mirror.
Peter Vongpaseuth@peter_vongpaseuth · Math and Physics Geek
@kimscorcher I would consider Futurama sci-fi. I haven't heard of Black Mirror. I probably should check that out. Is there a branch of science like chemistry, biology or physics, that you love to geek out on (talk endless about)?
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Kim thanks for joining us today! You managed to change your career path to follow your passions, and transition really successfully! What's your secret?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@ems_hodge Hi Emily! Hehe. Thanks for being such a great help, by the way, and putting up with how bad I am at emailing back in a suitable time. I don't think I have a secret. I think a key though is making sure you're ready, should an opportunity arise. Don't show up without a battleplan, or at least the germ of an idea. Know what you're getting into, what you would like to accomplish, and small baby steps on how you could or would see it through. There's so much in life you have absolutely no control over, but you can at least control yourself and how you navigate things.
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What was the first video game you remember playing?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@jakecrump Haha! Mike Tyson's Punch-out, or perhaps Duck Shooter! These were all at my cousin Greg's house when my mom was downstairs chatting with her siblings in Vietnamese and I was left out because I only spoke English. Gaming with my cousin was awesome! And it was such a treat because my only sibling was a baby and I wasn't allowed to have any video games because they were for boys and a waste of time. BUT LOOK WHERE I AM NOW, MOM! 😂
Your mama@mr_sticky
Here's a tough CNN right wing question. What's your favorite drink?
Kim Horcher@kimscorcher · Host, Executive Producer - NerdAlert
@mr_sticky Iced coffee. I'm too impatient for the hot kind.