Episode 97: Jason Fagone

Jason Fagone is a narrative writer for the San Francisco Chronicle who focuses on in-depth stories and investigations. His most recent piece is headlined “The Jessica Simulation.” It’s about a man who used a website that created chatbots to bring his dead girlfriend, or memories of her, back to life. 

“Joshua was able to use this website project assembler to create a custom chat bot simulation of his dead girlfriend Jessica, and he began to talk, have these very long, intense emotional conversations with this simulation of Jessica and then things go very weird,” he said.

Fagone joined the Chronicle in the fall of 2017 after a solid career of freelancing and book writing. He has been on the podcast before. Fagone was the guest on Episode 9 back in September 2013. At the time, we talked about some of his work in Philadelphia magazine, including a story about a cancer researcher who had a breakthrough discovery. We also talked about his book “Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America.”

Since that episode, Fagone has written two more books, giving him three in all. That includes “The Woman Who Smashed Codes,” which was released in 2017. Fagone has written for The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, Huffington Post, and Mother Jones, among many other publications.

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