Opinion | Is Ken Burns Taking Up Too Much Space? He Doesn’t Think So.

Produced by ‘Sway’

From “deepfaking” Anthony Bourdain’s voice to reconstructing a re-education camp in Xinjiang — technologies like A.I. voice generation and V.R. are warping the boundaries of documentary filmmaking. So how does a veteran like Ken Burns, who has spent over 40 years documenting American history, think about the ethical questions attached to these tools?

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara Swisher learns why Burns was “very troubled” by the use of A.I. voice generation in a recent documentary about the late chef and food journalist Anthony Bourdain. She also asks him to respond to a public letter in March questioning PBS’s commitment to diversity and criticizing the network as having an “overreliance” on Burns and his films — which include his latest series on the boxer Muhammad Ali. Burns also explains why he considers Mark Zuckerberg an “enemy of the state.”

This episode includes strong language.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected]

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Matt Kwong, Caitlin O’Keefe and Daphne Chen, and edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Liriel Higa.

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