The Lex Fridman Podcast is a show focused on “conversations about the nature of intelligence, consciousness, love, and power.” Research scientist, Lex Fridman, is a friend of Elon Musk and has frequently appeared as a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience. Dressed in his signature black suit and tie, Lex covers a variety of topics on his show and hosts high-powered guests, like musician and artist Ye, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and psychologist Jordan Peterson.
Fans of the Lex Fridman Podcast enjoy the show because he provides a platform for those with a wide range of perspectives. He isn’t afraid to ask challenging questions and does so in a humble way. Lex strives to keep the humanity in his podcast episodes and doesn’t shy away from controversial guests and topics.
The Creator Behind the Podcast
Lex Fridman is a Russian-American computer scientist. He specializes in researching machine learning, human-robot interaction, and autonomous vehicles. Lex is currently employed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has been working since 2015. He attended Drexel University, where he obtained his bachelors and masters degrees as well as a PhD. Lex also worked at Google for about six months after his time at Drexel.
Lex started his podcast in 2018 as part of his work at MIT. The podcast was originally titled the Artificial Intelligence Podcast, but later changed it to Lex Fridman Podcast due to the wide range of topics covered by the show. In his spare time, Lex enjoys playing the piano and guitar. He also has a first-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
Themes and Topics Covered
On his podcast, Lex Fridman hosts many guests who are on the forefront of artificial intelligence, energy, and technology research. He also hosts guests who study world religions, alien life, and politics.
To get a feel for what the Lex Fridman Podcast is like, here are three summaries of recent episodes.
Episode #300: Joe Rogan: Comedy, Controversy, Aliens, UFOs, Putin, CIA, and Freedom
Joe Rogan is one of today’s most famous podcasters and a good friend of Lex’s. This particular episode of the Lex Fridman Podcast received over eight million views on YouTube. The two begin the interview by talking about discipline and then move into conversation about UFOs and aliens. Lex and Joe discuss everything from intelligence agencies and the conflict in Ukraine to comedy and childhood. Joe also provides some advice for young people and the two chat about relationships.
Episode #313: Jordan Peterson: Life, Death, Power, Fame, and Meaning
Jordan Peterson is a Canadian psychologist, lecturer, and author. He is also a podcast host. In this episode, Lex and Jordan get into philosophical topics, like God, religion, and death. They also discuss what’s contributing to our current global crises and the harm caused by dangerous ideologies. Jordan walks though what a day in his life is like and discusses depression. The two wrap up with an insightful chat about the meaning of life.
Episode #356: Tim Dodd: SpaceX, Starship, Rocket Engines, and Future of Space Travel
Tim Dodd is the host of The Everyday Astronaut channel on YouTube, which covers topics related to rockets and space travel. In this 5-hour long episode, Lex and Tim talk about SpaceX rockets and engines and discuss Elon Musk and his recent Twitter takeover. The two also chat about the history of space travel in Russia, China, and the USA as well as putting humans on Mars and the moon. Towards the end of the conversation, Lex and Tim discuss aliens, sci-fi books, and long-term space travel.
Reach of Lex Fridman Podcast
Lex Fridman has 2.63 million subscribers on YouTube, 779,000 followers on Instagram, and 60,500 followers on TikTok. On YouTube, where view statistics are readily available it appears that the average podcast receives between 500,000 views and 2,000,000 views per episode.
As of January 2023, the Lex Fridman Podcast was ranked as #1 in Technology podcasts and #85 out of all United States podcasts on Apple Music. Based on this analysis we estimated that the Lex Fridman Podcast receives 1.2 – 2.2 million listens each time an episode goes out across Apple, Google, Youtube and Spotify podcast networks.
The Format of the Podcast
Episodes of the Lex Fridman Podcast are between two and four hours long on average. Lex maintains a simple interview style in each episode and keeps the shows intimate by sticking to one-on-one conversations.
Lex is also known to host controversial guests on his show. For example, Lex recently hosted Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) on the podcast, soon after the artist received major media backlash for expressing his opinions on Judaism and politics. The episode received over four million views on YouTube. Lex was praised for remaining empathetic to Ye despite harsh public criticism, but challenged him with honest questions throughout the interview.
Reception and Impact
The Lex Fridman Podcast has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Apple Podcasts. Listeners frequently praise Lex for his ability to maintain calm and rationality when covering polarizing topics, like politics and religion. He is often described as warm and caring as well as highly intelligent and thoughtful.
Although Lex originally gained notoriety through his scientific research, his podcast quickly grew to cover all kinds of perspectives, which is what his fans seem to enjoy the most.
If you’re eager to learn a new perspective on a trending scientific topic or hear perspectives from some of today’s more controversial public figures, check out the Lex Fridman Podcast. You can listen to the show on most major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.