Author Topic: The Exxon of Human Anxiety  (Read 362 times)

ergophobe

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The Exxon of Human Anxiety
« on: August 19, 2020, 07:10:13 PM »
I've been listening to some Tristan Harris interviews lately. He tosses off some great phrases - "Facebook is the Exxon of human anxiety."

Best, though, is the idea of "human downgrading." The idea is that we kept thinking that at a certain point, AI would become smart enough to pass the Turing Test in a wide variety of circumstances and once we upgraded the hardware and software enough, we would reach a point where a computer could control the conversation.

Instead, we found out that it is easier to take the existing equipment and tweak the algos to respond to anger and outrage and then feed that to people, so that Facebook and Youtube and the rest downgrade the human instead of upgrading the machine. The result is the same: the algo hijacks the human mind, but with much cheaper hardware and much dumber software.

I think that idea of downgrading vs upgrading humans is a useful heuristic for evaluating a technology (I suppose including even a food technology, like Cheetos, for example). And somehow, just writing that triggers in me a sudden urge to go eat ice cream.

Rupert

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Re: The Exxon of Human Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 09:09:56 PM »
I love you Ergo...

What ice cream ?  :)
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ergophobe

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Re: The Exxon of Human Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 09:27:28 PM »
>>I love you Ergo...

Why thank you! But check out Tristan Harris if you have not already. All of the above, except the part about ice cream, is his thinking.
https://www.vox.com/recode/2019/5/6/18530860/tristan-harris-human-downgrading-time-well-spent-kara-swisher-recode-decode-podcast-interview

>>What ice cream ?

Does it matter? I supposed it does. Haagen Daaz mint chip or or pina colada or just chocolate or strawberry, or a nice artisanal gelato. I used to eat large amounts of the cheapest ice cream, but now I tend to eat small amounts of best ice cream. It should have only ingredients my great-grandmother would recognize and be loaded with fat.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 09:30:40 PM by ergophobe »

Rupert

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Re: The Exxon of Human Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2020, 05:25:12 AM »
Quote
It should have only ingredients my great-grandmother would recognize and be loaded with fat.

~So probably made in small batches. We have a local one that is always a delight to find riding in the Peak District.
https://www.fredericksicecream.co.uk/
... Make sure you live before you die.