In this podcast from the Center for Humane Technology, co-hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin explore the incredible power that technology has over our lives — ... More
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The Tech We Need for 21st Century Democracy with Divya Siddarth
Democracy in action has looked the same for generations. Constituents might go to a library or school every one or two years and cast their vote for people who don't actually represent everything that they care about. Our technology is rapidly increasing in sophistication, yet our forms of democracy have largely remained unchanged. What would an upgrade look like - not just for democracy, but for all the different places that democratic decision-making happens?On this episode of Your Undivided Attention, we’re joined by political economist and social technologist Divya Siddarth, one of the world's leading experts in collective intelligence. Together we explore how new kinds of governance can be supported through better technology, and how collective decision-making is key to unlocking everything from more effective elections to better ways of responding to global problems like climate change.Correction:Tristan mentions Elon Musk’s attempt to manufacture ventilators early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. Musk ended up buying over 1,200 ventilators that were delivered to California.RECOMMENDED MEDIAAgainst Democracy by Jason BrennanA provocative challenge to one of our most cherished institutionsLedger of HarmsTechnology platforms have created a race for human attention that’s unleashed invisible harms to society. Here are some of the costs that aren't showing up on their balance sheetsThe Wisdom GapThis blog post from the Center for Humane Technology describes the gap between the rising interconnected complexity of our problems and our ability to make sense of themDemocracyNextDemocracyNext is working to design and establish new institutions for government and transform the governance of organizations that influence public lifeCIP.orgAn incubator for new governance models for transformative technologyEtheloTransform community engagement through consensusKazm’s Living Room ConversationsLiving Room Conversations works to heal society by connecting people across divides through guided conversations proven to build understanding and transform communitiesThe Citizens DialogueA model for citizen participation in Ostbelgien, which was brought to life by the parliament of the German-speaking communityAsamblea Ciudadana Para El ClimaSpain’s national citizens’ assembly on climate changeClimate Assembly UKThe UK’s national citizens’ assembly on climate changeCitizens’ Convention for the ClimateFrance’s national citizens’ assembly on climate changePolisPolis is a real-time system for gathering, analyzing and understanding what large groups of people think in their own words, enabled by advanced statistics and machine learningRECOMMENDED YUA EPISODESDigital Democracy is Within Reach with Audrey Tang They Don’t Represent Us with Larry LessigA Renegade Solution to Extractive Economics with Kate RaworthYour Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_
Spotlight: AI Myths and Misconceptions
A few episodes back, we presented Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin’s talk The AI Dilemma. People inside the companies that are building generative artificial intelligence came to us with their concerns about the rapid pace of deployment and the problems that are emerging as a result. We felt called to lay out the catastrophic risks that AI poses to society and sound the alarm on the need to upgrade our institutions for a post-AI world.The talk resonated - over 1.6 million people have viewed it on YouTube as of this episode’s release date. The positive reception gives us hope that leaders will be willing to come to the table for a difficult but necessary conversation about AI.However, now that so many people have watched or listened to the talk, we’ve found that there are some AI myths getting in the way of making progress. On this episode of Your Undivided Attention, we debunk five of those misconceptions. RECOMMENDED MEDIA Opinion | Yuval Harari, Tristan Harris, and Aza Raskin on Threats to Humanity Posed by AI - The New York TimesIn this New York Times piece, Yuval Harari, Tristan Harris, and Aza Raskin call upon world leaders to respond to this moment at the level of challenge it presents.Misalignment, AI & MolochA deep dive into the game theory and exponential growth underlying our modern economic system, and how recent advancements in AI are poised to turn up the pressure on that system, and its wider environment, in ways we have never seen beforeRECOMMENDED YUA EPISODESThe AI DilemmaThe Three Rules of Humane TechCan We Govern AI? with Marietje SchaakeYour Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_
Talking With Animals… Using AI
Despite our serious concerns about the pace of deployment of generative artificial intelligence, we are not anti-AI. There are uses that can help us better understand ourselves and the world around us. Your Undivided Attention co-host Aza Raskin is also co-founder of Earth Species Project, a nonprofit dedicated to using AI to decode non-human communication. ESP is developing this technology both to shift the way that we relate to the rest of nature, and to accelerate conservation research.Significant recent breakthroughs in machine learning have opened ways to encode both human languages and map out patterns of animal communication. The research, while slow and incredibly complex, is very exciting. Picture being able to tell a whale to dive to avoid ship strikes, or to forge cooperation in conservation areas. These advances come with their own complex ethical issues. But understanding non-human languages could transform our relationship with the rest of nature and promote a duty of care for the natural world.In a time of such deep division, it’s comforting to know that hidden underlying languages may potentially unite us. When we study the patterns of the universe, we’ll see that humanity isn’t at the center of it. Corrections:Aza refers to the founding of Earth Species Project (ESP) in 2017. The organization was established in 2018.When offering examples of self-awareness in animals, Aza mentions lemurs that get high on centipedes. They actually get high on millipedes. RECOMMENDED MEDIA Using AI to Listen to All of Earth’s SpeciesAn interactive panel discussion hosted at the World Economic Forum in San Francisco on October 25, 2022. Featuring ESP President and Cofounder Aza Raskin; Dr. Karen Bakker, Professor at UBC and Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow; and Dr. Ari Friedlaender, Professor at UC Santa CruzWhat A Chatty Monkey May Tell Us About Learning to TalkThe gelada monkey makes a gurgling sound that scientists say is close to human speechLemurs May Be Making Medicine Out of MillipedesRed-fronted lemurs appear to use plants and other animals to treat their afflictionsFathom on AppleTV+Two biologists set out on an undertaking as colossal as their subjects – deciphering the complex communication of whales Earth Species Project is Hiring a Director of ResearchESP is looking for a thought leader in artificial intelligence with a track record of managing a team of researchers RECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES The Three Rules of Humane TechThe AI DilemmaSynthetic Humanity: AI & What’s At Stake Your Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_
Can We Govern AI?
When it comes to AI, what kind of regulations might we need to address this rapidly developing new class of technologies? What makes regulating AI and runaway tech in general different from regulating airplanes, pharmaceuticals, or food? And how can we ensure that issues like national security don't become a justification for sacrificing civil rights?Answers to these questions are playing out in real time. If we wait for more AI harms to emerge before proper regulations are put in place, it may be too late. Our guest Marietje Schaake was at the forefront of crafting tech regulations for the EU. In spite of AI’s complexity, she argues there is a path forward for the U.S. and other governing bodies to rein in companies that continue to release these products into the world without oversight. Correction: Marietje said antitrust laws in the US were a century ahead of those in the EU. Competition law in the EU was enacted as part of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, almost 70 years after the US. RECOMMENDED MEDIA The AI Dilemma Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin’s presentation on existing AI capabilities and the catastrophic risks they pose to a functional society. Also available in the podcast format (linked below)The Wisdom GapThis blog post from the Center for Humane Technology describes the gap between the rising interconnected complexity of our problems and our ability to make sense of themThe EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) & Digital Markets Act (DMA)The two pieces of legislation aim to create safer and more open digital spaces for individuals and businesses alike RECOMMENDED YUA EPISODESDigital Democracy is Within Reach with Audrey TangThe AI DilemmaThe Three Rules of Humane TechYour Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_
Spotlight: The Three Rules of Humane Tech
In our previous episode, we shared a presentation Tristan and Aza recently delivered to a group of influential technologists about the race happening in AI. In that talk, they introduced the Three Rules of Humane Technology. In this Spotlight episode, we’re taking a moment to explore these three rules more deeply in order to clarify what it means to be a responsible technologist in the age of AI.Correction: Aza mentions infinite scroll being in the pockets of 5 billion people, implying that there are 5 billion smartphone users worldwide. The number of smartphone users worldwide is actually 6.8 billion now. RECOMMENDED MEDIA We Think in 3D. Social Media Should, TooTristan Harris writes about a simple visual experiment that demonstrates the power of one’s point of viewLet’s Think About Slowing Down AIKatja Grace’s piece about how to avert doom by not building the doom machineIf We Don’t Master AI, It Will Master UsYuval Harari, Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin call upon world leaders to respond to this moment at the level of challenge it presents in this New York Times opinion piece RECOMMENDED YUA EPISODES The AI DilemmaSynthetic humanity: AI & What’s At Stake Your Undivided Attention is produced by the Center for Humane Technology. Follow us on Twitter: @HumaneTech_
In this podcast from the Center for Humane Technology, co-hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin explore the incredible power that technology has over our lives — and how we can use it to catalyze a humane future.
Join us every other Thursday as we confront challenges and explore solutions with a wide-range of thought leaders and change-makers — like Kate Raworth on renegade economics, Audrey Tang on digital democracy, Daniel Schmachtenberger on global coordination, and Yuval Noah Harari on the co-evolution of technology and democracy.
Your Undivided Attention is proud to be part of the TED Audio Collective. Our Senior Producer is Julia Scott, and our Associate Producer is Kirsten McMurray.