Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)

3 thoughts on “Good Behavior? What I Learned at the Behavioral Summit (and How it Freaked Me Out a Little)”

  1. Hi Brett!
    Just a quick tidbit of feedback on this piece.
    I really enjoyed learning about what your experience was as well as your insightful takeaways from this event.

    Great networking opp!!

    Love to hear more about the folks you met and what’s on the near horizon?


  2. I also am interested in the ultimate question you ask. How could a business/academic field, or a corporation, have a conscience? A field is a convenient collection, not a body, and a corporation is a tool, mere technology.

    I see huge implications for humanity that are hard to see if you are not in the field and educated about ethics. Two examples: Chasing eyeballs created the 24/7 partisan news cycle, which I think is one factor in dehumanizing us. Machine Learning is poorly-understood (basically magic) that is affecting you-name-it (google search results, facebook feeds, product promotion, etc.) in dehumanizing ways. Algorithms are great at maximizing something, but what is that ‘something?’ It seems the optimized variables are never chosen based on consideration of ethics, even remotely. The closest it comes is regulatory consideration, which isn’t even a poor substitute.

    The state of affairs is an important topic of discussion in our family of teens and pre-teens. We recommended to our son (who wants to be a tech entrepreneur) that it would be better to attend a good liberal arts college rather than get a CS degree. He didn’t need a lot of convincing. He is a smart kid, getting wiser by studying classical ethics, philosophy, literature, history.

    Keep writing and keep influencing, Brett. Those who have the vision have a moral obligation to inspire and teach. The next 10 years will determine the next 100.

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