Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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Daniel Kahneman and Nassim Taleb at the DLD Conference

Daniel Kahneman and Nassim Taleb at the DLD Conference | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Professors Kahneman and Taleb discuss human behavior and the financial crisis including agency problems, time inconsistencies, and the failure to insure against extreme events.
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Bounded Rationality and Beyond
News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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Managing deep uncertainty: Exploratory modeling, adaptive plans and joint sense making

Community member post by Jan Kwakkel How can decision making on complex systems come to grips with irreducible, or deep, uncertainty? Such uncertainty has three sources: Intrinsic limits to predictability in complex systems. A variety of stakeholders with different perspectives on what the system is and what problem needs to be solved. Complex systems are…
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Multi-Agent Systems and Simulation: A Survey from the Agent Community's Perspective 

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VALORE E AUTONOMIA DELL’IMPROVVISAZIONE. TRA ARTI E PRATICHE

Abstract In this paper I will accept Georg Bertram’s criticism against what he calls the “autonomist paradigm” in philosophy of art and I will follow his theoretical suggestion: a coherent, informed, and accomplished philosophy of art should consider not only the specific nature of art, but also its value for the human practices and as one of the human practices. However, I will show the connection between human practices and art in a different, although related, way. Instead of beginning from a reflection focused on art, I will rather move from the human practices, showing that “art” may be a particular way to look at and to develop human practices. I shall argue that the theoretical link between human practices and art can be provided by the notion of improvisation. Improvisation is not only a particular artistic technique. Rather, improvisation can be more generally understood as the paradigm of art, in the interesting sense, defended by Bertram, of incorporating and showing in a genetic way, on the one hand, the autonomous art specificity and, on the other hand, the value of art, that is, the link between human practices and art as a specific human practice. In this sense, art (as specific human practice) both derives from and is a particular way to improvise (upon) the human practices, i.e. to develop them in ways that can be valuable (both in general and artistically or aesthetically). Accordingly, improvisation as a specific artistic procedure will be understood as that kind of artistic production in which the human practice underlying art comes, as it were, to the fore.
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Constraint-Directed Improvisation for Complex Domains

Abstract Current approaches to reactive planning are limited in their ability to perform well in domains characterized by complexity and significant variability, their ability to perform in domains with which they are less than completely familiar, and by their reliance on local information for decision making. In this paper, we present a novel architecture known as Waffler, based on constraint-directed reasoning. This architecture allows an agent to perform in complex, variable domains in real time by improvising on a routine method of accomplishing an activity using the background knowledge from which the agent's routine is derived. Agents employing this approach can follow a routine in the face of uncertainty and variability, and can apply a routine in a situation with novel aspects, satisficing to the degree that time is available. This paper describes the Waffler architecture's basis in constraint-directed reasoning, it's knowledge structures and processing mechanisms, and an implementation in a simulated environment.
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We need to shine more light on algorithms so they can help reduce bias, not perpetuate it

We need to shine more light on algorithms so they can help reduce bias, not perpetuate it | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Courts, banks, and other institutions are using automated data analysis systems to make decisions about your life. Let’s not leave it up to the algorithm makers to decide whether they’re doing it appropriately. ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize–winning nonprofit news organization, had analyzed risk assessment software known as COMPAS. It is being used to forecast which criminals are most likely to ­reoffend. Guided by such forecasts, judges in courtrooms throughout the United States make decisions about the future of defendants and convicts, determining everything from bail amounts to sentences. When ProPublica compared COMPAS’s risk assessments for more than 10,000 people arrested in one Florida county with how often those people actually went on to reoffend, it discovered that the algorithm “correctly predicted recidivism for black and white defendants at roughly the same rate.” But when the algorithm was wrong, it was wrong in different ways for blacks and whites. Specifically, “blacks are almost twice as likely as whites to be labeled a higher risk but not actually re-offend.” And COMPAS tended to make the opposite mistake with whites: “They are much more likely than blacks to be labeled lower risk but go on to commit other crimes.” Things reviewed “Machine Bias” ProPublica, May 23, 2016 “COMPAS Risk Scales: Demonstrating Accuracy Equity and Predictive Parity” Northpointe, July 8, 2016 “Technical Response to Northpointe” ProPublica, July 29, 2016 “False Positives, False Negatives, and False Analyses: A Rejoinder to ‘Machine Bias’” Anthony Flores, Christopher Lowenkamp, and Kristin Bechtel August 10, 2016 Courts, banks, and other institutions are using automated data analysis systems to make decisions about your life. Let’s not leave it up to the algorithm makers to decide whether they’re doing it appropriately. 

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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, August 14, 2:59 AM
Well, and it's only an example... we are guided/controlled/selected/rejected/etc. acc. to results of algorythms on many (if not all of the...) areas... i.e. we are finally submitted to programmers/coders final logic/thinking... if we are not able to check, monitor & veto on some meta-levels the working of these algirithms (are we guys?!), then, well, one thing remains: to pray...
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An algorithm trained on emoji knows when you’re being sarcastic on Twitter

An algorithm trained on emoji knows when you’re being sarcastic on Twitter | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Understanding sarcasm could help AI fight racism, abuse, and harassment. The researchers originally aimed to develop a system capable of detecting racist posts on Twitter. But they soon realized that the meaning of many messages couldn’t be properly understood without some understanding of sarcasm. The algorithm uses deep learning, a popular machine-learning technique that relies on training a very large simulated neural network to recognize subtle patterns using a large amount of data. The secret to training this algorithm was that many tweets already use something like a labeling system for emotional content: emoji. Once they took advantage of this to help the system read tweets for emotion in general, the researchers had a head start in teaching it to recognize sarcasm.

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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, August 14, 2:54 AM
Wow... this algorithm is better to spot sarcasm, i.e. complex emotion in written text through emojis than the control human test group... wow...
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How to understand what drives voters’ decisions

How to understand what drives voters’ decisions | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Politics is full of surveys purporting to explain why voters act the way they do. But how can we really pinpoint the factors that explain what happens inside the voting booth? A new paper co-authored by an MIT political scientist suggests that a polling method known as “conjoint analysis” can get traction on political questions that are hard for traditional surveys to assess accurately. Suppose you are analyzing a campaign pitting two candidates who vary in several personal attributes — such as religion, ethnicity, or gender — and who have different positions on several issues. One way of conducting traditional polling would be to ask voters how important they consider those factors to be. While informative, the results — where voters describe factors as “somewhat important,” “very important,” and so on — can also be a bit vague.

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Mini-Brains Go Modular | Quanta Magazine

Mini-Brains Go Modular | Quanta Magazine | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

To create a good living replica of the human brain, your best hope may be to let “organoid” components assemble it for you. The human brain is routinely described as the most complex object in the known universe. It might therefore seem unlikely that pea-size blobs of brain cells growing in laboratory dishes could be more than fleetingly useful to neuroscientists. Nevertheless, many investigators are now excitedly cultivating these curious biological systems, formally called cerebral organoids and less formally known as mini-brains. With organoids, researchers can run experiments on how living human brains develop — experiments that would be impossible (or unthinkable) with the real thing. The cerebral organoids in existence today fall far short of earning the “brain” label, mini or otherwise. But a trio of recent publications suggests that cerebral-organoid science may be turning a corner — and that the future of such brain studies may depend less on trying to create tiny perfect replicas of whole brains and more on creating highly replicable modules of developing brain parts that can be snapped together like building blocks. Just as interchangeable parts helped make mass production and the Industrial Revolution possible, organoids that have consistent qualities and can be combined as needed may help to speed a revolution in understanding how the human brain develops.


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Che cosa sono i Pregiudizi Cognitivi? - Valerio Rosso

Che cosa sono i Pregiudizi Cognitivi? - Valerio Rosso | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
I Pregiudizi Cognitivi, Cognitive Bias in inglese, sono il motivo per il quale i nostri pensieri, sono spesso illogici e poco ancorati alla realtà.
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Intersezioni - Ipertesti - Ecosistemi - Ipercomplessità

Intersezioni - Ipertesti - Ecosistemi - Ipercomplessità | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Traiettorie e discontinuità di un sistema-mondo irreversibilmente policentrico… #interdipendenza #frammentazione #ipercomplessità Come sempre, senza “tempi di lettura” Percorsi - non lineari - d
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The European debt crisis: Defaults and market equilibrium |s the Eurozone Crisis Really a Crisis?

During the last two years, Europe has been facing a debt crisis, and Greece has been at its center. In response to the crisis, drastic actions have been taken, including the halving of Greek debt. Policy makers acted because interest rates for sovereign debt increased dramatically. High interest rates imply that default is likely due to economic conditions. High interest rates also increase the cost of borrowing and thus cause default to be likely. In equilibrium markets, economic conditions are used by the market participants to determine default risk and interest rates, and these statements are mutually compatible. If there is a departure from equilibrium, increasing interest rates may contribute to—rather than be caused by—default risk. Here we build a quantitative equilibrium model of sovereign default risk that, for the first time, is able to determine if markets are consistently set by economic conditions. We show that over a period of more than ten years from 2001 to 2012, the annually-averaged long-term interest rates of Greek debt are quantitatively related to the ratio of debt to GDP. The relationship shows that the market consistently expects default to occur if the Greek debt reaches twice the GDP. Our analysis does not preclude non-equilibrium increases in interest rates over shorter timeframes. We find evidence of such non-equilibrium fluctuations in a separate analysis. According to the equilibrium model, the date by which a half-default must occur is March 2013, almost one year after the actual debt write-down. Any acceleration of default by non-equilibrium fluctuations is significant for national and international interventions. The need for austerity or other measures and bailout costs would be reduced if market regulations were implemented to increase market stability to prevent the short term interest rate increases that make country borrowing more difficult. We similarly evaluate the timing of projected defaults without interventions for Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy to be March 2013, April 2014, May 2014, and July 2016, respectively. The markets consistently assign a country specific debt to GDP ratio at which default is expected. All defaults are mitigated by planned interventions.
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This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit

This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Attention is the new oil #watchout The aggressors are the architects of your digital world, and their weapons are the apps, news feeds, and notifications in your field of view every time you look at a screen. They are all attempting to capture your most scarce resource — your attention — and take it hostage for money. Your captive attention is worth billions to them in advertising.

ne evening in late October 2014, a doctor checked his own pulse and stepped onto a subway car in New York City. He had just returned home from a brief stint volunteering overseas, and was heading to Brooklyn to meet some friends at a bowling alley. He was looking forward to this break — earlier that day he had gone for a run around the city, grabbed coffee on the High Line, and eaten at a local meatball shop. When he woke up the next day exhausted with a slight fever, he called his employer. Within 24 hours, he would become the most most feared man in New York. His exact path through the city would be scrutinized by hundreds of people, the establishments he visited would be shuttered, and his friends and fiancée would be put into quarantine. Dr. Craig Spencer had contracted Ebola while he was treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. He was not contagious until long after he was put into quarantine. He followed protocol to the letter in reporting his symptoms and posed no threat to anyone around him while he was in public. He was a model patient — a fact readily shared by experts. This did not stop a media explosion declaring an imminent apocalypse. A frenzy of clickbait and terrifying narratives emerged as every major news entity raced to capitalize on the collective Ebola panic. The physical damage done by the disease itself was small. The hysteria, however — traveling instantly across the internet — shuttered schools, grounded flights, and terrified the nation. Social Media exploded around the topic, reaching 6,000 tweets per second, leaving the CDC and public health officials scrambling to curtail the misinformation spreading in all directions. The fear traveled as widely as the stories reporting it. The emotional response — and the media attached to it — generated billions of impressions for the companies reporting on it. Those billions were parlayed directly into advertising revenue. Before the hysteria had ended, millions of dollars worth of advertising real-estate attached to Ebola-related media had been bought and sold algorithmically to companies. The terror was far more contagious than the virus itself, and had the perfect network through which to propagate — a digital ecosystem built to spread emotional fear far and wide. I’m going to tell you a few things you probably already know Every time you open your phone or your computer, your brain is walking onto a battleground. The aggressors are the architects of your digital world, and their weapons are the apps, news feeds, and notifications in your field of view every time you look at a screen. They are all attempting to capture your most scarce resource — your attention — and take it hostage for money. Your captive attention is worth billions to them in advertising and subscription revenue. To do this, they need to map the defensive lines of your brain — your willpower and desire to concentrate on other tasks — and figure out how to get through them. You will lose this battle. You have already. The average person loses it dozens of times per day. This might sound familiar: In an idle moment you open your phone to check the time. 19 minutes later you regain consciousness in a completely random corner of your digital world: a stranger’s photo stream, a surprising news article, a funny YouTube clip. You didn’t mean to do that. What just happened? This is not your fault — it is by design. The digital rabbit hole you just tumbled down is funded by advertising, aimed at you. Almost every “free” app or service you use depends on this surreptitious process of unconsciously turning your eyeballs into dollars, and they have built sophisticated methods of reliably doing it. You don’t pay money for using these platforms, but make no mistake, you are paying for them — with your time, your attention, and your perspective. This is not a small, technical shift in the types of information you consume, the ads you see, or the apps you download. This has actually changed how you see the world. The War for Your Attention Before I go any further, let me assure you that this is not a list of grievances about the evils of technology. I am not a Luddite. Like much of humanity, I deeply value my devices as a helpful prosthesis for my memory, my productivity, and my ability to connect to the people I care about. This is instead a sober evaluation of how the strategies of digitally capturing our attention have altered us — our lives, our media, and our worldview. These incremental shifts have added up to enormous changes in our politics, our global outlook, and our ability to see each other as fellow humans. Many of the biggest problems we face in this moment as a society result from decisions being made by the hidden creators of our digital world — the designers, developers, and editors that create and curate the media we consume. These decisions are not made with malice. They are made behind analytics dashboards, split-testing panels, and walls of code that have turned you into a predictable asset — a user that can be mined for attention. They do this by focusing on one over-simplified metric, one that supports advertising as its primary source of revenue. This metric is called engagement, and emphasizing it — above all else — has subtly and steadily changed the way we look at the news, our politics, and each other. This article is one of a series exploring how these strategies of capturing our attention are influencing our lives. What follows is an exploration of how the primary artery of our factual information — the News — has been fundamentally altered by these methods. How? Let’s look to the recent past. The History of the New “The Media” as we know it is not that old. For most of our history the News was, literally, the plural of the ‘New’ thing(s) people heard about and shared, and was limited by physical proximity and word-of-mouth. Since the invention of the printing press, the news consisted of notes posted in public places and pamphlets distributed to the small number of people who could actually read them. Between the 18th and 19th centuries newspapers became fairly common, but were largely opinion rags containing political essays, sensationalized stories, and eventually muckraking. They were megaphones for people to exert political influence, and many had an extremely loose relationship with facts. World War 1 “Atrocity Propaganda” and news image featuring a German soldier executing a Belgian nurse During the lead up to World War I, unchecked propaganda from all sides in the news reached a fever-pitch, with every belligerent participating in a massive fight for public opinion. By the end of the war it was clear that information warfare was a powerful weapon — it could raise armies, incite violent mobs, and destabilize whole nations. In response to this systematic manipulation of the truth, there was a concerted effort to create an institution of fact-driven journalism beginning in the 1920's. This process was ushered forward by the advent of the first mass-media communication networks: national newspapers and national radio. These slowly gave way to television, and between these three new platforms, a global media system took hold — buoyed by the tenets of journalism. The news continued to have competitors in the battle for attention, and because of this it continued to flirt with hyperbole. The drive to sell (papers, ads, products) is naturally somewhat at odds with the idea of editorial accuracy and measured factual reporting. Journalistic standards, libel laws, and industry-shaming became common mechanisms to help curb this slide into sensationalism. Yet something happened recently when the news met the internet and began migrating into our pockets: it started losing the battle for our attention. The Rise of Algorithmic Engagement Today the news needs to compete with everything else in our digital life — thousands of apps and millions of websites. More than anything, it now competes with Social Media — one of the most successful attention-capturing machines ever created. Social Media is one of the primary reasons there has been a double-digit drop in newspaper revenues, and why journalism as an industry is in steep decline. It is now how a majority of Americans get news. The biggest player in Social Media is Facebook, and the biggest part of Facebook is the News Feed. The algorithm behind the News Feed is regularly tweaked and historically opaque — it is one of the most significant and influential pieces of code ever written. You can think of the algorithm as the News Feed Editor. (Twitter, Snapchat and Youtube all have their own editorial algorithms, but we’re focusing on Facebook here because of its sheer dominance.) The News Feed Editor is a robot editor, and it is far better at capturing attention than normal human editors. It can predict what you’ll click on better than anyone you know. It’s what professor Pablo Boczkowski of Northwestern has called “the greatest editor in the history of humanity.” A simplified version of the Facebook News Feed Editor’s Algorithm. Source: TC It shows you stories, tracks your responses, and filters out the ones that you are least likely to respond to. It follows the videos you watch, the photos you hover over, and every link you click on. It is mapping your brain, seeking patterns of engagement. It uses this map to create a private personal pipeline of media just for you. In doing this it has essentially become the editor-in-chief of a personalized newspaper that 2 billion people read every month. By traditional journalistic standards, however, the News Feed Editor is a very, very bad editor. It doesn’t differentiate between factual information and things that merely look like facts (as we saw with the massive explosion of viral hoaxes during the 2016 election). It doesn’t identify content that is profoundly biased, or stories that are designed to propagate fear, mistrust, or outrage. The News Feed Editor has literally changed the way news is written. It has become the number one driver of traffic to news sites globally, and that has shifted the behavior of content creators. To get a story picked up by the News Feed Editor, news producers (and human editors) have changed their strategies to stay relevant and stem losses. To do this, many news organizations have adopted a traffic-at-all-costs mentality, pushing for more engagement at the expense of what we would traditionally call editorial accuracy. This is the reason many of the news stories you see today lead with over-the-top, dramatic, attention-grabbing statements — they are trying to engage with you and rise above the competition. This is the ‘inside baseball’ of the news industry. They’ve been losing the battle for attention, and they have become desperate. What The News Does To Stay Alive Hacking your attention with emotional packaging Emotional responses are one of the most prominent ways to gauge the value of a post, and the easiest things for the News Feed Editor to map, measure, and provide more of. These are emotional hijacks — based on affective engagement. The News Feed tends to prioritize content with these affective emotional hacks — they lead to more clicks, likes, shares, and comments. As content producers compete for this type of affective engagement, this battle for attention creates what tech ethicist Tristan Harris has called “a race to the bottom of the brain stem.” Sensationalized headlines are a huge part of this. These news items are stickier and gain more traction with the News Feed Editor. They propagate faster and drive more traffic than their less hyperbolic counterparts. A sample of top performing word series from a recent study of 100 million headlines includes: Tears of joy Make you cry Give you goosebumps Is too cute Shocked to see This is called ‘Headline Packaging’. It’s the way in which a news story is contextualized, or packaged, specifically to garner more clicks. The person who writes the headline is rarely the author of the story itself. As Fusion editor Felix Salmon recently wrote, “The amount of time and effort put into ‘packaging’ a story can significantly exceed the amount of time and effort that went into writing it in the first place.” Packaging is done through A/B testing, which is a way to hack your way to more traffic. By testing dozens of different headlines and measuring which ones get the most clicks, the process of writing a headline can be abstracted into a game. The goal? Capture as much attention as possible. There are powerful tools for doing this packaging, and both Facebook and Twitter encourage it — they call it optimization. With these tools and a small amount of creativity, a factual story can become provocative or sensational simply depending on how the headline is written. The problem with this is that the majority of people who see these posts on social media don’t actually click through to read the articles themselves. For many users, the headline itself becomes the story, even if it doesn’t resemble the original factual event. You can quickly see how these strategies can be used to turn content hyper-partisan, divisive and/or outrageous. As a former VP at Elite Daily recently told me, “It’s not our job to challenge political opinions. It’s our job to ride your politics as far as we can.” This is no secret in the publishing world: partisanship is an amazing driver of engagement. People prefer to click, comment, and share the things that make them feel good — and stories that confirm beliefs feel good. How It’s Changing Us When perceived threats become “realities” Engagement optimization has distorted our perception of threats at a very high level. For most of our species’ history, available information tended to be really helpful for our survival. If you heard a lot of stories about wild dog attacks, you learned to be vigilant about wild dogs. This is due to something in human nature called the availability heuristic. It is a shortcut for our brains which makes us believe: “If it comes to mind easily, it must be true.” Since available information tended to be our best indicator of probability, our brains evolved this system to help us know what to expect from the world around us. This became overly pronounced with threats, as the advantages of being afraid of things that might kill us far outweighed the costs (for our ancestors, dying was a lot worse than just being overly cautious). But today, available information about threats doesn’t resemble reality at all — it is primarily a reflection of the media we consume. Let’s look at the US crime rate: Source: Pew/Gallup Regardless of the dramatic drop in crime over the last 30 years, more than half the population believes crime is worse than it was in years past. Media (and now Social Media) is a major component in the assumptions that inform our perspective. A focus on crime in news reporting doesn’t just change our opinions on crime in general — it makes us feel far more threatened than we should be. For most of us, perceptions are reality. When we see the world as a dangerous place, it changes our behaviors and our attitudes, regardless of the actual threat. How our media system fuels our fears A critical example of this is terrorism, which today feels more prominent than at any time in modern history. Reading the front page of any major newspaper suggests that it is one of the top causes of death worldwide. Yet terrorism related homicides are a tiny fraction of the overall homicide rate, particularly in the US. There is profound asymmetry in coverage of terrorist attacks vs. other types of homicides, as illustrated by a recent 2 year sampling of front-page stories collected from the New York Times. Source: Priceonomics/Nemil Dalal Terrorism is a powerful emotional event. One that seems to insult the very foundations of civil society and human dignity. There are many legitimate reasons for us to be disgusted by such attacks, and for us to cover and discuss them publicly. Yet this is the uncomfortable truth of terrorism’s prominence in our lives: We have built an instant distribution system for its actual intent — Terror. The fear of it far outstrips the likelihood of it happening to us or anyone we know. More ominously, the excessive coverage of these attacks is often the exact desired outcome of those who commit them. The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) took advantage of this hyperbolic media ecosystem during their rapid rise to prominence in just three short years beginning in 2014. Understanding they were fighting a battle for attention, they prioritized their brand just as much as their military efforts, building a media wing to push boundaries and exaggerate their exploits as winning, sustaining, and growing. This effort to dominate the media narrative through horrifying acts built them into a principal threat to the west, despite the fact they had a fairly small standing army, limited resources, and almost no international support. Media coverage allowed ISIS to use their narrative to recruit fighters from around the world to both Syria and Iraq, as well as inspiring attacks by disaffected individuals with no formal ties to the actual organization. ISIS and entities like it know they are battling for attention, and have learned how to play the game. The sad truth is that a terrorist attack, a horrifying massacre, or even just a visceral threat — each of these will make real money for a media company. The media has become a spotlight shining on these individual stories, casting a huge shadow that is far more terrifying than the actual events. How our media fuels outrage and changes politics The same dynamic plays out in the political arena. During the 2016 election cycle, CNN made over a billion dollars in gross profit above the previous year driven primarily by advertising attached to news about the most outrageous candidate: Donald Trump. This was far from the first time he explored running for president. In 1987, 2000, 2004, and 2011, Trump publicly considered a bid for the nation’s highest office. In 1999 he officially entered the race as a Reform Party candidate, testing his platform and evaluating the response, ultimately deciding he couldn’t get the traction necessary to win. After his unsuccessful run in 1999 Newsweek noted there simply wasn’t enough anger in the country to propel an independent candidate to victory. His tone has not changed much in the last three decades. What was different about those previous years? One key distinction was this: The media wasn’t optimized for the kind of outrage necessary to provide coverage for a candidate like Trump. This was the mechanism that came to define the 2016 campaign: the more outrageous his words, the more coverage he received. The more coverage he received, the more viable his candidacy became. The analytics firm Mediaquant estimated that between October 2015 and November 2016, Trump received $5.6 Billion dollars in “free” earned media from this strategy, three times his nearest rival. Snapshot of primary season media coverage, March 14–23, 2016, Source: Ev Boyle/USC Annenberg Having media platforms at your disposal is a massive advantage in politics. In any election, one of the principal challenges is rising above your competitors and getting noticed. These stories about candidates traveled faster and farther on Social Media than anywhere else. Facebook and Twitter — like CNN — saw massive traffic and revenue spikes thanks to the sensationalized news propagated on their platforms and the attention they captured. Trump’s ideology, attitude, and statements played upon anxiety about global threats. The legitimacy of his candidacy was partially dependent upon many of those threats being perceived as real. We Have Democratized Propaganda for Profit It’s impossible to look at the media system as a separate thing from functioning democracies. Our opinions are always affected by the news, and our voting decisions reflect that knowledge. If you look at society like a big collective human organism, the news media is something like a central nervous system. It helps us respond to threats, share information, and figure out what needs to be fixed. How this nervous system is controlled and influenced dictates a tremendous amount about how society works — what we care about, who we protect, who we fight. Throughout the 20th century, politicians, moguls, and academics knew the value of this influence. It had a name: propaganda. Propaganda required money, talent, and infrastructure to create and distribute. It was an expensive and blunt instrument for top-down control. Today we have democratized propaganda — anyone can use these strategies to hijack attention and promote a misleading narrative, a hyperbolic story, or an outrageous ideology — as long as it captures attention and makes a profit for advertisers. Journalism — the historical counter to propaganda — has become the biggest casualty in this algorithmic war for our attention. And without it, we are watching the dissolution of a measured common reality. This Isn’t Going Away In many ways these algorithms are a reflection of us. They are mapping natural human behaviors and tendencies — what we’ll click, what we’ll be outraged by, what we’ll love. They are part of us. But these maps include some of our worst biases, irrational fears, and bad habits. We must design these algorithms to account for them. We have inadvertently created a media system that monetizes many of our flaws. It will not go away — we cannot simply put it back in the box. The knowledge of how to reliably hijack the human brain for attention is one of the most significant new trends of the 21st century. This discovery, like every large-scale invention in our history, has unexpected outcomes that are difficult to predict. If we wish to continue to live in a common reality, we must be willing to look at these outcomes with a clear head. Addressing our biggest issues as a species — from climate change, to pandemics, to poverty — requires us to have a common narrative of the honest problems we face: Real threats. Real reasons for outrage. Without this, we are undermining our greatest strength — our unique ability to cooperate and share the careful and important burdens of being human. Some Thoughts on Solutions I have been collecting them — and they are more than can fit here. The News Feed Editor and others like it are still in their infancy. As we learn more about how these tools of algorithmic engagement skew our reality, no single company is to blame. Google, Apple, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and literally every major media provider are players in this arms race to capture our attention. The owners of these tools have enormous influence: on the media, on our lives, and ultimately on a piece of the collective psyche of humanity. That influence needs to be understood — and discussed — as we move into a future with real uncertainty. In my next post, I’ll explore exactly how, and what we can do to help them fix it. Very special thanks to Nemil Dalal, Pablo Boczkowski of Northwestern, and Ev Boyle at USC Annenberg who provided data and insights used in this article. Thank you for reading. The deep irony of optimizing this post for engagement was not lost on me. If you found this important and/or insightful, please heart it below—it helps. :) MediaTechTrumpNewsFacebook 1.1K 87 Follow Go to the profile of Tobias Rose-Stockwell Tobias Rose-Stockwell In search of hard questions. Seeking human improvement. Follow The Mission The Mission Your #1 Source for Accelerated Learning SHARE 1.1K The Mission Never miss a story from The Missi

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Question d'intuition - Antoine & Zoé - Episode 1 : Qu'est ce que l'intuition ?

Suivez les aventures d'Antoine et Zoé dans leurs questionnements sur l'intuition, et découvrez les réponses d'Alexis Champion et Marie-Estelle Couval d

Via Philippe Vallat
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Philippe Vallat's curator insight, July 14, 10:33 AM

L'intuition expliqué simplement: bravo à l'équipe de IrisIC!

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Big Picture of Big Data - Top 10 Big Data Trends in 2017 - DataFlair

Big Picture of Big Data - Top 10 Big Data Trends in 2017 - DataFlair | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Big data trends for 2017-top trends of big data analytics to understand big data predictions in 2017 for data scientists, data analysts and data engineers.
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A role for goal-oriented autonomous agents in modeling people-environment interactions in forest recreation

Abstract Increased demand by the public for diverse and quality recreation opportunities has placed considerable pressure on the natural resource and its management. This problem is compounded by a general lack of understanding of interactions between people and forest recreation environments that result in wide variations in perceptions, expectations, and patterns of choice and use. Emerging technologies, such as distributed artificial intelligence, provide a mechanism to integrate advances in recreation research with a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based environment. Distributed artificial intelligence provides the foundation for a modeling system to simulate the interactions between recreators and their environment. Despite the work done by many researchers in the development of object-oriented modeling and simulation languages, GIS, nonhuman agent design and simulations, no single system has been constructed to handle the complexity of goal-oriented autonomous human agents seeking recreational opportunities in natural environments. This paper describes a theoretical framework and a model for simulating hiker behavior in a natural environment using intelligent agents, discrete event simulation (DEVS) and GIS data. The results of hiker interactions are summarized to provide feedback on the implications for alternative recreation management planning.
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WHAT DO WE KNOW THROUGH IMPROVISATION?

In this paper, which is exploratory in character, I address the question of whether, how, and what we know through artistic improvisation. Has artistic improvisation a specific cognitive supply? Can this alleged cognitive supply contribute to the aesthetic merit of the performance? And how? In order to answer these questions I will first explain which is exactly the problem we face. Secondly, I will try to give some suggestions to solve this problem.
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CONSTRAINT-DIRECTED IMPROVISATION FOR EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES By JOHN ERIC ANDERSON

ABSTRACT Existing approaches to planning in Artificial Intelligence (such as Universal and Classical Planning) are designed for very specific types of activities, and are largely inapplicable to areas outside their narrow ranges. In particular, everyday activities that are simple for humans, such as making a meal or getting from place to place, require long-term goal-directed and timely responses that are far beyond the bounds of these traditional approaches. This dissertation examines the nature of the everyday activities and develops a computational architecture for an agent able to participate in such activities. An analysis of everyday activities shows them to be difficult tasks made artificially simple through extensive activity-specific knowledge possessed by the agent performing them. I argue that existing approaches are unsuitable to everyday activity because they rely too heavily on compiled knowledge and fail to adequately apply the background knowledge from which these compilations were originally made. To address everyday activities, I present a theory of improvisation, a new approach that views the problem as satisficing intelligent control: providing resource-bounded responses to the environment in light of the agent’s previous experience and its current and future intentions for activity. This process is based on the use of both heavily compiled routines the agent is accustomed to following, and an extensive collection of background knowledge used to apply those routines flexibly. The agent can rely on its routines in normative situations or when time is too scarce to spend examining the reasons behind its routines, and can conversely rely more heavily on background knowledge as situations become less normative. This allows the agent to take advantage of regularities in its environment and respond flexibly in less familiar situations. I then present an architecture embodying the improvisational approach based on the use of constraint-directed reasoning. This methodology provides a flexible control mechanism that allows the agent to respond as dynamically as necessary for the circumstances in which it finds itself. Implemented examples of improvised behaviour are also shown, using a simulation tool developed in conjunction with this research. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.46.7382&rep=rep1&type=pdf
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Molecules react to their environment

Molecules react to their environment | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Does adaptation lead to a molecular Darwinism? Le Chatelier’s principle is neither hard to state nor to understand. But it’s kind of hard to find the right words. It’s typically expressed as something like: ‘If a dynamic equilibrium is disturbed by changing the conditions, the position of equilibrium moves to counteract the change.’ But there is a clear implication of intentionality here: it’s as though the system is determined to keep its balance. Sometimes, Le Chatelier’s principle is more or less equated with homeostasis in physiology – the maintenance of a steady state in a changing environment. Some homeostasis, such as pH regulation, does indeed involve the kind of shift in chemical equilibria described by Le Chatelier’s principle. The confusing thing is that biological homeostasis is also a survival mechanism and therefore connected to Darwinian adaptation. We have evolved sweat glands, yet the regulation of body temperature by sweating can be explained by purely physical laws. What this really means is that ‘adaptation to the environment’ has more than one meaning. It can refer to the gradual accommodation to a niche explained by natural selection in self-replicating systems, or to the instantaneous response to fluctuating environmental conditions due to physicochemical principles. These two processes interact, but one might have thought we could keep them distinct. After seeing a paper by Jordan Horowitz and Jeremy England of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US, I’m not so sure.

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Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, August 14, 3:08 AM
Highly sophisticated piece (on the base (and extrapolating from) of a specified chemical experiment) about 2 things: (1) whether evolution is explaining evolution or some more basic physical/chemical/biological processes are also there to act and (for me at least) (2) whether equilibrium states are so general and universal we think they are... About point (2)... just thinking about it some days whether human race is not being left behind by the technological environment (in work and in privat life) it created itself on the first place... It seems to me that we are just living the moment of finally and irreversibly leaving our possibility to ever find a new balance in our life... not because we are individually not capable of finding it but because our constitution's incapability...
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Digital voting could revolutionise democracy, but it might come at a cost

Digital voting could revolutionise democracy, but it might come at a cost | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Digital technology could boost voter participation, but it comes with risks.  According to an unpublished “kitchen table survey,” conducted before last November’s presidential election in the United States, approximately 95% of the predominantly Hispanic members of one of America’s largest domestic unions preferred the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to her Republican opponent Donald Trump. Yet less than 3% of that union’s members actually planned to vote. The reason came down to economics.

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#MacronLeaks changed political campaigning. Why Macron succeeded and Clinton failed

#MacronLeaks changed political campaigning. Why Macron succeeded and Clinton failed | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Using technology to counteract computational propaganda may be our only hope to preserve democracy as we know it. And Macron’s campaign is a prime example of that.
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How artificial intelligence silently took over democracy

How artificial intelligence silently took over democracy | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

It is easy to blame AI for the world’s wrongs and for lost elections. But the tools that are used to mislead and misinform could equally be re-purposed to support democracy.

There has never been a better time to be a politician. But it’s an even better time to be a machine learning engineer working for a politician. Throughout modern history, political candidates have had a limited number of tools to take the temperature of the electorate. More often than not, they’ve had to rely on instinct rather than insight when running for office. Big data can now be used to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign. The next level will be using artificial intelligence (AI) in election campaigns and political life. Machine learning systems can already predict which US congressional bills will pass by making algorithmic assessments of the text of the bill as well as other variables, such as how many sponsors it has and even the time of year it is being presented to congress. Machine intelligence solutions are also now carefully deployed in election campaigns to engage voters and help them be more informed about important political issues.

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Nudge Italia — TEMPO DI VISUALIZZAZIONE : 1:34 LE DIMENSIONI...

TEMPO DI VISUALIZZAZIONE : 1:34 LE DIMENSIONI CONTANO Ecco un breve filmato esemplificativo dell’intervento di nudging che abbiamo pubblicato sul nostro blog il 13 aprile 2017!
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In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium

In Game Theory, No Clear Path to Equilibrium | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

In 1950, John Nash — the mathematician later featured in the book and film “A Beautiful Mind” — wrote a two-page paper that transformed the theory of economics. His crucial, yet utterly simple, idea was that any competitive game has a notion of equilibrium: a collection of strategies, one for each player, such that no player can win more by unilaterally switching to a different strategy. Nash’s equilibrium concept, which earned him a Nobel Prize in economics in 1994, offers a unified framework for understanding strategic behavior not only in economics but also in psychology, evolutionary biology and a host of other fields. Its influence on economic theory “is comparable to that of the discovery of the DNA double helix in the biological sciences,” wrote Roger Myerson of the University of Chicago, another economics Nobelist. When players are at equilibrium, no one has a reason to stray. But how do players get to equilibrium in the first place? In contrast with, say, a ball rolling downhill and coming to rest in a valley, there is no obvious force guiding game players toward a Nash equilibrium.

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Multiscale Variety in Complex Systems Yaneer Bar-Yam New England Complex Systems Institute

Multiscale Variety in Complex Systems Yaneer Bar-Yam New England Complex Systems Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA 

Technical Abstract The Law of Requisite Variety is a mathematical theorem relating the number of control states of a system to the number of variations in control that is necessary for effective response. The Law of Requisite Variety does not consider the components of a system and how they must act together to respond effectively. Here we consider the additional requirement of scale of response and the effect of coordinated versus uncoordinated response as a key attribute of complex systems. The components of a system perform a task, with a number of such components needed to act in concert to perform subtasks. We apply the resulting generalization—a Multiscale Law of Requisite Variety—to understanding effective function of complex biological and social systems. This allows us to formalize an understanding of the limitations of hierarchical control structures and the inadequacy of central control and planning in the solution of many complex social problems and the functioning of complex social organizations, e.g. the military, healthcare and education systems.
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Do we see reality as it is? | Donald Hoffman

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this eve

Via Sandeep Gautam
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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, November 27, 2016 12:33 PM
Perception as not being evolved to see the truth!