Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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Brain cells' multitasking key to understanding overall brain function | Machines Like Us

Brain cells' multitasking key to understanding overall brain function | Machines Like Us | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

A region of the brain known to play a key role in visual and spatial processing has a parallel function: sorting visual information into categories, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago. ....

"There has long been a tendency to look at the many distinct anatomical areas of the cerebral cortex of the brain and to assume that each area is like a specialized module that plays a very specific function." Freedman said. "Our results support the growing sense that most, if not all, of these brain areas have multiple overlapping roles."

A brain that includes such overlapping functional centers may be more efficient, Freedman suggests. "It makes mapping these regions more complicated for scientists like us, but it may boost the brain's capacity. If each area can do a number of different things, you can squeeze a lot more function into the same space."

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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

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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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09 Heuristics and Cognitive Biases

Dacia Duster Prestige Test ,New model Dacia Duster Prestige testing Video viral din Romania si intreaga lume Top Viral Videos of this Month daily epic win 2017 Most Viral Whatsapp Videos Epic Win Compilation 2017 viral Romania video Romania clipuri

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NEUROMARKETING. L'ABC delle neuroeconomie.

NEUROMARKETING. L'ABC delle neuroeconomie. | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Chi non ha mai ceduto al fascino irresistibile di un acquisto che lo stava chiamando dalla vetrina? E chi non ha mai impugnato la busta con la stessa fierezza di una top model in passerella, contento di essere entrato in possesso di qualcosa che “gli serviva”? La legge indiscussa del Neuromarketing afferma che un consumatore acquista sotto l’impulso di un’emozione, quella forza silenziosa rinchiusa nel subconscio, che influenza gran parte dei nostri processi decisionali razionali. Il Neuromarketing sfrutta i metodi e le scoperte della Neuroscienza per studiare le risposte dei clienti agli stimoli d’acquisto e direzionarli nelle loro scelte. Questo particolare ramo della biologia ci insegna che l’atto decisionale è realizzato dal cervello primitivo: l’acquisto è spesso condizionato da stimoli e piaceri e l’emozione è la principale forza motivante. Partendo da ciò, questa nuova disciplina si serve di quelle regole della mente messe in evidenza dalla Neuroscienza per elaborare tecniche di persuasione efficaci.Il Neuromarketing è una disciplina che si propone di individuare tutti quei processi che inducono un consumatore all'acquisto di un prodotto. 

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Will big data change how you use social media?

Will big data change how you use social media? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
For marketers and other companies that are heavily involved in data, keeping up with the latest trends is necessary to ensure maximum efficiency and profits. Big data is undoubtedly going to be a major point of focus in the coming years. Big data and social media are a match made in heaven for companies but what does that mean for the average consumer? What exactly is big data? Anyone who is confused by this term should simply look at the name for an answer. Big data is exactly what it sounds like: massive volumes of data. Businesses are concerned with big data because it requires new methods of interaction. Every part of the process including collecting, storing, and analyzing requires a new approach. There are three main things to consider whenever big data is concerned:

Via Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com
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Opinion | What Cookies and Meth Have in Common

Opinion | What Cookies and Meth Have in Common | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Modern humans have designed the perfect environment for drug and food addiction.

As a psychiatrist, I have yet to meet a patient who enjoys being addicted to drugs or compulsively overeating. Why would anyone continue to use recreational drugs despite the medical consequences and social condemnation? What makes someone eat more and more in the face of poor health? One answer is that modern humans have designed the perfect environment to create both of these addictions. No one will be shocked to learn that stress makes people more likely to search for solace in drugs or food (it’s called “comfort food” for a reason). Yet the myth has persisted that addiction is either a moral failure or a hard-wired behavior — that addicts are either completely in command or literally out of their minds. Now we have a body of research that makes the connection between stress and addiction definitive. More surprising, it shows that we can change the path to addiction by changing our environment. Continue reading the main story Richard A. Friedman Mental health, addiction, human behavior and neuroscience. Mr. Trump: Stop Tweeting and Go Back to Bed JUN 5 The World’s Most Beautiful Mathematical Equation APR 15 Yes, Your Sleep Schedule Is Making You Sick MAR 10 Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill? FEB 17 LSD to Cure Depression? Not So Fast FEB 13 See More » RECENT COMMENTS Cold Eye July 2, 2017 It would be interesting to know what the social costs for individual addictions are. For example, do the healthcare costs associated with... David Greenspan July 2, 2017 I am eager to see the results of Volkow's investigation in to the role of the media and advertising industry in promoting use disorder... Anonymous July 2, 2017 Don Solomon- You made a good observationYes, ancient hindu and Buddhism scriptures say a lot of wise things, if one is willing to open ones... SEE ALL COMMENTS Neuroscientists have found that food and recreational drugs have a common target in the “reward circuit” of the brain, and that the brains of humans and other animals who are stressed undergo biological changes that can make them more susceptible to addiction.

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Frontiers | Empowerment As Replacement for the Three Laws of Robotics | Robotics and AI

The greater ubiquity of robots creates a need for generic guidelines for robot behaviour. We focus less on how a robot can technically achieve a predefined goal, and more on what a robot should do in the first place. Particularly, we are interested in the question how a heuristic should look like which motivates the robot's behaviour in interaction with human agents. We make a concrete, operational proposal as to how the information-theoretic concept of empowerment can be used as a generic heuristic to quantify concepts such as self-preservation, protection of the human partner and responding to human actions. While elsewhere we studied involved single-agent scenarios in detail, here we present proof-of-principle scenarios demonstrating how empowerment interpreted in light of these perspectives allows one to specify core concepts with a similar aim as Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics in an operational way. Importantly, this route does not depend on having to establish an explicit verbalized understanding of human language and conventions in the robots. Also, it incorporates the ability to take into account a rich variety of different situations and types of robotic embodiment.
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Economics researchers just asked 150,000 people how they're feeling, not what they're earning

Economics researchers just asked 150,000 people how they're feeling, not what they're earning | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Stress, anger, and happiness levels might tell us more about the economy than inflation or GDP

In 2016, researchers interviewed nearly 150,000 people in 142 countries about their day. Did you smile or laugh a lot? Did you experience enjoyment? Did you learn or do something interesting? Did you feel stress, anger, physical pain? They published the answers in a big report released this week called the Global Emotions Report. Asking these kinds of questions could have allowed economists to more accurately predict huge social changes like Brexit, the boss of the company that published the report said. In the run up to the referendum, the UK looked like it was doing okay, by the measures economists normally use. The country's 'wealth' (or its GDP What's this? future-icon-09') was growing at about 2 per cent and unemployment had dropped below 5 per cent. What they weren't paying attention to was the emotional state of the country – things like, for example, a 15 per cent decline in the number of people rating their lives as ‘thriving’. And sometimes, it's how people feel about the economy that spurs their decisions more than just what they're told about how things are.

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La post verità è una bolla

La post verità è una bolla | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Pubblichiamo stralci del paper “Scorciatoie mentali, bolle e post-verità: la sfera pubblica 3.0”, di Giuseppe A. Veltri a cura del think tank Volta. Veltri è professore di Metodologia della ricerca presso il dipartimento di Sociologia e Ricerca sociale all’Università di Trento. Nel 2011, Eli Parisier pubblicò un libro intitolato “The Filter Bubble: what the Internet is hiding from you” in cui l’autrice discuteva gli effetti sociali della diffusione di filtri personalizzati nella ‘dieta informativa’ delle persone. La sua argomentazione procedeva in questo modo: il mondo online ha dato alle persone accesso a una quantità di informazione sterminata ma allo stesso tempo ha creato il problema di come poter selezionare ciò che è rilevante e utile per ciascuno. Avendo tempo e attenzione limitati, trovare o ottenere delle informazioni rilevanti per una persona diventa un aspetto importante rispetto al navigare enormi quantità di “rumore”. Per questa ragione, tutti i principali attori tecnologici che operano nella rete hanno investito tempo e denaro nel creare dei filtri che potessero costruire un flusso di informazioni rilevante per ognuno. L’esempio principale è Google che nel 2009 introdusse la sua “personalised search” (Google, 2009). In sostanza, l’uso del motore di ricerca di Google venne modificato per mostrare i risultati di una ricerca in base alla storia di navigazione web di ogni utente. In questo modo, se per esempio io fossi un negazionista del riscaldamento globale con una storia di visitare siti negazionisti, se cercassi “riscaldamento globale” su Google, i primi siti che sarebbero mostrati nella lista dei risultati sarebbero siti negazionisti. Diventa chiaro ora perché Eli Pariser parla di “filter bubble” (la bolla del filtro): in questo modo, ognuno si ritrova in una bolla in cui riceve solo informazioni che confermano ciò che credono e quindi senza essere esposti a punti di vista differenti.

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7 consigli per prendere le decisioni giuste (in qualsiasi ambito) - Centodieci

7 consigli per prendere le decisioni giuste (in qualsiasi ambito) - Centodieci | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Tutti noi, che ci piaccia o meno, siamo soggetti a bias cognitivi che impediscono – o limitano fortemente – la nostra capacità di prendere decisioni e di agire come soggetti completamente razionali. Questo tipo di bias si ripercuote sia sulla nostra capacità personale di compiere azioni sia sulle organizzazioni di cui facciamo parte, impedendoci, molto spesso, di pensare e pianificare in modo opportunamente strategico. Non ne siete del tutto convinti? La letteratura psicologica è molto ampia e presenta numerose testimonianze dei processi che entrano in gioco all’interno della presa di decisione: tendiamo a considerarci maggiormente infallibili rispetto agli altri, siamo pervasi da un senso di ottimismo immotivato quando si tratta di valutare le nostre performance, non siamo mai obiettivi, valutiamo le cose che possediamo meglio di altre di valore superiore per il semplice fatto che queste ci appartengono, sottostimiamo i rischi e prendiamo decisioni sconvenienti per motivazioni per nulla razionali…Se non possiamo agire sui processi automatici che orientano i nostri pensieri e la nostra capacità di decisone, possiamo divenire dei decisori consapevoli.

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Intrigued by the linguistics in Arrival? Here’s what to check out next

Intrigued by the linguistics in Arrival? Here’s what to check out next | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Recommendations for after Arrival: more linguistic sci fi stories, language puzzles to solve, creating languages, pop linguistics blogs, books, videos, podcastsIntrigued by the linguistics in Arrival? Here’s what to check out next Arrival is a movie starring Amy Adams as a linguistics professor who’s called on to figure out how to talk to aliens. Far from a hand-wave-y universal translator like we often get in science fiction, the process of figuring out the alien language in Arrival is a vital part of the plot. The seven-tentacled heptapods of Arrival are fictional. But linguistics is real and real linguists do approach language “like a mathematician.” So if you’re walking out of that theatre wondering how to get more of it, I have some recommendations for you:

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Processo decisionale del giudice: aspetti cognitivi delle decisioni che fanno sentenza

Processo decisionale del giudice: aspetti cognitivi delle decisioni che fanno sentenza | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Anche in Tribunale come nella realtà quotidiana, scorciatoie di pensiero, pregiudizi, background del giudice possono influenzare il suo processo decisionale. Come funziona il processo decisionale del giudice Simon, economista, psicologo e informatico statunitense, premio Nobel per l’economia nel 1978, disse che il processo decisionale è un’attività cognitiva in cui vengono attivati meccanismi volti alla selezione di un corso d’azione tra quelli possibili, che consenta di ottenere un risultato soddisfacente (Simon 1956). I meccanismi coinvolti nella presa di decisione sono del tutto analoghi a quelli implicati nella soluzione dei problemi, ma in quest’ultimo caso non viene selezionata un’alternativa bensì viene generata una strategia idonea al raggiungimento dello scopo indicato dal solutore. Secondo Simon (1976) tale processo decisionale consta di tre fasi principali. La prima è quella in cui avviene la raccolta di informazioni sul contesto del problema; la seconda fase riguarda l’esplorazione e l’analisi delle formulazioni alternative del problema; la terza consiste nella selezione della situazione problematica che dovrà essere risolta. Più recentemente (Bonini-Rumiati 1992) sono state meglio articolate le fasi del processo decisionale. La decisione prevede una fase di diagnosi, corrispondente ad una sorta di categorizzazione del problema, una fase di strutturazione o di editing del problema decisionale, in cui il decisore si fa un’idea più precisa riguardo alle possibili azioni da intraprendere, una fase di elaborazione in cui vengono messi in atto quei processi che permettono di adottare le modalità di soluzione del problema decisionale, infine, la scelta e il controllo delle conseguenze della scelta medesima. Analisi, quindi, che ben si adatta all’esame di una situazione cognitivamente complessa come il processo penale

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How neurons use crowdsourcing to make decisions

When many individual neurons collect data, how do they reach a unanimous decision? New research from a collective computation group suggests a two-phase process.

How do we make decisions? Or rather, how do our neurons make decisions for us? Do individual neurons have a strong say or is the voice in the neural collective? One way to think about this question is to ask how many of my neurons you would have to observe to read my mind. If you can predict I am about to say the word "grandma" by watching one of my neurons then we could say our decisions can be attributed to single, perhaps "very vocal," neurons. In neuroscience such neurons are called "grandmother" neurons after it was proposed in the 1960's that there may be single neurons that uniquely respond to complex and important percepts like a grandmother's face. On the other hand, if you can only read my mind by polling many of my neurons then it would appear the decision a collective one, distributed across hundreds, thousands, or even millions of neurons. A big debate in neuroscience is whether single-neuron encoding or distributed encoding is most relevant for understanding how the brain functions.

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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

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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, November 27, 2016 12:33 PM
Perception as not being evolved to see the truth!
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The Science of How Poverty Harms the Brain

The Science of How Poverty Harms the Brain | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

The stress of poverty can change the brain in ways that further disadvantage the poor. We already know the poor are getting poorer. The proportion of American adults living in low income families increased from 25 percent in 1971 to 29 percent in 2011. And growing up poor ups the chances that you'll also be poor as an adult. But neuroscientists are beginning to see this trend on a new level as they study the impacts of low socioeconomic status on childhood brain development. .


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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, July 17, 7:03 AM
Sad but true; poverty has a lasting effect on brain!
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I big data e l’intelligenza artificiale mettono in pericolo la nostra libertà?

I big data e l’intelligenza artificiale mettono in pericolo la nostra libertà? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Singapore è considerata oggi come un perfetto esempio di città-stato gestita sulla base dei dati. Ciò che è iniziato come un programma per proteggere i suoi cittadini dal terrorismo, ha finito per influenzare la politica economica e le decisioni sull’immigrazione nonché la programmazione scolastica. La Cina sta seguendo a ruota. Molto presto ogni cittadino cinese riceverà una sorta di punteggio che sarà la base per ottenere prestiti, offerte di lavoro, permessi per visitare altri paesi, ecc. Questo genere di monitoraggio comprenderà ovviamente anche il comportamento in Rete. Ma la Cina è diversa, direte voi. Bene, vogliamo parlare della “patria della democrazia”, cioè degli USA? L’agenzia per la sicurezza nazionale (la mitica NSA) attraverso il programma PRISMA ha (o ha avuto — ma in questo secondo caso significa che potrà ancora averlo) accesso diretto ai sistemi di Google, Facebook, Apple e altri giganti tecnologici. Il programma consente (o ha consentito — vedi sopra) di raccogliere tutti i dati di ricerca, navigazione, email, file transfer e chat. Tutto di tutti. Oppure vogliamo parlare dell’equivalente inglese, il “Karma Police”? Tutto di tutti anche in questo caso. Qui potete trovare un elenco su Wikipedia dei programi di sorveglianza di massa che in qualche modo sono già noti. C’è anche l’Unione Europea. Tutto di tutti all’ennesima potenza.

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Improvvisazione. Ontologia di una pratica artistica » Il rasoio di Occam - MicroMega

Il termine ‘improvvisazione’ ha connotazioni semantiche tendenzialmente negative. Che s’intenda l’azione dell’improvvisare o il suo risultato, nel linguaggio ordinario esso spesso sottintende non soltanto l’estemporaneità e l’imprevedibilità di modalità di agire che si scontrano con procedure standardizzate, calcolabili, reiterabili, bensì anche la mancanza di preparazione con cui si procede all’azione, la trascuratezza e l’imprecisione con cui la si svolge, l’inadeguatezza degli strumenti di fortuna adoperati per fare qualcosa in una situazione di emergenza[2]. Ciononostante, nella vita quotidiana ricorriamo in continuazione all’improvvisazione. L’esecuzione di un’azione qualsiasi, per quanto progettata, programmata, regolata, determinata, sembra comportare un grado, magari minimo e limitato, d’improvvisazione. Per dirla con S. Leigh Foster[3]: L’esecuzione di ogni azione, a prescindere da quanto sia predeterminata nelle menti di chi la svolge e di chi ne è testimone, contiene un elemento d’improvvisazione. Il momento dell’esitare meditando su come eseguire esattamente un’azione già profondamente nota, tradisce la presenza dell’azione improvvisata.

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Will Brain-Inspired Chips Make A Dent In Science's Big Data Problems?

Will Brain-Inspired Chips Make A Dent In Science's Big Data Problems? | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
The average human adult brain weighs about three pounds and is comprised mostly of fat and water, but it is extremely efficient at processing information. To simulate just one second of biological brain activity several years ago, researchers used 82,994 processors, one petabyte of system memory and 40 minutes on the Riken Research Institute’s K supercomputer. At the time, this system consumed enough electricity to power about 10,000 homes. In contrast, the brain uses the equivalent of about 20 watts of electricity—barely enough to power a dim light bulb.

Via Eric Feuilleaubois
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Self-Organization and The Origins of Life: The Managed-Metabolism Hypothesis

The managed-metabolism hypothesis suggests that a cooperation barrier must be overcome if self-producing chemical organizations are to transition from non-life to life. This barrier prevents un-managed, self-organizing, autocatalytic networks of molecular species from individuating into complex, cooperative organizations. The barrier arises because molecular species that could otherwise make significant cooperative contributions to the success of an organization will often not be supported within the organization, and because side reactions and other free-riding processes will undermine cooperation. As a result, the barrier seriously limits the possibility space that can be explored by un-managed organizations, impeding individuation, complex functionality and the transition to life. The barrier can be overcome comprehensively by appropriate management which implements a system of evolvable constraints. The constraints support beneficial co-operators and suppress free riders. In this way management can manipulate the chemical processes of an autocatalytic organization, producing novel processes that serve the interests of the organization as a whole and that could not arise and persist spontaneously in an un-managed chemical organization. Management self-organizes because it is able to capture some of the benefits that are produced when its management of an autocatalytic organization promotes beneficial cooperation. Selection therefore favours the emergence of managers that take over and manage chemical organizations so as to overcome the cooperation barrier. The managed-metabolism hypothesis shows that if management is to overcome the cooperation barrier comprehensively, its interventions must be digitally coded. In this way, the hypothesis accounts for the two-tiered structure of all living cells in which a digitally-coded genetic apparatus manages an analogically-informed metabolism.

 

Self-Organization and The Origins of Life: The Managed-Metabolism Hypothesis
John E. Stewart


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Mathematicians Decode the Surprising Complexity of Cow Herds

Mathematicians Decode the Surprising Complexity of Cow Herds | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

A model shows that cow herds may be extremely dynamic, secretly contentious gatherings of warring interests.

DO ME A favor and picture a pasture dotted with a herd of grazing cows. Some stand and stare at you with that patented cow stare, others bury their heads in the green, green grass, while still others have laid down for a rest. Tranquil, right? About as simple as life gets? Well, I’m sorry to say that your idea of the herd life may be a lie. Because a new mathematical model posits that while they don’t look it, cow herds may be extremely dynamic, secretly contentious gatherings of warring interests. Yes, with the help of a biologist, mathematicians calculated the fascinating dynamics of cow herds, and yes, they reported it today in a journal called Chaos. A cow’s life is rife with conflict, thanks to a blend of ecology and biology. Think of a cow as existing in three states: moseying around feeding on grass, standing there staring, and lying down resting. All totally doable at the creature’s own leisure—if it’s alone. But that’s not how cows roll. They congregate in herds as an anti-predator measure.

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Fractal planting patterns yield optimal harvests, without central control | Santa Fe Institute

Fractal planting patterns yield optimal harvests, without central control | Santa Fe Institute | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it
Bali's famous rice terraces, when seen from above, look like colorful mosaics because some farmers plant synchronously, while others plant at different times. The resulting fractal patterns are rare for man-made systems and lead to optimal harvests without global planning. To understand how Balinese rice farmers make their decisions for planting, a team of scientists led by Stephen Lansing (Nanyang Technological University) and Stefan Thurner (Medical University of Vienna, Complexity Science Hub Vienna, IIASA, SFI), both external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute, modeled two variables: water availability and pest damage. Farmers that live upstream have the advantage of always having water; while those downstream have to adapt their planning on the schedules of the upstream farmers. Here, pests enter the scene. When farmers are planting at different times, pests can move from one field to another, but when farmers plant in synchrony, pests drown and the pest load is reduced. So upstream farmers have an incentive to share water so that synchronous planting can happen. However, water resources are limited and there is not enough water for everybody to plant at the same time. As a result of this constraint, fractal planting patterns emerge, which yield close to maximal harvests.
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Leadership e neuroscienza: scarcity, bias cognitivi, automatismi … ciò che i capi non possono non sapere dei propri collaboratori … e di se stessi

È più facile spezzare un atomo che un pregiudizio (Albert Einstein) Meglio comprendiamo le scorciatoie di cui la mente si serve per capire il mondo, più siamo capaci di anticiparle e sfruttarle per i nostri scopi. (Alberto Cairo, L’arte funzionale. Infografica e visualizzazione delle informazioni) La neuroscienza è sempre più una branca del management …. o meglio da diversi anni la neuroscienza e molte discipline di tipo psicologico forniscono evidenze sperimentali sui comportamenti umani (soprattutto quelli più indecifrabili e affascinanti … quelli che un buon manager dovrebbe conoscere per gestire con efficace le risorse umane a lui assegnate …). Il tema è immenso e in continua evoluzione. Le tecnologie di misura delle attività cerebrali hanno aperto un nuovo filone molto interessante per capire come “funzioniamo”: quali parti del cervello usiamo quando pensiamo, ricordiamo, guardiamo, discutiamo, calcoliamo, …

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New: The Behavioral Economics Guide 2017

New: The Behavioral Economics Guide 2017 | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

 Edited by Alain Samson

CONTENTS

Introduction by Cass Sunstei
Part 1 - Editorial
Behavioral Economics: Expanding Boundaries
Part 2 - Applications
Behavioral Science in Practice
Part 3 - Resources
Selected Behavioral Economics Concepts
Postgraduate Programs in Behavioral Economics and
Behavioral/Decision Science
Popular (Behavioral) Science Books
Scholarly Journals with Behavioral Economics Content
Other Resources

Appendix - Author and Contributing Organization Profiles
 

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A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts

A Theory of Reality as More Than the Sum of Its Parts | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

 In his 1890 opus, The Principles of Psychology, William James invoked Romeo and Juliet to illustrate what makes conscious beings so different from the particles that make them up. “Romeo wants Juliet as the filings want the magnet; and if no obstacles intervene he moves towards her by as straight a line as they,” James wrote. “But Romeo and Juliet, if a wall be built between them, do not remain idiotically pressing their faces against its opposite sides like the magnet and the filings. … Romeo soon finds a circuitous way, by scaling the wall or otherwise, of touching Juliet’s lips directly.” Erik Hoel, a 29-year-old theoretical neuroscientist and writer, quoted the passage in a recent essay in which he laid out his new mathematical explanation of how consciousness and agency arise. The existence of agents — beings with intentions and goal-oriented behavior — has long seemed profoundly at odds with the reductionist assumption that all behavior arises from mechanistic interactions between particles. Agency doesn’t exist among the atoms, and so reductionism suggests agents don’t exist at all: that Romeo’s desires and psychological states are not the real causes of his actions, but merely approximate the unknowably complicated causes and effects between the atoms in his brain and surroundings. Hoel’s theory, called “causal emergence,” roundly rejects this reductionist assumption.New math shows how, contrary to conventional scientific wisdom, conscious beings and other macroscopic entities might have greater influence over the future.

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slot-machine e Il disturbo da gioco d’azzardo: le recenti considerazioni scientifiche

slot-machine e Il disturbo da gioco d’azzardo: le recenti considerazioni scientifiche | Bounded Rationality and Beyond | Scoop.it

Quali sono i principali fattori coinvolti nell’esordio e nel mantenimento del gioco d’azzardo patologico da slot-machine emersi dalle ricerche più recenti?

I correlati neurali del Disturbo da gioco d’azzardo da slot-machine Nell’insieme, i dati in letteratura indicano il coinvolgimento del sistema dopaminergico (e/o altri percorsi aminergici) nella patofisiologia del Disturbo da gioco d’azzardo (Potenza et al., 2003). Recenti studi (Van Holst et al., 2014) hanno poi mostrato che la gravità del gioco d’azzardo da slot-machine risulta essere associata ad una minore connettività tra le aree sensibili alla ricompensa (in particolare tra lo striato-ventrale destro e la corteccia cingolata anteriore). Interessanti in questo senso sono gli studi condotti nell’ambito dell’apprendimento, dato che il circuito della ricompensa assolve un ruolo fondamentale nella motivazione all’apprendimento generalmente inteso. Nello svolgimento di un’attività la spinta motivazionale può essere legata ad uno stato di piacere di tipo endogenico, legato allo svolgimento dell’attività stessa, e ad uno di tipo esogenico, legato al raggiungimento degli obiettivi (quindi nel caso delle slot-machine alla vincita): questi stati di piacere suscitano emozioni positive che agiscono da rinforzi comportamentali, contribuendo al consolidamento dell’apprendimento. Secondo i modelli biologici contemporanei (Schultz, 2010), con il procedere dell’apprendimento l’attività dei neuroni dopaminergici nell’area tegmentale-ventrale (VTA) tende a diminuire, mentre l’attività evocata dagli stimoli che segnalano un’imminente consegna di ricompense tende ad aumentare

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