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Dee Smith of Strategic Insight Group sits down with Raoul Pal to discuss the confluence of behavioral economics and technology. The principles of behavioral economics combined with machine learning and algorithms can lead to amazing results, but what happens when human bias bleeds into the very algorithms we believe protect us from it? This video is excerpted from a piece published on Real Vision on September 7, 2018 entitled “Modern Manipulation: Behavioral Economics in a Technological World.”

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Technology, Incentives & Cognitive Bias (w/ Dee Smith & Raoul Pal)

For the full transcript:
There is an emerging narrative that is claiming that computer programs do have
biases, and the biases are based on the people who write programs.
One of the interesting topics in that, of course, confirmation bias is one of the most deadly of the
behavioral economic biases that we look to find information that confirms what we already
believe, instead of finding information that could falsify it, which is what scientific method is based
on, is that you could try to falsify. You don’t try to verify.
That the whole American adventure in Iraq based on the intelligence finding that there were
weapons of mass destruction, which was in large part based on ignoring evidence that there
weren’t. It was simply selective use of intelligence, which is confirmation bias. It can be incredibly
problematic. But it’s something that is so, there’s some kind of a switch that flips and you decide,
oh, it’s an aha moment. I see it, I got it, I understand it now. Let me find all these things that tell me
I’m right.
RAOUL PAL: Because humans are so delusional. I mean, I fall into that bias all the time, as
everybody does. And this is why the machine is so powerful and why we have to be actually truly
concerned. Not flippantly concerned, but truly concerned, because there is no bias. And it’s the
massive ability to process data in ways that the human brain can’t.
We can process incredible data. Everything we’re seeing now and all the colors. Machines are
nowhere near that, nowhere near our cognitive abilities in certain ways. We cannot process a
fixed amount of, a fixed type of data in the quantity that machines can without a bias, because we
need patterns to fill in the blanks.



Matthew Golden says:

Yes regular computer programs will display the bias of the programmer. However, an artificial neural network would only be influenced by the data included or excluded and can then be trained and retrained to be as accurate as possible. It has the benefit of addressing a problem millions of times to figure out the best solution in an unbiased way.

David Chorak says:

Machines have inbuilt human bias. Their algorithms are built on historic data. AI is not creative in the department of what is meaningful to human consciousness. AI is a tool for human consciousness.
The wave belongs to the ocean. Not the ocean to the wave. Humanity is the ocean AI is the wave. KISS then move on. Too much intellectualizing becomes a dog chasing its own tail. Very amusing to see. You guys are amusing for a minute or so. Everything you say will be forgotten by you and anybody that listens to you when the next pretty girl comes by.

Tatsin says:

How can u listen to people who believe bullshit stories about what Russians did…. He talks without checking facts…

Adam Temple says:

Raoul, Raoul, Raoul… $1000 bucks a month does not a salary make. It enables people to take a couple extra classes so they can pursue their purpose. Silicon valley is disappointed in you my friend.

marsmotion says:

two little lies in this nice presentation. that dick cheney suffered from confirmation bias, thats adorable. no darlings that was planning and choice. second that the russians, my have they been busy, are now also responsible for people fighting over vaccines. lol oh my thats funny. you gave me my laugh for the day. c'mon guys get out of your brainwashed mainstream bias for goodness sake. we know two things from the election of trump. that the russians totally suck at trying to influence anything, and the dems created the whole russian meme out of an opposition research firm with used up english mi5 assets. get current guys. love the show but please go deeper and please watch the movie vaxxed. then talk.

Jonah Peele says:

I like how our concept of intelligent people has become just two guys sitting in a room asking questions at each other

Aaron Worth says:

1st comment you keynesian twats

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