The Promise & Peril
of teaching machines
how to persuade

The purpose of this website is to promote the critical assessment of social devices. Here you will find the start of a toolkit, apparatus to help anticipate the otherwise unforeseen social impact and evolution of design concepts.

Social Devices

Social devices are pretty much everything that is constructed today. Robots, refrigerators, websites, belief systems, mobile phones, cars, software, algorithms, dog tags ... everything is connected to something.

So ... what's the problem?

The problem is ... we are into a level of complexity that is unpredictable. The artificial intelligence of machines, thanks to our faithful pernicious opportunism, is beginning to incorporate rhetorical argument and persuasion algorithms on a scale of the IoT, the Internet-of-Things. There are currently more transistors in my iPhone than neurons in my brain; more devices on the IoT than people on the planet.

That we are in control of this emergent behavior is delusional

Scen ario Sen sor

Key Concepts

Social devices exist in social reality. Devices and their algorithms interact with our mental representations and beliefs to construct real events with real impact. Beginning to think about this requires a framework of critical concepts.

Scenarios of Social Impact

No one knows the future, especially with billions of devices connecting in billions of ways, creating unpredictable behaviour. What will be the social impact of any particular design? Should we even care? Evolution might answer no.

If we do care, the best we can do is estimate the major driving forces of behavioral uncertainty and anticipate the resulting scenarios - before choosing to deploy a device (or not) and hopefully before any need to survive unintended consequences.

A future unforeseen is a future not seen in time.

About this Website

This is a new website, in transformation. If you find the content, or the topic of interest, please let me know with your feedback.

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