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Center for Humane Technology Launches New Podcast Series to Uncover Tech’s Hidden Threats to Humanity

“Your Undivided Attention” Kicks off with Guest Natasha Schüll on How Casinos and Social Media Play on Human Sensibilities to Keep Us Hooked

The Center for Humane Technology (CHT), launched a new podcast series, “Your Undivided Attention” debuting on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and RSS feed today. “Your Undivided Attention”interviews experts on human nature to inspire technologists to design products that benefit humanity, rather than downgrade it.

In the podcast series, CHT Co-Founders Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin expose the hidden designs in technology that have the power to hijack our attention, manipulate our choices, and destabilize our real-world communities. In the coming weeks, they’ll explore what it means to become sophisticated about human nature by interviewing experts on the dynamics of cults, gambling and election hacking, and the powers of persuasion. Start by subscribing here

The first episode, “What Happens in Vegas,” features noted cultural anthropologist, Natasha Schüll,author of ADDICTION BY DESIGN: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas and associate professor at New York University’s department of Media, Culture, and Communication. In the podcast, Schüll explains how everything in casinos — from the carpet patterns to the game algorithms in slot machines — is designed to draw players into a “zone” where they lose track of time, money, and themselves. Schüll speaks with Raskin and Harris, a former Google design ethicist, about the similar ways in which social media platforms employ addictive design.

“Today’s tech platforms are caught in a race to the bottom of the brain stem to extract human attention. It’s a race we’re all losing,” said Harris. “Technologists must approach innovation and design with an awareness of protecting of the ways we’re manipulated as human beings. Instead of more AI or more advanced tech, we actually just need more sophistication about what protects and heals human nature and social systems.”

“Your Undivided Attention” was announced as part of CHT’s Humane: A New Agenda for Tech event on April 23rd at the SFJAZZ Center, which offered a unified diagnosis for the interconnected set of harms generated by the extractive attention economy as well as a new path forward for “humanely” designing technology. To watch that 44-minute presentation, visit humanetech.com/newagenda/

About Center for Humane Technology
Launched in 2018 by deeply concerned tech ex-insiders — including world-renowned design ethicist Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin, inventor of infinite scroll — Center for Humane Technology (CHT) is an independent nonprofit aiming to realign technology with humanity. We see Human Downgrading as the systemic issue eroding our social fabric, and launched a Humane Movement as a creative and cultural awakening that inspires technologists to look back at the limits of human nature being overwhelmed by technology, and to design products and businesses that benefit humanity. The Center for Humane Technology receives generous lead support from The Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Foundation, Omidyar Network, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Knight Foundation, Evolve Foundation and the Ford Foundation, among others. To learn more about how you can get involved in our Humane Agenda, go to humanetech.com. To read the original article, click here.