Your Undivided Attention

Your Undivided Attention

In this podcast from the Center for Humane Technology, co-hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin explore the incredible power that technology has over our lives — and how we can use it to catalyze a humane future. Join us every other Thursday as we confront challenges and explore solutions with a wide-range of thought leaders and change-makers — like Kate Raworth on renegade economics, Audrey Tang on digital democracy, Daniel Schmachtenberger on global coordination, and Yuval Noah Harari on the co-evolution of technology and democracy. Your Undivided Attention is proud to be part of the TED Audio Collective. Our Senior Producer is Julia Scott, and our Associate Producer is Kirsten McMurray.


May 25, 2023 38 mins

Democracy in action has looked the same for generations. Constituents might go to a library or school every one or two years and cast their vote for people who don't actually represent everything that they care about. Our technology is rapidly increasing in sophistication, yet our forms of democracy have largely remained unchanged. What would an upgrade look like - not just for democracy, but for all the different places that democ...

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A few episodes back, we presented Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin’s talk The AI Dilemma. People inside the companies that are building generative artificial intelligence came to us with their concerns about the rapid pace of deployment and the problems that are emerging as a result. We felt called to lay out the catastrophic risks that AI poses to society and sound the alarm on the need to upgrade our institutions for a post-AI world...

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May 4, 2023 24 mins

Despite our serious concerns about the pace of deployment of generative artificial intelligence, we are not anti-AI. There are uses that can help us better understand ourselves and the world around us. Your Undivided Attention co-host Aza Raskin is also co-founder of Earth Species Project, a nonprofit dedicated to using AI to decode non-human communication. ESP is developing this technology both to shift the way that we relate to t...

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April 21, 2023 39 mins

When it comes to AI, what kind of regulations might we need to address this rapidly developing new class of technologies? What makes regulating AI and runaway tech in general different from regulating airplanes, pharmaceuticals, or food? And how can we ensure that issues like national security don't become a justification for sacrificing civil rights?

Answers to these questions are playing out in real time. If we wait for more AI ha...

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In our previous episode, we shared a presentation Tristan and Aza recently delivered to a group of influential technologists about the race happening in AI. In that talk, they introduced the Three Rules of Humane Technology. In this Spotlight episode, we’re taking a moment to explore these three rules more deeply in order to clarify what it means to be a responsible technologist in the age of AI.

Correction: Aza mentions infinite sc...

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March 24, 2023 42 mins

You may have heard about the arrival of GPT-4, OpenAI’s latest large language model (LLM) release. GPT-4 surpasses its predecessor in terms of reliability, creativity, and ability to process intricate instructions. It can handle more nuanced prompts compared to previous releases, and is multimodal, meaning it was trained on both images and text. We don’t yet understand its capabilities - yet it has already been deployed to the publ...

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March 2, 2023 37 mins

A few months ago on Your Undivided Attention, we released a Spotlight episode on TikTok's national security risks. Since then, we've learned more about the dangers of the China-owned company: We've seen evidence of TikTok spying on US journalists, and proof of hidden state media accounts to influence the US elections. We’ve seen Congress ban TikTok on most government issued devices, and more than half of US states have done the sam...

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February 16, 2023 46 mins

It may seem like the rise of artificial intelligence, and increasingly powerful large language models you may have heard of, is moving really fast… and it IS. 

But what’s coming next is when we enter synthetic relationships with AI that could come to feel just as real and important as our human relationships... And perhaps even more so. 

In this episode of Your Undivided Attention, Tristan and Aza reach beyond the moment to talk abou...

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February 2, 2023 34 mins

It’s easy to tell ourselves we’re living in the world we want – one where Darwinian evolution drives competing technology platforms and capitalism pushes nations to maximize GDP regardless of externalities like carbon emissions. It can feel like evolution and competition are all there is.

If that’s a complete description of what’s driving the world and our collective destiny, that can feel pretty hopeless. But what if that’s not the...

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December 29, 2022 42 mins

Welcome to our first-ever Ask Us Anything episode. Recently we put out a call for questions… and, wow, did you come through! We got more than 100 responses from listeners to this podcast from all over the world. It was really fun going through them all, and really difficult to choose which ones to answer here. But we heard you, and we’ll carry your amazing suggestions and ideas forward with us in 2023.

When we created Your Undivided...

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When you look at the world, it can feel like we're in a precarious moment. If you’ve listened to past episodes, you know we call this the meta-crisis — an era of overlapping and interconnected crises like climate change, polarization, and the rise of decentralized technologies like synthetic biology. It can feel like we’re on a path to destroy ourselves.

That's why we’re talking to Rick Doblin, the founder and executive director of ...

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When it comes to social media risk, there is reason to hope for consensus. Center for Humane Technology co-founder Tristan Harris recently helped launch a new initiative called the Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM) in Washington, D.C. It’s a coalition between religious leaders, public health experts, national security leaders, and former political representatives from both sides - people who just care about making our dem...

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The weekly American news show 60 Minutes invited Center for Humane Technology co-founder Tristan Harris back recently to discuss political polarization and the anger and incivility that gets elevated on social media as a matter of corporate profit. We're releasing a special episode of Your Undivided Attention this week to dig further into some of the important nuances of the complexity of this problem.

CHT’s work was actually introd...

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Since it’s looking more and more like Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, will probably soon have ownership of Twitter, we wanted to do a special episode about what this could mean for Twitter users and our global digital democracy as a whole.

Twitter is a very complicated place. It is routinely blocked by governments who fear its power to organize citizen protests around the world. It’s also where outrage, fear and violence get amp...

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We often talk about the need to protect American democracy. But perhaps those of us in the United States don't currently live in a democracy.

As research shows, there's pretty much no correlation between the percentage of the population that supports a policy and its likelihood of being enacted. The strongest determinant of whether a policy gets enacted is how much money is behind it.

So, how might we not just protect, but better yet...

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The next frontier of the internet is the metaverse. That's why Mark Zuckerberg changed the name of his company from Facebook to Meta, and just sold $10 billion in corporate bonds to raise money for metaverse-related projects.

How might we learn from our experience with social media, and anticipate the harms of the metaverse before they arise? What would it look like to design a humane metaverse — that respects our attention, improve...

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Have you ever lost a friend to misperception? Have you lost a friend or a family member to the idea that your views got so different, that it was time to end the relationship — perhaps by unfriending each other on Facebook?

As it turns out, we often think our ideological differences are far greater than they actually are. Which means: we’re losing relationships and getting mired in polarization based on warped visions of each other....

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September 8, 2022 23 mins

Imagine it's the Cold War. Imagine that the Soviet Union puts itself in a position to influence the television programming of the entire Western world — more than a billion viewers. 

While this might sound like science fiction, it’s representative of the world we're living in, with TikTok being influenced by the Chinese Communist Party.

TikTok, the flagship app of the Chinese company Bytedance, recently surpassed Google and Facebook ...

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At Center for Humane Technology, we often talk about multipolar traps — which arise when individuals have an incentive to act in ways that are beneficial to them in the short term, but detrimental to the group in the long term. Think of social media companies that compete for our attention, so that when TikTok introduces an even-more addictive feature, Facebook and Twitter have to mimic it in order to keep up, sending us all on a r...

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August 4, 2022 58 mins

When you hear the word cyber-attack, what comes to mind? Someone hacking into your email, or stealing your Facebook password?

As it turns out, our most critical infrastructure can be hacked. Our banks, water treatment facilities, and nuclear power plants can be deactivated and even controlled simply by finding bugs in the software used to operate them. Suddenly, cyber-attack takes on a different meaning.

This week on Your Undivided A...

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