NBC's Jacob Ward: How Technology Shapes Our Thinking and Decisions

For nearly five years, NBC News technology correspondent Jacob Ward has reported on the unanticipated consequences of science and technology on our lives. His new book, The Loop: How Technology is Creating a World Without Choices and How to Fight Back, builds on this work by exploring the ways artificial intelligence is beginning to curate our choices for us, and how capitalism packages those choices for our unconscious acceptance. The consequences for individuals and our society from this unseen "loop" are tremendous, and growing every day.

Artificial intelligence is changing the world as we know it. But the real danger isn't some movie-style robot that's going to enslave us; it's actually our own brains that are being re-shaped by technology, according to Ward. He explores how our brains are constantly making decisions using shortcuts, biases, and hidden processes using technology built to reinforce those very same processes. In short, he says it is a feedback loop—that magnifies our worst instincts so that we have fewer choices, leading to a potentially dangerous future.

At this important talk, Ward will discuss how our brains make decisions and how artificial intelligence in such areas of policing, entertainment, parenting, the military and more are shaped by algorithms, and then how patterns of behaviors are shaped further by those very algorithms, creating patterns that organize and manipulate our lives., often without us even knowing it. Please join us as we question the on-going impact of the machines that humans created.

Image - Jacob Ward

Jacob Ward

Technology Correspondent, NBC News; Author, The Loop: How Technology Is Creating a World Without Choices and How to Fight Back

Image - DJ Patil

DJ Patil

Former U.S. Chief Data Scientist; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Moderator