5 really obvious reasons why we shouldn’t fear AI

One of the classic thinking problems we encounter in contemporary pop science is the age old problem of intelligent machines, or AI (artificial intelligence). It makes people nervous. Even smart, successful boffins like Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking. The idea of intelligent, sentient computers conjures images of robots taking over the world and enslaving mankind, probably because we’ve grown up …

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Shakespeare and Hip Hop? The cognitive bias of art appreciation

  When it comes to defining great art and literature, most people encounter a thinking problem that explains what Man Vs. Brain is all about. That separation between the role our unconscious emotional brain plays in our thinking versus our logical, rational thought processes. The reason why art and literature make such a good example is the fact that, logically …

Caught in the Disruption trap: Why job cuts can’t save Microsoft

I don’t know why anyone is surprised Microsoft just axed 14% its workforce. It’s a company with deep pockets, filled by annual profits of $billions from its legacy position as the operating system of most desktops and laptops. It’s global. Microsoft owned properties like MSN used to rank consistently in the top 3 online destinations in the US, EMEA and …

Explaining the Facebook data ethics issue: Nazis, topless models & Stanley Milgram

There’s a lot been written of late about that Facebook data experiment. You know the one I mean. The one where, without taking any of the basic ethical measures a regulated scientist would take before undertaking research, Facebook conducted a massive scale psychological research piece. 689,003 users unwittingly took part in an experiment by data scientist Adam Kramer to study …

Metacognition: Is how you decide more valuable than what you decide?

Metacognition is the process of thinking about thinking. It’s what ManvsBrain.com is all about. And you can’t think about the way we think without turning your attention to practical, applied thinking sooner or later, which (of course) means thinking about decision making. Making better decisions dominates much of the writing about the topic, but actually, it’s a bit of a …

Dinosaur economics, wave physics & saucepans: the cognition of employment

Next week I’m delighted to be talking at Huckletree, London to the members of KindredHQ – a collective of freelancers, contractors and self-employed people who, like me, don’t have a traditional “job”. We are the self-employed. But how can you give yourself a job? Jobs don’t work like that, do they? You get one, you don’t invent one. But we …

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“For the rain it raineth every day” – Shakespeare vs. cognitive bias & linguistics

The 450th anniversary of Shakespeare has the whole English speaking world jumping with excitement. Of course it does, he’s the greatest playwright that ever lived, right? How do you know? It’s not just a critical opinion, based on evidence, it’s also an assumption. Assumptions are the name we give to cognitive bias behaviours, and in when it comes to the …