Daniel Kahneman: Change Human Behaviours

Whenever we talk of the use of big data, machines are going to
have a big advantage. Decision-makers who can use AI are going to have a big advantage over decision-makers who don’t. I’m Daniel Kahneman, and
I’m a retired professor from Princeton University. What I do see, because it’s happening now, is that we’re delegating an
increasing number of decisions to machines simply because
they are doing it better than we are. The rate at which machines
exceed human performance is, at the moment, is quite rapid, but whether it will stop at
a certain point is unknown. This is happening now in
some restricted domains, so medical decisions
that are informed by AI are better decisions,
and it’s going to happen in an increasing number of domains. It’s happening in financial decisions, certainly in financial investments, and it’s beginning to happen in law, and it’s going to happen in an increasing variety of fields. People in my field, we tend to distinguish two phases of decision-making. One phase is just an objective
evaluation of the situation. The other phase is where a choice is made. The choice involve values
and involves moral values and other values as well, the value that they attach
to gains and to losses. In general, people put more
weight on potential losses than on potential gains. In many situations, it’s
about twice as much. This has implications in many fields, and it has particular implications in the context of governance
that are worth exploring because people who are in a situation where they have influence on other people or change other people’s lives, they create gains and losses. In general, the losers will
fight harder than the people who stand to gain. You should know ahead of
time when you are planning to change human behavior
or to reform any aspect of human society, you
should be aware of the fact that there is going to be an asymmetry between those who gain and those who lose. And then ultimately, you have
to compensate people who lose, otherwise reforms will not happen. There is a great deal of
interest in recent decades in human flourishing
and in human well-being, and there is a school
of positive psychology. And there are quite a few countries that are seriously considering using the well-being of the population as a criterion, as a measure
of society’s success. I think this is clearly to the good. The question of how to measure well-being and how to measure happiness and whether we know how to do this and whether we really
know how to influence it, there’s a lot of research that is needed before we get there. I think at the moment, enthusiasm might be running
ahead of achievements. I would say something
else about the positivity. The idea of positivity means that you want to make people happier. I think that there is a more urgent need, that instead of increasing happiness, it is more urgent to reduce misery, and that focusing on misery
rather than on happiness would make a very big difference. You would do different things if your aim is to reduce misery. I think I would prefer to see people acting in that direction. (light music)

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