Recording of the eleventh episode of Mediate.com's Great Reads Book Club: Jacob Ward talks about his book "The Loop: How Technology is Creating a World Without Choices and How to Fight Back," hosted by Prof. Amy Schmitz - recorded on April 22, 2022
Artificial intelligence is going to change the world as we know it. But the real danger isn't some robot that's going to enslave us: It's our own brain. Our brains are constantly making decisions using shortcuts, biases, and hidden processes—and we're using those same techniques to create technology that makes choices for us.
In The Loop, award-winning science journalist Jacob Ward reveals how we are poised to build all of our worst instincts into our AIs, creating a narrow loop where each generation has fewer, predetermined, and even dangerous choices.
Since 2018, Jacob Ward has been a correspondent for NBC News, reporting for the TODAY show, Nightly News, MSNBC, and NBC News Now on the unanticipated consequences of science and technology in our lives.
From 2018 to 2019, Jacob was a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, along with its partner the Berggruen Institute, which gave me space and companionship on the Stanford campus to write The Loop, my book about the effects of artificial intelligence on human decision making, out January 2022 with Hachette Book Group.
Between 2016 and 2020, Jacob hosted a landmark four-hour television series on the science and implications of bias. It changed my life. HACKING YOUR MIND is a globe-trotting account of the cutting edge of decision science, an examination of the ways our brains are ill-suited to twenty-first century problems, and a hopeful exploration of what we can do about it. I highly recommend it.
From 2013 to 2018, Jacob was a television correspondent for Al Jazeera, covering science and technology in the US and around the world. While I was there I found a new way of telling stories: high-energy, upbeat delivery of dark and difficult topics. I covered everything from the heroin epidemic to environmental threats to the effects of gun violence in America.
In his previous life, Jacob was a magazine editor. Most recently I was editor-in-chief of Popular Science, the world’s largest science and technology publication. This site contains any television or public-speaking appearance of which I’m even remotely proud, along with my written work for The New Yorker, Wired, and other publications.
Amy Schmitz is the John Deaver Drinko-Baker & Hostetler Chair in Law at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. From 2016-2021 Professor Schmitz was the Elwood L. Thomas Missouri Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Previously she was a Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law for over 16 years. Prior to teaching, Professor Schmitz practiced law with large law firms in Seattle and Minneapolis, and served as a law clerk for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Professor Schmitz teaches courses in Contracts, Lawyering, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), AI, Data Analytics and the Law, Arbitration, International Arbitration, and Consumer Law. She has been heavily involved in ODR teaching and research for a long time and is a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution, as well as the Co-Chair of the ABA Technology Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section and the ODR Task Force. She serves on the Association of American Law Schools Executive Committee on Commercial and Consumer Law, was an External Scientific Fellow of the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg, and is a researcher with the ACT Project exploring AI and ODR. Professor Schmitz also hosts The Arbitration Conversation, a highly regarded podcast that has reached over 100 episodes. She has published over 60 articles in law journals and books, is a co-author of the leading casebook, Resolving Disputes: Theory, Practice and Law (Aspen/Wolters Kluwer 2021), the new book with Stipanowich, Arbitration: Theory, Practice and Law (Forthcoming Aspen/Wolters Kluwer 2022) and a book with C. Rule, The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection.