We Are Hopelessly Hooked | The New York Review of Books (Jacob Weisberg, 25 février 2016)
Some of Silicon Valley’s most successful app designers are alumni of the Persuasive Technology Lab at #Stanford, a branch of the university’s Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute. The lab was founded in 1998 by B.J. Fogg, whose graduate work “used methods from experimental psychology to demonstrate that computers can change people’s thoughts and behaviors in predictable ways,” according to the center’s website. Fogg teaches undergraduates and runs “persuasion boot camps” for tech companies. He calls the field he founded “captology,” a term derived from an acronym for “computers as persuasive technology.” It’s an apt name for the discipline of capturing people’s #attention and making it hard for them to escape. Fogg’s behavior model involves building habits through the use of what he calls “hot triggers,” like the links and photos in Facebook’s newsfeed, made up largely of posts by one’s Facebook friends.
(…) As consumers, we can also pressure technology companies to engineer apps that are less distracting. If product design has a conscience at the moment, it may be Tristan Harris, a former B.J. Fogg student at Stanford who worked until recently as an engineer at Google. In several lectures available on YouTube, Harris argues that an “attention economy” is pushing us all to spend time in ways we recognize as unproductive and unsatisfying, but that we have limited capacity to control. #Tech_companies are engaged in “a race to the bottom of the brain stem,” in which rewards go not to those that help us spend our time wisely, but to those that keep us mindlessly pulling the lever at the casino.
Harris wants engineers to consider human values like the notion of “time well spent” in the design of consumer technology. Most of his proposals are “nudge”-style tweaks and signals to encourage more conscious choices. For example, Gmail or Facebook might begin a session by asking you how much time you want to spend with it that day, and reminding you when you’re nearing the limit. Messaging apps might be reengineered to privilege attention over interruption. iTunes could downgrade games that are frequently deleted because users find them too addictive.
A propos de quatre bouquins :
– Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle
– Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, by Sherry Turkle
– Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web, by Joseph M. Reagle Jr.
– Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover