AIF Blog

Breaking Our Addiction to Screens

Oct 26, 2018
CATEGORY: U.S.A., Technology
Tristan Harris, founder of the Center for Human Technology, talks about tech's threat to humanity at the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been under fire for not doing enough to combat fake news and misinformation online. Tech entrepreneurs are stepping in and designing programs that keep untruths from going viral. At the same time, these platforms, and many others, are built to capture and keep our attention. How is our addiction to screens impacting the way we interact with each other? What tactics can we take to use our devices less? The podcast episodes below dive deep into the tech issues of our time.
This podcast series features presenters from the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Off Stage 6: The Menace of Disinformation
With the midterm elections around the corner, should internet users be on alert for fake news? As research director at New Knowledge, Renee DiResta investigates the spread of disinformation across social networks. Since the 2016 presidential election, tech companies like hers have taken “meaningful steps,” she says. In her conversation with Kashmir Hill, investigative reporter for Gizmodo Media, DiResta explains how she’s working to stop disinformation from going viral.
Off Stage 7: How to Get off Your Screen
Tristan Harris, former Google design ethicist, says the apps we use on our devices everyday are designed to maximize screen time. “Whenever we use these products, we’re activating supercomputers pointed at our brains.” They draw you in and keep you there, he says, and the result is loneliness. Harris, who founded the Center for Humane Technology, talks with Gizmodo’s Kashmir Hill about what we can do limit screen time.
Off Stage 8: Tackling Twitter’s Bots
Tech entrepreneur Ash Bhat dropped out of high school and college to pursue digital projects. The 20-year-old’s latest effort: combatting online bots, or Twitter accounts with no human oversight. It’s a job that’s worth a break from school, he thinks. “We have a moral responsibility to make a difference.” With his company RoBhat Labs, he and his co-founder are working to tackle the spread of fake news. He tells investigative tech reporter Kashmir Hill that stomping out bots can help unite a divided nation.
The "Off Stage Series" goes into the issues that impact all of us. These conversations feature presenters at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Off Stage is part of the Aspen Ideas to Go podcast.
Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes hereThe views and opinions of the speakers in the podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Aspen Institute.