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The Future of the Attention Economy

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Adrian Ebsary

on 30 April 2016

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Transcript of The Future of the Attention Economy

The Future of the Attention Economy
Adrian J. Ebsary
Problem: Gaming the Attention Economy Ruins Lives
"The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads."
"That sucks."
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response."

Prof. Viktor Frankl
Free will = shaping attentional networks and their responses
The Attention Economy is the battleground for our self-determination.
"As each player in the Attention Economy invents more and more persuasive tactics to keep people hooked,
persuasiveness goes up and agency goes down

Tristan Harris, #TimeWellSpent
It's as old as the species.
Attention ≠ Fungible ≠ Currency

"... a
wealth of information creates a poverty of attention
, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently..."

Prof. Herbert Simon, 1971
the number of books will grow continually
, and one can predict that a time will come when it will be almost as difficult to learn anything from books as from the direct study of the whole universe."
It matters now because we can start to measure it
We can fix it by making it work for instead of against us
The internet is a massive, multiplayer attention experiment.
It's worth "$100 billion per year in the US alone."
New devices will unlock more detailed attention data
Working Memory
Top-down Sensitivity Control
(Executive Control)
Bottom-Up Salience Filters
(External Signals)
Customizable environments
Open source content stream algorithms
Content monetization with blockchain social media
Personal psychological profiling
Affective computing
Mindfulness education
Nootropics & Drug Delivery
Brain computer interfaces
Competitive Selection
Simon. Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World. 1971. Computers, Communications & The Public Interest.
Knudsen. Fundamental Components of Attention. 2007. Annual Review of Neuroscience
Purper-Ouakil et al. Neurobiology of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. 2011. Pediatric Research.
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