Center for Humane Technology

I was listening to the (excellent) Metamuse podcast and heard about the Center for Humane Technology.

I highly recommend reading through their principles (will take 10m max). This is one of my favorite excerpts:

Aggressively optimizing for engagement metrics is like taking your hand off the steering wheel. It puts the users’ paleolithic, inherently vulnerable brains in charge of determining what is valuable for your product. This approach, combined with the latest machine learning and A/B testing techniques, result in a broad series of harms unleashed at scale, which we call human downgrading.

From Center for Humane Technology


Humane technology requires that you internalize the pain your users experience, as if it were your own. Imagine the following scenarios:

– Your partner must be on board for the first flight of the plane you designed.

– Your mother ignores public health recommendations because of videos recommended by an algorithm you designed.

– Your middle-schooler is the subject of bullying on your social media app.

Give the whole thing a read.