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tv   Rachel Botsman Who Can You Trust  CSPAN  December 30, 2017 12:44pm-2:00pm EST

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>> q and a sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> you are watching booktv on c-span2, television for serious readers. first up, diana --
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television for serious readers. >> hello. welcome to cambridge forum thank you for joining us for what promises to be a timely and somewhat edgy discussion about trust. huge ramifications in today's complex technological world, the subject of today's forum, and the latest book on the subject. the director of cambridge forum, please to have rachel as our guest speaker tonight on the last stop of her 9 week tour which begs the question of why is trust such a hot topic around the world at this point? it is a time when confidence in
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institutions and governments is at an all-time low but when there has been a surge in the growth of shared economy companies like air b&b and uber, statistics show we are shifting trust away from institution, and in areas of diversity, and hiring nannies. and transforming trust and exploring the implications for our decisionmaking in life, work and business. and in oxford. she divides her life and lives with her husband and two children and london. we welcome rachel botsman. [applause]
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>> thank you. good evening, every one. thank you for coming. it is the custom of the holidays, it is lovely to come back to harvard. i haven't been back for 18 years which is frightening but it is lovely to be back and excited to talk to you about my work on trust. the trust shift on institution this, i hope i can give you a balanced view on the implications of this shift are both good and bad, in all different areas of our lives. i will talk for a little bit and open it to all your questions. before i get started i went to get a little bit of a feel for you. if you could just raise your
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hand, if you have a minute guests on air b&b, anyone a host on air b&b? two people. and more trust to be a host or a guest. does anyone own theory him? raise your hand. all of you. i talk about that in a little bit. has anyone been on the dark web? you don't have to tell me what you thought but if you have been there and seen it. who doesn't know what the dark web is? this is where you can go and find all kinds of things like drugs and guns and pornography. i only go there for research purposes was all these things are examples of changing the
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way we can trust one another. start with a personal story, a very important story to me. when you become obsessed with the topic enough to dedicate your life to researching it, and ask your self where the fascination has come from and realize my fascination in how we trust people, place our faith, started at a young age. what happened was around the age of 5 my mom decided to go back to work and like many women she needed help. she was going to hire a nanny. for some reason she was in this magazine called the ladies. of any of your downton abbey fans you know that is where people hire their butlers and nannies and so this woman was
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called doris. i remember the day doris walked into the house, she had big curly hair and very thick scottish accent. any time she said my name she would roll her ares, and a salvation army uniform complete with navy bonnet. these things are very important when they come to trust, they are called signals and trust signals that we knowingly to decide whether someone is trustworthy or not. the problem is some signals are louder than others. it is influenced by the wrong things. doris lived with us for ten months, and a really good nanny. there wasn't anything suspicious about her until by day 3, worried about where
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doris is. and your nanny, and doris comes home, find all kinds of things you don't want lying around when you have young children. what happened three days later the police come at the door and arrest my dad. wasn't a member of the salvation army on a sunday for charity. she was robbing banks, and a getaway car. i love this story.
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i remind my parents, is really interesting, my parents often make judgment. how do they make such a bad decision when it came to doris. we place our faith in people who are untrustworthy. the thing i realized is they thought they had enough information to make a decision about her but they faced a trust gap. this is so profound as to what is happening in society today and that is the illusion of information is far more dangerous than ignorance. the way they put this -- trust has two enemies, not one. the first is mad character. the second is poor in formation. the question i started to ask
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is how could technology address these problems? is technology making us smarter about who we trust or is it encouraging us to place our trust in the wrong people in the wrong places. are we giving our trust away to the wrong things and is technology play a role in that? why is this an important question? let's do a quick exercise. you can see where this is going. it will sound loud in this church, you can use it for the person you think is the least trustworthy. when i say the name you do, you only get one. if you think harvey weinstein is the least trustworthy person say boo now. one. if you think donald trump is the least trustworthy person
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say now. okay. i don't know if you know who this is, sophia the robots, she is the first robot that has citizenship, she was made a citizen of saudi arabia. if you think sophia is the least trustworthy person on this slide cebu now. the robot is more trustworthy than the president of the united states but we don't need to worry about that right now. let's do this in reverse with you can clap. i would like you to clap for the company you think is most trustworthy. if you think google is the most trustworthy company on this slide now. [applause] >> facebook, who thinks facebook is the most trustworthy company on this slide? no one. amazon. so i think amazon and google, amazon was slightly ahead.
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i thought one of you might say trust them to do what? this is a really important point and something i find hard when i open the newspapers or media. the way we talk about trust is in general terms, actually very dangerous. we can trust, ridiculous at 3:00 am and negotiate with north korea. harvey weinstein can make great movies but we don't trust his behavior around women. amazon is really interesting. when they say they trust amazon they are saying they have confidence -- don't necessarily trust them to pay taxes or trust their employees well. this is the first thing i would like you to think about. keep in mind in our own lives
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but when we talk about leaders and individuals that trust is highly contextual. you can trust me to teach students, do not get in the car with me -- when you look at the surveys, gallup, harvard, telling the same sad story. and trust is in a state of crisis and where this is coming from if you look at the surveys, trust in all major institutions, charities, religious organizations, big businesses and the media at an all-time historic low. look at these surveys and dig into the methodology and the
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way they asked the question is how we do the exercise, do you trust the media? do you mean readit or the new york times? what are you trusting the media to do. you can see a historic pattern. what we have is not the institutions at the lowest level, of the sharpest decline. the sharpest decline, the average of 16 points in 12 months which is very significant. all kinds of reasons this is happening. and a lack of faith, lack of faith or confidence in the system, one of the problems, we place our faith, blind faith in
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a few leaders and they operate behind closed doors and keep things hidden and secret, that wasn't -- coming out, the weinstein scandal and the movement it created is a symptom of this, institutions cannot protect people no matter how powerful they are they break people's trust but i don't think this narrative that trust is in crisis is still helpful, when it actually does is it amplifies people's fears and anger and creates a vacuum. i will talk more about that. the other reason i don't like this narrative is i don't think trust is in crisis. there is plenty of trust out there, just flowing in different directions. this trust, the easiest way to give it is energy. you will know energy can't be
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destroyed. energy is continually changing form. what is happening is our trust flows upwards, whether that be to leaders, ceos, regulators, experts, academics is being inverted. it is flowing sideways through networks, systems, marketplaces and technologies, sometimes complete strangers, friends on the internet, colleagues and peers so why is this so profound? when you look back historically and history of trust. when you go back and look at how trust is the social glue of society, trust is like liquid gold, human beings can't trade or collaborator cooperate or be vulnerable with one another so
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trust has always existed but in its first chapter, a long period in history, trust was local, easy to understand, when we all lived in villages, communities and trust is largely personal. .. corporate brass and breadth that would tell us what products and services to buy. we invented real estate brokers or lawyers and trust starts flowing directly between people and started through institutions proved i'm not saying these two forms of trust don't exist and should exist in society, but there's a third form rising up and challenging particularly
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institutional trust is what i call dystrophy did trust and the irony is that this is a trust that flows directly between people again. it's flowing at a scale beyond before and the other person sometimes is a real human beings another time it's an artificially intelligent box or algorithm, so what i thought i would explore with you is some of the consequences of how the trust works and how we see it enabling incredible things, but also how we see it can be procured-- precarious because too much trust in the wrong people isn't necessarily a good thing. so, let's look at this in three different ways. let's look through three different lenses. first, trusted new ideas and new ideas could be anything. they could be a new technology,
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but they could be a new political idea. they could be a new philosophy, so how do people build trust in new ideas? not sure how this will work, but we will try. i think it will be difficult, but let's try. take out your phone and i want you to just swap your phone with the person behind you or the person next to you. find someone to swap your phone were-- with. make sure it's unlocked. great. maybe you would swap with that lady there took great. i will give you 20 seconds, you can do whatever you want with that person's phone. do whatever you want with that person's phone for the next 20 seconds. go. i see there are some nervous swappers out there.
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10 seconds. it's very quiet. five more seconds. okay. give the phones of back. you are also respectful. in this doesn't always happen. i respect some people did not want to play this game so they pretended that they didn't have a phone. i don't believe you. i think you do have a phone and others swamped-- swap the did not do anything with the phone, just look to the other person and then there was one or two that actually went into the phone and i don't know what you are doing, but you were looking at photos and maybe facebook or sent a message or tweeted something and you had a different relationship with that phone, but what i sense is it was a bit uncomfortable. only 20 seconds. this is what makes many of these
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ideas is so remarkable when we use technology whether it's a galling a day or share our homes often with complete strangers based on different information. let me tell you a story that brings this to life. of these three gentlemen here are brilliant businessman that founded airbnb. their names are brian, joe and nate and i first met them in 2008, so nine years ago and at the time airbnb is not what it is today. it isn't-- wasn't what it is today i should say. it was a site where people rented out mattresses in their rooms. two things happen. i was writing my first book on the sharing economy and i found the opening stories what a tomei editor. this is the example of people taking their assets in creating value from them. no, no, i cannot let you open your book with this story because the company will be dead by the time the book goes to
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publication and i was glad i sort of stuck to my guns, but if you read it you will see they have like 10000 properties, which is nothing compared to today up your the other person i told was my husband and i came home and his name is chris and i said i think i just met the next ebay and i think we should give them our money. it was actually his money. i was still paying off my harvard loans, but he's a corporate lawyer and said tell me what they do and i said first of all let me tell you about these men because they-- i can tell you they will be successful because they are so curious about the world and human behavior, but also so resilient and when you see those two things in a human being that often are the dna and the great businessperson, so i went in to like this picture and said bear with me and keep in mind i had these photos. i'm not really selling it well, photo is of mattresses on the floor and this is the beginning and their idea is that people
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around the world will open up their bedroom and bathroom and all those rooms that usually keep hidden from gas and they will take photographs oppose them on on the internet and strangers from all around the world will look to stay in these rooms and this will be the future of travel and he looked at me like i lost the plot like you i give these people in this i dig your money so the first thing he said was what can go wrong, but he said this idea will never work because strangers won't trust one another. strangers won't trust one another with their home and i said to him, chris, i think you are wrong. think of ebay. people buy secondhand cars on ebay without driving them. people trade. this is just the beginning and he made a really good point and his point was that ebay was
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about online transactions, so when you buy something on ebay you don't need that human being and what i was talking about was using the internet to get off the internet and for people to meet face-to-face. now, he was correct in some ways because even nine years ago is really hard to see how technology particularly social networks would to change so we could trust one another and he was also really wrong, i mean, really wrong, which for those of you that have gone on airbnb you will see it's not just the spare rooms and holiday homes. if you want to make money go to treehouse. treehouse is one of the most popular categories on airbnb and you can send igloos, stay in aquariums. they actually just launched trips. i learned the other day that one of the most popular trips is going to meet someone.
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i joked with the founders like i just go to treehouse may get a pack of wolves and i don't have to work again because these people are making serious money, some with an hundred 50000 a year or hosting these experiences. what these guys have done is small. they've used technology to create a marketplace for assets that never had a marketplace before and this slide, this graph shows it and tells a story airbnb was on top for quite a long time. marriott did not like it so that i think they made a few accusations. a company built on strangers trusting one another is now the second most valuable hospitality brand in the world. i would like to show this graph to my husband as a reminder that he should have listened to me when it comes to future investing decisions, but the other thing i found remarkable
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is that we have this conversation-- you know how some conversations stick in your mind and you can't get rid of them? i remembered joe and i said to him you're booting this marketplace. he said where not building a marketplace. we are building a community because marketplaces are built on money and most businesses are built on money and money only goes so far because if you create business that business becomes transactional and so our business is going to be built on a different currency. if money is the currency transaction, trust is the currency of interaction and he's absolutely right. there are very few organizations that are actually builds on the currency of trust, so what did these guys do? why is it so significant of the story-- a story? everyone who raised their hand
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had taken something that i call a trust leap and a trust are important for progress and innovation and how we advanced as a society because what they represent us when we take a risk as human beings to do something differently from the way we've always done it, so when human beings went to using money was a trust leap. first time people got in an elevator, that was a trust leap. of the first time you use ebay or put your credit card details and a website, the first time we get into self driving cars let the car take over the wheel will be a trust leap. what technology is doing is it's accelerating the pace at which we leap, so it's asking us to leap higher and faster than ever before, which is why as human beings we feel so much change, a constant state of change in our lives. now, how this trust work, how
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does this trust the work? doesn't matter if we are tagamet airbnb or self driving cars are placing your faith someone you just met. trust is a process, not of value, not something we can communicate, not a word, a process that happens between people or things or as we will see algorithms. whenever us someone to trust they are in the snow state and human beings love being in this state. that's where we gravitate towards and whenever we also went to trust their something unknown, and a no place, trust in a person, i did in the line between these two things is what we call risk. risk is the management that matters. not all risk matters. there is some risk that matters, but risk isn't what forges people. that is trust.
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the easiest way to think about trust is that it's a bridge between the known and unknown and that's why i defined trust they simply as a confident relationship with the unknown. this unknown pieces really important because sometimes people think well, i trust this person because i know the outcome. if you know the outcome, if there is no risk you don't need trust. you only need trust when there's actually uncertainty or a degree of risk and so this explains how trust is actually this magical act to being vulnerable. one said it's this weird mixture about fears and their hopes and aspirations, so with the flip side of this. this is what trust is with the unknown and i think it's really important to keep in mind for when you look at the flip side of this, for when trust breaks down here could never-- the great thing about being someone
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who researches trust is that i have a lot of new material every single week someone or something or some company in the world of breaches our thomas oh equifax, the paradise papers, the phone hacking, volkswagen emission scandal and what's really interesting is when you look at these scandals of abuse in the catholic church and you seen a saying that pattern in the breakdown of trust and one of the root causes of this, i think, is lack of accountability so, this feeling that people can do terrible things, you know the ceo of volkswagen, he knew about these and when he left he got a multimillion dollar payout. what is that signaled to that organization? that she can behave like this and it's okay. one of the things that is dangerous to trust his win the leaders in organizations know about something and they keep it
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hidden, so think about the equifax data breach pick they knew about that both-- or six weeks before they told anyone. executives sold their shares when they found out about it and they are still there, so one of the things that's been interesting to me is watching, not just the breach of trust but how companies respond and it's painful because every time he seemed-- see them get it wrong and it's actually not that hard to respond to a trust breach. you rebuild trust and think about line between those two things. i think there is a force of the process, so the first is responsiveness. what, i mean, by that? it's literally related to time, so the state organizations make is they think they have a long time to respond and that time is often compressed. of the second is ownership, so if you read the description of what went wrong, organizations
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are often point the finger at some low-level employee and they will say was an individual act. it wasn't an individual act, not systemic in the culture or that some kind of breakdown, so owning the problem and not blaming for an individual, but actually blaming the organization sanest next steps in the third is empathy and what, i mean, by empathy is addressing the human consequence to the breach of trust, not talking about this gigabyte of data that were lost, but what does this mean for human lives and the fourth step is what we talked about which is accountability and accountability is so important because in order to trust again you have to believe that system has changed. you have to have confidence in the system so i don't know about you but when only one banker went to jail after the financial crisis i didn't feel like it was being reformed, so these are the
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things we need to do when trust breaks down. let's move on and look at trust in technology, trust and technology companies at the platform and i'm talking about everything here from things like uber two things like facebook. what's really interesting and another really big driver of why trust is breaking down is in fact misinformation, so the economic form actually said that misinformation, not just fake news because there is a distinction i'm a but misinformation is one of the top 10 threats to society. wises such a threat to society? while, because what happens is we can go online and we can find information that verifies our fears and when we find information that verifies our fears it amplifies our anger and then this cycle of distrust is magnified. wise as a dangerous? because certain people like trump know how to manipulate
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this cycle, so that's why he's always talking about distrusting the media because it creates a vacuum and creates a vacuum for conspiracy theories and a vacuum for people who are very smart in talking to feelings over fact that we may not like it, but he represents a form of transparency to many people. he's a voice against things that they didn't believe in, and lack of faith in the establishment of the system, so the one thing about misinformation fake news is that it's very hard to detect , so all of these three peat-- three pieces are pieces that appeared at the top of my facebook feed and i had the same reaction, so i kind of knew the one in the middle about the post endorsing trump was fake and i wasn't showed sure about the ebola crisis baking out in atlanta, but i thought the boston globe runs real.
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i thought after the immigration ban and this is a real issue because what i realize when i thought about, i was angry at facebook, but i realized i had responsibility in this because without even thinking about it i had outsourced my capacity to trust to an algorithm and so went two thirds of americans are using facebook as their source of news, they have outsourced their capacity to trust an algorithm and what's interesting to me is that we are quick to blame. the platform is only a mirror of all of our behaviors of what the community does and what i have seen is when we don't like what we see we blame the mirror. not saying these tech companies like i'm hard on them and i think they should be more accountable and what's interesting about facebook is if
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you look at the volume, so we post 4000 photos every second, 1.3 million post every single minute or two do you know how many community moderators they have? it was foreign half thousand when i made this slide. they have seven and a half thousand moderators leaving one moderator for 466,000 reader-- users, so i think what's happening with facebook is the bigger trend and that we are starting to see the tech companies and new institutions of the world and they have to be more accountable. facebook can't say it's a pathway that disconnects users. is the media company now the world and so we need these platforms to take more responsibility to reduce the risk of what's happening and also to take responsibility when things go wrong. as i said, we also play a role in this. if we want independent
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journalism and we should go to the "new york times".com. or "washington post".com. and nokia are news from facebook. with this requires is simple. technology is accelerating trust we are living in this age of trust on speed so we click and swipe and we accept and we share without thinking about whether this be more piece of content is worthy of our trust and so one of the things i think we should do as individuals is take a trust upon and thinking twice before we share that content or place our faith in a complete stranger. just to wrap, the want to talk about trust and other people and as i said that people it could be a real human being or it can be a cyber robot. the good thing is that where trust is quite an abstract thing , when we say we need more trust in society we are actually talking about one thing. we don't want more trust in people like bernie made off.
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what we want is more trustworthy people. what we want is more trustworthy systems and there's a real science behind what to make something or someone trustworthy and it really comes down to four things. the first is competent. do you have the skills, knowledge, information to do what you say you will do to the second is reliability. this is really about time and being dependable. this is the how you do things, how you do things and then on the right-hand side is the second part of the formula which is the wife do things and this is made up of benevolence, so how much you care and what i think is the most important ingredients which is integrity. integrity isn't necessarily about being a good human being, it's about stating your intentions, about stating your motives and agree that your intentions are aligned with mine , so if you think about trust being placed in someone where trust is broken down it's
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often because there is a misalignment between intentions. as i said at the beginning this is content tool so kind of like a barometer. you need different ingredients of different situations, but this is really hard to get right to go back to doris, she was competent and reliable. you could even argue that she cared, but her intentions were definitely not aligned with my parents, so if this is so hard to get right in human beings, how are we going to cope when we have to make decisions-- make assessments around robots and algorithms that we can't see? about me finish by a sharing story with you. no prizes for getting-- guessing who this little lobster is. is my daughter grace and she's three and a half years old and she's a real character, feisty character and there is something you should know about her is that she really loves clothes
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and her decision around what she wears in the morning is very important to her. no one can interfere with this process and it takes a long time and so you can see this is an outfit she has chosen to play in the garden because you need to tr is when you play the garden. the reason why i tell you this is because i tried this examiner with her where i introduced her to alexa. was an amazon and go quick? alexa is the amazon at zero, like helpful female assistant so i said gracie, want you to meet alexa. you can now do whatever you want with her, so she looked at me and she said mommy, is she like scenery and i thought this is-- she's three and half, can't read or write a bike, but she understands in her capacity that here is another virtual assistant to help her, so first of all and she's half australian, half british so i
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think is the briton her coming out in the first thing she said was well it rained today. then she asked a lot of questions about the weather and this is something, and we do. we test the technology was something that is familiar with us and then she asked, i heard the soundtrack from frozen over and over again and that was really day one. the number two she figured out she could order things. think of it, she's three and a half years old like most say don't touch this, don't do that and she realizes with her voice she can order things. thankfully, she loves blueberries. she ordered a really big box of blueberries and she could not believe it when they arrived the next day. it was like magic to her and i thought i won't point out at this point that it's not magic. it's actually a company called amazon with very strong commercial intentions making this technology work, but it was
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on day number three something significant happened. she came downstairs and said good morning mom, good morning dad. first thing she said hello to his good morning, alexa. what should i do today? then, she said what should i wear. i cannot believe this because i spent three and a half years fighting these situations and in three days she's letting alexa decide what she should wear. what she didn't realizes that the next generation of alexa has a camera to alexa doesn't just hear you, she sees you and because amazon has launched a new fashion brand they will try to fashion what they done with books and you can stand in front of alexa and with an algorithm it would give you a rating, so it would rates the print tr outfit something or other and the winner is that weird furry hat thing with the draft whatever that thing is.
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what it also does is makes suggestions, so it will look at her and say those trainers are a bit shabby, wouldn't say it like that, but it would say would you like a new pair of trainers. now, the reason why this story is a significant is that we have gone through this shift with technology that our relationship with technology are trusted technology whether it's a washing machine or the atm or clicker is that it does something for us. it's very much the side of the equation that is competent and reliable, but with gracie and not just kids, with us as well technology is not just doing things for us but it's deciding things were as and when we trust technology to make decisions, we have to stress the y side of it occasion and understand the
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intentions of these algorithms, so just to wrap up, i don't want to end on a bad note because there's this very dark mood about technology and i went to go back to a question i asked at the beginning, which is can technology make us smarter about who we trust and i think we can when used in the right way so i started to research babysitting. it's incredible when you think about it because finding a complete stranger to look after your kids, now that's a crazy idea. speaking to the founders i found out something amazing is that they use machine learning to basically when someone says yes, i have a clean driving record or, yes, i have a childcare diploma or yes, have 10 references that i'm great with kids or love children, but yet they hate children online or they show an appropriate pictures, 75% of all people who apply to be a caregiver are rejected and so i said to the founder would doris have made it
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onto the platform and she said no. doris would have never made the cut because your parents would have known that she didn't belong to the salvation army, that she did have a criminal record and that her references were fake. so, this, i think, is the challenge we face in society is that we have to find the right balance between technology and humanness. we the humans need to stay in control of the technology versus letting a control us and really the way that we do that is we make sure that technology amplifies what it means to be human, but in amplifies our emotional intelligence versus taking over the decision-making, so i think at the end of the day the decision on who we trust is a human decision and each every one of us can play a role in this. we can also down and ask ourselves, is this person or this thing for this piece of
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information, is it worthy of our trust and every time we engage in a process even if it-- we are in our own way taking care of what i think is society's most precious and fragile assets, which is trust. thank you very much. [applause]. >> summon that just got into it uber car this morning and sharing with another person stranded outside the train station i did not think at all about people giving me the ride or accompany me on the road. i just thought about the service , so i had some questions on that. one is do you think we're
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bypassing what we are trusting? i was not thinking about individuals and their criminal records. i was just thinking when they show up and get me to work. >> good question. so, i think what happened then this is not a criticism because i do it too is that we elect convenience to trump trust so we sign up for these things and use these things because we want the benefits, so we are not even conscious of who we trust and uber is interesting because traditionally if you bought something from cvs there will be trust in the product and trust in cvs the pharmacy, but your trust is it really in the uber the company and it's not moving the driver, it's in the platform. so, this i think is part of the beauty of what technology is doing, but part of the danger because it means you give your trust away easily and often let the benefit trump the decision of whether it's really an ethical company or it's really
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safe or whatever it is and we see this in all different areas of our lives. >> which brings me to the second issue which is really much more contentious for me which is some of the security checks obviously don't work you summed it up with uber driver that there often five-star rated and then drove into a crowd killing people with their vehicle, so how good are these security checks and then much worse work for me is you yourself wrote an article in the guardian about the deep security checks on the web. i'm not sure i want to be part of that and even make you nervous when they did checks on you select the problem is we can't have both. we can't say, you know, people get through the next and then be worried about more deeper assessments and whether someone is trustworthy and i think the thing to remind us is that current gold standards of trust
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to criminal background checks, credit card checks, credit score checks are so flawed and one of the problems that we don't have the right mechanisms to keep people safe so what the regulators say is we need more background checks. background checks on to key people safe on uber peer for example, there was a driver that killed six people and owned 16 guns and a background check will pick that up, so what companies i read about is doing is that they're not trying to get people like you and i took i think this is what we worry about. they are trying to get truly bad actors, so for example on airbnb they are deep crawling the web to look at behaviors for example like people hosting sex orgies is a problem in that behavior is easy to detect online because they can look at what these people are posting on social media and how they are
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advertising these events. what they're looking out is not to catch people who don't even have a digital footprint, but the really bad actors that can destroy these passions. it is creepy. it is very weird when you know someone is looking at your entire life history and from an e-mail and for my name they can even pick up stuff on my maiden name and i think it was 8000 hits came up within 30 seconds. >> my last question-- >> i was number one, so i was proud of that. >> this very point that you ended on about keeping the humanness, thomas like you demonstrate the ability, but it's already impossible to do that, i mean, they are trying to ethically program robots, but if
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you asked me that i want a robot to give me end-of-life care i would probably say no, but i know a lot of people would sign up for that, so i think with your daughter gracie that has discovered this friend can order things an unlimited supply on amazon, how do you shut that down and did you take it away from her? >> i did eventually unplugged the pain, but you can't, i mean, i think this is one of-- sounds like such a big thing, but how you teach children what it means to be human and at the moment like i can touch you and we make that distinction, but within 10 years avatars will be so good that i wouldn't know if you were real and so some very sad stories that you hear about is when people even fall in love with cyber box because they think to your point with the elderly home they think they are better than a real boyfriend
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because they are always there and they get more intelligent and more empathetic over time and what i see with my kids is one of six and the other one is three and a half and there's a small window to teach them, so my son is almost too late because he's in school now and they have bring your own device, so i think one of the things is really teaching them what an addiction is, how to turn it off and what is behind the machine and they are always going to be there. i mean, this morning i had breakfast with sherry who is at mit and she wrote this amazing book and she's been talking about for 20 years and she said i'm so depressed because i just found out that time's person of the year will be a robot and not just any robot, but this kid's toy that will be the best-selling toy at christmas and she's like how can we call this the person of the year and that we are celebrating with these robots can do and she did an amazing thing where she--
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mattel is going to bring out the children's equipment of alexa and she got them to get rid of this product because the way kids and parents seat is you could just outsource your parenting, so aristotle would learn what songs and sounds that your baby needed to go back to sleep. now, i know i turned aristotle on, but those moments are actually what makes those relationships, so it's very worrisome. >> would people like to come up? >> i think that everyone in this room will agree with at least two points, the first that you have identified a very significant phenomenon and you have addressed it beautifully. >> thank you. >> given that a commerce may, the second think i think everyone in the room would like
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to hear more about from you immediately would be, how we apply your research and your findings are specifically in the field of politics. i have a vested interest because i'm researching a book. the question of how we redefine politics which is once again a noble profession, you and nine everyone else in this room doubt enough to go to the "new york times" and "washington post" and say that we want to check a breaking news story. we don't go to info polls-- wars or breitbart, but a significant number of americans it do. had we change that so that we can therefore change our politics? thank you. >> great question and i don't think i have a sufficient answer , i really don't. could do think it starts at a young age. i think a lot of this is around education and-- not just politics, but there was recently
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a study done where they look to educated children and their ability to actually discern information and i teach at oxford and some of my graduate students cite wikipedia and so i think information, how you find the truth, how you fact check things, this is really important and we saw this in breck sick, not just happening here. my dad is an intelligent dad and he voted to leave because he believed what they were saying that they were in a save money, so i don't have an accident-- answer, but i think a lot of it comes in making sure people have the right information and then i think what is also happening is that we feel disenchanted with the political system because it feels like politics serves the system, not citizens. how you change that so that we
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actually start serving people's needs versus a system and i think it's particularly acute in the us is the problem. it's not that people of lesser faith and politics or did they've lost their faith in the political system. how we restore that i do not know. i am getting it more thought. >> hello. i think this is a wonderful topic and you mentioned one ships, which is that people are moving from a society in which we trust institutions primarily and to a society where people trust complete strangers, but i think there is a second shift, which is that people have more information than they've ever had before in order to gauge trust, i mean, you talked about these companies that you need to search on the web to come up
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with any scrap of information that could have happened decades ago about a person and this is a tough question, but i think everyone is grappling with this, which is how do you maintain this balance between people being accountable for what they do in the safety of people and giving people a chance, giving people a chance to reinvent themselves and it's crazy. i remember going to the uk and searching my name on google, which i do sometimes just to see and there was nothing that came up because-- well, almost nothing because they how laws where you are allowed to be forgotten. how do you feel about that? >> it's something i talked extensively about in the book because you should have the right to be young and foolish and you should have the rights to delete transgressions. i think that's very different from being accountable and been a good citizen produced on the rights to delete and so i'm encouraged by not just the
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ruling of the right to be forgotten, but you may have been following what's happening with gdp are, the general data protection regulation and it's coming out in the european union and it's going to be huge, i mean, companies are worried because it gives us not complete control, but we have the right to ask companies what data they have on us. one women wrote to tender and she thought she would maybe get five pages back, but she had 800 pages back and then she realized they were just tracking who she was looking at. they were tracking her locations and new where she had been on dates, she spent on that day, so the ability to see what data commies have on us in the right to delete that data and the right to demand the data is not passed on. i do think-- i'm not always a advocate regulation, but we need stronger regulation that takes control away from the companies
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and puts it back in the hands of users and humans and makes it more visible around these companies because that the thing that frightens me. it's not a durance because it's ignorance-- and from us, so i 100% agree with you. >> i guess my question now-- you have addressed a lot of it. i think i personally think a lot about and i think it's something that we all have to ask ourselves and it's interesting to hear your thoughts is about how do we take advantage of these big data driven solutions while maintaining privacy? and you mention on this ability to kind of asking these companies to delete the data, but in some way there is the issue of them collecting it in the first place and i am interested to hear your thoughts on that balance between trust and privacy and how they can
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better maintain that. >> i think it sounds very simple. it's complicated to execute, but it should be permission -based and if so the company i was talking about called truly and there are others out there and you have to opt into this and this is one of the things i want to see. so many systems designed for us to opt out and i don't know about you, but do you ever read the terms and conditions? first of all, i wear very strong lenses and you would need like a magnifying glass and is trying to speed you through that process and so i think companies should be much more aware of what you are signing up to and getting-- when you give your permission over. i ran a question around trust and privacy and of course two things are tied together. i think what we have to be careful is that we are asking
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for more transparency. if you have a very low goal and you go back to my definition of what trust is an competent relationship unknown, and this is a society given up on trust if we need things to be transparent and so i think we need more privacy and we need more control, but not necessarily more transparency. that should not be the end objective here. >> thanks. i got here a bit late because i was at a hearing of our ordinance committee hearing cambridge on a rezoning petition filed for harvard square trying to do something about the big big businesses, big-box kind of retail and what's happening in harvard square is changing as a result of global capital, i guess. to my question. tim berner is actually--
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wechsler did have something to do with the creation of the internet, i guess. >> just a little bit. >> talks about this thing about what ralph nader calls contracts of adhesion. who ever read that stuff? thank you for that. suddenly occurred to me to ask to you-- ask about internet neutrality. yes-- it just the other day there was a vote at the fcc in washington to loosen up ownership restrictions on media, which has gotten some attention from people concerned about this , but in that context people and now been alerted to an impending with a vote scheduled for a believe december 8, by the fcc on internet neutrality. could use a little bit about your understanding of this issue and do you agree that it's important and people maybe should pay some attention and we should try her best not to let that happen. >> it's a great question and i
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think part of the problem is the language people are using around it and you look at the regulation i think more people would wake up and realize how important it is if we talked about monopoly and this is not the same as the monopoly we have had. it's a network monopoly so once you are locked in that will only scaling get bigger and bigger and it's hard for people to leave and so i think one of the biggest mistakes we've made with the internet is the scale of these companies that amazon should not have a control-- i say this as an author over books of distribution. i don't know how they sold to them. i know from a commercial perspective and now they will do it with fashion and it's too much power in the world and as soon as society, you let a companywide platform take control around the way volume is distributed or the way information flows and so it
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comes from one dominant force and then they control the price and they control how that reaches another person that's a very precarious place for society to be so i think you are correct is what they're talking about is dangerous and will just give them more control for this concentration of information such as what i think we need to do is actually to break down the scale on the enormous companies. >> think you. it is seems like you kind of addressed it, but my question is basically looking at these new technologies and the extent that -- the ubiquity of them. where's the regulation my? i mean, you mention there is-- there are i guess you regulations coming down, but it seems as though in every region,
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in every corner of the world there's-- all of that is kind of widely distributed, so to have kind of concrete global understanding, you could say guidelines or regulations around this seems to be like kind of, i mean, is it more like whack a mole. >> it is. >> how you create consensus. >> yes. very insightful question and if you talk to the guys that run regulation or policy on airbnb they talk about the same thing. they often have to go city by city because there are different compliance laws. the thing i felt strongly about is that we need a different dna to regulation. we need a different type of regulator because the regulator and i get to interact with many
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and they are smart people, but remember the triangle i showed you in the beginning, that's how they think about regulation generally that its top down, high representative or about more compliance, more governance and that just doesn't work when you deal with networks and systems, so i think we have to-- the idea shouldn't to be to put the institution in the network. we should be looking at how we redesign a special safety nets and we see this start to emerge like one of the big issue is about the future of work. we see this with uber driver's. are they independent contractors or employees? we need this new social safety net where if things go wrong, thinking about both the market, the consumer market as well and however these new protections and neither is through traditional compliance driven regulation. >> well, that was a very
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stimulating discussion about implications of the future and if trust does exist and there is a new definition, even. so, thank you, rachel, very much for coming. last pit stop for you. i went to remind everyone the next event is december 5. that's with cornell west, 7:00 p.m. i think it will be very popular, so make plans accordingly and thank you all for coming and i look forward to seeing you all again. >> thank you. [applause]. cynic i forgot to add, there is a book signing to follow and anyone that would like rachel to sign a book, please come over. thank you.
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>> every month for the past 20 years one of the nation's top nonfiction authors has joined us on our in-depth program for a fascinating three-hour conversation about their work. now, just war 2018 in-depth is changing course. we have invited 12 fiction authors on two-hour set, authors of historical fiction, national security thrillers, science writers, social commentators like colton whitehead, brad meltzer, cory doctorow, geraldine brooks and many others their books have been read by millions route the country and around the world, so if you are a reader plan to join us for in-depth on book tv. it's an interactive program the first sunday of every month. lets you call in and talk directly to your favorite authors and it all kicks off sunday, january 7, at noon with david ignatius and the author of
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national security thrillers. you can join us live on sunday, january 7, or watch on demand at book civic timothy in the book is called revolving door lobbying, public service, private influence and an equal representation. tummy but about the book? guest: in this book we look at a problem that we have long known has existed involving lobbying. the first phenomenon is people work inside governance go back out and end up representing clients in going back through the door to lobby on behalf of those clients interests. i like to think the book systematically looks and what we did was got a random sample of lobbyists, 1600 or so folks and we had students for about three years google and by
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doing that we essentially reconstructed their resumes in a large data poll we could look at their lobbying, where they were before, who they worked for which gave us the opportunity. did they work in congress, the white house, federal agencies and do they represent interest now that every regulated? host: where did most of them come from great to--? guest: back in the 70s and 80s when we had data on who lobbyists were nearly days, most of lobbyists by car came from there on intel. they were service business managers, lawyers that came up through the ranks and end up lobbying on behalf of their industry or corporation or even an international field. now, people who work the
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log as lobbyist worked in government. we find differences. the lobbyists that come up in their own industries narrowly focused on pieces is much they-- we think of that that we need their background and recommendations. lobbyists have come from government. they represent everything under the sun they represent clients. they are engaged on a wide variety of policy issues, which we interpret to mean they are not actually policy experts, but they are experts at explaining to their client if they can't get them in the door, which is pretty common these days in congress that what's happening behind those closed doors so i world today where you have highly polarized congress where they end up essentially writing the bills behind closed
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doors as opposed to the open committee rooms, these lobbyists become really valuable to explain to their client about what to expect. their job is to try to reduce the sense of political uncertainty that we all feel, but as it turns out the wealthiest interest otherwise that are able to afford that political intelligence that these lobbyists provide. host: how much money is spent a year on lobbying would you say? guest: we can say for certainty about 3.2, $3.3 billion is spent on lobbying that we know of, so we get these numbers because commerce-- congress requires lobbyists to report their spending, but in related work my co-author and i found her that there is about one lobbyists that does not report lobbying
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for every one that does so we say that 3.2 is probably more like 4 billion and is probably grown, but a lot of lobbyist in town are learning that they can do their job and get their clients to earn the money and not trigger the really strict law that requires them to disclose their money, so chances are the number is probably seven, eight, $9 billion but we don't really know. host: what is your background or? guest: political science. i studied congress, but before i went to graduate school i worked on the hill, so i guess i decided not to become a lobbyist and i make a lot less money and writing about it. host: while you are doing your research for this book, is there anything that any particular industry that you are surprised that didn't have a lobbyist? guest: no because i've been studying lobbying and politics long enough to know that every
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issue, every industry, every sub industry within that industry all have lobbyist here in town. really the story we are telling here is that there was once a time when there was lobbyists for every issue in every industry peer give a new how those widgets were being made and now the lobbyist represent them know how the software is being made in congress. host: do you think there will ever be a situation where lobbying will no longer exist? guest: no, nor do we want that. it gives all of us the opportunity to speak to power and largely that's what lobbyists are doing what the real problem is is that some kind of speaking through the power and what we see in our world is that the wealthy and the best
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organized and largest corporation are the ones with essentially the best covenants herein washington. the problem is we don't want to get rid of that just like you wouldn't want to get rid of journalists or get rid of any. it's a real conundrum to try to think about well, how do we give that as much voice. host: what would you like people to take away from reading this book? guest: i think the story i told, one is that lobbying itself is not bad. often the story we hear from journalists and hear from commentators and even politicians themselves that we want to drain the swamp. that's not often true. what they mean is that they went to drain the swamp of those that they disagree with and so i
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think one of the takeaways here is that lobbying itself is not the enemy, but really what is the underlying cause of the revolving door lobbying is that congress itself has prospectively lobotomized it. they no longer hire high-quality staff to stay for long periods of time. now what we see is people work at the white house and the drill agencies just buy enough for them to be able to go and make some money, so i think the take away here might be to try to bring back the public spirit of the wanted to preserve for the greater good and working governments. >> every weekend


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