Wednesday, August 16, 2006


The other day was just going through the MIT Media Lab site (of course, in context of the discussion with some friends and bosses about the insight into human behavior as a computer scientist!). Even if you are miles away from this kind of domain, I would suggest you to definitely visit the research work there as an interesting past time: they attempt to look at some of the most commonplace, intuitive aspects of human mind, tangibility and behavior, far away from the techie aspects of conventional research.

They have a pretty few very interesting research groups. One of them that caught my attention is the group on eRationality! They say, "The eRationality group studies ways in which human decision processes deviate from the expected rational prescriptions. We investigate (and practice) semi rationality, bounded rationality, and just plain irrationality. Our long-term goal is to create new environments: physical and digital, in which tools are implemented to overcome irrationality-based behaviors in order to ultimately increase welfare and maximize happiness."

Imagine some system trying to tackle your unintentional irrational behavior on the Blogger, for the 'welfare' of the larger community as a whole! But more than that, like the ever-unanswered-question "who will guard the guards" the question arises, how do you define 'irrationality'. And provided the freedom that a person has to fully express his/her thoughts and views which he/she thinks rational, who is a system to put a bar to that?

The broader question arises, "Are we embedding technology too much in our lives today? What is a research just for the sake of research if it shatters the very base of how our society is built?"

1 comment:

candid diary said...

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