All Turtles Podcast Episode 38: Tech journalist Jacob Ward

Jacob Ward is a tech journalist and Burggruen Fellow at Stanford; he’s writing a book about AI and behavioral science. In his research, he’s been concerned to note that people have been handing off critical decision-making processes to AI, which risks long-term damage to humans’ cognitive abilities. As far as ethics in AI development, Jacob shares his idea that people’s cognitive functionings should be treated as a finite natural resource, and companies should be responsible for their extractive models.

Show notes

Conversation with Jacob Ward, tech journalist (1:01)

The Burggruen Fellowship (1:06)

Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) (1:25)

Daniel Kahneman, psychologist whose research involved decision-making and behavioral economics (1:41)

Richard Thaler, economist and professor of behavioral science and economics (1:46)

Jacob Ward’s portfolio of work includes Wired and Al-Jazeera (4:22)

Mahzarin Banaji, psychologist whose work focuses on implicit bias (4:56)

The “weak perfection” principle (12:44)

The vaccine courts illustrate the “make an omelette, break a few eggs” idea (14:25)

Learned Hand was a judge and philosopher who coined the “Hand rule” to calculate negligence (16:20)

Survey: one-fourth of Americans have no emergency savings (18:53)

How to define ethical AI (19:30)

Artefact’s tarot cards of tech can help product founders anticipate the impact their product will have on society (20:35)


“Eyeroll, please” (24:48)

Why it’s a fallacy to tell founders, “Don’t raise too much money.” (25:37)


Listener question

From our subreddit, With the pace of improvement seen from the likes of Boston Dynamics, when do you see the dexterity problem being solved in such a way that robots come out of the labs and niche applications and into everyday life?


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