AN UNLIKELY REVOLUTIONARY: How Tristan Harris went from working at Apple and Google to consulting with heads of state about how to reform Silicon Valley
Business Insider - Tue 16 Apr 00:57 GMT

The cofounder of the Center for Humane Technology, Tristan Harris has been calling attention to how tech companies manipulate citizens and consumers.

AN UNLIKELY REVOLUTIONARY: How Tristan Harris went from working at Apple and Google to consulting with heads of state about how to reform Silicon Valley

  Harris got his start with a presentation he made while at Google highlighting the techniques it and other tech companies used to manipulate customers and dominate their attention.

  First as a product manager at Google and later as an outside critic of the tech industry, he's shone a light on what's been called the attention economy, the way our phones and apps and web services are constantly diverting and distracting us.

  Harris felt the industry was heading in the wrong direction Troy Wolverton: You've been trying to draw attention to and get the tech companies to address the abuses of what you call the attention economy since you put together your presentation in 2013.

  [Companies such as Facebook and YouTube] are going to be looked back on as the fossil fuel companies, because in the attention economy, they drill deeper and deeper in the race to the bottom of the brain stem to get the attention out of people.

  Tech companies have taken only baby steps so far Wolverton: You've said that companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google have taken what you call baby steps toward addressing these issues by doing things such as allowing people to set limits on the time they spend on their devices.