How do you ethically steer the thoughts and actions of two billion people's minds every day?
Called the “closest thing Silicon Valley has to a conscience,” by The Atlantic magazine, Tristan Harris spent three years as a Google Design Ethicist developing a framework for how technology should “ethically” steer the thoughts and actions of billions of people from screens. He is now co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology, whose mission is to reverse ‘human downgrading’ and re-align technology with humanity.
Tristan has spent more than a decade studying the influences that hijack human thinking and action. From his childhood as a magician to his work in the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab where he studied persuasive technology, Tristan became concerned about the need for ethical and humane technology.
A year after his company was acquired by Google in 2013, he created an internal slide deck within Google that went viral, warning about technology’s arms race to capture attention and the moral responsibility of technology companies in how they shape society.
Before Google, Tristan was co-founder and CEO of Apture, which Google acquired in 2011. Apture enabled millions of users to get instant, on-the-fly explanations across a vast publisher network.
Tristan holds several patents from his work at Apple, Wikia, Apture and Google. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Computer Science, focused on Human Computer Interaction, while dabbling in behavioral economics, social psychology, behavior change and habit formation in Professor BJ Fogg’s Stanford Persuasive Technology lab.