This new book, Irresistible: the Rise of Addictive Technology, points to a challenge that may be hitting a tipping point: technology addiction. It is not a surprise that we find various of our tech toys addictive in various ways. Nor is it surprising that there is a business incentive to have folks “hooked” on your toy rather than someone else’s. But … are we moving towards “maximally effective addiction?” There is the traditional story of “the wire” that allows rats/people to stimulate brain pleasure centers that can result in addictive, potentially fatal activity. Presumably, to the extent possible from a basis of external sensory input, technology will move towards this point.
Adding AI to the technology addiction mix:
With the addition of fairly comprehensive individual analysis, AI-driven analysis and expanded virtual reality capabilities will approach the maximally effective endpoint. The only business constraint may be the loss of a revenue generating consumer as a result. Is this the direction we are headed? And what might prevent our reaching that point?
See also the discussion on NPR about “Irresistible.”