Discover more from Hidden Brain
Feel anxious over AI? You’re not alone
Plus, do content warnings backfire?
“We can be just as successful and not carry around the emotional baggage that we carry with perfectionism.” –psychologist Thomas Curran
Think outside the bots. You’ve seen the headlines about AI and the many ways it may change our lives. Thinking about how we might be affected by new technologies can spark worry— or what some have dubbed “AI anxiety.” At Scientific American, writer Lauren Leffer explains, “Specific worries include a lack of protection for online data privacy, the prospect of job loss, the opportunity for students to cheat and even the possibility of overall human obsolescence.” So how do you manage anxiety about a future that no one can predict? One possibly counterintuitive solution: embrace the very thing you fear. Try out the tech. Learn how it works. Know its limitations. Confronting the thing you’re afraid of can alleviate some of the discomfort of uncertainty, experts say. Plus, “a deeper understanding can empower someone to advocate for meaningful job protections or policies that rein in potential downsides,” Leffer argues. Read the full story for more on AI anxiety and how to manage it.
Hide and seek. When you see a “sensitive content” screen on a platform like Reddit or Instagram, what do you do? In a series of studies, researchers showed volunteers a handful of different images. Some of those images were blurred out or masked to hide sensitive content. Then the researchers measured how people felt seeing the content warning, whether or not they were exposed to the sensitive image. The study reported, “overall, participants reported a significant increase in state anxiety and negative affect…when they were exposed to sensitive-content screens, whether or not they were also exposed to the negative imagery beneath.” In other words, introducing people to the idea of sensitive content might counterproductively make them feel anxious. “Our data suggest sensitive-content screens cause negative responses—state anxiety and negative affect—that do not translate to an emotional benefit when people view negative content,” the researchers concluded.
Oh, joy. Sorrows have a way of finding us, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Joys, on the other hand, are often harder to notice and appreciate. So how can we make the latter last longer? Listen to learn more.
ON THE HIDDEN BRAIN PODCAST
Escaping Perfectionism: Perfectionism is everyone’s favorite flaw. It’s easy to assume that our push to be perfect is what leads to academic, athletic and professional success. But psychologist Thomas Curran says perfectionism has a dark side, and that there are much healthier ways to strive for excellence.
ON THE MY UNSUNG HERO PODCAST
Jeff Balch’s Story: Jeff honors three men who reminded him to see the humanity in everyone he meets.
Don’t forget to send us the story of your unsung hero! Record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.
FROM OUR LISTENERS
Don goes to the supermarket and buys 10 tomatoes. On the way back home, all but 9 get ruined. How many tomatoes are still in good condition?
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
14,500 people sit in a stadium. One of them is picked out. What are the chances that the person's birthday is on a Sunday?
The answer: 1/7. The number of people in the crowd is irrelevant.