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The Talks at Google podcast - where great minds meet.

Talks at Google brings the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers, and doers all to one place. Every episode is taken from a video that can be seen at

Dec 27, 2022

Gerd Gigerenzer visits Google to discuss his latest book "How to Stay Smart in a Smart World: Why Human Intelligence Still Beats Algorithms.” The book is a comprehensive guide on how to stay in charge in a world populated by algorithms that beat us in chess, try to find us romantic partners, and tell us to “turn right in 500 yards.”

Doomsday prophets of technology predict that robots will take over the world, leaving humans behind in the dust. Tech industry boosters think that replacing people with software might make the world a better place, while tech industry critics warn darkly about surveillance capitalism. Despite their differing views of the future, they all agree: machines will soon do everything better than humans.

Machines powered by artificial intelligence are good at some things, like playing chess, but not others. Gigerenzer explains why algorithms often fail at finding us romantic partners, why self-driving cars fall prey to the so-called Russian Tank Fallacy, and how judges and police rely increasingly on nontransparent “black box” algorithms to predict whether a criminal defendant will reoffend or show up in court. He invokes the hit TV show Black Mirror, considers the privacy paradox in which people want privacy, but give their data away, and explains that social media gets us hooked by programming intermittent reinforcement in the form of the “like” button. Gigerenzer tells us that we shouldn't trust smart technology unconditionally, but we shouldn’t fear it unthinkingly either.

Visit to watch the video.