Michael Novak



Our Algorithmic Future

Our brain is always looking to save itself the effort of making decisions, and algorithms that learn your preferences are making it easier and easier.

October 13, 2019 2 min read

Our brain spends 80% of the time on autopilot, and this happens because the brain seeks to save energy, to use in case of emergency, by avoiding making conscious decisions.

If we combine this habit with the growing power of technology, we get that, little by little, we have been delegating decision making to technology. The more we interact with tech algorithms, the more they know us and help us to find better matches.

Spotify chooses most of the music we listen to daily. Netflix provides us with most of the entertainment content we consume in the evening. Stitch fix, a relatively new company, chooses our wardrobe. The more options there are in an industry, such as entertainment or fashion, the more we seek help in deciding what to consume.

Of course, our first reaction is resistance. That’s normal. We did it, for example, with GPS navigators. I remember when every time my browser recommended a route, I would think to myself “Nah, I know a shortcut…”

Until eventually, by using the algorithm, you come to realize that you don’t make better decisions than it. Now it’s Google Maps who chooses our routes to work, school, anywhere. And this, although it disrupts our image of ourselves, is paradise for our brain.

What implications does this have for marketing, sales, branding, and positioning product and services?

Alexa and Google will eventually get to know us better, and our brains will delegate to them decisions about products, entertainment, travel and experiences.

There will come a day when the doorbell will ring, you’ll get the door, and you’ll find an Amazon delivery drone with a package. Inside will be a lightbulb. And you’ll think “I didn’t order a…” just as the lightbulb on the ceiling above you burns out. (Add a little more sci-fi, and the lightbulb will float off of your hand towards the ceiling to install itself).

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Michael Novak



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Michael is an expert in innovation, education and entrepreneurship. As a consultant, your expertise is strategic innovation. He is CEO of Novak Innovation.