In 2015, NBC science and technology correspondent Jacob Ward began to meet researchers who were doing revolutionary work on understanding unconscious human behaviors. He also started looking into tech companies' pattern-recognition algorithms, which they were using to predict and ultimately shape human behavior.
"I realized these two worlds are on a collision course," Ward said in an interview. "What happens if, in a few generations, all this pattern-recognition technology has found and amplified the most irresistible, unconscious human instincts?" That question led Ward to write The Loop: How Technology Is Creating a World Without Choices and How to Fight Back, a study of the scientific research—and inexorable market forces—fueling tech's prediction machine.
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