Tristan is Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Center for Humane Technology (CHT), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to align technology with humanity’s best interests. He regularly briefs heads of state, technology CEOs, and US Congress members, in addition to mobilizing millions of people around the world through mainstream media. Tristan has explored the influences that hijack human attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs, from his childhood as a magician to his coursework in Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab to his leadership as a Design Ethicist at Google. Today, he studies how major technology platforms wield dangerous power over our ability to make sense of the world and leads the call for systemic change. In 2020, Tristan was featured in the two-time Emmy-winning Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. The film unveiled how social media is dangerously reprogramming our brains and human civilization. It reached over 100 million people in 190 countries across 30 languages. As a co-host of the top-rated technology podcast, Your Undivided Attention, he explores the drivers behind social media’s race for attention, its destabilization of society, and potential solutions.
Tristan Harris raises concerns about AI development and stresses the need for collaboration among safety teams. He calls for consensus among Western nations to establish guardrails for AI companies and emphasizes framing AI risks in concrete terms. Harris believes demonstrating the ability to address AI challenges is crucial, suggesting that upcoming elections in the EU and the US could provide an opportunity to showcase this. He discusses the concept of learned helplessness and proposes emphasising short-term wins, such as holding generative AI companies accountable for content. Generally, Harris advocates for proactive measures to shape AI development and regulation before it becomes deeply embedded in society.