People don’t always act rationally. Our joy, sadness, and other emotions fall outside the realm of logic.

There was a time when we had forgotten this simple truth. Things were scarce and information only moved in one direction. With limited options available, people acted for simple reasons, sold goods, and economies developed.

The spread of the internet brought about sweeping changes to this kind of society.

With free and unregulated information, it’s become clear that the “normal” person isn’t actually the norm. Our hearts are moved for illogical reasons, and this has affected the economy in drastic ways.

While it’s certainly true that economies exist within society—and not the other way around—economic activities do support the larger society. Since society isn’t a uniform thing, the economy loses track of its changes as it fails to read the often illogical actions of people.

That’s where Machine Learning, with its ability to make predictions based on finding important features from even complex or ambiguous past data, comes in.

Even if it’s just the results of a vague sense or intuition, it can root out the features that will lead to highly accurate predictions. So by showing it a veteran employee’s intuitive decision-making, it can figure out how to start making the same kinds of decisions.

Is this intelligence? Maybe it’s a bit different.

If we think of it as learning from past experience, then we don’t believe this will lead to a future where people’s work becomes unnecessary. However, we can say with certainty that Machine Learning is starting to be used in ways that allow for and support human diversity and ambiguity.

Ultimately, economic activities are accepted and brought into society when they bring people happiness. With living, breathing people building the tech, just because a machine does something doesn’t mean it’s lifeless.

That’s why we think discussions on Machine Learning and AI aren’t really about technology, but rather sociology, anthropology, and the ways these technologies will be developed and spread to support society.

There are a surprising number of people who also feel this way and are working hard to move things forward.

We want to focus on these people to encourage activities inspired by their examples. We want to support any such activities that will lead to a better, more humane future.

That’s why we’ve launched UNPLUGGED. That’s the why behind what we do.