Human self-optimization happens at the interface. At the interface of neurotechnology, artificial intelligence and science. New technologies are making it increasingly easy to digitize entire daily routines. Starting with the calories consumed, the evaluation of sleep quality, to the steps taken and countless applications of "self-tracking". It has long since ceased to be just about the "quantified self". It's about optimizing behavior and ultimately life with the help of physical-digital products.
The startup emotive proclaims with its new headsets: "connecting you, your brain, and the world" to understand and better use your brain. The implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) from Paradromics use electronic circuits placed under the skull and on the surface of the brain to interface with neurons in the brain. Both methods convert incoming electrical signals from the brain into meaningful digital, context-based data. This can be used to change behavior in a targeted way and make us better people.
Virtual reality plays a special role in targeted behavior change. The founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Jeremy Bailenson, is developing VR, for example, to make racism, sexism or other types of discrimination tangible (and to avoid them in the future). His goal: to experience virtual reality not as an "artificial" media reality, but as a "reality" that can be used to train empathy, treat post-traumatic disorders, or provide efficient and effective training.
Already in 2019, on the basis of a Study In the case of management training at Wal Mart, it was shown that virtual reality can massively reduce the time spent on training - or in other words, the time it takes for someone to learn something new - and optimize learning success. At Wal Mart, trainee bias was eliminated and candidates were placed in positions that best matched their skills.
On the other hand, the application of new technologies to optimize human behavior enables the collection of countless data, which in turn allows products to be (further) developed in line with needs. It must be noted that not all users are equally willing to share data.
Research findings in certain areas suggest that there are gender differences in the acceptance as well as use of technologized practices of Quantified Self (with a preponderance of male users). Research also indicates that for some users there is a quite paradoxical relationship between data recording and simultaneous rejection of data storage. [Schwaiger, Lis (2020)].
A careful analysis of ethical aspects, as well as user-specific motivators and aversions, is necessary before data-based products can be launched successfully.