🧠 Neuroscience-based methods to break free from the hooks of social media ⋆ AI of the week ⋆ Seek discomfort

Microsoft and Google innovate with AI, neuroscience guides us in breaking social media addictions, and 'Seek Discomfort' inspires us to challenge our limits and reclaim control over our digital and real lives.

🧠 Neuroscience-based methods to break free from the hooks of social media ⋆ AI of the week ⋆ Seek discomfort

This week in 3-in-3, Microsoft expands AI horizons with Copilot+, Google revolutionizes user interaction with Gemini [2], and as a neuroscientist sheds light on breaking the addictive cycle of social media through deliberate barriers [1], Yes Theory's mantra to 'Seek Discomfort' inspires you to embrace the new and challenging, steering our focus from fleeting digital rewards to meaningful life adventures [3].

Thing 1 - Social Media Got You Hooked? Here's How to Break Free!

Our brains crave unpredictable rewards, which is what social media gives us.

The unpredictability of rewards, like the ping of a new text or the buzz of a social media notification, keeps us shackled to our devices. Speak for yourself, Z.
Our brains are hardwired to respond to these rewards, perceiving them as crucial for our well-being or survival - there's no difference between a delicious snack and a like on a post.

The trick to breaking free? Make checking harder!

Here's what Dr Rachel Barr, a neuroscientist, suggests:

  • Put your phone away
    Out of sight, out of mind - and out of temptation.
  • Download apps that lock you OUT
    Set limits and stick to them.
  • Delete & reinstall social media
    A clean slate helps you rebuild a healthier habit.
  • Silence the noise
    Turn off notifications or use Do Not Disturb.
  • Make them work for you
    Download apps that make you do a task before you can check in.

These tricks add a tiny hurdle, slowing you down and making you think twice before diving back in.

Outsmart your brain and reclaim control of your time and attention!

Thing 2 - AI of the week

  • Microsoft introduced Copilot+ PCs
  • Microsoft announced "Recall" - a new ability that will let Copilot see and search everything on your computer, including your screen.
  • Google now lets you chat with Maps, ask questions, get AI responses, and much more.
  • You might be able to replace Google Assistant with Google Gemini. Gemini should be a lot smarter but doesn't have access to all Assistant features. It's worth it for me tho.
  • Scale AI announced $1B of financing at a $13.8B valuation.
  • Scarlett Johansson (yes, that Scarlett Johansson) is taking legal action against OpenAI claiming they copied her voice for GPT-4o (the voice in question is called Sky)
    They tried to hire her. She said "no". They hired someone else with similar vocal qualities. To make things better, they hired the other actress months before they approached Scarlett, according to an interview with the actress who gave Sky voice in the Washington Post.
  • OpenAI dissolved its "Superalignment" team, which was dedicated to ensuring the safety of potential future AI systems. This decision came after the high-profile departures of the team's leaders, Ilya Sutskever (OpenAI's co-founder and chief scientist) and Jan Leike (a lead researcher at OpenAI).
    Ok, this sounds bad, but the reasoning was to integrate its members into the company's overall research efforts. They claim this is helping it achieve its safety goals while developing advanced AI technologies.
  • Cohere launched Aya 23 — a family of multilingual LLMs with open weights and support for 23 different languages

Thing 3 - Seek discomfort

Comfort will kill your ambitions.

Never forget how you got where you are.

You took risks, chose the scary path, jumped.

- Orange Book

In other words, "Seek discomfort".

It's also Yes Theory's motto + they have a Seek Discomfort channel too, in case you need extra inspiration or time to procrastinate.

Cheers, Zvonimir