November 2, 2016

Guest blog: We are all robots, programmable slaves of habit

Anna Koskinen

Development manager, Elo Pension Company

According to biohacker Teemu Arina we are all robots. We are programmable slaves of habit whose behaviour is based on the information encoded in us.

Biohacker Teemu Arina at Elo Data Science Hack

Our environment acts as input and we react to its commands – whether we acknowledge the existence of the commands or they influence us without our knowing on a cellular level. Even though we like to think of ourselves as individual human beings completely in control of our destiny, our history and the culture that surrounds us has programmed our behaviour to be a certain way. The idea of being a programmed  product of various inputs can raise objections but luckily there is a flipside: we ourselves can also change our programming if we choose to. If there is something you'd like to change in your life it's possible to build new behaviour models that suit you better.

Here's a question: If you'd be in charge of developing the software of you, would you like to reprogram something in yourself? Is there need to fix minor bugs? Would you like to do an update to enhance the user experience others have when they interact with you?

I am the first one to aknowledge my inner robot has difficulties with the multitasking required in today's working life. I am clearly programmed for running only one program at a time. My robot goes into overdrive when I try to tackle multiple tasks at once: with my physical body in a meeting, my mind can be in yesterday's events, my fingers on the keyboard, my eyes wondering from emails to collegues to my phone. The end result being that I don't reach a machine's level of performance on any of my tasks. No wonder entrepreneurs in companies of all sizes say that one of their biggest challenges in day to day life is time management. Which task should we concentrate on when there is a number of screens demanding attention in our field of vision? How to program yourself to choose which task you should perform and follow thorough until the task is completed?

To achieve better performance biohacker Arina recommends you empty all your drives, at least temporarily. Why not try to put away the screen you are reading this on. Switch off any other screens near you. Close you eyes for a moment and let creative thoughts fill the empty space opening in your mind – for that is the thing that real robots are not capable of.

Read more about the Elo Data Science Hack: elo.fi/hackathon

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