Seth Stephens-Davidowitz
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of, ‘Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are’

Go take a look through your recent Google search history. Now imagine someone were to post all of that history in a public forum for all of your family and friends to see. What would they think of you? How would you feel?

 I bet it’s a safe guess that many of us would feel embarrassed, ashamed, and stupid. But why? These are our closest confidants! The truth is, the way we act on the internet can actually give us a much more realistic view of what it means to be human than our actual human interactions. Crazy, huh?

By the end of an average day in the early twenty-first century, human beings searching the internet will amass eight trillion gigabytes of data. This staggering amount of information—unprecedented in history—can tell us a great deal about who we are—the fears, desires, and behaviors that drive us, and the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. From the profound to the mundane, we can gain astonishing knowledge about the human psyche that less than twenty years ago, seemed unfathomable.

In our episode this week we talk with former Google data scientist and author, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Seth explains exactly how the internet provides a window to the soul and how we can use this data to answer some of the most difficult, and most interesting questions of our time. With conclusions ranging from strange-but-true to thought-provoking to disturbing, he explores the power of this digital truth serum and its deeper potential—revealing biases deeply embedded within us, information we can use to change our culture, and the questions we’re afraid to ask that might be essential to our health—both emotional and physical. All of us are touched by big data everyday, and its influence is multiplying.

Seth is the author of the new book, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are. He is a former Google data scientist and is currently a contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. He received his undergrad degree from Stanford and his PhD in economics from Harvard.
More about Seth Stephens-Davidowitz at http://sethsd.com/