Honest Signals – How They Shape Our World (Encore Video) NeuroLeadership Summit

How understanding the signaling within social networks can change the way we make decisions, work with others, and manage organizations.

(Interview with Sandy was recorded in 2011, but the ideas he presents are as relevant today as they were a decade ago)

How can you know when someone is bluffing? Paying attention? Genuinely interested? The answer, writes Alex Pentland in Honest Signals, is that subtle patterns in how we interact with other people reveal our attitudes toward them. These unconscious social signals are not just a back channel or a complement to our conscious language; they form a separate communication network. Biologically based “honest signaling,” evolved from ancient primate signaling mechanisms, offers an unmatched window into our intentions, goals, and values. If we understand this ancient channel of communication, Pentland claims, we can accurately predict the outcomes of situations ranging from job interviews to first dates.

Alex `Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program and advises the World Economic Forum, Nissan Motor Corporation, and a variety of start-up firms. He has previously helped create and direct MIT’s Media Laboratory, the Media Lab Asia laboratories at the Indian Institutes of Technology, and Strong Hospital’s Center for Future Health.

Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland directs MIT Connection Science, an MIT-wide initiative, and previously helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India. He is one of the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and Forbes recently declared him one of the “7 most powerful data scientists in the world” along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States.  He is on the Board of the UN Foundations’ Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, co-led the World Economic Forum discussion in Davos that led to the EU privacy regulation GDPR, and was central in forging the transparency and accountability mechanisms in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  He has received numerous awards and prizes such as the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review, the 40th Anniversary of the Internet from DARPA, and the Brandeis Award for work in privacy.

He is a member of advisory boards for the UN Secretary General and the UN Foundation,  and the American Bar Association, and previously for Google, AT&T, and Nissan.   He is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded more than a dozen companies including social enterprises such as the  Harvard-ODI-MIT DataPop Alliance . He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and leader within the World Economic Forum.

Over the years Sandy has advised more than 70 PhD students. Almost half are now tenured faculty at leading institutions, with another one-quarter leading industry research groups and a final quarter founders of their own companies. Together Sandy and his students have pioneered computational social scienceorganizational engineeringwearable computing (Google Glass), image understanding, and modern biometrics. His most recent books are Building the New Economy and Trusted Data, both published by MIT Press, Social Physics, published by Penguin Press, and Honest Signals, published by MIT Press.

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