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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Feb 18, 2022

As a lover of questions, I get asked a lot of things on all sorts of topics. One that comes up often is this idea about machine learning, AI, big data, data analytics, and how it combines with the behavioral sciences. Is there an overlap or are they competing? How can they work together? 

Around the same time as I was prepping to be part of a debate at the Insights Association’s CONVERGE conference on a similar topic, I had my conversation and interview with Manuj Aggarwal. He went from making $2/day to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies as a business mentor. He now has four patents, two published books, and more than 180K students across the globe. He has worked with multiple businesses including Microsoft, Pearson, IBM, and many others. He even developed an AI-based system to help students avoid dropping out of degree programs that were praised and mentioned by Barack Obama and Bill Gates. He is the host of the Bootstrapping Your Dreams podcast, where I was honored to be a guest recently and I am delighted to have him with me here on the show to talk about the value of AI and how it can overlap with behavioral science. Listen in as we discuss all about combining AI with behavioral science. You don’t want to miss the many great insights! 

Show Notes:

  • [00:08] I'm delighted to introduce you to Manuj Aggarwal to discuss the opportunity of combining AI with behavioral science.
  • [01:07] In December 2021 I (Melina) had the honor of being part of a debate put on at the Insights Association's CONVERGE conference where my team was arguing that "When it comes to capturing consumer insights, AI is never going to work."
  • [03:59] Manuj shares about himself and the work that he does.
  • [06:42] We are all experts in something and we are always trying to improve ourselves. 
  • [07:17] Technology moves at a very rapid pace. 
  • [10:18] Blockchain can decentralize and negotiate that trust between us as a technology; we don’t need the bank or any third party. Instead, we can put our promise on a blockchain, and when that promise is fulfilled the technology is going to complete that transaction. 
  • [11:35] Manuj shares two of his favorite projects. The first project was a mining project they did with UPS.
  • [13:27] In the second project they applied behavioral science and AI with universities to keep students from dropping out of their degree programs after the first year. The system they created was talked about and supported by Barack Obama and Bill Gates. (Awesome!)
  • [15:47] It is about understanding what people are thinking and what the reference point is that they have in their mind to get that concept. 
  • [16:20] We need to find out the objective and work backward. 
  • [18:38] Monitoring the data and enhancing the models in real-time lets things get even more accurate. 
  • [20:10] Instead of focusing on the problem you think exists, they start by asking, “What are the results you are looking for?’
  • [21:15] Figure out what the result is that you are looking for and then work backward on the root cause. 
  • [23:50] There are so many common problems that people are having. Scaling happens gradually. 
  • [25:46] There has never been a greater time than this to create a globally scalable company or solution.    
  • [26:34] At the fundamental level when we break open AI it is actually a network of networks. 
  • [28:33] You have to clean the data and you have to continuously do many experiments to fine-tune your data. 
  • [30:09] You don’t have to become an AI expert to apply it. 
  • [32:12] As a business owner or individual, you need to look for repeated patterns in real life and that is where AI can be really helpful to optimize a business. 
  • [33:03] Not sure where to start? Look at some repeated patterns where something happens consecutively three times. 
  • [35:41] 95% of our decisions are made by our subconscious mind. 
  • [36:44] Mediation allows you to connect with other human beings at a much more meaningful level. 
  • [38:08] Mediation is really about unplugging and doing something that you would do any day of the week for the sake of having fun. 
  • [41:34] The script needs to be flipped around. First, we need to feel fulfilled and happy and clear off all these negative emotions which then leads to amazing opportunities. (Melina calls this “calming the elephant” often)
  • [43:46] It is all about having conversations, building connections, and relationships. 
  • [45:08] Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. 
  • [46:17] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [49:05] If you enjoy the experience I’ve provided here for you, will you share about it? That could mean leaving a rating/review or sharing the episode with a friend (or 10!)

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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