The merits of “Exposing hidden bias” and “Spock as a service”

The topics below might help frame Oneslate’s visual logic mapper with built in bias tracking:

Mitigating unconscious bias

Press pieces on unconscious bias appear every so often. They tend to explain that that having a mechanism to raise awareness of otherwise hidden biases can help improve decision making. Fahad Manjoo recently explains in his NYT piece,

“The more we make ourselves aware of the role our unconscious plays in our decision-making, and the more we try to force others to confront their biases, the greater the chance we have of overcoming our hidden preferences.”

He goes on to quote Freada Kapor Klein’s message that it is important to

“not just give a lecture about the science, but that there be active strategies on how to mitigate bias.”

Spock as a service

In recent HN comment thread, user lorddoig explains that instead of the personal advice service posted for review, he would prefer

…if the guy running it was closer to robot than human. A highly logical walkthrough of whatever problem…I would value immensely…But I don’t think this is a problem that can be solved by ordinary people, and AI is nowhere close yet.

Another user, sounds, describs this theoretical pivot with the phrase “Spock-as-a-service”, with lorddoig confirming,


The point lorddig seems to be making is that people behave emotionally and make decisions based on their experience, and that tools for augmenting decision making by scaffolding for rationality and enabling the application of otherwise missed contexts can be hard to come by.

Bias tracking and logic development in Oneslate

In the light of the above themes,

  1. You can enhance awareness of perhaps otherwise hidden biases in Oneslate with the flexible 5-bin per concept validity heatmapping as well as with the 177-point bias reflection survey that can track common biases at the individual concept level.
  2. As a logic development engine and as a queryable, rolling logic repository, Oneslate supports building directed acyclic graphs of causally related ideas.  While not quite a fully loaded, omniscient “Spockbot”, the system is designed to allow for the fuller development and utlization of the critical thinking capacities and experience bases already present in people.