Episode 642: The Big Red Button : Planet Money The big question surrounding automation isn't just about economics or technology. It's also about psychology. How do designers make us comfortable with something that can be really scary?
NPR logo

Episode 642: The Big Red Button

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/427467598/427549279" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Episode 642: The Big Red Button

Episode 642: The Big Red Button

Episode 642: The Big Red Button

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/427467598/427549279" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Steve Henn/NPR
Would you ride in Google's self-driving car?
Steve Henn/NPR

Automation is all around us: elevators, automatic doors at the supermarket, and auto-pilots on airplanes. For the most part, we never think about it. It makes our lives easier, cheaper, and safer. But with every new automation, there is this transitional moment. When something first goes automatic, it is disorienting. It freaks us out.

And the big question surrounding automation isn't just about economics or technology. It's about psychology. How do designers make us comfortable with something that can be really scary?

Today's episode is a collaboration with 99% Invisible.

Music: Cory Gray's "Plans For The Day" and Broken Bells' "Control." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.