Ari Qayumi


Mindful Technology Definitions for VC

Welcome to my glossary of terms. This field is very new and with that comes both excitement and a little confusion about how certain terms are defined. Some of these definitions are mine, some come from respected colleagues in the space, and all have been evolving since I started these lines of research between 2015-2019. What’s important is that these are the definitions that will apply as you read content throughout my site and that these terms are often interchanged with variables that I use to snaptest hypotheses throughout my ongoing research.

Action is an intentional, purposive, conscious, and subjectively meaningful activity.

Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it.

Applied Research is practiced by a research scientist who asks research questions, develops hypotheses, and designs research studies and experiments to find answers to scientific questions. Research scientists often work in academia at universities where they teach classes and perform research in their area of expertise, but some also work in private research facilities and/or as consultants for commercial enterprises or government agencies. Most research scientists are experts in their field of interest and often hold Master’s or doctorate degrees in their subject, providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to design effective studies.

Applied Science is practiced by an applied scientist who uses the scientific method to develop research questions, conduct studies, and then create practical solutions from these discoveries. They apply the results of their studies to solving real-world problems (i.e., real-life applications of sciences), and are at the same caliber as research scientists, but are also experts in applying their knowledge and implementing solutions at scale. They work in and across various industries, apply their skills to develop functional applications (such as in medical research and engineering), and often work in commercial organizations to find solutions that improve business operations.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an algorithm that is programmed intelligence, i.e., “artificial” replication of what one designer defines as “intelligence” such that a computer can replicate the sequences of collection, analysis, synthesis, and generation that a human does. More often than not, AI exhibits cognitive functions that learning scientists have discovered are important for human judgement and decision making and increasingly these functions have expanded to include more sensory functions that help humans display intelligence (which is a combination of learning and memory tradeoffs across contexts — i.e., time and space). 

Note: I am skeptical that most people truly understand how to design artificial intelligence (AI) in a way that is good for their local and macro environments — especially when they are not learning scientists, cannot define intelligence for you on demand, and/or clearly display a lack of being able to achieve goals across a wide range of environments, which, let’s be honest, most people are rarely truly challenged to compete across environments and/or have the gall to challenge themselves fully — especially in research and in industry markets currently don’t reward that unfortunately. Quite a shame. Ok I’m done ranting now.

Assistants (digital or virtual) are software agents or bots that can perform tasks and/or services for an individual, group, and/or a mix of the two.

Awareness is having or showing realization, perception, and/or knowledge. Awareness does not necessarily mean that judgment is not involved.

Background covers the fundamental theories that validate an experimental approach.

Behavior is conduct relative to social norms; it is automatic and reflexive activity. 

Behavior Design is a new approach to understanding human behavior and how to design for behavior change. Based on the work of Dr. BJ Fogg, Behavior Design offers a comprehensive set of models and methods that work together to give you a systematic set of tools for thinking and designing. The purpose of Behavior Design is to empower you to create solutions to help people with positive behavior change.

Blockchain is a decentralized distributed ledger wherein transactions are verified by and immutably recorded across a network as compared to only via a single central authority.

Branding defines a business as the one with the best product and/or services; people who work in branding identify what to promote, target the audiences’ characteristics and pain points, and create assets to help realize this perception as reality.

Cloud Computing is a model designed to push data to a single, centralized location.

Collaboration Systems are based on emerging technologies, mobile and ubiquitous computing, game engines, virtual worlds, multi-touch, novel display technologies, vision and gesture recognition, big data, MOOCs, crowd labor markets, SNSs, or sensing systems.

Computing is any goal oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both hardware and software. It has scientific, engineering, mathematical, technological, and social aspects.

Computer Vision is an artificial system that extracts information from images.

Concentration is the state of directing attention to a single object or area of focus (i.e., stimulus). This focus is often at the expense of others, as suppression from attention means that one’s sensory receptors are not perceiving this energy as even in existence. Suppression of attention is multiple areas prevents one’s ability to accept things as they are, as perception is disrupted until one can relax and let information be received.

Confidence is knowing when to activate a tool for use.

Consensual Technology is technology designed to change attitudes and behaviors through cognitive influence and consent, but not undue, illegitimate, or unconscious influence, as pioneered by Ari Qayumi under the tutelage of Dr. BJ Fogg. 

Consensual Technology Design is an approach that employs phasic, transparent, sequenced, and disclosed data collection in the interest of the user as defined by the user, as pioneered by Ari Qayumi under the tutelage of Dr. BJ Fogg. Qayumi defines that consensual technologies must sequence four elements for consensual interaction to occur: Ask, Listen, Clarify, and Confirm. 

Consumer Technology is any technology that is directly purchased by individuals to meet their needs. There is a long term trend of convergence in consumer technology whereby devices that were once separate become one.

Containers are decentralized computing resources located as close as possible to the end user in order to reduce latency, save bandwidth, and enhance the overall digital experience that allow organizations to decentralize services by moving key components of their application to the edge of the network.

Crossing Boundaries in studies, prototypes, or other investigations are those that explore interactions across disciplines, distance, languages, generations, and cultures, to help better understand how to transcend social, temporal, and/or spatial boundaries.

Data Mining and Modeling incorporates studies, analyses, and infrastructures for making use of large and small-scale data.

Data Science is practiced by a data scientist professional who processes and extracts information from unstructured sets of data. They design methods of collecting and processing data to answer specific research questions. In addition to creating this collection, extraction and processing methods, data scientists may also analyze the data, create models and recommend solutions based on the information gathered.

Deep Learning uses layers of neural nets and most accurate predictive technique. Deep Learning is when computers routinely identify objects in images, transcribe speech, translate between languages, diagnose medical conditions, play complex games, and drive cars. Deep Learning refers to mathematical models known as artificial neural networks. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning, a branch of computer science based on fitting complex models to data.

Desire is a mental state that reflects one’s wish to obtain; ask for; request; actualize.

Digital Transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business.

Domain-Specific Social and Collaborative Applications are those including applications to healthcare, transportation, gaming, ICT4D, sustainability, education, accessibility, global collaboration, or other domains.

Enterprise Technology refers to the concept of information technology (IT) resources and data that are shared across an enterprise. Efforts like IT strategy, governance, and portfolio management enable this concept to function effectively. E.g., Content management systems.

Environment (systems), in science and engineering, is a system (also referred to as surroundings or neighborhood and reservoir in thermodynamics) is the part of the universe that is being studied, while the environment is the remainder of the universe that lies outside the boundaries of the system. Systems interact with environments by exchanging conserved properties (including mass, energy i.e., heat and work, linear momentum, angular momentum, electric charge, chemical interactions, and information — which includes cultural consciousness, collaborative knowledge building, decision making, inference, discovery, wisdom, and the interactions between a computing technology and a user. In computing, except in regard to user interface interactions, the environment is ignored in analysis of the system.

Explainable AI (XAI), or Interpretable AI or Explainable Machine Learning (XML), is artificial intelligence (AI) that produces results easily understood by humans. It contrasts with the concept of the “black box” in machine learning where even its designers cannot explain why an AI arrived at a specific decision. By refining the mental models of users of AI-powered systems and dismantling their misconceptions, XAI promises to help users perform more effectively. XAI may be an implementation of the social right to explanation. XAI is relevant even if there is no legal right or regulatory requirement, as XAI can improve the user experience of a product or service by helping end users trust that the AI is making good decisions. Thus, XAI aims to explain what has been done, what is done right now, what will be done next, and unveil data regarding what the actions it is serving up are based on. These characteristics make it possible to confirm existing knowledge, challenge existing knowledge, and to generate new assumptions.

Financial Services is can be reduced to three core functions: (1) the front office includes sales personnel and corporate finance, (2) the middle office manages risk and IT resources, and (3) the back office provides administrative, support, and payment services.

Fog Computing is a decentralized computing infrastructure or process in which computing resources are located between the data source and the cloud or any other data center. Fog computing is a standard that defines its operation and application in diverse scenarios.

Fogg Behavior Model (FBM) shows that three elements must converge for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and a Prompt.

Generate is to produce energy in a particular form, cause (something, especially an emotion, or situation) to arise or come about or to produce (a set or sequence of items) by performing specified mathematical or logical operations on an initial set.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful.

Literature Review is a review of literature that provides the gaps or evidence for the replication of previous research to address specific deficiencies.

Marketing is a process that targets a wide-scale audience and focuses on increasing brand awareness as a means to help potential leads realize that your products and/or services can help them with their needs when the time arises for these leads to have your offering in mind. Marketing success metrics are rooted in lead capture, lead pass through to Sales, lead conversion via Sales, lead conversion follow through to retention and/or significant loyalty via Customer Success (and/or other teams spearheading this).

Methodology is the science of systematic and repeatable study via applying principles of reasoning to scientific and philosophical inquiry.

Mindful means being able to uncover something, think about it, and then consider it when taking action; it means listening to your own internal wisdom, one that is present, aware, and actively collecting information from a system and/or environment before applying analysis, judgment, decision-making, and/or action in how to present the collected information — as defined by Ari Qayumi.

Mindful Computing is coming soon 🙂

Mindful Data Ecosystem is an instance of mindful technology designed to change attitudes and behaviors through augmented intelligence, dynamic data ecosystems, and Qayumi’s proprietary analysis, as pioneered by Ari Qayumi.

Mindful Technology is technology designed to change attitudes and behaviors sustainably through multi-modal influence and mindfulness, but only in alignment with the user’s social, cognitive, and behavior change aspirations as the user evolves over time. This is accomplished by evaluating one’s framing, judgment, and decision making models, disrupting automatic tendencies to create space to choose a different response, and offering specific behavior sequences to be automated away and chosen by a knowledgeable actor, as pioneered by Ari Qayumi under the tutelage of Dr. BJ Fogg.

Mindfulness describes a mental state of conscious awareness, wherein an individual is implicitly aware of the context and content of information being perceived (to the extent the individual is capable of given physical limitations). It is a mental state of openness to novelty in where the individual actively constructs categories and distinctions. It means living in the moment and being fully aware of our inner and outer experiences; this implies that judgment (or some other word that we have yet to define) is perhaps active and thus increases bias (aka being aware in the moment of one’s surroundings with the underlying implication that since once knows what is going on, one can more effectively prevent taking the wrong step, but does not necessarily make a comment on whether someone feels shameful, guilty, or joyful as a result of this awareness). Mindfulness is thus the practice of maintaining awareness by bringing attention to the present without judgment. By practicing mindfulness diligently, we are empowered to become more objective observers of our world and our reactions to it. 

Mindlessness describes a lack of conscious awareness, wherein the commitment is made to information that has been received, but little attention is paid to context when someone is being mindful often because a piece of information seems unimportant at first, or is received as an instruction. The over-reliance on categories and distinctions drawn in the past from stale information wherein the perceiving entity is context-dependent and thus oblivious to novel (or alternative) aspects of the situation leads to increased error in data-labeling down-stream.

Mixed Methods combine qualitative and quantitative empirical research, design explorations, and technical feature development.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is an approach to deploying programs that enable interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.

Natural Science is the systematic study of the physical features of nature and the ways in which they interact and change.

Persuasive Technology is technology designed to change attitudes and behaviors through social influence and persuasion, but not coercion, as pioneered by Dr. BJ Fogg. 

Predictive Analytics are tools that can exploit patterns found in historical data to identify risks and opportunities.

Qayumi-Agarwal Consensual Conversational AI Framework (QACCAI) is consensual technology that is designed to understand what the user wants as defined by the user through the QA (Qayumi-Agarwal) ALCC method which Asks, Listens, Clarifies, and Confirms with the user before taking additional action. There are three components to this human-computer interaction system that are relevant: the user, the designer, and the algorithm. The algorithm is designed by the designer for the user to help the user help themselves, help the designer receive feedback data about how to better design features the user has specified would be helpful, and finally to regulate the relationship between the user and the designer so that the designer can systematically utilize relevant feedback data and help the user as the user has consented to be helped. We contend that consensual technology as a design framework is more ethical and more efficacious at creating reliable and sustainable behavior change.

Qayumi Action Model (QAM) shows that three elements must converge for an action to occur without intervention. 

Qayumi Behavior Change Model (QBCM) is a theory that links one’s current consciousness level, behavior change profile, and actionability profile.

Recommendation Engines are tools that predict what a user may or may not like among a list of given items.

Research is the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions; when used as a verb, research means to investigate systematically.

Sales is a transaction between two or more parties in which the buyer receives tangible or intangible goods, services, or assets in exchange for money. In some cases, other assets are paid to a seller. In a startup, Sales receives leads captured by Marketing and focuses on converting these leads into customers. Sales targets specific people and tells customers how they can get those products and services. The Sales team will seal the deal by strategically converting leads driven by marketing into customers and engage with these customers to discover specific requirements and help them find a product that meets their needs.

Sales Enablement is the iterative process of equipping your sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to effectively sell your product or service to customers.

Scientists are those who achieve a body of knowledge obtained by methods based on systematic observation.

Self-belief is knowing how to use a tool in the first place.

Sentiment Analysis is whenever a user sends a message, the tone is analyzed. What matters here though is what database one is using to determine how positive or negative the tone of each incoming and outgoing message is. what is more important instead of statically evaluating the sentiment is to look at relative sentiment and detect changes in the mood over time as then it is possible to look at trends across populations rather than individuals and solely cohorts which is limiting in understanding root change.

Stanford Behavior Design Lab is the leading lab in Silicon Valley studying behavior change in product development and innovation.

Symbolic Systems is the merging of minds and machines. We’re studying how do humans work, understand, see, process, and then how do we now put that into a computer to help us analyze, automate, augment, and amplify our abilities to do this. It’s also one of the hottest programs at Stanford University.

Synthesis is a critical analysis of findings, interpretation in the context of previous studies, and explanation of possible implications. In our case, often synthesis includes anchoring on and relating our experiments to the larger and more established markets.

Theoretical means conceptual frameworks, theory underpinning CSCW studies/domains, theoretical analysis, and essays on the former.

Theory is a set of statements that seeks to explain problems, actions, and behaviors; a critical analysis with clear relevance to the design or study of social and collaborative systems, within and beyond work settings.

Tools are novel methods, or combinations of approaches and tools used in building collaborative systems or studying their use.

Triggers are about unlocking an unconscious behavioral reaction while prompts are about unlocking a conscious behavioral reaction and usually one that is intended.

Virtual Machines (VMs) is a software-defined computer with its own operating system that runs on a host server with a different underlying operating system. Many VMs can share the resources of a single physical machine. All these VMs operate independently and can fulfill the same various functions of any OS within an IT infrastructure.

Want is a mental state that reflects one’s perception as being deficient by the absence of some part or thing, or to feel a need (sometimes followed by for).

References, Cognitive Influences, and Random Links I've Read Over The Years But Are In My Bookmarks So Sharing Here & Will Organize Or Surface For A Future Blog Post 🙂

James Landay –




Cognitive Influence on Teaching, Learning, and Decision Making Around Critical Agricultural and Natural Resource Issues

2019 initial research

Two ethical concerns about the use of persuasive technology for vulnerable people


2020 initial research

Four ways to accelerate the creation of data ecosystems

unmindfulness, heedlessness, inadvertency

2021 initial research

Operationalizing Behavior Change Theory as Part of Persuasive Technology: A Scoping Review on Social Comparison

How data sharing ecosystems are giving organizations a competitive edge

Unbound was acquired by Coinbase at the end of 2020!

Behavior-Centered Design

2022 Research

The Impact of Beliefs on Health Information Social Sharing for Users: The Perspectives of Social Psychology and Information Technology

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