Blame it on Clint Eastwood. If Paul hadn’t watched Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood’s Oscar winning film on a United flight home from Washington, D.C., ZESTxLabs might not have been born. Paul was embarrassingly moved by the movie, and after recovering himself, wondered about how the brain creates a sense of immersion in a story or event. Back at the lab, it turns out that Jorge was designing a protocol to measure the neurochemical changes that cause stories to change people’s behavior. Actions speak louder than words, and we are action people. As news of our research spread, the U.S. Defense Department’s research arm, DARPA, contacted us to ask if stories could be used to reduce conflict and keep soldiers safe. We love a challenge and designed a series of experiments to quantify the influence of stories using high frequency brain activity. Our technology and algorithms had to be predictive and robust, and able to be deployed in a theater of war. Other agencies of the U.S. government (the kind with three letters) then asked us to help them use our persuasion prediction models in new ways. So we rolled up our sleeves, hired super-smart scientists, mathematicians, and programmers, and built software. Since then we have expanded our technologies and algorithms to work with Fortune 500 companies, advertising agencies, and Hollywood films using neuroscience to predict human behavior and quantify creativity.
Meet the ZESTx Team