Public lecture 20.11.2017: Crowdsourced Democracy: Combining Algorithms and People to Make Good Decisions

Professor Ashish Goel, Stanford University

Venue: Lecture hall 673, Porthania building (Yliopistokatu 3)
Time: Monday 20 Nov. at 14-16

YouTube competes with Hollywood as an entertainment channel, and also supplements Hollywood by acting as a distribution mechanism. Twitter has a similar relationship to news media, and Coursera to Universities. However, there are no such counterparts for political decision making and deliberation. In this talk, we will describe some of the research by the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy team towards addressing this gap between existing social media tools and meaningful political discourse.

I will start by describing our research along two dimensions. The first is that of novel voting schemes for complex elections such as budgeting. Here, each participant votes by providing a full solution to a problem; since the number of potential solutions (e.g. the number of possible budgets) is essentially unlimited, this requires new and innovative voting schemes. The second dimension is that of negotiation – here, a set of users negotiate and collaborate with each other in small groups to converge to a single solution to a complex problem.

I will then outline our experience running crowdsourced democracy processes. I will describe approaches to making these processes more representative by targeted advertising on social media, as well as obtaining signals of minority opinion that go well beyond identification of demographic groups. I will conclude by discussing some of the pitfalls and opportunities in the field of crowdsourced democracy, for both researchers and practitioners.

This talk represents joint work with Tanja Aitamurto, Brandon Fain, Nikhil Garg, Vijay Kamble, Helene Landermore, David Lee, Anilesh Krishnaswamy, David Marne, Kamesh Munagala, and Sukolsak Sakshuwong.

For more information about Prof. Ashish Goel, see here.

The lecture will be organized by the BIBU project (TACKLING BIASES AND BUBBLES IN PARTICIPATION), coordinated by Prof. Anu Kantola at the University of Helsinki.

There will be coffee served in this event.

Please register here!