[AI Seminar] AI Lunch -- Andrew Mao (MSR) -- May 9

Adams Wei Yu weiyu at cs.cmu.edu
Sat May 6 15:45:16 EDT 2017

Dear faculty and students,

We look forward to seeing you Next Tuesday, May 9, at noon in NSH 3305 for
AI lunch. To learn more about the seminar and lunch, please visit the AI
Lunch webpage <http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~aiseminar/>.

On Tuesday, Andrew Mao <http://www.andrewmao.net/> will give a talk :

Title: Studying Teamwork and Cooperation in the Virtual Lab

For decades, physical behavioral labs have been a primary, yet limited,
method for controlled experimental studies of human behavior. Now,
software-based "virtual labs" on the Internet allow for studies of
increasing complexity, size, and scope. In this talk, I highlight the
potential of virtual lab experiments for studying social interaction and
coordination. First, I present a study of cooperation in a social dilemma
over a month of real time, using crowdsourcing participants to overcome the
time constraints of behavioral labs. Our study of about 100 participants
over 20 consecutive weekdays finds that a group of resilient altruists
sustain a high level of cooperation across the entire population. We also
explore collective intelligence and digital teamwork in "crisis mapping",
where digital volunteers organize to assess and pinpoint damage in the
aftermath of humanitarian crises. By simulating a crisis mapping scenario
to study self-organization in teams of varying size, and find a tradeoff
between individual effort in small groups and collective coordination in
larger teams. Together, our work motivates the potential of controlled,
highly instrumented studies of social interaction; the importance of
behavioral experiments on longer timescales; and how open-source software
both can speed up the iteration and improve the reproducibility of
experimental work.

This talk is based on joint work with Lili Dworkin, Winter Mason, Siddharth
Suri, and Duncan Watts.

Andrew Mao is currently a postdoc at Microsoft Research in NYC, where his
research focuses on experimental studies of collective behavior using
Internet participants by combining approaches from social and computer
science. Andrew is especially interested in expanding the boundaries of
experimental methods, and his work has appeared in interdisciplinary
journals including Nature Communications and PLoS ONE as well as computer
science conferences such as AAAI, EC, and HCOMP. He has also designed
TurkServer (http://turkserver.readthedocs.io/), an open-source platform for
real-time, interactive, web-based behavioral experiments, to share these
methods with other researchers. He received his PhD from Harvard University
in 2015.
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