AI & Ethics
CANCELLED--The End of Privacy - Michal Kosinski, Associate Professor, Stanford University

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DATE: Mon, April 6, 2020 - 3:30 pm

LOCATION: Chemistry (CHEM) - D200, 2036 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1


This seminar has been CANCELLED in response to COVID-19. 



A growing proportion of human activities―such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information―are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities can be easily recorded, offering an unprecedented opportunity to study and assess psychological traits using actual (rather than self-reported) behavior. Our research shows that digital records of behavior―such as facial images, samples of text, Tweets, Facebook Likes, or web-browsing logs―can be used to accurately measure a wide range of psychological traits. Such predictions do not require participants' active involvement; can be easily and inexpensively applied to large populations; and are relatively immune to misrepresentation. Consequently, the predictability of psychological traits offers a promise to improve research and practice in fields ranging from psychology, sociology, and education to management and marketing. However, if applied unethically, the same models pose unprecedented risks to the privacy and well-being of entire societies.



Michal Kosinski is an Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior at Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he studies humans in a digital environment using cutting-edge computational methods, AI, and Big Data. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Machine Learning, Psychological Science, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, that have been cited over 8,000 times. His research inspired a cover of The Economist, a 2014 theatre play “Privacy”, multiple TED talks, a video game, and was discussed in thousands of books, press articles, podcasts, and documentaries. 

Michal Kosinski was behind the the first press article warning against Cambridge Analitica and their work for political campaigns. (Read more.)

Michal Kosinski holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Cambridge and master's degrees in psychometrics and in social psychology. He was the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, a researcher at Microsoft Research, and a post-doctoral scholar at Stanford's Computer Science Department. 


This seminar has been CANCELLED in response to COVID-19. 

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