Event Information:

  • Thu

    [Talk] Governing Human and Machine Behavior in an Experimenting Society.

    11:30 amErhlicher Room(NQ 3100), 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor

    RSVP by 12PM on 9/26 if you will be there:

    Next week, Thursday (9/28 @ 11:30 AM to 1 PM, North Quad, Ehrlicher Room NQ 3100), J. Nathan Matias from Princeton University will give a talk titled Governing Human and Machine Behavior in an Experimenting Society.

    From 11:30 AM to noon, we will have time to grab lunch and mingle/chat with the speaker. The talk starts at noon sharp and ends at 1.

    Speaker Bio:


    Nathan, who completed a PhD at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media, researches factors that contribute to flourishing participation online, developing tested ideas for safe, fair, creative, and effective societies. Starting in September 2017, Nathan will be a post-doctoral researcher at the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, as well as the Paluck Lab in psychology and the sociology department.

    Nathan's current projects include large scale experiments on reducing discrimination and harassment online, as well as observational studies on social movements, civic participation, and social change. Nathan regularly liveblogs talks and events and has published journalism in the Atlantic, Guardian, and PBS IdeaLab. He coordinated the Media Lab Festival of Learning in 2012 and 2013.



    We live in a culture that depends on technologies to record our behavior and coordinate our actions with billions of other connected people. Some of these actions perpetuate deep-seated injustices by humans and machines. Our abilities to observe and intervene in other people’s lives also allow us to govern, forcing us to ask how to govern wisely and who should be responsible. In this talk, hear about the history and future of democratic social experimentation, from Kurt Lewin and Karl Popper to Donald Campbell. You’ll also hear about CivilServant, software that supports communities to conduct their own experiments in governing human and machine behavior online. Communities with up to tens of millions of people have used CivilServant to test effective responses for responding to human/algorithmic misinformation, managing the risks of AI-based policy enforcement, preventing harassment, resolving politically-partisan conflict, and changing the behavior of people who engage in hate speech online.