Alex Pentland will be speaking at the New England Complex Systems Institute seminar series on Friday, March 4th, at 12:30pm, in building E51-376, on the topic “How Social Networks Shape Human Behavior”. He will talk about measuring the dynamics of social networks using distributed sensor platforms (including mobile devices) and making predictions on human decision making. His group won the DARPA baloon challenge, and he will describe the winning strategy.
A few weeks ago, Nathan Eagle spoke at the IBM center for social software. He was one of Pentland’s students at the Media Lab, who first used the cell phone as a tool to obtain high resolution data for social network analysis. There is a lot of important research coming out from this group, on human behavior influenced by social networks. What is also intriguing is the nature of technology and privacy in this work. Individual’s positions and cell phone behavior are recorded- this is something that must have seemed a bit invasive when the research was first conducted, but is becoming more natural in our social technological environment, where posting personal information is becoming easier and even rewarding. Maintaining the trust of the individuals as these technologies develop will be essential.
More info: http://www.necsi.edu/events/upcomingevents.html