IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM

7:00 PM, Thursday, 11 December 2014

Bartos Auditorium (MIT Room E15-054)

Social Physics: from ideas to actions

Sandy Pentland

Abstract: We live our lives in social networks...mostly face-to-face, but increasingly digital...and yet we don't know how to leverage these networks to make us smarter or more innovative. By combining sophisticated machine learning with `big data' gathered from wearables, cell phones and credit cards I have been able able to extract the patterns that drive innovation in our communities, companies, and cities, and by using feedback from mobiles, wearables, and the web I have show how we can enhance these patterns to improve our society. One of the big barriers to using this technology is privacy and security, and building on my 6 years co-leading discussions at Davos I have worked out a concrete way to increase innovation while at the same time enhancing personal privacy, and have tested this solution in `Living Labs' in both the US and Europe.

Professor Alex `Sandy' Pentland has helped create and direct MIT's Media Lab, and is a member of the Advisory Boards for Google, Nissan, Telefonica, the United Nations Secretary General, and the World Economic Forum. In 2012 Forbes named Sandy one of the 'seven most powerful data scientists in the world', along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States. He is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, wearable computing (Google Glass), image understanding, and modern biometrics. His most recent book is `Social Physics,' published by Penguin Press.


This joint meeting of the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM will be held in MIT Room E15-054 (the Bartos Auditorium).  E15 is the Weissner building (home of the MIT Media Lab) conveniently located on Ames St. Room E15-054 is located in the basement (one floor down from the main entrance).

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Updated: Sept 20, 2014.