Kobi Gal, PhD (Ben-Gurion University)


Monday, April 26, 2021, 11:00am to 12:00pm


Zoom conference - Register at https://crcs.seas.harvard.edu/ai-social-impact

Title: Behavior change using AI: Making an Impact in Online Collaborative Settings

Abstract: Advances in technologies and interface design are enabling group activities of varying complexities to be carried out, in whole or in part, over the internet, with benefits to science and society  (e.g., citizen science, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) and questions-and-answers sites). The need to support human interaction in such settings brings new and significant challenges to AI; how to provide incentives that keep participants motivated and productive; how to provide useful, information to system designers to help them decide whether and how to intervene with the group's work; how to scientifically evaluate the effects of AI interventions on the performance of individuals and the group.

I will describe  ongoing projects in my lab that address these challenges in three socially relevant settings — education, Q&A sites and citizen science--- and discuss potential ethical issues that arise from using AI for behavior change.
Bio: Prof. Kobi Gal is a faculty member of the Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and a Reader at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. His work investigates representations and algorithms for making decisions in heterogeneous groups comprising both people and computational agents. He has worked on combining artificial intelligence algorithms with educational technology towards supporting students in their learning and teachers to understand how students learn. He has published widely in highly refereed venues on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to the learning and cognitive sciences.

Gal is the recipient of the Wolf foundation's 2013 Krill prize for young Israeli scientists, a Marie Curie International fellowship, and a three-time recipient of Harvard University's outstanding teacher award. Together with his co-authors, he has won the best student paper at UMAP-19, the best paper at EC 2016, and the best student paper at EDM 2014.