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  • CS Colloquium and CAIS Seminar: Nicole Immorlica (Microsoft Research) - Maximizing the Social Good: Markets without Money

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Nicole Immorlica, Microsoft Research

    Talk Title: Maximizing the Social Good: Markets without Money

    Series: Center for AI in Society (CAIS) Seminar Series

    Abstract: This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Computer Science Research Colloquium.

    To create a truly sustainable world, we need to both generate ample amounts of resources and allocate them appropriately to those that value them highly. In traditional economics, these goals are achieved using money. People are paid to produce valuable resources. Resources are sold at an appropriately high price, guaranteeing that the buyers had high value for them. However, in many settings of particular social significance, monetary transactions are infeasible. Sometimes this is because society has deemed it immoral to sell certain things, like seats at public schools or organs for transplantation. Other times it is because of technological constraints, like when the environment is electronic and there are no banks linked to user accounts.

    In this talk, we will discuss two alternatives to money -- risk and social status -- and apply them to school choice and user-generated content websites. Risk is useful to help determine a person's value for a resource: the more someone is willing to risk for something, the more they value it. Using this insight, we propose an algorithm to allocate seats at public schools to students who value them the most. Social status is useful to motivate people to contribute to a public project. Using this insight, we design badges and leaderboards to maximize contributions to user-generated content websites like citizen science projects, question-and-answering sites, or review sites.

    Host: CS Department

    Location: Seeley G. Mudd Building (SGM) - 123

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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