Collective Intelligence 2018

CI2018 Keynotes

Eszter Hargittai (University of Zurich)

The Role of Internet Skills in Online Participation


While digital media offer many opportunities to improve people’s lives, the ability to use the Internet effectively and efficiently is not self-evident even among those who grew up with technologies. Rather, there is considerable variation in Internet skills across the population and these differences tend to be linked to people’s sociodemographic characteristics such as socioeconomic status.  Drawing on several data sets, this talk will discuss who is most likely to participate online from joining social media platforms to editing Wikipedia entries. The talk will also offer insights on the potential biases that can stem from relying on certain types of data sets in big data studies. 


Eszter Hargittai (PhD Sociology, Princeton) is Professor and Chair of Internet Use and Society at the Institute of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich. Her research looks at how people may benefit from their digital media uses with a particular focus on how differences in people’s Web-use skills influence what they do online. She has published over 80 papers on these topics and has given over 150 invited talks in 15 countries on four continents. She has received awards for her research, her teaching, and her contributions to public sociology.  Her research has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, Nokia, Google, Facebook, and Merck, among others. Hargittai is editor of Research Confidential and co-editor with Christian Sandvig of Digital Research Confidential, presenting a behind-the-scenes look at doing empirical social science research. She is currently editing the Handbook of Digital Inequality and a new methods volume.

Scott Klemmer (University of California San Diego)

Learning through Collective Intelligence


The ‘collective’ part of collective intelligence can feel simultaneously uplifting (“we all contribute!”) and surprising (“I thought you needed to be an expert?”). People often have this same pair of feelings about human-centered design. A partial resolution I (and many of us) offer to these reactions is, “it depends on what you mean by expert. Each of us is an expert in our own lives, which can offers a unique perspective. Also, it’s handy to anchor insights in a concrete setting.” One belief that animates both fields is that we’re not restricted to choosing between expert innovation and collective innovation as they exist today. Experts can take a cue from anthropology and embed themselves in a domain to get more situated insights. And we can create and share knowledge and tools that help a wider group of people innovate. For the past 6 years, I’ve worked in online education as both a researcher and practitioner, trying to scale the learning that happens in a design studio to the globe. I’ll share insights from my group’s empirical research and software platforms working toward this goal. A traditional design degree (or PhD or MD) provides focused, multi-year training in a discipline. Some of what’s taught is necessarily cumulative, building on what came before. However, online learning materials of many types show that bite-sized learning is often possible and really useful. How might collective intelligence benefit by weaving focused learning modules (both domain knowledge and process strategies) into an innovation architecture? I’ll share insights and challenges that have emerged from my group’s work — including peer review, scientific discovery, and creativity support—that provide careful process guidance and place focused learning experiences at the point where they’re needed (as opposed to, say, in your ninth grade biology class). This helps collective intelligence participants gain "micro-expertise" and make more creative, practical, and innovate contributions. With such complex sociotechnical systems, a lot of the behavior is emergent, scale-dependent, and importantly different around the globe. This makes moving from the lab to the wild especially important. So along the way I’ll reflect on how the web has dramatically improved our ability to do this Design at Large: creating research that is used around the world for people’s own goals, and improving our knowledge through experiments on these platforms that compare alternatives.


Scott is a Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego, where he co-founded the Design Lab. He previously served as Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford, where he co-directed the HCI Group, held the Bredt Faculty Scholar chair, and was a founding participant in the He has a PhD in CS from Berkeley and a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown (with Graphic Design work at RISD). His former graduate students are leading professors (at Berkeley, CMU, UCSD, & UIUC), researchers (Google & Adobe), founders (including Instagram & Pulse), social entrepreneurs, and engineers. Scott launched the first MOOC to feature open-ended creative work in spring 2012. The peer-review approaches he helped develop are used by major MOOC platforms, touching thousands of learners every day. His group publishes on these topics, disseminating their advances through widely-used open-source software. His course grew into the Interaction Design specialization, designated as one of the ‘most coveted’ Coursera certificates. All together, around 300,000 learners have signed up for his courses. He has been awarded the Katayanagi Emerging Leadership Prize, Sloan Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, and Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship. Eleven of his papers were awarded best paper or honorable mention at top HCI venues. He is program co-chair of Learning@Scale '18, and was program co-chair for UIST, the CHI systems area, and HCIC. He advises university design programs globally.

Lucy Fortson (University of Minnesota)

Optimizing the Human-Machine Partnership with Zooniverse


Citizen science - the involvement of hundreds of thousands of people in the research process  - provides a radical solution to the challenge of dealing with the greatly increased size of modern data sets. is the most successful collection of online citizen science projects which have enabled over 1.7 million online volunteers to contribute to over 120 research projects spanning disciplines from astronomy to zoology. University of Minnesota’s Dr. Lucy Fortson will briefly describe the Zooniverse platform and some of the results to date from the Zooniverse collection of online projects in the context of new approaches to combining machine learning with human classifications. She will then provide an overview of recent data science experiments with the ultimate goal of producing a system that most efficiently balances the human and machine classifications. She will finish with a short description of future developments of the Zooniverse platform.


Dr. Lucy Fortson is Associate Head and Professor of Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota. A founding member of the Zooniverse project (, and current Board Chair for the Citizen Science Alliance, Dr. Fortson is a leading expert in the field of “crowdsourcing science”. With over 1.6 million volunteers and 120 projects covering a wide range of disciplines, the Zooniverse provides opportunities for volunteer citizens to contribute to discovery research by using their pattern matching skills to perform simple data analysis tasks. Dr. Fortson leads the Zooniverse team developing human-computation algorithms to maximize the utility of the citizen science method of data processing. Prior to joining the faculty at UMN, Dr. Fortson was Vice President for Research at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago where she held a joint research position at the University of Chicago. Dr. Fortson graduated with a BA in Physics and Astronomy from Smith College, Massachusetts and received her Ph.D. from UCLA in High Energy Physics while working at CERN. She has served on numerous national committees including the National Academy of Sciences Astronomy 2010 Decadel Survey, the Astrophysics Science Subcommittee and the Human Capital Committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate Advisory Committee (MPSAC) for the National Science Foundation and the Education and Public Outreach Review Committee for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

Patrick Meier (Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeRobotics)

Digital Humanitarians: How You Can Make a Difference During the Next Disaster


The overflow of information generated during disasters can be as paralyzing to humanitarian response as the lack of information. This flash flood of information -- often called Big Crisis Data -- comes in the form of social and mainstream media as well as aerial imagery and satellite imagery. Making sense of this data deluge is proving to be an impossible challenge for humanitarian organizations. This is precisely why they’re turning to Digital Humanitarians. Digital Humanitarians use crowdsourcing and artificial intelligence to make sense of this big crisis data. This talk will highlight real world examples of Digital Humanitarians in action from across the globe. It will also highlight the biggest challenges they face in crafting and using human and machine computing solutions to accelerate humanitarian efforts. Special emphasis will be placed on the challenge of analyzing aerial imagery captured by civilian drones during disasters as this is currently one of the main problems facing the humanitarian community. Members of the HCOMP and CI communities can play a pivotal role in helping humanitarian organizations accelerate their relief efforts worldwide. This talk will explain exactly how and will serve as a spring board for ongoing and future collaboration between HCOMP, CI and the humanitarian community.


Patrick Meier is an internationally recognized expert and consultant on Humanitarian Technology and Innovation. He serves as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeRobotics, which scales the positive impact of humanitarian aid, development and environmental projects through the use and localization of appropriate robotics solutions. His book, Digital Humanitarians, has been praised by Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, UN, Red Cross, World Bank, USAID and others. Over the past 15 years, Patrick has worked in the Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, India, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Morocco, Western Sahara, Haiti, Peru, Vanuatu, Fiji and Northern Ireland on a wide range of humanitarian projects with a number of international organizations including the United Nations, Red Cross and World Bank. More details on LinkedIn. In 2010, Patrick was publicly praised by Clinton for his pioneering digital humanitarian efforts, which he continues to this day. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, BBC, NBC, UK Guardian, The Economist, Forbes and Times Magazines, New Yorker, NPR, Newsweek, Wired, Mashable, TechCrunch, Fast Company, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American and elsewhere. His influential and widely-read blog iRevolutions has received close to 2 million hits. Read more about Patrick at