I am a PhD student in the MIT Media Lab, where I'm co-advised by David Rand and Sandy Pentland. My work integrates aspects of design and computational social science to understand and build cooperative systems. I focuses on new challenges and oppurtunities that emerge from a digital society, particularly in the domains of social media and artificial intelligence.
My research centers around creating new technologies and insights that make the internet a better place. Recently, this has manifested as design interventions to reduce misinformation on social media. I believe that many of the ills of social media and the modern web stem from myopic and profit-first design, which can be mitigated through awareness, cooperation and unorthodox experience design. Here are some selected papers:
Pennycook G, Epstein ZG, Mosleh M, Arechar, A, Eckles D, & Rand, D. Understanding and reducing the spread of misinformation online. PsyArXiv preprint doi:10.31234/osf.io/3n9u8.  psyArxiv
Epstein ZG, Pennycook G, & Rand DG. Will the crowd game the algorithm? Using layperson judgments to combat misinformation on social media by downranking distrusted sources. CHI 2020.  ACM
Rand DG, & Epstein ZG. Risking Your Life Without a Second Thought: Intuitive Decision-Making and Extreme Altruism. PLoS ONE October 15, 2014. Listed as one of the Top 10 Insights from the Science of a Meaningful Life in 2014 by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
But the epistemologies of quantitative research can only go so far. To explore these concepts through a more qualitative and playful lens, I also create digital art that has been showcased and covered at such venues as Ars Electronia, FastCo, MIT News and Digg.
Black Rock Atlas
A community-driven art project and research study exploring the patterns of cooperation at Burning Man.
A web app that visualizes the famous algorithm in an intuitive and friendly way.
Untangling the knotty web of AI
A theory about the network of human actors that constitute AI systems - and how perceptions of agency impact blame and praise in these systems.
Big Mouth Billy Bass
Animatronic Billy Bass made with Processing, Arduino, and fresh pacific Tilapia.
An experimental planetarium show that synthesized live music, avant garde animation and other digital media