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The Future of Collective Action Systems

Speaker Name: 
Saiph Savage
Speaker Title: 
Research Scientist
Speaker Organization: 
Microsoft Bing
Start Time: 
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 11:15am
End Time: 
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 12:15pm
Jim Whitehead


Social media has become an increasingly powerful tool for citizens to organize collective action and transform their societies.  However, most online collective efforts never get off the ground, and hence citizen efforts can rarely organize large scale change. In this talk, I will present my crowdsourcing systems that make use of game design to orchestrate collective action at scale. The proposed  systems introduce two new techniques for producing collective action: a) Citizen Activators, computational methods that intermix game design and crowdsourcing to learn the best ways to drive citizen participation in a collective effort; and, b) Skill Blocks, computational techniques that integrate play to help citizens build the necessary abilities to complete the work associated to a collective effort.  I will present case-studies showcasing how these computational techniques  can lead to collective action that transforms our societies.



Saiph Savage is a research scientist at Microsoft Bing, where she creates novel tools to organize and visualize online audiences at scale.  Saiph has been recognized as one of the 35 Innovators under 35 by the MIT Technology Review,  and has received the Google Anita Borg Scholarship. Her work has been covered in the BBC, Deutsche Welle, and Vice News.  Her research has been published in top venues such as CHI, DIS, CSCW, and ICWSM. Saiph is also currently a visiting professor at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU),  and  an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at West Virginia University, where she directs the Human Computer Interaction Lab that focuses on investigating collective action online and designing new tools and platforms for collective action production.  Saiph holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a masters and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.