Engagement and Diversity in the World of Data Science

While data science has without a doubt proven its enormous potential over the last decade or so, the new field is still trying to find its place in academia and society at large. In the 2019 spring lecture series, The Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) has invited scholars that will present their work that in one aspect or another address questions of, and experiments with, diversity and public engagement in the world of data science.

ScienceAtHome: Online Computer Games as a ”Social Science Super Collider”

Our final speaker of the spring lecture series is Professor MSO Jacob Friis Sherson, Director and Founder of the ScienceAtHome project and Center for Hybrid Intelligence at the Department of Physic and Astronomy, Aarhus University.


What is to become of humankind in the future digital age and is there a way to break the monopoly of big tech companies on large scale data on human behavior?  With the advent of AI one of the most important things we can do to prepare for the best possible future is to become more deeply aware of what it means to be human.
The ScienceAtHome project within the Center for Hybrid intelligence uses online citizen science games (so far played by 300,000+ players world wide) not just to solve complex natural science challenges such as the development of a quantum computer but also as an  online laboratory to study human intuition, creativity and innovation on a scale vastly exceeding traditional lab-based social science investigations. Our portfolio of games ranging from physics, mathematics and chemistry to economics, psychology and cognitive science provides a unique tool to systematically map the difference between human and artificial intelligence.
We also have conducted first tests of a suite of game to conduct large scale social and cognitive science experimentation in the cloud involving both individual and collective processes. This infrastructure that we call the “social science super collider” (SSCS) is aimed at allowing social science researchers from around the world easy access to perform large scale experimentation on our community of citizen scientists.
Our latest and most ambitious SSCS game is, Skill Lab, which aims to break the monopoly of large tech companies on large scale data of human behavior. It is a set of mini games that allows for game-based assessment of the cognitive profile of the players. So far, 20,000+ have signed up for our large scale mapping of cognitive profiles. As a first test of the potential of this for novel registry based research we had an open call for researchers to add a few survey questions to our game. In this way we are currently correlating cognitive functions with as diverse topics as sleep habits, entrepreneurship, political affiliation, language skills and public versus private employment.

The lecture will take place at SODAS' new location in building 1, 2nd floor, room 26 (1.2.26) of the CSS Campus, University of Copenhagen, from 11.00 am to 12.30 pm.

If you have questions or want to know more, please write Agnete Vienberg Hansen at avh@econ.ku.dk.