Opinion Space: Robots, Gardens, and Social Media
Amazingly, the process of brainstorming hasn’t really changed since the term was coined in 1953. Yet everything else has: we’re facing enormous problems in economics, politics, healthcare, and the environment. Can Social Media tools be adapted to help us work together to discover solutions? My students and I have been working on a new approach to online brainstorming at UC Berkeley called Opinion Space. To achieve scale and speed, we employ techniques from robotics: non-linear spatial models that present a broad diversity of ideas and higher-order statistical filtering that rapidly extract the most valuable ideas (the signals) from the noise. I’ll describe the system and how it is being used by the US Department of State, GeneralMotors, Unilever, and Humana.
Ken Goldberg is Craigslist Distinguished Professor of New Media at UC Berkeley, where he and his students investigate robotics, art, and social media. Goldberg directs the Automation Sciences Research lab and is Faculty Director of the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative. Goldberg earned dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1984) and MS and PhD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (1990). He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1995 where he is Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR), with secondary appointments in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science (EECS), Art Practice, the School of Information, and in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCSF Medical School.
Goldberg has published over 170 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering; his inventions have been awarded eight US Patents. He is Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), Co-Founder of the African Robotics Network (AFRON), Co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM), Co-Founder and CTO of Hybrid Wisdom Labs, Co-Founder of the Moxie Institute, and Founding Director of UC Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series.
Goldberg’s art installations are related to his research and have been exhibited at venues such as the Whitney Biennial, Berkeley Art Museum, SF Contemporary Jewish Museum, Pompidou Center, Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo. Goldberg co-wrote three award-winning Sundance documentary films, “The Tribe”, “Yelp”, and “Connected: An Autoblogography of Love, Death, and Technology.” His artwork is represented by the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.
Goldberg was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1995 by President Clinton, the National Science Foundation Faculty Fellowship in 1994, the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, and elected IEEE Fellow in 2005. Goldberg lives in the Bay Area with his daughters and wife, filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain.