Christian Sandvig

Christian Sandvig

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I am a researcher specializing in discovering the consequences of computer systems that curate and organize culture. A major theme of my research investigates accountability mechanisms for machine learning and artificial intelligence. My research group coined the phrase “algorithmic auditing” in a 2014 paper; this was subsequently made suggested reading for submissions to the first ACM FAccT (Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency) Conferences. My work on algorithms and accountability was recommended by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in 2016 as one of five research strategies essential to the future of big data technologies in the US. I was the named plaintiff of a multi-year lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of computing researchers and journalists; this lawsuit changed the legal definition of “hacking” in the United States in 2022. I have also published research about social media, wireless systems, broadband Internet, online video, domain names, and Internet policy. My group blog about social media platforms was named one of the “Must-Follow Feeds” in science by Wired magazine.

A researcher tests a counterfeit, unauthorized copy of allegedly privacy-protecting fabric stolen from Adam Harvey's HyperFace design.

A researcher tests a counterfeit, unauthorized copy of allegedly privacy-protecting fabric stolen from Adam Harvey’s HyperFace design.


Accomplishments and Awards

Eric Swanson

Eric Swanson

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Most of my current work is in social and political philosophy of language and metaethics. It pays special attention to relationships between language, context, and ideology, to the particularities of speech situations, and to the norms governing language use. I’m especially interested in how the force of language can go beyond the information that is apparent to or shared amongst discourse participants.

Recently I’ve been thinking about how the above makes trouble (a.k.a. interesting but sometimes scary new things to think about) for work on artificial intelligence, artificial general intelligence, and automated content moderation and promotion.

I have continuing interests in the interfaces between language and epistemology (epistemic modals and conditionals), language and metaphysics (causal talk and the logic of causation), language and ethics (deontic modals), and on two frameworks for linguistic theorizing that bear on the above—‘constraint semantics’ and ‘ordering super­valua­tionism.’

Additional Information

What are some of your most interesting projects?

One of my recent papers argues that not saying a particular thing can generate a conversational implicature — a means of conveying a message without explicitly committing oneself to that message. Debates about such ‘omissive implicatures’ are especially common in online language use.

How did you end up where you are today?

What is the most significant scientific contribution you would like to make?

What makes you excited about your data science and AI research?

Contemporary work in AI interacts with countless interesting and pressing philosophical questions.

What are 1-3 interesting facts about yourself?