The Science of the Predicted Human Talk: César Hidalgo
How time, technology, and language impact collective memory and attention
About César A. Hidalgo
César A. Hidalgo is a Chilean-Spanish-American scholar known for his many contributions to economic complexity, data visualization, and applied artificial intelligence. Hidalgo leads the Center for Collective Learning at the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Institute (ANITI) of the University of Toulouse. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Between 2010 and 2019 Hidalgo led MIT’s Collective Learning group. Prior to working at MIT, Hidalgo was a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Hidalgo is also a founder of Datawheel, an award-winning company specializing in the creation of data distribution and visualization systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s in Physics from Universidad Católica de Chile. His contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2018 Lagrange Prize and three Webby Awards. He is also the author of three books: Why Information Grows (Basic Books, 2015), The Atlas of Economic Complexity (MIT Press, 2014), and How Humans Judge Machines (MIT Press, 2021).
The Predicted Human
Being human in 2023 implies being the target of a vast number of predictive infrastructures. In healthcare, algorithms predict not only potential pharmacological cures to disease but also their possible future incidence of those diseases. In governance, citizens are exposed to algorithms that predict – not only their day-to-day behaviors to craft better policy – but also to algorithms that attempt to predict, shape and manipulate their political attitudes and behaviors. In education, children’s emotional and intellectual development is increasingly the product of at-home and at-school interventions shaped around personalized algorithms. And humans worldwide are increasingly subject to advertising and marketing algorithms whose goal is to target them with specific products and ideas they will find palatable. Algorithms are everywhere – as are their intended as well as unintended consequences. The series is arranged with generous support by the Villum Foundation and the Pioneer Center for Artificial Intelligence.