Ways to participate in game theory experiments aiming to create a simulator of human behavior

The aim of the vast pioneering study is to apply the simulation to a robot or recreate the actions of large groups of people.

Department of Computer Science is participating in IBSEN, a project funded by Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation Programme. The goal of the IBSEN project is to understand the behavior of people on an individual level, especially when they are connected by new technologies like mobile telephones or social networks. The group of scientists is preparing experiments which will present certain problems of cooperation, social problems and economic games simultaneously to thousands of people to try to decipher the hidden patterns behind their decisions.

“In a pioneering and innovative manner, we will carry out experiments in online sessions with more than 10 000 participants in five different countries. The greatest difficulty is to design a new experimental protocol that ensures all the participants in the experiment are available at the same time and really interact,” tell IBSEN's organizers.

With this information, researchers will afterwards be able to create a simulator of human behavior, a technology that will provide a basis for socioeconomic simulations that will radically change many fields, from robotics to economics, with technological and social impacts like the formulation of policies and decisions about pressing social issues. This technology could be applied to anticipate behavior in socioeconomic crises, create more human-like robots or develop avatars of artificial intelligence which are almost indistinguishable from those that represent people.

Ways to participate in IBSEN

There will be organized 1 to 2 hour sessions, virtual labs, in the experiment. It is possible to participate at home, library or anywhere at all using smart-phones or  laptops. After registration all the information regarding the experiments will be sent via email and the social networks. There will be a reward for the ones that will be called for the experiments, and all the data collected will be treated anonymously in order to guarantee the privacy.

“Aalto University is partnering in this huge project where anyone over 18 years of age in the European Union can participate. We are collecting a pool of participants for different types of experiments, and the experiments will be run in the Spanish universities, where they already have recruited more than 10 000 participants,” tells Kunal Bhattacharya.

The IBSEN research project is part of a call for “novel ideas for radically new technologies” by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. The project requires a high degree of interdisciplinarity, for which reason the team of researchers is composed of economists, physicists, mathematicians and social psychologists. The scientists who work on the IBSEN project come from Aalto University in Finland, the UC3M, the Universidad de Zaragoza and the Universitat de València in  Spain; University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the UK, the Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The IBSEN project lasts three years, 2015 to 2018.

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