June 25, 2024

Smith School Hosts Workshop on AI and Analytics for Social Good

The Smith School's AI and Analytics for Social Good Workshop featured 20 speakers from MIT, Meta, Harvard, and more, covering topics like misinformation, platform regulation, and the economics of AI.

The future of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is dependent on actions taken in the present. And University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business professors are helping steer the technology in a positive direction.

On May 10, 2024, the Smith School and its Decision, Operations and Information Technologies (DO&IT) Department hosted the second annual Workshop on AI and Analytics for Social Good. The all-day event was a practical exploration of how analytics can support nonprofit organizations, government entities and social impact organizations. It followed the overall theme of employing analytics for “doing good.”

This year’s event featured 20 speakers from MIT, Meta, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Wharton, Harvard and the Smith School. Topics covered include misinformation, platform regulation, educational analytics, the economics of AI, policy questions in underserved societies and anti-poaching analytics.

The organizing committee, which included event chair Margret Vilborg Bjarnadottir, associate professor of Management Science and Statistics, Jui Ramaprasad, associate professor of Information Systems, and Hamsa Bastani from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, directly invited several speakers. However, they also selected speakers through an application process that saw individuals submit a three-page extended abstract, which included information such as their research’s questions or goals, novelty, methodological approach, main results and impact or potential impact. The organizing committee sought scholars at universities and other research institutions working on analytics for good and policymakers who frame their policies using business analytics. Young scholars, junior faculty and PhD students were also encouraged to submit applications.

Among the Smith School representatives were assistant professor Eaman Jahani who spoke with Meta’s Oversight Board Liaison Adam Shoemaker on regulating information on platforms, and Lauren Rhue, assistant professor of Information Systems, who held a conversation with Miranda Bogen, director of the AI Governance Lab at the Center for Democracy and Technology, on collecting and using demographic data.

The Smith School’s Ilya O. Ryzhov, DO&IT area chair and professor of management science and operations management, presented his research on optimal post-earthquake reconnaissance planning. Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Dean's Chair of Operations Management Wedad Elmaghraby delivered the event’s final remarks before a cocktail reception.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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