Iyad Rahwan is a director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where he founded and directs the Center for Humans & Machines. He is also an honorary professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. Until June 2020, he was an Associate Professor of Media Arts & Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). A native of Aleppo, Syria, Rahwan holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Rahwan’s work lies at the intersection of computer science and human behavior, with a focus on collective intelligence, large-scale cooperation, and the societal impact of Artificial Intelligence and social media. His early work explored how social media can be used to achieve unprecedented feats, such as searching an entire continent within 9 hours, and re-assembling shredded documents. He led the winning team in the US State Department’s Tag Challenge, using social media to locate individuals in remote cities within 12 hours using only their mug shots.
Recently, Rahwan led a team that crowdsourced 40 million decisions from people worldwide about the ethics of autonomous vehicles. Through a series of projects, he also exposed tens of millions of people world-wide to new implications of AI, such as bias in machine learning, human-AI creativity and the ability of AI to induce fear and empathy in humans at scale.
Another theme that interests Iyad is the future of work and human-machine cooperation. He demonstrated the world’s first human-level strategic cooperation by an AI, and innovated new methods to anticipate the potential impact of AI on human labor.
Iyad Rahwan’s work appeared in major academic journals, including Science, Nature and PNAS, and features regularly in major media outlets, including the New York Times, The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal.