Post-Doctoral Research

As a postdoctoral fellow at the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society and the Policy, Elections and Representation Lab (PEARL) at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, under the supervision of Prof. Peter Loewen, my work revolves around how technology and automation are changing governance and politics. In particular, I am interested into two questions. One investigates whether providing information about the costs as well as the benefits of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) affects support for different policies in response to such major economic changes, and whether there is there a gender gap with respect to these policy preferences. Previous work suggests that women are often more protectionist than men when it comes to trade preferences, but we do not know if these attitudes translate to preferences for automation or why. Finally, today many decisions that are made by humans can actually be made by computer algorithms. Although these tools are likely to lead to an increase in efficiency and effectiveness in government policy, their use remains contentious. In particular, key concerns revolve around potentially perpetuating bias, creating negative effects on employment, and privacy, ethical, and transparency issues. We aim to investigate which government decisions people would feel comfortable to be made by computers rather than human beings, what their fears around the use of AI by governments are, and what they currently know about AI and algorithms.