Pietro Gravino PhD

Pietro Gravino PhD

Sony Computer Science Laboratories Paris

We often relate to innovation as if it could be an answer to our questions and needs. But what if innovations are actually the questions? Each advance raises an increasing number of open questions. On one side they unlock a wider range of opportunities, possibly leading to new discoveries (both at a collective and individual level). On the other side, each creative exploit can have a potentially huge impact on humans, at the cultural, societal, and psychological level. The focus of my research is twofold: the study of the exploration of the space of the unknown (in particular the so-called Adjacent Possible) and the assessment of the impact of this exploration on humans. I try to understand exploration behaviours in cultural systems, how creativity can emerge in such processes and the impact of innovations. The aim is to learn how we can use technology to “augment” our exploration and to improve our creativity.

Infosphere: information dynamics for future democracies

Disinformation is as old as lies, and it has been used as a weapon in different shapes, evolving as Information Technologies did throughout the ages. Despite the dramatic improvement of information availability, it can have a dangerous impact on our societies, even when it involves only relatively small minorities. Democracies are currently struggling to find a way to deal with the problem without hindering the defining values of democracy itself. But while we cannot improve information quality without entering the battlefield of opinions, we can do a lot to enhance information accessibility. We can redesign Information Technologies to make social dialogue more transparent, understandable, and healthy. The “Infosphere” research line at Sony Computer Science Labs is collecting the research efforts of both Paris and Rome Labs to tackle these challenges: (i) the detection of unmet news demand that might trigger disinformation production; (ii) the building of bridges between polarised factions through new recommender systems and transparent, shared-value reputation system for news outlets; (iii) the visualization of the social dialogue to improve citizens awareness about the different points of view; (iv) the study of “divisive news” instead of “fake news”, whose definition can always be questioned. Our final aim is to improve our societies’ information dynamics through new IT tools shaped around human information processing, both at the individual and the collective level, to contrast those features resulting in dangers for our democracies.