Sam is a student in the College with an interest in the intersection between technology and public policy. He is fascinated by cooperative governance mechanisms in sociotechnical systems, specifically in the field of algorithmic curation. As a Computer Science and Sociology (Law and Society) double-major, he’s interested in exploring both the hard, technical questions within the field, and also hopes to address the social impacts of mass-media algorithms.
At Penn, he works as a researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction lab to study XAI—explainable AI systems. XAI combines the fields of computer science, sociology, philosophy, and psychology to understand both the growing implications of AI systems, and the measures necessary to mitigate the adversarial risks that come with the implementations of these systems.
Outside of Penn, Sam is committed to practicing the beliefs he gained on citizenship while serving as an Eagle Scout. This past year, he has been working with Battered Boys & Men, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting adolescent male victims of domestic abuse. He is also a member of the Internet Society’s Youth Standing Group, and ICANN, which coordinates the governance of the internet. As a member of ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee on Consolidated Policy, Sam believes in the internet’s future:
“I think the biggest issue for the internet is trust. Trust in both the internet’s governance and content. I believe that the internet is a public good, and should be used to support humanistic values and serve all people. Without trust, sound policy, and transparent accountability, the internet fails as a public institution.”
Sam hopes to contribute fundamental scholarship towards technology policy, and study the subfields of algorithmic bias, data acquisition/privacy, and digital market regulation. As a technologist, he believes in the potential, non-financial applications of distributed ledger technology (DLTs) as a means to support government accountability and protect democratic values. Sam plans to use the SNF Paideia fellowship to further his knowledge on citizenship and learn how scientists and policymakers can work together to deploy new technologies that serve the public good.