Past Meetup

Deconstructing Trust In Social Networks and Peer-to-Peer Markets

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I am very pleased to host Prof. Arun Sundararajan, Professor and Rosen Faculty Fellow, NYU Stern School of Business.

Abstract: What makes us trust others? Do digital social networks enhance or diminish trust? And as the sharing economy raises the stakes in our interaction with semi-anonymous "strangers," will we become a more or less trusting society?

In this talk, I discuss how network science and data from online platforms are enhancing our understanding of trust between humans. I illustrate why establishing trust is highly context specific, and that online reputation systems have limited effectiveness in many contexts. As a consequence, data scientists need to exercise caution when using the increasingly rich "digital trust" data sets now available to them. I provide a few guidelines for the effective design of trust systems, illustrating some general findings using research that includes experiments done on Facebook, an ongoing cross-country study with BlaBlaCar, the world's largest city-to-city ridesharing platform, and ongoing research with Traity, an early-stage reputation platform.

In addition to being a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, Arun heads the Social Cities Initiative at CUSP (NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress) and is also affiliated faculty at NYU's Center for Data Science.

Arun's research studies how digital technologies transform business and society. His current scholarly research focuses on peer-to-peer markets, the sharing economy, digital trust, social media and brand, digital labor, new institutions, regulation, social networks and online privacy. He has published over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and conferences.

His op-eds and expert commentary have appeared in TIME Magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, Le Monde, El Pais, Wired, TechCrunch, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review, and a variety of radio shows and TV programs. He is one of the founders of the Workshop on Information in Networks, is a member of the City of New York's Technology Advisory Group, and is an advisor to Cisco Systems, OuiShare, the Center for Global Enterprise and the National League of Cities.

His new book (https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/sharing-economy) about the sharing economy and crowd-based capitalism will be released by the MIT Press in April 2016.

Here's a link to his publications: http://oz.stern.nyu.edu and a link to his Twitter profile: http://www.twitter.com/digitalarun

Arun earned his B.Tech at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in Electrical Engineering, an MS in Management Science and his PhD. in Business Administration from the University of Rochester, Business School.