Bio

Adam Sanborn is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Warwick. He gained his PhD in psychological & brain sciences and cognitive science at Indiana University, and did his postdoctoral work at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at UCL. Adam is interested in the rationality of human behaviour, which he studies with Bayesian models, approximations to Bayesian models, and behavioural experiments. His research has been published in leading psychology journals such as Psychological Review, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Cognitive Psychology, and he has won best paper awards in both psychology and computer science. He recently completed a three-year project funded by the ESRC and serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Research interests

Eliciting human beliefs in uncertain situations is a key challenge for data science and artificial intelligence, as people are often biased when expressing their subjective probabilities of events occurring. Many methods of elicitation have been developed by psychologists and statisticians that attempt to avoid these biases, but these methods do not scale well to eliciting multivariate beliefs. Adam's past work has adapted a sampling algorithm from computer science and statistics, Markov Chain Monte Carlo, to elicit people's multivariate beliefs by asking them to make a series of choices.

Adam has successfully applied this approach to a range of domains, such as eliciting what people believe different animals or facial expressions look like, or what people mean when they say they have had a good night's sleep. At the Turing, he plans to explore additional domains in economic data science in order to relate people's employment choices to their beliefs about the future. He also plans to develop new elicitation methods for efficiently combining human expertise with that of artificial intelligence.