Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI)


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  • Nicholas Alvaro Coles

    Nicholas Alvaro Coles

    Research Scientist

    BioI am a Research Scientist at Stanford University and the Director of the Psychological Science Accelerator. I conduct research on emotions, big team science, and [more recently] AI.

    In affective science, I seek to understand the social, cognitive, and physiological processes that underlie emotion. Much of my research here has focused on examining the extent to which sensorimotor feedback from the peripheral nervous system (e.g., changes in heart rate and muscle tension) impact the conscious experience of emotion.

    In big team science, I seek to build infrastructure that allows researchers to collaboratively tackle ultra-complex questions in science. In this domain, I (a) direct the Psychological Science Accelerator: a consortium of researchers (2500+ from 70+ countries) who pool resources to accelerate the accumulation of generalizable knowledge in psychology, (b) co-direct the Stanford Big Team Science Lab, and (c) support various big team science initiatives (e.g., the Virtual Experience Research Accelerator and Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope).

    In artificial intelligence, I am interested in ways that these new technologies can be used to monitor, predict, and change humans' emotions. For example, I recently founded the Emotion Physiology and Experience Collaboration, which seeks to improve the algorithmic recognition of emotion by (a) documenting cultural and contextual sources of model bias, and (b) building foundational datasets that can improve these models.