Aditya is a third year PhD student in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Washington where he design, build and evaluates technologies for underserved rural and urban communities in resource-constrained settings. Much of his research lies in the intersection of Social Computing and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). He is advised by Prof. Richard Anderson.
Social media platforms have revolutionized how people communicate, consume and share information and have deeply impacted the lives of billions of people around the world. In addition to providing entertainment and information, they are playing a pivotal role in managing crisis response, political activism, and civil society movements like the Arab Spring. Recent years have also seen the rise of crowdsourcing marketplaces like Amazon Mechanical Turk and CrowdFlower that provide people with additional earning opportunities while advancing social science experiments and data processing. However, low-income, low-literate people in as-yet unconnected communities are often unable to reap the benefits of both social media and crowdsourcing platforms because they face a complex array of socioeconomic barriers, literacy constraints and infrastructural challenges. The goal of Aditya’s research is to design, build and evaluate usable and appropriate voice-based platforms for enabling low-income, low-literate people to access social media platforms and crowdsourcing systems. To achieve this goal, he is currently focused on three main research directions: (1) creating new voice-based social computing platforms that are accessible for people who use basic mobile phones without Internet connectivity; (2) creating voice-based social media and crowdsourcing platforms for people using smartphones with intermittent Internet connectivity; and (3) understanding and systematizing content creation, consumption, and sharing practices of the next billion people.