Alex Halavais in Profile

Short Bio

Alexander Halavais is a researcher, author, and creator, interested in the ways in which automation, datafication, and artificial intelligence change the nature of learning and allow for new forms of creativity, collaboration, and autonomy. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University, where he directs the Master’s in Social Data Science. The second edition of his Search Engine Society was published in 2017, and he has published more than fifty articles and book chapters on the relationship of emerging technologies to social change. He is working on an introduction to information studies to be published by Polity in 2025 among other projects.

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Previously, he taught in the MS in Interactive Media program at Quinnipiac University and directed masters programs in the School of Informatics at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). He formerly served as president of the Association of Internet Researchers, worked with the Digital Media and Learning Hub based at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and has had extensive experience in developing data strategies and intelligence with organizations in government, non-profits, and industry. At ASU he is affiliated with the Institute for Social Science Research, the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and is external faculty in the Department of Public and Applied Humanities at the University of Arizona. He received a PhD in Communications from the University of Washington, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California at Irvine.

He has provided expert commentary for dozens of newspapers and magazines around the world, including the New York TimesWall Street JournalWiredThe Times of London, and Asahi Shimbun, and has been a discussant on television and radio programs in the US, Canada, Australia, Austria, Turkey, and Russia. His teaching was featured in Time, and interviews have been published in the Washington Post and Fast Company.

His perfect day would be spent with his partner, two children, and Pax the Mastiff, and would include a nice walk, a great meal, a curvy drive in a fast car, and a cold rum cocktail on a warm beach with a nice breeze and a good book. His dream is to someday start a school for misfits and misfitting.