Valentin Robu is a senior researcher in the Intelligent and Autonomous Systems Group at CWI. His core research interests are in the area of multi-agent systems and distributed AI. Modern societies are increasingly shaped by complex cyber-physical systems, where AI-powered software agents make autonomous decisions on behalf of their owners, often with their own goals and self-interest. Valentin’s research concerns the use of AI, algorithmic game theory and complex systems techniques to incentivise agents in such systems to follow socially desirable goals.
In the context of AI, Media and Democracy, Valentin is especially interested in understanding how disinformation can spread in social networks, often mediated by AI-enabled chatbots and content generation tools. This can create negative dynamics, such as “information cascades” in spreading rumours and disinformation, or audience polarisation. In his work in AIMD, Valentin aims to model these dynamics using complex network analysis, and study how they can be identified, and prevented using game-theoretic incentive design.
Before coming back to Amsterdam and CWI (where he completed his PhD), Valentin was a researcher and faculty member at the University of Southampton and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK. He also held visiting and affiliate appointments in the US at Harvard University, the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT, and Princeton University. He has published widely in many top conferences and journals, and received several awards for his research