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Fabio Mattioli

Lecturer In Social Anthropology
Social And Political Sciences
Artificial Intelligence
Critical Political Economy
Human-Centred Design
South Eastern Europe
Fabio Mattioli's Profile Picture

Fabio Mattioli

Primary Interest
Economic Anthropology
Fabio Mattioli's Profile Picture

Fabio Mattioli


I am a Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of Social and Political Sciences and Associated Researcher at the Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Ethics. My research analyzes how society is shaped by new economic and technological innovations.

In most of my work, I intersect analyses of political and economic trends with the views and practices of my participants, which I gather by participating in their daily life—a kind of ethnographic approach I call organic political economy.

My forthcoming book (Dark Finance, Stanford 2020) describes how financial expansion affected democracy during the global financial crisis, focusing on the case study of North Macedonia. Since then, I have started to expand my work to other spaces of innovation, focusing on social, political, and economic context that frames startups, social media algorithms, and artificial intelligence.

1) Innovation and Digital Economies. Increasingly, our societies are asked to innovate by creating "innovation ecosystems," i.e. networks of programs that support startup companies. But is this form of innovation socially sustainable? I am leading a team that is conducting an ethnographic study of startup accelerators in Melbourne, focusing on how entrepreneurs navigate the demands of financial markets.

2) The Production of Fake News. The cycle of polarizing news that we consume during social during major political events highlights the tremendous impact of social media algorithms. But how do humans and algorithms collaborate to produce newsfeeds? What economic factors shape them? Working with a group of Macedonian "trolls," this research maps the cultural ideas and economic relations that make social media algorithm amplify polarizing news.

3) The Human Context of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence is the next frontier of innovation. But can humans and AI coexist? I am developing several ethnographic projects to understand how to improve the integration between AI systems and humans. One utilizes a machine learning tool to stress-test autopiloting systems based on airplane pilots' handling preferences. The other studies how airplane pilots interact with non-cockpit technologies in their daily life to understand how to minimize the cognitive challenges caused by unexpected autopilots failures.

I am committed to collaborative and ethical research. As a mentor for CivVic and LaunchVic, I have been helping Victorian startups refine their research strategies. I am interested in collaborating with partners who work towards developing human-centered solutions for difficult, sensitive challenges.


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Scholarly Works

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Lecturer In Social Anthropology

Social And Political Sciences


PhD in Social Anthropology

Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Masters in Social Anthropology

School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

Bachelor of Philosophy

University of Florence