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Vasant Dhar

Vasant Dhar

Joined Stern 1983

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Kaufman Management Center
44 West Fourth Street, 8-92
New York, NY 10012

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Vasant Dhar is an Artificial Intelligence researcher and data scientist, and host of the podcast, "Brave New World," which explores how technology and virtualization in the post-COVID era is transforming humanity.

Dhar’s research focuses on the role of Artificial Intelligence in our lives. One part is about machine-based decision making and the trustworthiness of machines. The other part is about the broader impacts of data and technology in our lives, and the creation of policies for a better future in a world of intelligent machines.

Dhar’s high level framework breaks down trust into 2 risk-based dimensions. The first is inherent predictability, or how frequently a system makes mistakes. Think of this on the X-axis between zero and one. The second dimension, along the Y-axis is the cost of error of mistakes. The research demonstrates the existence of an “automation frontier” that expresses a tradeoff between how often a system will be wrong and its consequences. Trust, and hence our willingness to cede control of decision making to the machine, increases with increasing predictability and lower error costs. In other words, we are willing to trust machines if they don’t make too many mistakes and their costs are tolerable.

The automation frontier provides a natural way to think about the future of work and the division of responsibility between humans and machines.

Dhar’s research also focuses on issues of data governance and policy. He writes regularly in the media on Artificial Intelligence, societal risks of AI platforms, data governance, privacy, ethics, and trust. He is a frequent speaker in academic as well as industrial forums.

Professor Dhar teaches courses on Systematic Investing, Prediction, Data Science, and Foundations of FinTech.

He has written over 100 research articles, funded by grants from industry and government agencies such as the National Science Foundation.

Professor Dhar received his Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, and his Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh.

Research Interests

  • Data Science
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Governance

Courses Taught

  • Foundations of FinTech
  • Introduction to Data Science
  • Robo Advisors and Systematic Investing

Academic Background

Ph.D., Artificial Intelligence, 1984
University of Pittsburgh

M.Phil., 1982
University of Pittsburgh

B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, 1978
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi

Awards & Appointments

Editor-in-Chief Big Data 2014
Principal Investigator Mining Online Delegate Data for 2012 US Presidential Elections, July 2011 2011
Co-Principal Investigator Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy, NYU Abu Dhabi 2011
Principal Investigator Risk-Driven Catastrophes in Global 1000 Companies, funded by Deloitte & Touche 2010
Principal Investigator News as a Risk Factor in Predictive Modeling, supported by Thomson Reuters ('10-present) 2010
Daniel P. Paduano Fellow ('09-'11) NYU Stern 2009
Co-Director Center for Business Analytics 2006

Related News & Research

Elon Musk Is Right About Twitter and Solving Section 230.

Section 230: It’s Time to Equate Amplification to Publishing

Why the U.S. Needs Public-Private Partnerships for Digital Infrastructure

Brave New World

'Nationalize' Facebook and Twitter as Public Goods

3 Ways to Increase Social Media Platforms' Transparency

Social Media Platforms Are Undermining Our Democracy. Lawmakers Need to Step Up and Protect It.

In a story exploring the impact of the California Consumer Protection Act, Professor Vasant Dhar explains why there is an inverse monotonic relationship between privacy and value

Professors Vasant Dhar, Nicholas Economides and Lawrence White are quoted in a story exploring what the late July Big Tech hearing revealed and what the future might hold for Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

In a video interview, Professor Vasant Dhar warns young investors about the risks associated with day trading

Day-Trading Reality Check: Humans are Poor Investors and even Worse Traders

Stocks In The Post-Covid World: What Now for Investors?

Machine Learning Won’t Crack the Stock Market — But Here’s When Investors Should Trust AI

Without Transparency, We Can't Trust Robot Operators — Especially in a Pandemic

In an op-ed, Professor Vasant Dhar highlights the challenges that designers and operators of AI systems face in times of crisis, pointing to his recent research on the COVID-19 pandemic

My ‘Greed-Oriented’ Algorithm is Telling Me to Buy Stocks

Professor Vasant Dhar discusses the current regulatory environment surrounding technology companies, noting how California’s consumer protection law is a step in the right direction

In an article examining the future of biometrics stocks, Professor Vasant Dhar asserts that AI's biggest impact over the next decade will be to address problems involving perception

In an in-depth interview, Professor Vasant Dhar shares insights on how machine learning will affect the future of trading

Professor Vasant Dhar shares his perspective on AI-based trades in relation to human-led trading decisions

Areas of Expertise


  • High Frequency Trading


  • Publishing

Technology, Operations & Statistics

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Database Management
  • ITSolutions
  • Information Systems Development