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Spotlight on 🔦Syed Musab🔦

Syed Musab GRA at the University of Kansas

What does your job actually entail?

My current job is doing research, primarily with Dr. John Symons. I’m in the middle of two projects in addition to my dissertation.

I am guest editing a special issue for the “Teaching Philosophy” journal on large language models and education. The other project I am part of is conducting research for a psychology study on pro-social behavior.

Why did you join the DSxHE community?

I learned about the DSxHE community through the FAccT conference/community. I am very new to the DSxHE community, but I find the work being done very fascinating. As a philosopher, having an opportunity to be part of communities like DSxHE is crucial to my discipline and area.

What should people reach out to you for help on/with?

I am always looking to collaborate and help others needing a philosophical point of view or provide a second pair of eyes with their projects. As for myself, being exposed to the technical aspects of technology is essential, so any recommendation to help someone like me with that would be very much appreciated.


What’s your interest in data science and/or health equity?

My interest in data science concerning health care and equity mainly revolves around health care for older adults and vulnerable populations in general. I know much of data science ethics, at least in philosophy, is pessimistic about how data is gathered and used and the impact of quick funneling of power in the hands of few. However, I would like to find ways to think about the issues and technologies more optimistically.

What’s a topic in data science/health equity that you care a lot about

Recently I’ve been very interested in exploring the idea of “trust” between

patients and healthcare providers in the age of generative AI. I’m interested in

determining what “trust” implies or entails when one or both parties (patient

and doctor) utilize generative AI in healthcare settings. It seems like LLMs are

changing or will alter how and why people trust or choose to not trust due to the

integration of LLMs in health care.


What is your favourite rainy day activity?

My favorite rainy-day activity is the rain itself. I really like rainy and cloudy weather. I would take the rain over 110 F temperatures any day. I’m from Oklahoma in the US; in July, parts of it had a head index of 126 F (52.22 C). So, yes, rain.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

I have done karaoke once, and my go-to song was (and will be) “American Pie” – by Don McClean. I probably picked this because in an undergraduate literature class, we all had to write an in-depth paper on it, and I still remember the lyrics to this day.

What is your hidden talent?

One of my hidden talents, which seems to get a laugh or cringe from most crowds, is my ability to clap with one hand.

What do you wish you learned sooner?

A lesson that I wish everybody would learn, either through experience or someone else, is that our time on this planet is limited. Yes, we all know that, but I (and I think most of us have not) did not really internalize this reality. This is the only period where we will know to experience having experiences. So, just go experience the world, and be mindful of the fact that you’re lucky enough to even have this capacity. Do not let others’ opinions of your life limit what you want to experience and do. A lesson I wish I had learned sooner than I did.

If you were to devote the rest of your life to philanthropy, what cause would you choose?

In a world where I had millions or billions of dollars and chose the life of philanthropy, I would dedicate it to helping the unhoused (adults and kids) get back on their feet by providing them with a place to live, a mailbox, and access to a computer. I would also provide them with job training. Another area I would dedicate my resources is to help kids in foster or adoption services. Lastly, a way to reduce the loneliness epidemic in the older adult population.


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