Esther Duflo is one of this year’s winners of the Nobel Prize in economics. She and her colleagues at MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab won for their unique approach to tackling poverty. They try to break up huge problems like immunization or educational opportunity into smaller problems. Their team comes up with questions about what might work and then uses randomized controlled trials that are traditionally used in medicine and hard sciences to compare the impact of specific ideas. She says the team also uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to deploy the findings of their research in the most efficient way possible.