Talk: Calling BS in an Age of Misinformation, Oct 7

Calling BS in an Age of Misinformation

Jevin West
Associate Professor
University of Washington Information School

Monday, October 7, 2019
12:30 to 1:20 PM, PT
Bloedel Hall Room 070 or Online via Zoom

Abstract

Since joining the iSchool, I have seen the birth of data science as a field of study and the re-emergence of artificial intelligence as a topic researchers actually associate with. I have experienced blockchain euphoria, the cloud cover of computing, self-driving cars, and virtual assistants. My reasons for techno-optimism are plenty. But they are becoming overshadowed by the darker sides of technology. The rise of misinformation, deep fakes, bot armies, predatory journals, conspiracy-laden recommendations, addictive social media platforms, unfettered facial recognition, algorithmic bias, and the extinction of privacy have deepened my techno-pessimism. The rise of misinformation, in particular, is one of the biggest threats to democracy, human health, and global stability. It has become the focus of my research, teaching and service efforts. In this talk, I will survey a set of projects aimed at combating and better understanding the spread of misinformation in our digital environments, in science and broadly within society.

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