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Columbia Data Science Institute

Truth-Seeking in the Age of Disinformation

Friday, October 12, 2018
1:00PM – 2:30PM
Pupin Hall, Room 428
“Truth-Seeking in the Age of Disinformation”
Abstract: Given the constantly growing proliferation of false claims online in recent years, there has been also a growing research interest in automatically distinguishing false rumors from factually true claims. In this talk, we will present several related problems. First, in the context of investigative journalism, we will address the problem of automatically identifying which claims in a political debate are most worthy and should be prioritized for fact-checking. We will then present a general-purpose deep learning framework for fully automatic fact checking using external sources, which taps the potential of the entire Web as a knowledge source to confirm or reject a claim. We will further extend this framework to the context of community question answering, where the goal is to decide whether an answer to a factual question is factually true or false. We will also cover some related problems such as stance detection, trust-worthiness estimation for Web sites, political ideology, bias and propaganda detection, as well as finding seminar users and opinion manipulation trolls in news community forums.
Bio: Dr. Preslav Nakov is a Senior Scientist at the Qatar Computing Research Institute, HBKU. His research interests include computational linguistics and natural language processing, machine translation, question answering, fact-checking, sentiment analysis, lexical semantics, Web as a corpus, and biomedical text processing.
At QCRI, he leads a project whose aim is to develop a news aggregation application to limit the effect of fake news, propaganda and media bias by helping users step out of their bubble and achieve a healthy news diet. He is also a co-PI of an MIT-QCRI collaboration project on Arabic Speech and Language Processing for Cross-Language Informatio n Search and Fact Verification, and he was a co-PI of another MIT-QCRI collaboration project on Speech and Language Processing for Arabic (2013-2016).
Preslav Nakov received his PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley (supported by a Fulbright grant and a UC Berkeley fellowship), and a MSc degree from the Sofia University. He was a Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore, a honorary lecturer in the Sofia University, and a research staff in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.