Cutting Edge Lecture in Science: The internet didn’t have to be this way


Redpath Museum Auditorium, 859 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C4, CA
FREE with admission to Museum

By Derek Ruths (Associate Professor of Computer Science at McGill University and Director of the McGill Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science).

While full of promise, the internet has become overwhelmed by trolls, ad targeting, harassing posts, flame wars, and click bait.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Drawing on years of research into online bad behavior, from fake news on Facebook to hate speech on Reddit to terrorist recruiting on Twitter, Dr. Ruths will discuss how interface design, business models, and the complacency of users has fed the internet’s dark side – and how attention to these factors as well as the responsible use of artificial intelligence could create a cleaner, more civil internet.

About the Speaker: Derek Ruths joined the faculty in 2009 after completing his PhD in Computer Science at Rice University.  A major research direction in his group considers the problem of characterizing and predicting the large-scale dynamics of human behavior in online social platforms.  His work has been published in top-tier journals and conferences.  His research is currently funded by a wide array of organizations including the Canadian government, tech companies, and the US National Science Foundation - underscoring the broad, interdisciplinary nature of his work.

The Cutting Edge Lectures in Science are introductions for the general public to the latest research in science.

In English.