Seminars and Events

Artificial Intelligence Seminar

AI Seminar-Causal Inference to Inform Curation Practices in Online Platforms

Event Details

Speaker: Guiseppe Russo, EPFL Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Location: Virtual Only via Zoom

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Meeting ID: 971 5396 8629

Passcode: 053755

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Digital platforms like Facebook, Wikipedia, Amazon, and LinkedIn play a foundational role in our society. They engage in content curation through moderation, recommendations, and monetization efforts, impacting individuals positively or negatively. In this talk, I will highlight the critical need for improving the existing methodologies used in these curation practices. I’ll make a case for the essential role of academic research in shaping policy and establishing best practices, drawing on two significant projects from my doctoral research.

First, I will delve into an observational study on Reddit that uncovered a mechanism potentially driving the proliferation of extremist communities online. Following that, I will detail the outcomes of a study assessing the impact of removing entire extremist groups from Reddit. To conclude, I will examine potential research paths aimed at improving digital platforms, with a special focus on both the promises and challenges introduced by the emergence of generative AI technologies. My research demonstrates that investigating the direct effects of content curation practices with rigor can significantly enhance the quality of online platforms.


Speaker Bio

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher at EPFL, guided by Professor Robert West. My research spans causal inference, machine learning, and the broader impacts of AI on both society and individuals. Currently, my focus is on understanding the effects of content moderation in online social networks. My research extends to the  applying causal methods to decision-making processes related to health and sustainability.

I earned both my PhD and MSc from ETH Zurich, under the mentorship of Professor Frank Schweitzer, and completed my Bachelor's degree at the Politecnico di Milano. My work has been showcased at several academic conferences, including ACL, EMNLP, ICWSM, WWW, and IC2S2. Notably, it has been featured in the enlightening talk series at the International Conference of Computational Social Science (IC2S2).

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