On 23 January 2018 Victoria Rubin was invited to speak to a group of engineering students and researchers. The talk was about creating more morally-savvy natural language processing technologies, for instance, those that could potentially weed out misinformation and disinformation in online news.
Rubin noticed 3 alarming trends in online environments: proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, increased algorithmic mediation in online news, and an apparent lack of ethics of computing (a distinct amorality) in algorithmic implementations. She described methodological advancements at LiT.RL lab in deception, satire and clickbait detection as a way to filter out disinformation as an attempt to reset the moral compass.
The audience was actively participating and posed lots of questions to the speaker. The questions were about the broader ethics of computing, applicability of philosophical thought experiments to current technologies, and the potential for working with elementary schools to increased critical thinking skills.
Many thanks to the Organizers of the IEEE Women in Engineering for holding this event!