Talk at IEEE Women in Engineering: Algorithms with a Moral Compass

Come join the London sections of IEEE Women in Engineering, IEEE Computer Society, and IEEE Young Professionals for “Algorithms with a Moral Compass: Detecting Lies, Satire, and Clickbait” with Victoria Rubin, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information & Media Studies and Director of Language & Information Technology Research Lab, Western University.
When: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018; 6:00 pm
Where: SEB 3102, Spencer Engineering Building, Western University


North American digital environments are increasingly mediated by algorithms in 2018. Users of social media platforms and other online services are constantly advised on what actions to take: what to purchase, how and when to exercise, who to contact, and what to watch and read. Most algorithms for personalization, recommendation, filtering, and content promotion are optimized for profit and do not concern themselves with issues of moral rights and wrongs. The question is: why not? Moral values are important for each individual and the society at large, for justice, impartiality, and equality. If certain decisions are delegated to algorithms for lack of human time or oversight, there should be a greater emphasis on morally-savvy technologies. In this talk, Prof. Rubin will explain predictive modeling with measurable linguistic features in texts (such as complexity, uncertainty, non-immediacy, diversity, affect, specificity, expressiveness, and informality). A limited number of such tools became available to the public by around 2010, and not many are currently in use by social media platforms and digital news aggregators, and the situation needs to change.

Everyone (women and men engineer/scientist) is welcome!
Admission is free.
Refreshments will be provided.
Please register using the following link:
If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Jevnikar at

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