Phil 9.8.18

How intermittent breaks in interaction improve collective intelligence

  • Many human endeavors—from teams and organizations to crowds and democracies—rely on solving problems collectively. Prior research has shown that when people interact and influence each other while solving complex problems, the average problem-solving performance of the group increases, but the best solution of the group actually decreases in quality. We find that when such influence is intermittent it improves the average while maintaining a high maximum performance. We also show that storing solutions for quick recall is similar to constant social influence. Instead of supporting more transparency, the results imply that technologies and organizations should be redesigned to intermittently isolate people from each other’s work for best collective performance in solving complex problems.

Will Foreign Agents Rig the U.S. Midterm Elections Through Social Media?

  • Samantha Bradshaw, an expert on computational propaganda, weighs in on whether Facebook, Twitter, and others are doing enough to curb political social media bots.

Detecting signs of dementia using word vector representations

  • Recent approaches to word vector representations, e.g., ‘w2vec’ and ‘GloVe’, have been shown to be powerful methods for capturing the semantics and syntax of words in a text. The approaches model the co-occurrences of words and recent successful applications on written text have shown how the vector representations and their interrelations represent the meaning or sentiment in the text. Most applications have targeted written language, however, in this paper, we investigate how these models port to the spoken language domain where the text is the result of (erroneous) automatic speech transcription. In particular, we are interested in the task of detecting signs of dementia in a person’s spoken language. This is motivated by the fact that early signs of dementia are known to affect a person’s ability to express meaning articulately for example when they engage in a conversation – something which is known to be cognitively very demanding. We analyse conversations designed to probe people’s short and long-term memory and propose three different methods for how word vectors may be used in a classification setup. We show that it is possible to identify dementia from the output of a speech recognizer despite a high occurrence of recognition errors.