Phil 9.21.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • “Who’s idea was it to connect every idiot on the internet with every other idiot” PJ O’Rourke, Commonwealth Club, 2018
  • Running Programs In Reverse for Deeper A.I.” by Zenna Tavares
    • In this talk I show that inverse simulation, i.e., running programs in reverse from output to input, lies at the heart of the hardest problems in both human cognition and artificial intelligence. How humans are able to reconstruct the rich 3D structure of the world from 2D images; how we predict that it is safe to cross a street just by watching others walk, and even how we play, and sometimes win at Jenga, are all solvable by running programs backwards. The idea of program inversion is old, but I will present one of the first approaches to take it literally. Our tool ReverseFlow combines deep-learning and our theory of parametric inversion to compile the source code of a program (e.g., a TensorFlow graph) into its inverse, even when it is not conventionally invertible. This framework offers a unified and practical approach to both understand and solve the aforementioned problems in vision, planning and inference for both humans and machines.
  • Bot-ivistm: Assessing Information Manipulation in Social Media Using Network Analytics
    • Matthew Benigni 
    • Kenneth Joseph
    • Kathleen M. Carley (Scholar)
    • Social influence bot networks are used to effect discussions in social media. While traditional social network methods have been used in assessing social media data, they are insufficient to identify and characterize social influence bots, the networks in which they reside and their behavior. However, these bots can be identified, their prevalence assessed, and their impact on groups assessed using high dimensional network analytics. This is illustrated using data from three different activist communities on Twitter—the “alt-right,” ISIS sympathizers in the Syrian revolution, and activists of the Euromaidan movement. We observe a new kind of behavior that social influence bots engage in—repetitive @mentions of each other. This behavior is used to manipulate complex network metrics, artificially inflating the influence of particular users and specific agendas. We show that this bot behavior can affect network measures by as much as 60% for accounts that are promoted by these bots. This requires a new method to differentiate “promoted accounts” from actual influencers. We present this method. We also present a method to identify social influence bot “sub-communities.” We show how an array of sub-communities across our datasets are used to promote different agendas, from more traditional foci (e.g., influence marketing) to more nefarious goals (e.g., promoting particular political ideologies).
  • Pinged Aaron M. about writing an article
  • More iConf paper. Got a first draft on everything but the discussion section

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