April 12, 2022

[VIDEO] TALK: Fake News: Threats, Mechanisms & Mitigation - SKEL | The AI Lab

In the context of the informative talks open to the public, organised by SKEL | The AI Lab, we welcomed our visiting speaker, Mr Marios D. Dikaiakos, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus, on 18 April 2022.

The talk was titled Fake News: Threats, Mechanisms and Mitigation and took place in a hybrid mode at NCSR Demokritos at the Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications, Lecture Room. The event was also live-streamed via Zoom.

Watch the video of the talk here:


Abstract:  “Fake News” in online social media has been characterised as one of the major problems that plague the Internet today. Policy makers are increasingly alarmed by the view that online misinformation polarises societies, influences election results, and incites civil unrest. These concerns have prompted multi-disciplinary efforts to understand, identify, analyse, and mitigate social media manipulation. In this talk, we review key mechanisms that facilitate the exploitation of online social media as weapons for online manipulation and misinformation, and explore their consequences on societies. We give an overview of computational techniques and systems that provide us with powerful capabilities to harvest and analyse at scale content from online social media and the web. We discuss the problem of mitigating the spread of misinformation online and present a software system that we designed and implemented to help users identify Fake News. Our system applies Machine Learning techniques and combines many different signals extracted from online articles that have a high misinformation potential. Users can benefit from this system through a lightweight and privacy-preserving browser plug-in. Experimental comparison of the system’s detection algorithm against other techniques demonstrates its high accuracy, and user surveys conducted show that it can help users assess the veracity of information landing on their browser.

Short Bio: Marios D. Dikaiakos is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus. He is the Founding Director of the Laboratory for Internet Computing. He also served as founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship of the University (2015-2021) and Head of the Computer Science Department (2010-2014). Dikaiakos received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University (1994), an M.A. degree from Princeton (1991), and a Dipl.-Ing. degree from the National Technical University of Athens. He was a Research Associate at the University of Washington in Seattle and has held short-term visiting positions at the Paris Research Lab of Digital Equipment Corporation, France; the University of Crete, Greece; Rutgers University, USA, and the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. His research interests include Internet Computing and Parallel and Distributed Systems, with recent activities focusing on Cloud and Edge Computing, Big Data, and Online Social Networks Analysis.

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