Colloquium/UICC Keynote Address - Bias on the Web

Date: 
February 19, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Location: 
Zoom
Speaker: 
Ricardo Baeza-Yates
ACM University of Iowa Chapter
https://acm.org.uiowa.edu/article/uicc-2021-speakers

Ricardo Baeza-Yates

The Web is the most powerful communication medium and the largest public data repository that humankind has created. Its content ranges from great reference sources such as Wikipedia to ugly fake news. Indeed, social (digital) media is just an amplifying mirror of ourselves. Hence, the main challenge of search engines and other websites that rely on web data is to assess the quality of such data. However, as all people has their own biases, web content as well as our web interactions are tainted with many biases. Data bias includes redundancy and spam, while interaction bias includes activity and presentation bias. In addition, sometimes algorithms add bias, particularly in the context of search and recommendation systems. As bias generates bias, we stress the importance of debiasing data as well as using the context and other techniques such as explore & exploit, to break the filter bubble. The main goal of this talk is to make people aware of the different biases that affect all of us on the Web. Awareness is the first step to be able to fight and reduce the vicious cycle of web bias. For more details see the article of same title in Communications of ACM, June 2018. 

Bio

Ricardo Baeza-Yates is a Research Professor at Northeastern University's Roux Institute for Experiential AI based at the Silicon Valley Campus where he was the Director of Data Science between 2017 and 2020. Before he was VP of Research at Yahoo Labs, based in Barcelona, Spain, and later in Sunnyvale, California, from 2006 to 2016. Until 2005 he was an ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Catalonia and until 2004 he was Professor and founding director of the Center for Web Research at University of Chile. He obtained a Ph.D. in CS from the University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1989. He is co-author of the best-seller Modern Information Retrieval textbook published by Addison-Wesley in 2011 (2nd ed), that won the ASIST 2012 Book of the Year award. From 2002 to 2004 he was elected to the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society and between 2012 and 2016 was elected for the ACM Council. Since 2010 is a founding member of the Chilean Academy of Engineering. In 2009 he was named ACM Fellow and in 2011 IEEE Fellow, among other awards and distinctions. His areas of expertise are web search and data mining, information retrieval, AI fairness, data science, and its associated algorithms.