Automated content synthesis using neural networks

  • Event: 2018 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Nicholas Diakopoulos of Northwestern University; Emily Withrow of Quartz; Ben Zhao of The University of Chicago
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 8 at 11:30am
  • Location: Grand Ballroom III
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

Neural network technology is rapidly advancing to be able to synthesize new content, whether that be videos, images, audio or texts, that is at times almost indistinguishable from human-authored content. This session will provide a state-of-the-art overview of capabilities in this space, as well as discussion and debate about potential application in journalism and challenges that synthesized content poses for tasks like reporting and fact-checking. Attendees of the session will come away with a better understanding of where the technology is headed and how it could affect journalism in the near future. 

Speaker Bios

  • Nick Diakopoulos is a Professor of Communication Studies and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He studies automation and algorithms as they impact news media including aspects of journalistic data mining, automated content production, news bots, and algorithmic accountability. He is author of "Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media" from Harvard University Press, and co-editor of "Data-Driven Storytelling" from CRC Press.

  • Emily Withrow is editor of the Quartz Bot Studio, where she writes, designs, and builds conversational news experiences. Her work examines how people and bots interact, and how journalists might reach new audiences and deliver news and information with these emerging platforms. She also holds an appointment as an assistant professor at Northwestern University. @emilywithrow

  • Ben Zhao is Neubauer Professor of Computer Science at University of Chicago.  He completed his PhD from Berkeley and BS from Yale. He is an ACM distinguished scientist, and recipient of the NSF CAREER award, MIT Tech Review's TR-35 Award (Young Innovators Under 35), ComputerWorld Magazine Top 40 Tech Innovators, Google Faculty award, and IEEE ITC Early Career Award. He has more than 150 publications in security/privacy, data mining, networking and HCI. @ravenben

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