Leveraging Web/Internet/Network Sciences (WINS) to address Grand Societal Challenges

30.6. 9:00–10:00, room D 239

The increased access to big data about social phenomena in general, and network data in particular, has been a windfall for social scientists. But these exciting opportunities must be accompanied with careful reflection on how big data can motivate new theories and methods. Using examples of his research, Contractor will argue that Web/Internet/Network Sciences (WINS) serve as the foundation to unleash the intellectual insights locked in big data. More importantly, he will illustrate how these insights offer social scientists an unprecedented opportunity to engage more actively in monitoring, anticipating and designing interventions to address grand societal challenges.

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Privacy Law and the Web: A Story of Love and Hate?

1.7. 9:00–10:00, room D 239

The presentation will give a critical overview on European attempts to steer privacy- and security-related behavior on the Web by legal means. Sepecific attention will be given to the general data protection regulation and the network information security directive.

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Information Warfare on the Web in the Middle East

2.7. 9:00–10:00, room E 011

The talk will present 5 years of interdisciplinary research at Beirut’s Web Science Unit on the ongoing Information Warfare that takes place on the Web in the Middle East region. Information Warfare is one particular way to wage war in Cyberspace and is usually included in the larger concept of Cyberwarfare.

Researching Information Warfare requires mixing politics and sociology, communication and technology, in order to move from the global scale to the little stories behind every attack to understand strategies, motivation, timing and technicalities.

4 different regional contexts will be presented: The 2006 Lebanon War, the 2011 Syrian Civil War, the 2012 Gaza War and the more recent information warfare lead by the ISIS group.

The objective is to understand the nature and reality of Information Warfare on the Web, its strategic objectives, its actors and look at various methods to measure its impact, using the Web Science interdisciplinary approach.

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Social Machines 2.0:  The Coming Collision of Artificial Intelligence, Social Networking, and Humanity

4.7. 9:00–10:00, room D 239

As technology has increasingly brought computing off of the laptop and into our social domain, we see society more and more impacted by the interactions allowed by mobile technologies and  increasingly ubiquitous communications.  These new sources of data, coupled with new breakthroughs in computation, and especially AI, are opening new vistas for ways that information comes into our world, and how what we do increasingly impacts others.  Current social networking sites will be, to the coming generation of social machines, what the early "entertainment" web was to the read/write capabilities once called "Web 2.0."  In this talk, we explore some of these trends and some of the promises and challenges of these emerging technologies.

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Entrepreneurship on the Web - Serlo's Mission to build a Wikipedia for Learning

5.7. 9:00–10:00, room D 239

Social enterprises use entrepreneurial spirit and methods to solve social and ecological problems. The munich-based social startup Serlo is building a collaborative free and open learning platform for secondary school students to address two of these problems: the limited access to high-quality learning materials and a lack of broad participation in shaping education. Serlo already supports 300.000 students every month by providing math explanations, solved exercises, videos and courses. This talk is about social entrepreneurship in general and about Serlo's mission to build a Wikipedia for learning.

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Human Behavior Modeling from (Big) Data

6.7. 9:00–10:00, room D 239

We live in a world of data, of big data, a big part of which has been generated by humans  through  their  interactions  with  both the physical and digital world.  A  key  element  in  the  exponential growth of human behavioral data  is  the  mobile  phone.  There are more mobile phones in the world as humans. The mobile phone is the piece  of  technology with the highest levels of adoption in human history. We carry them with us all through the day (and night, in many cases), leaving digital traces of our physical interactions. Mobile phones have become sensors of human activity in the large scale and also the most personal devices. In my talk, I will present some of the work that we are doing at Telefonica Research  in  the area of modeling humans from a variety of human behavioral data, such  as  inferring  personality,  financial responsibility,  attentiveness to messages or taste to provide recommendations. I will conclude by highlighting opportunities and challenges associated with building data-driven models of human behavior. 

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