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Bias and the Web

Dr. Ricardo Baeza Yates
Tuesday, May 8, 2018 -
5:30pm to 7:00pm


The Web is the most powerful communication medium and largest public data repository that humankind has created. Its content ranges from great reference sources such as Wikipedia to ugly fake news. Social digital media is an amplifying mirror of ourselves. Hence, the main challenge of search engines and other websites that rely on web data is to assess quality of such data. However, as people have 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 de-biasing data as well as using 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 bias.


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Networking and Pizza at 5:30PM, Talk at 6:00 PM.  Come and meet notable computer professionals in greater Sacramento.


About the speakers

Ricardo Baeza-Yates, areas of expertise are information retrieval, web search, data science and algorithms, is currently Professor at Northeastern University, Silicon Valley campus and also CTO, NTENT. Earlier, he was VP(Research) Yahoo Labs, in Sunnyvale, California and founded and led Yahoo labs in Barcelona and Santiago de Chile and also oversaw Yahoo Labs in Haifa, Israel and started London lab in 2012. He is part time Professor at DTIC, UPF, Barcelona, as well as at Universidad de Chile, Santiago. He obtained Ph.D. in CS from University of Waterloo, Canada in 1989 and earlier obtained two masters (M.Sc. CS & M.Eng. EE) and Electronics Engineer degree from University of Chile in Santiago. He is co-author of best-seller Modern Information Retrieval, published by Addison-Wesley, which won ASIST 2012 Book of the Year award and has been member of ACM Publications Board, ACM European Council and also elected to board of governors of IEEE Computer Society. In 2009, he was named ACM Fellow and in 2011 as IEEE Fellow.



Dept. of Technology, County of Sacramento
799 G Street, Room 221, Sacramento, CA 95814


Members: Free
Non-Members: $10 per person (till seats available)
(Membership: $30 Annually)

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