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Conversations on Artificial Intelligence: Combating Misinformation Online

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
11:00am to 12:00pm
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  • Public Event

Since the 1950s, scientists and engineers have designed computers to "think," making decisions and findings patterns the way humans do. In recent years, artificial intelligence has become increasingly powerful and prevalent: AI propels discovery across scientific fields, enables researchers to delve into problems previously too complex to solve, and drives much of our digital lives.

But where is the line between what machines can achieve and what remains science fiction? How is that line blurring, and what is the future of artificial intelligence? At Caltech, researchers are working at the leading edge of AI, expanding its capabilities, and exploring its impacts on society.

The 2022 midterm election season is dominating news cycles, and so is discussion of election-related misinformation and disinformation. Computer scientist Anima Anandkumar and election scientist Michael Alvarez are tackling this thorny problem using the power of AI.
In this conversation, Alvarez and Anandkumar will discuss how machine learning can identify and prevent online harassment, as well as how it can help uncover the spread of disinformation on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Learn about their methods and how the tools they are creating can lead to a more trustworthy social media ecosystem.


This is a free event, but registration is required. The first 1,000 attendees can join the Zoom webinar. Others will be provided with a YouTube link.

About the Participants

Michael Alvarez
Professor of Political and Computational Social Science
Michael Alvarez's current research focuses on electoral politics and voting behavior in the United States and other nations. He co-directs the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, and since 2017 has been running Monitoring the Election, a large-scale election monitoring and election integrity project. He uses computational social science, machine and deep learning, and survey methodology to interrogate elections and other research areas, such as social and decision neuroscience and political science.
Alvarez is a Fellow and current vice president of the Society for Political Methodology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been recognized by the Caltech Graduate Student Council for his mentoring work and is the faculty liaison to Caltech's men's basketball program.
Anima Anandkumar
Bren Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Anima Anandkumar holds a Bren Professorship at Caltech and is senior director of AI Research at NVIDIA, the computing company that invented the graphics processing unit (GPU). Her work developing novel artificial intelligence methods enables and accelerates scientific applications of AI, including in climate forecasting, autonomous drone flight, scientific simulations, disease modeling, and chemistry and drug design. Anandkumar has received the IEEE fellowship, the Alfred. P. Sloan Fellowship, the NSF Career Award, and faculty fellowships from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Adobe. She is also part of the World Economic Forum's Expert Network. Anandkumar holds degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Cornell University and conducted postdoctoral research at MIT.
Robert Perkins
Content and Media Strategist, Caltech's Office of Strategic Communications
Robert Perkins is a content and media strategist and emergency communications coordinator in Caltech's Office of Strategic Communications. He graduated from the University of Kansas and the University of Southern California, and has worked as a news reporter and public relations specialist. Currently, he covers research in the fields of engineering, geology, and planetary science while also working on Caltech's COVID-19 communications efforts.

This series is presented by the Caltech Science Exchange, which brings expert insight to the scientific questions that define our time. The Science Exchange offers trustworthy answers, clear explanations, and fact-driven conversation on critical topics in science and technology.