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AIC Seminar Series

Is there another side to this? Identifying Disputed Information on the Web

Rob EnnalsIntel Research[Home Page]

Date:  Thursday, May 6th 2010 at 3:00pm

Location:  EJ228 (SRI E building); WebEx 1-888-355-1249, 749045 (sound), (slides via Web)  (Directions)


The web contains a huge amount of information, but some of this information is factually incorrect and or presents only one side of a contentious issue.

Dispute Finder is a project that aims to automatically inform a user when information they encounter is disputed by another source. The Dispute Finder Firefox extension reads the text of every page the user browses and highlights disputed claims. The Dispute Finder search engine augments Yahoo BOSS search results with information about the disputed claims made on each page. The experimental voice interface informs a user when someone near them says something disputed.

Since automatically detecting contradictions is a hard problem, Dispute Finder instead looks for disputes. Dispute Finder builds a corpus of disputed claims by searching the web for linguistic patterns such as "falsely claimed that X" that suggest that a statement X is disputed.

   Bio for Rob Ennals

Rob Ennals is a Research Scientist at Intel Research Berkeley. Rob’s current research focus is on the problems of misinformation and bias on the web, and how technology can be used to make people aware of opinions that differ from those that they are reading. Rob also represents Intel in the HTML and Web Applications Working groups at the W3C. Rob’s research has been featured in New Scientist, NPR’s On The Media, CBS News, CBC (Canadian Public Radio), The Christian Science Monitor, Sky (UK Cable News), MIT Tech Review, The Sacramento Bee, Slashdot, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury, Fast Company, AFP, TechCrunch, GigaOm, CNET, TGDaily, PC Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Age, The New York Times Bay Area, EE Times, The Wall St Journal, Fast Company, ACM Tech News (three times), and many others. Rob has a diverse range of research interests. In addition to his current work on detecting disputed information on the web, Rob has also worked on programming languages, concurrency, and operating systems. Prior to joining Intel Research Berkeley, Rob worked at Intel’s Cambridge lab and received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, advised by Simon Peyton Jones of Microsoft Research.

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Please arrive at least 10 minutes early as you will need to sign in by following instructions by the lobby phone at Building E (or call Wilma Lenz at 650 859 4904, or Eunice Tseng at 650 859 2799). SRI is located at 333 Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park. Visitors may park in the parking lots off Fourth Street. Detailed directions to SRI, as well as maps, are available from the Visiting AIC web page. There are two entrances to SRI International located on Ravenswood Ave. Please check the Building E entrance signage.

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