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Researchers represent our department at MozFest 2017

Posted: 14th November 2017

Researchers from our department showcased their work in relation to Internet innovation, security and freedom at this year’s MozFest, an annual event that celebrates the open Internet movement.

This year’s MozFest, organised by Mozilla, was held in London from 27 to 29 October, and brought together researchers, educators, campaigners and other professionals from around the world to share ideas on building a healthy future for the Internet.

Reuben Binns (SOCIAM project) and Helena Webb, Menisha Patel and Paula Fiddi (Human Centred Computing Group) all took part in the Friday evening Science Fair to demonstrate examples of their work to attendees. They then ran sessions over the weekend which provided an in-depth focus on current projects.

Reuben ran an educational, interactive session that helped participants to detect biases in algorithmic systems and understand the decisions of the machine learning modules behind many of the systems that affect our lives. This included the use of new explanation tools, which can explain the decisions of any classifier whether the input is text or images.

Helena and Menisha teamed up with colleagues from the University of Nottingham to run a drop-in session on the UnBias and Digital Wildfire projects. This invited attendees to reflect on real-world case studies involving online harassment, exce0073sive personalisation on online content, ‘biased’ search results and the spread of fake news. Attendees were then encouraged to put forward their ideas about how the Internet can become a safer and fairer place for all.

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