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Project

AI: Media and Information Quality

Led by extensive data collection and enormous investments in machine learning, a handful of companies increasingly find themselves able to algorithmically influence billions of users in ways both powerful and subtle. As media, journalism, and information quality play a central role in promoting healthy democratic societies, a reliance on digital platforms that are themselves increasingly reliant on AI to select the content we see has raised significant concerns about the role that autonomous systems are playing in influencing human judgment, opinions, perceptions, and even election outcomes. Addressing these challenges requires grappling with difficult governance questions pitting free speech against government or private party regulation. It also raises significant questions about the role of transparency in these influential algorithms and whether such transparency may actually create opportunities for solutions that enable a competitive market for news-feed algorithms, customized to the needs of each user.

We are examining this accelerating shift from a state-citizen relationship to a platform-consumer one by conducting new empirical research about the effects of autonomous systems on the production, dissemination, and consumption of media across these platforms. Additionally, through innovative partnerships, we are developing tools that help both users and platforms better respond to these challenges. The cornerstones of this work are the Harmful Speech and Media Cloud projects, through which we work to increase understanding of the mechanisms by which media manipulation occurs, track its prevalence within media ecosystems, and assess the potential for alternative interventions in order to evaluate the impact of these technologies on societal attitudes and democratic institutions. With our work in this area, we are simultaneously furthering our understanding of the impact of AI on the media and deepening our partnerships with the private sector to effectively respond to this impact.


Our Work 13

Oct 11, 2019

Ethics and Governance of AI at Berkman Klein: Report on Impact, 2017-2019

We take stock of our first two years of work on the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative More

Apr 3, 2019

Comparative Approaches to Disinformation: Call for Extended Abstracts

Workshop at Harvard University & Special Journal Issues

Looking for submissions that make new theoretical or empirical contributions to the scholarship on disinformation More

News
Mar 12, 2019

Announcing the Winners of the AI and the News Open Challenge

Seven projects that tackle artificial intelligence in the field of news and information More

News
Dec 9, 2018

Network Propaganda named one of the best books of 2018

The Guardian celebrates some of our research as the most important of the year. More

Harvard Gazette

Facebook leader sits down with Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain

Professor Jonathan Zittrain discusses the social media giant’s ‘long year’ with Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bickert.

Dec 5, 2018
News
Dec 4, 2018

Meet the 66 finalists in the AI and the News Open Challenge

We're excited to share the 66 finalists who are vying for a share of the $750,000 to address specific problems at the intersection of AI and the news More

Publication
Oct 15, 2018

Network Propaganda

Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

The most comprehensive study yet published on media coverage of American presidential politics from April 2015 to the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency More

Event
Oct 4, 2018 @ 5:30 PM

Network Propaganda

Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics

VIDEO & PODCAST: New research on the media ecosystem around the 2016 US election offer new perspectives and methods for diagnosing the sources of, and potential solutions for, the… More

Event
Sep 29, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

How to Watch Them Watching You

Researching Social Media, Online Platforms, and Algorithmic Systems From the Outside

Join us at the University of Michigan for a discussion with Eric Gilbert, Cedric Langbort, Jeff Larson, Casey Pierce, and Christo Wilson on how researchers can navigate and… More

Sep 19, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

The Line Between Hate and Debate

featuring Monika Bickert, Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management in conversation with Professor Jonathan Zittrain

As society figures out what is acceptable and what is harmful, can technology play a role in improving online debate? More

News
Aug 16, 2017

Partisan Right-Wing Websites Shaped Mainstream Press Coverage Before 2016 Election, Berkman Klein Study Finds

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today released a comprehensive analysis of online media and social media coverage of the 2016 presidential… More

Publication
Aug 16, 2017

Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. More

News
Aug 8, 2017

Harmful Speech Online: At the Intersection of Algorithms and Human Behavior

A workshop exploring how algorithms and human behavior can both enable and prevent harmful speech online

How do algorithms and human behavior intersect to impact the spread and study of harmful speech online? More


Community 01

Harvard Gazette

Facebook leader sits down with Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain

Professor Jonathan Zittrain discusses the social media giant’s ‘long year’ with Facebook's head of global policy management Monika Bickert.

Dec 5, 2018

People 06

Team