Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil

(Cornell University)

"Language as Influence(d)"

What effect does language have on people, and what effect do people have on language? The answers to these questions can help shape the future of social-media systems by bringing a new understanding of communication and collaboration between users.

I will describe two of my efforts to address these fundamental problems computationally, exploiting very large-scale textual and social data. The first project uncovers previously unexamined contextual biases that people have when determining which opinions to focus on, using helpfulness votes on reviews as a case study to evaluate competing theories from sociology and social psychology. The second project leverages insights from psycho- and socio-linguistics and embeds them into a novel computational framework in order to provide a new understanding of how key aspects of social relations between individuals are embedded in (and can be inferred from) their conversational behavior. In particular, I will discuss how power differentials between interlocutors are subtly revealed by how much one individual immediately echoes the linguistic style of the person they are responding to.

This talk includes joint work with Susan Dumais, Michael Gamon, Jon Kleinberg, Gueorgi Kossinets, Lillian Lee and Bo Pang.

Bio: Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil's research aims at developing computational frameworks that can lead to a better understanding of human social behavior, by unlocking the unprecedented potential of the large amounts of natural language data generated online. His work tackles problems related to conversational behavior, opinion mining, computational semantics and computational advertising. Cristian is a PhD student in computer science at Cornell University. Earlier, he earned a master's degree from Jacobs University Bremen and an undergraduate degree from the University of Bucharest. He is the recipient of a Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges award and his work has been featured in popular-media outlets such as Nature News and MIT's Technology Review blog.
Cristian is a faculty applicant

Zeit: Montag, 19.03.2012, 10.30 Uhr
Ort: Gebäude 49, Raum 206
Hinweis: Der Vortrag wird live zum MPI-SWS Gebäude nach Saarbrücken, Wartburg, 5. Etage übertragen.