(De)Polarization and the Role of Artificial Intelligence

12 May 2022 | 16:30 — 19:00

FBK-ISR International Seminar 2022

Counter Narrative Generation with AI: An Antidote to Hate and Polarization – MARCO GUERINI

Tackling online hatred using argumentation-based textual responses – called counter-narratives – that are meant to de-escalate online conversations has been brought under the spotlight recently.
Accordingly, a research line in Artificial Intelligence has emerged to automatically generate  counter-narratives in order to facilitate the direct intervention in discussions and to prevent further spreading of hate content and audience polarization. Still, AI approaches suffer from lack of sufficient amount of quality data and tend to produce generic/repetitive responses. Being aware of the aforementioned limitations, we introduce several methodologies and data collection strategies for creating AI-supported response tools, and describe the best generation strategies and neural architectures that can be used for counter-narrative generation.


Quantifying and Modeling Online Polarization and the Spreading of Disinformation – RICCARDO GALLOTTI

In the last decade, online communication took a central role in shaping the political discourse, with social media platforms (SMPs), taking the place of traditional media. The shared goal of every SMPs of maximizing viewers and retention collide with the societal needs for fair and unbiased information, exacerbating already existing contrasts fostering polarization. The participatory nature of SMPs give further opportunities of actively manipulating the information diffusion, stimulating the spreading of disinformation, and exploiting this disinformation for gaining political advantages. In this talk, we illustrate how these phenomena can be observed and studied quantitatively.


Radicalisation, (De)Polarisation and the Role of Artificial Intelligence  – STEFANIE ULLMANN

We live in a time of extreme polarisation in many areas and parts of life and modern technological advances have without a doubt played a crucial role in this development. In this seminar I aim to give an overview of the current risks as well as opportunities posed by artificially intelligent systems in the context of online (de)polarisation. While, on the one hand, we are confronted with feed algorithms, recommender systems, filter bubbles and echo chambers, we can, on the other hand, make use of techniques such as redirect search, digital nudging, quarantining and even automated counter-speech or storytelling to disrupt the development of radicalisation online. I will explore in more detail how artificial intelligence contributes to the spreading of radical ideas and how it can be used to interrupt this process and prevent further polarisation.


Scientific coordination
Massimo Leone, Director FBK-ISR

Cycle of seminars: “De-Polarization in Religion and Ethics


The event will be held in English

The presentation will take place online

To connect to the event, registration is required by Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 12.00 noon

During the meeting, the webcam and microphone will be disabled to avoid network overloads



Fresco by Schweitzer



  • Marco Guerini
    Guest Speaker
    FBK-CentroDiGIS - LanD
    Marco Guerini is a researcher in Computational Linguistics and head of the Language and Dialogue Technologies group at Fondazione Bruno Kessler. He works on persuasive com-munication, sentiment analysis and social media. In recent years he focused on the devel-opment of AI technologies to counter online hate speech and misinformation. He graduat-ed in Philosophy and received his Ph.D. in Information and Communication Technologies in 2006 from the University of Trento. He is author of several scientific publications, published in top-level conference proceedings and international journals.
  • Riccardo Gallotti
    Guest Speaker
    FBK-CentroDiGIS - ChuB
    Riccardo is an interdisciplinary physicist leading the CHuB Lab at the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, a research unit for the data-informed statistical modelling of in-dividual and collective human behaviour. His research interest range within complexity science and data science, focusing on human mobility, multimodal transportation, de-cision modelling and online communication. Before joining the Foundation, Riccardo was affiliated to the Institute for Interdiscipli-nary Physics and Complex Systems in Mallorca (Spain), the Center for Complex Sys-tems and Brain Sciences in San Martin (Argentina) and the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the Atomic Energy Committee in Saclay (France).
  • Stefanie Ullmann is a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the project Giving Voice to Digital Democracies: The Social Impact of Artificially Intelligent Communications Technology based at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Marburg in Germany. Her most recent work has focused on quarantining online hate speech, misinformation, gender bias in machine translation, dynamic data statements and exploring counter-speech approaches to fighting harmful content.


Registration to this event is mandatory.

Registration closed on 11/05/2022.



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