MSE Research Project Database

Critical Media - Building Technologies for Media Literacy and Depolarisation


Project Leader: Tilman Dingler
Primary Contact: Tilman Dingler (tilman.dingler@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: Internet; machine learning; natural language processing; social computing; social media
Disciplines: Computing and Information Systems
Domains:

Due to the rapid technological developments, the world’s information is now at the fingertips of mostly anyone anytime and anywhere. Not only do we consume unprecedented amounts of information this way, but also share our experiences and experiences with others and, therefore, contribute to public opinion formation. This has lead to the proclamation of the “democratisation of information” resulting in considerable political shifts. In recent years, however, concerns have started amounting about algorithms increasingly forcing users into filter bubbles and social media contributing to the creation of echo chambers, both of which amplify and reinforce people’s views, beliefs, and convictions.

In this research, we investigate technologies that detect media biases based on content analysis and elicit user biases by using bio-sensors. By applying information retrieval, processing sensor data, and training machine-learning models, we develop critical media technologies with the goal of inviting users to reflect on their views acquiring and advancing media literacy and critical thinking skills, and subsequently contributing to a more informed public discourse and depolarisation.

The project is rooted in Computer Science, but takes an inter-disciplinary approach including disciplines, such as Psychology (cognitive biases), Sociology, and Media Studies.