Luca Maria Aiello (IT University of Copenhagen): Coloring Social Relationships
Abstract | Social relationships are the key determinant of crucial societal outcomes, including diffusion of innovation, productivity, happiness, and life expectancy. To better attain such outcomes at scale, it is therefore paramount to have technologies that can effectively capture the type of social relationships from digital data. NLP researchers have tried to do so from conversational text but mostly focusing on sentiment or topic mining, techniques that fall short on either conciseness or exhaustiveness. We propose a theoretical model of 10 dimensions (colors) of social relationships that is backed by decades of research in social sciences and that captures most of the common relationship types. We trained a deep-learning model to classify text along these ten dimensions, and we reached performance up to 0.98 AUC. By applying this tool on large-scale conversational data, we show that the combination of the predicted dimensions suggests both the types of relationships people entertain and the types of real-world communities they shape.
Bio | Luca Aiello is an Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. Previously, he worked for 10 years as a Research Scientist in the industry: at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, and at Bell Labs in Cambridge (UK). He conducts research in Computational Social Science, a field of studies that uses Social Science theories to inform solutions to Data Science problems. His work focuses on the analysis of conversations and collective behavior through the lens of machine-learning algorithms applied to large scale data. He was recently awarded the Carlsberg Young Investigator Fellowship to study how to build technologies to support collective cooperation in the face of societal dilemmas.