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Computational Social Science Speaker Series: Bridging Machine Learning and Participatory Research

March 20 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm CDT

Computational Social Science Speaker Series:  Bridging Machine Learning and Participatory Research

Speaker: Dr. Munmun De Choudhury

Time/Location: Monday, March 20th 1:30-2:30pm LBJ room CMA 5.136

Title: Bridging Machine Learning and Participatory Research: A Tale of Engaging with Diverse Stakeholders in Digital Mental Health

Abstract: Digital traces, such as social media data, supported with advances in the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) fields, are increasingly being used to understand the mental health of individuals, communities, and populations. However, such algorithms do not exist in a vacuum — there is an intertwined relationship between what an algorithm does and the world it exists in. Consequently, with algorithmic approaches offering promise to change the status quo in mental health for the first time since mid-20th century, interdisciplinary collaborations with participatory involvement are paramount. But what are some paradigms of participatory engagement for AL/ML researchers that augment existing algorithmic capabilities while minimizing the risk of harm? Adopting a social ecological lens, this talk will describe the experiences from working with different stakeholders in research initiatives relating to digital mental health – including with healthcare providers, grassroots advocacy and public health organizations, and people with the lived experience of mental illness. The talk hopes to present some lessons learned by way of these engagements, and to reflect on a path forward that empowers us to go beyond technical innovations to envisioning contributions that center humans’ needs, expectations, values, and voices within those technical artifacts.

Bio: Munmun De Choudhury is an Associate Professor of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Dr. De Choudhury is best known for laying the foundation of a new line of research that develops computational techniques towards understanding and improving mental health outcomes, through ethical analysis of social media data. To do this work, she adopts a highly interdisciplinary approach, combining social computing, machine learning, and natural language analysis with insights and theories from the social, behavioral, and health sciences. Dr. De Choudhury has been recognized with the 2023 SIGCHI Societal Impact Award, the 2022 Web Science Trust Test-of-Time Award, the 2021 ACM-W Rising Star Award, the 2019 Complex Systems Society – Junior Scientific Award, over a dozen best paper and honorable mention awards from the ACM and AAAI, and features and coverage in popular press like the New York Times, the NPR, and the BBC. Dr. De Choudhury currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Computational Social Science and on the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Web and Social Media, the leading conference on interdisciplinary studies of social media. Currently, she is also an appointed member of a committee by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that is examining research on the impact of social media on the wellbeing of young people. Earlier, Dr. De Choudhury was a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, a postdoc at Microsoft Research, and obtained her PhD in Computer Science from Arizona State University.


March 20
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm CDT
Event Category:
CMA 5.136


CMA 5.136


CMS Department
View Organizer Website


Target Audience
Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Students
Department of Communication Studies

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