Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil
Cornell University

"The Past and Future of Systems for Current Events"

Abstract
Can conversational dynamics---the nature of the back and forth between people---predict the outcomes of social interactions?  In this talk I will introduce a computational framework for modeling conversational dynamics and for extracting the social signals they encode, and apply it in a variety of different settings.  First, I will show how these signals can be predictive of the future evolution of a dyadic relationship. In particular, I will characterize friendships that are unlikely to last and examine temporal patterns that foretell betrayal in the context of the Diplomacy strategy game.  Second, I will discuss conversational patterns that emerge in problem-solving group discussions, and show how these patterns can be indicative of how (in)effective the collaboration is.  I will conclude by focusing on the effects of under and over-confidence on the dynamics and outcomes of decision-making discussions.

This talk includes joint work with Jordan Boyd-Graber, Liye Fu, Ravi Kumar, Srijan Kumar, Lillian Lee, Vlad Niculae, Sujith Ravi and Justine Zhang.

Short Bio:
Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil is an assistant professor in the information science department at Cornell University.  His 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.   He is the recipient of several awards---including the WWW 2013 Best Paper Award, a CSCW 2017 Best Paper Award, and a Google Faculty Research Award---and his work has been featured in popular-media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, NBC's The Today Show, NPR and the New York Times.