DIKU Bits: "Why search engines are (unintentionally) designed to spread fake news"

Billede af DIKU Bits event

On 10 May the Machine Learning Section at the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen, will give a DIKU Bits lecture.


Christina Lioma, Professor in the Machine Learning Section at the Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen.


"Why search engines are (unintentionally) designed to spread fake news"


Search engines constitute one of the main ways of finding information on the web today. Certain major search engines are used daily by millions of people around the world. A common usage of search engines is for a person to type a query in the search box and then look at the top retrieved results. Often such top results suffice, in the sense that they offer the information sought, or even other types of information that was not necessarily sought but that is nevertheless interesting.

It follows that the information that search engines choose to display in the top ranks is important, in the sense that millions of people may be exposed to it daily. Choosing this information is however not trivial. Standard database search does not suffice. Over the last 25 years, search engines have evolved to calibrate very carefully what information is displayed in the top ranks. This evolution has made search engines alarmingly susceptible to the spread fake news. This talk will explain the reasons behind this and ways of moving ahead.


Which courses do you teach?

Neural Information Retrieval

Web Recommender Systems

Which technology/research/projects/startup are you excited to see the evolution of?

The Speed of Light Search Engines project, funded by the Velux foundation (3 million kr.)

The Algorithms, Data and Democracy project, funded by the Velux and Villum foundations (100 million kr.)

The JobSearch project, funded by the Innovation fund Denmark in collaboration with JobIndex (7 million kr.)

What is your favorite sketch from the DIKUrevy? Unfortunately, I have never attended DIKUrevyen, so I can’t say.