Easy to Find, Hard to Believe: Information Reliability and the Evolution of Search Engines


P. Takis Metaxas
Thursday, February 3, 2011
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM
Rose Hills Theater
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Not long ago, doing research in most disciplines meant spending long hours in libraries, reading dusty books and monographs. Today, it appears that searching for information has gotten so much easier — in some cases it seems that information is seeking us, not the other way around. The ever-improving search engines have played a significant role in this change, of course. But what makes search engines to evolve? And why does it appear that, sometimes, (when we realize it), they return unreliable results?

This talk will discuss how search engines work and why you should care, especially if you use the Web and the online social networks to be informed in your daily life. We will discuss how computing can learn from society’s long experience with misinformation and, in turn, help us make sense of what we believe as true and why.