Over the last decade, Deb Roy – executive director of the MIT Media Lab, the director of the MIT Laboratory for Social Machines and the newly appointed director of the interdisciplinary Center for Constructive Communication – has been showing organizations how to analyze, map and shift the direction of online activity so they can significantly drive growth while positively impacting society. He’ll close Chautauqua’s week on “Trust, Society and Democracy” with a discussion of how polarized media and isolated social enclaves has led to a collapse of shared truths, and how machine learning and design might be leveraged for greater trust and understanding.
Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist from 2013 to 2017. In 2008, he co-founded and served as CEO of Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company which was later acquired by Twitter. In addition to his leadership roles at MIT, Roy is founder and chairman of Cortico, a nonprofit that develops media technologies and services focused on improving the health of public discourse. He is particularly interested in using data for social impact. His other areas of expertise include identifying and de-polarizing online tribes and tracking and counteracting false news. In addition, he is currently working with the team at Cortico to build out the “Local Voices Network," a platform dedicated to facilitating dialogue across differences and areas of conflict.
Roy received a Bachelor of Applied Science (computer engineering) from the University of Waterloo and a Ph.D. in media arts and sciences from MIT.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.