Northwestern Events Calendar


WED@NICO WEBINAR: Balazs Vedres, University of Oxford "Trust, creativity and AI: Bots on Wikipedia"

Balazs Vedres

When: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Meghan Stagl   847.491.2527

Group: Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings



Balazs Vedres, Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


Trust, creativity and AI: Bots on Wikipedia


As human-AI hybrid collaboration networks become increasingly common, a key question is what impact such hybrid networks would have on human-to-human ties. In contrast to prior cases in the history of the social impact of technology, the inclusion of artificial agents with autonomous capabilities in human collaboration can have a fundamental impact on trust, reciprocity, cohesion, and relational complexity.  In this paper we investigate the potential impact of the introduction of a bot on Wikipedia on the dynamics of weighted collaboration ties among humans.  We collect data on the collaborative histories of editors around the moment they launch a bot, and normalise collaboration data by a matched sample of editors.  We found that collaborations significantly weaken as a bot is introduced, and that disruption to human collaboration seems to be proportional to the level of activity of the bot.

Speaker Bio:

Balazs Vedres is associate professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where he directs the new DPhil program on Social Data Science. Vedres' research furthers the agenda of developing social data science and network science with social theoretical insight. Vedres' recent research follows entrepreneurs, video game developers, jazz musicians, programmers, and graphic designers as they weave collaborative networks through their projects and recording sessions, analyzing questions of the sources of creativity, gender inequality, and the historical sustainability of innovation systems. His research results were published in the top journals of data science, network science, and sociology.


Zoom link:
Passcode: nico

About the Speaker Series:

Wednesdays@NICO is a vibrant weekly seminar series focusing broadly on the topics of complex systems and data science. It brings together attendees ranging from graduate students to senior faculty who span all of the schools across Northwestern, from applied math to sociology to biology and every discipline in-between. Please visit: for information on future speakers.

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