Deb Roy discusses big data and the social impact.
Deb Roy is a tenured professor at MIT and is Chief Media Scientist of Twitter. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Roy received his PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT. He directed the Cognitive Machines group and now directs the Laboratory for Social Machines at the MIT Media Lab where he conducts research on language, games, and social dynamics at the intersection of artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. An author of over 100 academic papers in machine learning, cognitive modeling, and human-machine interaction, his TED talk, Birth of a Word, (based on the 2006–2009 Human Speechome Project) has been viewed over 2.5 million times.
In 2008, he co-founded and was the founding CEO of Bluefin Labs, a social TV analytics company, which MIT Technology Review named as one of the 50 most innovative companies of 2012. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013.
The Laboratory for Social Machines started in 2014 with an investment of $10 million from Twitter over a five-year period. The agreement also gives the lab access to all historical Twitter data and access to the firehose of all real-time tweets. The lab aims to “create new platforms for both individuals and institutions to identify, discuss, and act on pressing societal problems.