Deb Roy

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Deb Roy
Deb Roy (11881280833).jpg
Deb Roy at an MIT faculty meeting, 2014
Alma materMIT
University of Waterloo
Scientific career
InstitutionsMIT, Bluefin Labs, Twitter

Deb Roy is a tenured professor at MIT and served as Chief Media Scientist of Twitter from 2013-2017. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Roy received his PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT.[1] He directed the Cognitive Machines group[2] and now directs the Laboratory for Social Machines[3] 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[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013.[7]

The Laboratory for Social Machines started in 2014 with an investment of $10 million from Twitter over a five-year period.[8] 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."[8]

In 2018, Soroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy, and Sinan Aral published "The spread of true and false news online" in Science.[9] The paper examined "~126,000 stories tweeted by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times," and found that "Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information." Additionally, the authors found that "Contrary to conventional wisdom, robots accelerated the spread of true and false news at the same rate, implying that false news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it."

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Cognitive Machines Group".
  3. ^ "Laboratory for Social Machines".
  4. ^ "Deb Roy's publications page".
  5. ^ "Birth of a Word TED talk".
  6. ^ "Technology Review's top 50 disruptive companies in 2012".
  7. ^ Stelter, Brian (February 5, 2013). "Twitter Buys Company That Mines Chatter About TV". The New York Times.
  8. ^ a b "MIT launches Laboratory for Social Machines with major Twitter investment". MIT News. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  9. ^ Vosoughi, Soroush; Roy, Deb; Aral, Sinan (2018-03-09). "The spread of true and false news online". Science. 359 (6380): 1146–1151. doi:10.1126/science.aap9559. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 29590045.

External links[edit]