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Gilad Lotan | @gilgul 
Chief Data Scientist, betaworks
UNWRA School Shooting
UNWRA School Shooting
UNWRA School Shooting
Homophily
Algorithmic Ranking
An algorithm is… 
• Series 
of 
steps 
taken 
to 
solve 
a 
par0cular 
problem 
• Given 
an 
input, 
provides 
an 
output
• Iden0fy 
popular 
concepts 
• Find 
groups 
of 
similar 
items 
• Detect 
outliers
Collaborative Filtering 
likes 
likes 
A 
B
Trending Topic: 
Items that display abnormally high shares in a 
relatively short time period
Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency (TFIDF)
#OccupyWallStreet 
Never 
Trends 
in 
New 
York
“News will find me”
Thank 
You 
gilad@betaworks.com 
| 
@gilgul
Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power
Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power
Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power
Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power
Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power
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Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power

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Algorithms can be very useful, especially when filtering through lots and lots of information. They can help us identify trends, quickly sum up popular concepts, and detect outliers at very early stages. I'd like to believe that my role as a data scientist is to give the digg editors superpowers - help them find quality content as early as possible.

With the growing amount of information/content published, and people’s continued expectation that “news will find them”, there's no doubt we need to depend on algorithmic mechanisms. But we also need to design these algorithmic systems while questioning ourselves – what is it that we’re optimizing? Is it only “eyeballs” or is there a higher cause we should aim for?

The choices that we make when designing these systems are like setting the rules of a game: they determine who wins and who loses.

Published in: Technology
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Gilad Lotan, News Xchange 2014, Algorithmic Power

  1. 1. Gilad Lotan | @gilgul Chief Data Scientist, betaworks
  2. 2. UNWRA School Shooting
  3. 3. UNWRA School Shooting
  4. 4. UNWRA School Shooting
  5. 5. Homophily
  6. 6. Algorithmic Ranking
  7. 7. An algorithm is… • Series of steps taken to solve a par0cular problem • Given an input, provides an output
  8. 8. • Iden0fy popular concepts • Find groups of similar items • Detect outliers
  9. 9. Collaborative Filtering likes likes A B
  10. 10. Trending Topic: Items that display abnormally high shares in a relatively short time period
  11. 11. Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency (TFIDF)
  12. 12. #OccupyWallStreet Never Trends in New York
  13. 13. “News will find me”
  14. 14. Thank You gilad@betaworks.com | @gilgul

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