Posted on

I’m happy to announce that my Think Forward research proposal has been accepted. In this study I will analyse the effects of financial warnings on irresponsible spending behaviour. The project will run until March 2018.

“The aim of the Think Forward Research Challenge is to explore how existing research into how consumers make financial decisions can be made directly relevant to the lives of consumers. This will have a substantial impact on actual tools that will help people make better financial decisions.”

Consumers may take financially irresponsible decisions by buying expensive products that they cannot really afford, letting short term temptation win over long-term goals, and creating “buyer remorse.” This is especially the case with online transactions, where there is less “pain of payment” during financial transactions. Dan Ariely discusses several mechanisms of how to increase self-control in these situations. One of the options he describes is to create “red buttons” or self-control contracts, helping buyers to identify potentially harmful purchases before they are made, and protecting themselves against harmful spending behavior.

http://www.thinkforwardinitiative.com/news/2017/tfi-research-challenge-results

Posted on

Yesterday at the Computable Awards the Vrije Universiteit, University of Amsterdam and IBM won the prize for “ICT project of the year in education” with the Watson Innovation Course. Furthermore, the project was highest rated across all nominees of all prize categories. The course is ongoing at the moment for the second time, with an improved setup and new state of the art tools for the students.

The course is run by Lora Aroyo, Anca Dumitrache, Benjamin Timmermans and Oana Inel from the VU, and Robert-Jan Sips and Zoltan Szlavik from IBM. In the course the students were challenged by Amsterdam Marketing to solve the issue of the increasing overcrowdedness of tourists in the city center of Amsterdam. The city is culturally rich with many places to visit, yet most visitors cluster around a limited set of popular locations. The students came up with ideas to motivate visitors to spread in the city and provide them with relevant information for their visit.

computable-award

Posted on

The aim of the ControCurator project is for modern information access systems to discover and understand controversial topics and events. This is done by 1) bringing together different types of crowds: niches of experts, lay crowds and engaged social media contributors; and 2) using machines in a joint active learning workflow for real-time and offline creation of adequate training data. The ControCurator system will consist of two end-user applications: a Controversy Barometer for identifying controversial claims in medical forums, and an Event Blender for summarization of high-profile and catastrophic events in broadcast news & social media. Both systems use the ControCurator platform for curating the data.

The ControCurator projects extends and validates the work on the Accurator (a SealincMedia project) by adding (non-expert) crowdsourcing annotations from CrowdTruth. Additionally, event interpretations will be added that are derived from the analysis and mining of user-generated data on social media through Crowdynews. These event interpretations will also be extended with event interpretations derived from analysis and mining of broadcast news through MediaNow. This will allow to expand even further the range of interpretations on specific topics and events with the media perspective, i.e. how news media manages catastrophic events, detecting controversial topics and events. Finally, these perspectives and interpretations will all be combined in joint temporal summarization of controversial streaming broadcast news events, to enable for user feedback to be incorporated in search and access algorithms.

Posted on

Today we released version 2.0 of the CrowdTruth framework. In the update the data model of the platform is changed, so that data and crowdsourcing results can be managed and reused more easily. This allows for several new features that have been integrated, such as project management and permissions. Users can create projects and share their crowdsourcing jobs within these projects. The media search page has been updated to accommodate any type of data, where you can search through the media in the platform. Another improvement to the platform is the automatic setup of new installations. This makes it easier for new users to get started straight away. You can find a list of the changes in the change log. Try out the platform and get started!