Twitter and the University of California-Berkeley Are Joining Forces to Study Machine Learning

Algorithms will be top-of-mind

Sather Gate at the University of California-Berkeley
Kirkikis/iStock

Twitter is teaming up with researchers at the University of California-Berkeley to establish a new research initiative focused on studying and improving the performance of machine learning in social networks.

Profs. Moritz Hardt and Ben Recht will lead the initiative.

Teams from UC Berkeley and Twitter will look to combine the social network’s data and real-world insights with fundamental and applied research components.

Algorithms will be top-of-mind, as Twitter staff machine learning engineer Naz Erkan and senior director of software engineering Sandeep Pandey wrote in a blog post, “Today, the consequences of exposing algorithmic decisions and machine learning models to hundreds of millions of people are poorly understood. Even less is known about how these algorithms might interact with social dynamics: People might change their behavior in response to what the algorithms recommend to them and, as a result of this shift in behavior, the algorithm itself might change, creating a potentially self-reinforcing feedback loop. We also know that individuals or groups will seek to game or exploit our algorithms, and safeguarding against this is essential.”