BU Team Awarded $1,000,000 NSF Grant to Analyze Public Communication

We are excited to announce that BU Researchers have been awarded $1,000,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their proposal titled BIGDATA: IA: Multiplatform, Multilingual, and Multimodal Tools for Analyzing Public Communication in over 100 Languages.

AIEM Team members at a recent meeting

The interdisciplinary group is led by BU CS Professor Margrit Betke, and includes Derry Wijaya (BU CS Assistant Professor), Lei Guo (COM Assistant Professor and CS Affifliated Faculty), and Prakash Ishwar (Professor, ENG-ECE).

This research project will involve collecting multilingual, multiplatform, and multimodal corpora of text and images originating in the U.S. and reported worldwide, developing an interactive budget-efficient methodology for annotation by experts and crowdworkers that scales effectively, using machine learning and deep learning techniques that exploit multilingual and multimodal representations to develop data analytics tools for entity and frame recognition, sentiment analysis of entities and frames, and curating balanced real-time content collections for many languages. This project is expected to generate analytical tools for social scientists and others to better examine the international flow of public communications. The annotated data will provide training and benchmark datasets that can propel research in entity and frame recognition, sentiment analysis, and other related natural language processing tasks for many languages.

The full abstract and award notification is available at the NSF website.

The work on this award is coordinated through the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Media (AIEM) team. AIEM is research group at Boston University is to conduct research and foster education in areas related to artificial intelligence and emerging media. They explore and create techniques from machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision to interpret emerging media, their role in mass and interpersonal communication, and understand the human and automated processes by which emerging media are developed, marketed, shaped and reshaped by users.

BU AIEM is housed in the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering and is part of BU’s Artificial Intelligence (AIR) Initiative. Their team members are affiliated with various colleges and departments throughout Boston University, including the College of Arts and Sciences (Department of Computer Science), the College of Communication (Division of Emerging Media), and the College of Engineering (Department of Computer Engineering).

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