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Professor Phil Howard, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), gave the best attended talk of the recent 'Meeting Minds' North American alumni weekend in San Francisco.

Phil howard at meeting minds
Phil Howard speaks at the Meeting Minds alumni weekend

Talking about research from the OII team that has pioneered the social science of fake news, Professor Howard spoke about how we can restore truth and trust in public life, and whether AI will help or hinder us with this progression.

The past year has been dominated by stories of how social media has influenced major political decisions on both sides of the Atlantic. Algorithms, automation and junk news have become powerful tools for social movements, but also effective tools for social control. Building on the latest research from his team at the OII on the social science of fake news and civic engagement, Phil Howard – Director of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and Professor of Internet Studies – lead a small group conversation on the democratic challenges we must face next with University of Oxford alumni from across North America. The talk was very popular with attendees, who inundated Phil with questions about how we can deal with fake news.

The Oxford Internet Institute

The OII is the world's leading centre for research, teaching and policy ideas on information, technology, and digital media. They tackle society's big questions about how new technologies transform our politics, economics, and culture. Their research brings disciplines into partnership, and our teaching programme draws from philosophy, social science, economics, law, and computer science. OII programs are creating the next generation of scholars, policy makers, designers and entrepreneurs who can conduct original research, test new ideas, lead in ethical decision making, and influence the evolving relationships between people and technology.

'Meeting Minds' Alumni Weekend in North America

The 2018 Alumni Weekend in North America was held in San Francisco on 6-7 April. Alumni enjoyed a Friday night drinks reception overlooking San Francisco with a welcome from the Chancellor, Lord Patten of Barnes, followed by a full day academic programme including Oxford academic and alumni speakers.