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Keynote by Luca Aiello at International Conference on Discovery Science 2022
October 11, 2022 @ 09:00 - 10:00
Coloring Social Relationships
Social relationships are the key determinant of crucial societal outcomes, including diffusion of innovation, productivity, happiness, and life expectancy. To better attain such outcomes at scale, it is therefore paramount to have technologies that can effectively capture the type of social relationships from digital data. NLP researchers have tried to do so from conversational text but mostly focusing on sentiment or topic mining, techniques that fall short on either conciseness or exhaustiveness. We propose a theoretical model of 10 dimensions (colors) of social relationships that is backed by decades of research in social sciences and that captures most of the common relationship types. We trained a deep-learning model to classify text along these ten dimensions, and we reached performance up to 0.98 AUC. By applying this tool on large-scale conversational data, we show that the combination of the predicted dimensions suggests both the types of relationships people entertain and the types of real-world communities they shape.
We believe that the ability of capturing interpretable social dimensions from language using AI will help closing the gap between the oversimplified social constructs that existing social network analysis methods can measure and the multifaceted understanding of social dynamics that has been developed by decades of theoretical research.