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Bridging Divides with Generative AI

Chris Bail (Duke University) will present his work on a new paradigm for social media research at this AxPo & médialab joint seminar.

Event, Research Seminar

Salle K.008, 1 Place St-Thomas d'Aquin, 75007 Paris


"Scholars who study social media and polarization face a range of challenges including a lack of access to high quality data and an inability to conduct experiments in real world settings. Because of these challenges, most research examines the small amount of data that social media companies make available to scholars in a descriptive manner. This situation severely limits the capacity of researchers to examine how the design of social media systems shapes human behavior. I propose a new paradigm for social media research wherein scholars collaborate to create their own social media platforms for scientific research. I present two recent field experiments conducted on such platforms to demonstrate their promise. The first field experiment examines how anonymity shapes political polarization. The second field experiment examines how gendered avatars shape political persuasion. I conclude by offering insights about how these types of platforms could be scaled to examine a much broader range of topics via an open-source software collaboration between a large group of researchers, not unlike CERN."


Chris Bail is Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and Public Policy at Duke University, where he founded the Polarization Lab. He studies how artificial intelligence shapes human behavior in a range of different settings—and social media platforms in particular.

Practical info

The seminar will be held on the Sciences Po campus, located 1 place Saint Thomas d'Acquin (Room K008), 75007 Paris.

Mandatory registration.