Web Science Trust selects inaugural winner of Test of Time award

The Web Science Trust (WST) announced today that the inaugural Web Science Trust Test of Time Award was presented to the authors of the paper “Social media as a measurement tool of depression in populations”, Munmun De Choudhury (Georgia Tech), Scott Counts (Microsoft Research) and Eric Horvitz (Microsoft Research).  The authors are the first recipients of this newly established annual award.

 The award was presented during the opening ceremony of the 14th ACM Web Science Conference hosted by the ICT department of Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. 

 The paper was first presented at the 2013 ACM Web Science Conference in Paris, France and will be re-presented during a keynote presentation on Wednesday 29 June during this year’s conference.

 Dame Wendy Hall, Executive Director of the Web Science Trust, who announced the award at the opening ceremony, said: “The Web Science Trust is delighted to announce the winners of our first Test of Time Award.  It was hard choosing between some of the wonderful papers that have been presented over the last decade but the trustees felt that this paper captured an important analysis of nearly 70 thousand user posts to develop a novel social media depression index—helping us to understand more about the society that we shape (and that shapes us) through the Web. The paper has been well-cited and the issue of mental health certainly retains much relevance today.”

The authors commented: “We are very honoured to be the first recipients of this award and would like to thank the Web Science Trust for recognizing our 2013 paper and the direction of research that it represents.”

 The ACM Web Science Conference 2022 will run as a hybrid conference from 26-29 June, where authors will present their work either in-person or remotely to participants gathering at the conference venue in Barcelona, or joining online, and will be co-located with the ACM Hypertext Conference and the ACM UMAP Conference.  The Web Science Conference is an interdisciplinary conference where a multitude of research disciplines converge with the purpose of creating greater insight into a complex global Web which is more impactful than the sum of their individual parts.







About the Web Science Trust Test of Time Award

The Web Science Trust Test of Time Award was inaugurated in 2022 and will be awarded annually to the author or authors of a paper presented at a previous Web Science Conference that has stood the test of time through continued relevance and impact. The recipients of the award will receive a monetary prize, and an engraved award.

About the ACM Web Science Conference

The Web Science Conference has been held every year since 2009 and has been an ACM conference since 2011. It is a vibrant, interdisciplinary gathering engaging not only with Web Science researchers but with related and complementary disciplines.  The series has produced nearly 700 publications that have been downloaded over 200,000 times. The conference is organized each year by a local team of volunteers in different parts of the world in collaboration with the Web Science Trust. 

About the Web Science Trust

The Web Science Trust is a UK charity promoting the understanding of the Web, through education and research in the discipline of Web Science. It coordinates the Web Science network (WSTNet) of leading Web Science laboratories from around the world.

R.I.P. Internet Explorer

From Today Microsoft will no longer offer support for Internet Explorer (IE) which racked up 11 versions from its debut 22 years ago in 2015.

Microsoft had already flagged that it was retiring Internet Explorer for some time but given Microsoft users famous reticence to give up older versions of its operating systems and apps time will tell if they will all move to Microsoft Edge. There was a mixed reaction on social media ranging from fond nostalgia to some tounge-in-cheek teasing with one user calling it “the top browser for installing other browsers” Today IE joins a growing list of other browsers founded by Netscape Navigator that are just unable to topple Google Chrome from its 65% market share.

Brave Conversations @ WebSci’22

Our next Brave Conversations event is coming up in a month’s time as a part of the 2022 Web Science Conference in Barcelona.

The event will be held both in Barcelona (if you are keen to come along or live in Barcelona) or online via Zoom starting at 3 pm Central European Time.



Web Science 2022:  https://websci22.webscience.org/

As always we will be exploring some of the most challenging and confronting issues issues which now face the ‘post-Covid’ world and which will include:

Identity and the Connected Self
The future of work, play and education
Synthetic biology and what next for Humanity?

It will interactive and emergent and we promise you will definitely learn new things!

Please do come and join us

Registrations at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/brave-conversations-barcelona-tickets-310550674427

We look forward to seeing you!

Anni and the Brave Conversations team

Ai-Da Jubilee portrait fails Turing test

In a unexpected public demonstration of rare AI expertise by the art world,  a recent review by the Guardian art critic opined that a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by AI artist Ai-Da “fails to meet the Turing test” (sic) though we are unclear what version of the Turing test he is referring to since the reviewer was only looking at one piece and already knew the piece in question was done by an AI before correctly guessing that it was done by an AI.

He went on to say:

“This delusion works by deliberately ignoring the huge gap between the current state of machine learning and the dream of true AI, which would pass the Turing test and match the complexity of the human mind. Ai-Da is not an artist because she – or rather it – has no independent consciousness.”

Whilst we are doubtless completely comfortable that the critic in question doesn’t LIKE the piece, it would be interesting to see if he could actually follow a Turing-like protocol and point out the human artist in a blind review of human- vs AI-generated pieces. We think it would be fun to watch – like trying to distinguish pictures of real faces or human text from AI generated ones.

 Its unclear whether the Guardian critic really dislikes Ai-Da’s style or is uncomfortable that last month, she held her first solo exhibition at the 2022 Venice Biennale.

When asked for comment about the Critics knowledge of AI, Ai-Da apparently smiled and said he had failed the Turing Test as he did not give a convincing impression of being intelligent, at least not on this particular topic.

ACM WebSci’22: Call for participation

It is still time to register for this year’s ACM Web Science Conference!

The ACM Web Science Conference will take place in Barcelona on June 26-29, 2022 and will be co-located with UMAP’22 and HT’22 conferences. WebSci’22 is organized as a hybrid conference and will also enable online participation.

Registration fees start at 50,- Euro (online attendance, student rate). Additional options for discounted tickets are available (including a limited number of free admissions for researchers from countries designated as “economically developing”). All details about registration fees can be found online.

Conference Program
You can access the full conference schedule with the keynotes and all the paper sessions, including topics such as “Crowds and Social Movements”, “Health” and “Harmful Content Detection”.

The conference will feature two keynotes and we are excited to announce our invited speakers: m.c. schraefel(University of Southampton) and Leila Zia (Wikimedia Foundation).

We are also happy to announce the accepted workshops and tutorials for this year, which cover a wide range of topics and are open for participation:

  • General Collective Intelligence and Web Science
  • Documenting Web Data for Social Research (#DocuWeb22)
  • 1st Workshop on Blockchain and AI for Community
  • Assessing The Ethical Implications Of Artificial Intelligence In Policing
  • Coornet: detecting problematic online coordinated link-sharing behavior

Also, we encourage you to attend and register to Brave Conversations side event that will also run on Sunday 26th.

PhD Posters
We are considering the option to host posters for phd candidates to present their thesis topics and/or for late breaking research results during the conference as a networking opportunity. In case you would be interested in presenting your phd topic or recent research as a poster onsite in Barcelona, please reach out to us before June 10th.

All the information is available at https://websci22.webscience.org/

The WebSci’22 organizing committee