COSMOS and Director Dr. Nitin Agarwal recently made headlines in Arkansas Business’ Technology section, and their article can be accessed here. There, in an interview with Lara Farrar, Dr. Agarwal delved into the various research being conducted by cosmographers, and touched upon the national concerns when it comes to discovering both the positive and the malicious narratives driven by social media. In their interview, Dr. Agarwal went into the foundations behind the research and why it’s so sought-after, especially in the context of the recent $5 million grant awarded to him and the COSMOS center by the US Army Research Office.
Her article, part of a series on recent UALR research, overviews the founding reason behind COSMOS — what Dr. Agarwal calls “social computing” — and how the center aids and advises the US State Department, NATO’s Strategic Communications Center, American embassies, and even military branches in detecting “algorithmic warfare,” “coordinated content amplification,” and online threats.
In an excerpt, she gives specific examples of how his research is being used, such as discovering “how Chinese actors are able to use algorithms on YouTube to promote positive content about the country while quashing negative information, like human rights abuses against Uyghur minorities in western China” or finding “identified similarities between pro-Russian bots and those used by the Islamic State group for the terrorist group’s recruitment and propaganda campaigns.”