Viewing and Navigating the Historical Context of News
Speaker: Earl Wagner, MIT. Moderator: Madeleine Clare Elish, MIT. Abstract: By distilling and applying the expectations and judgment that constitute an informed perspective, computer systems can provide those unfamiliar with a topic a contextualized and enriched view of the content they see. In particular, with knowledge of how types of episodes in the news unfold, software can automatically aggregate information from various sources to present the history of the events mentioned in a web page. We present one such system, Brusell, the first software system to read multiple accounts of the sequence of events that make up a news situation to present the context of the news a user reads. Brussell extends a user's web browser to present content-specific timelines of news situations such as corporate acquisitions and kidnappings. These visualizations both provide custom, high-level views of the content the user sees, and also enable the user to easily navigate among news accounts of the causally-related events. Through these functions, Brussell supports a user in easily viewing and accessing knowledge about a topic.