About the author Michalis Pingos

Finalisation of IO1

Finalisation of IO1

Despite the great challenges that Covid-19 brought, this milestone has now been achieved thanks to the great dedication and intensive cooperation of all project partners. We are all the more pleased to be able to announce the publication of a general report and five case studies on the subject of mis- and disinformation which deal with controversial topics such as the 5G Network, the outbreak of Covid-19, climate change and reporting on migration and refugees.

In the individual case studies, at least 30 newspaper articles (from national as well as international periodicals) were examined with regard to mis- and disinformation, which all lead to different results. For example, while in the case study about 5G, about a third of the selected articles misrepresented the subject by disinforming (intentionally spreading misleading information), the number was significantly less for the reports concerning coronavirus and climate change skepticism.

Now the partnership will use these case studies for educational purposes and teach how media reports on controversial issues. For this reason, both in the individual reports and in the General Report, teaching and learning strategies were identified. They should equip students and lifelong learners with transversal skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, etc. to best improve their resilience towards misleading media content and raise awareness about its impact on our society.

Here are the links to the reports:

  1. General report
  2. Refugee representation in Lithuanian Online Media
  3. Climate change scepticism
  4. Does 5G technology pose any health risks?
  5. How the coronavirus pandemic has been covered by Greek media
  6. Analysis of media articles on the Sea Watch Case: Facts and controversial issues

A second transnational project meeting in times of COVID-19

A second transnational project meeting in times of COVID-19

On May 15th, the ERUM consortium met for the second time, but, due to the current public health crisis, the meeting was held on Zoom. It was chaired by Judith, Alessandra and Johanna from the University of Vienna.

During this productive day, the project partners discussed about already achieved milestones and about next important steps of the project. Internal management and dissemination strategies were addressed and the consortium discussed the progress of IO1 (reports on controversial topics represented in media), which is led by the University of Vienna and will be finalised this month. Furthermore, Vytautas Magnus University informed the partners about the progress of IO2, which focuses on guidelines for evidence-based communication. Other than being based on the research conducted in the framework of IO1, this second intellectual output builds on a survey targeted at journalists that will be conducted in the forthcoming months. Lastly, the consortium members continued with the planning the first Intensive Study Programme, which is closely linked to the second intellectual output and aims at teaching students about evidence-based communication. An outlook was given by the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (the leader of the ISP), and due to the current situation, our first ISP will be postponed to Spring 2021.

In the near future, two important outputs will be published: the reports on controversial topics and their representation in the media (June 2020) and the guidelines for evidence-based communication (January 2021).

Workshop: Significance and Structure of Sign Language

Workshop: Significance and Structure of Sign Language

The Cyprus University of Technology organized a workshop of the project “aRTIFICIAL iNTELLIGENCE for the Deaf” entitled “aiD” funded by the European Commission and the Research Executive Agency (REA).

The Workshop was held on Friday 30-01-2020, 10:00 -14: 00 at the Cyprus University of Technology, 33 Saripolou St (5th floor), Limassol, Cyprus.

The aim of the project is to develop multi-media and high-precision deep learning models for interactive communication with deaf and hard of hearing people and educational material for the implementation of educational programs as well as to improve the language and communication skills of the deaf and hard of hearing students.

The purpose of the Workshop was informative and educational. The aim was to present the theoretical framework for the importance and structure of Sign Language for the development of aiD applications and educational material for the implementation of educational programs as well as to improve the language and communication skills of the deaf and hard of hearing students.

The character of the Workshop is informative and educational. The aim was to present the theoretical framework for the importance and structure of Sign Language for the development of aiD applications.

The two presenters of the Workshop were Dr. Vassilios Kourbetis and the PhD candidate Spyridoula Karipi, both seconded to CUT from the Hellenic Federation of the Deaf. The Workshop was attended by members of the Cyprus University of Technology and were informed on the Significance and Structure of Sign Language in relation to the development of the “aiD” Project deliverables.

All participants agreed that the Workshop should be repeated with the participation of all partners and in the context of a transnational meeting so that everyone is aware of the importance and structure of Sign Language for the development of aiD applications. The presenters pledged to repeat it in Athens after the end of the first phase of their secondment and cooperation with the Cyprus University of Technology.

SCRC: Kick-off meeting of the new project on Female Empowerment

SCRC: Kick-off meeting of the new project on Female Empowerment

The kickoff meeting of the ERASMUS+ project FeSTEM (Female Empowerment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in Higher Education) took place with great success on January 30-31, at the Cyprus University of Technology. FeSTEM, which is funded by the European Commission, is composed of five partners in five countries (Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Spain, Slovenia). Cyprus is represented by the Social Computing Research Centre  (http://www.socialcomputing.eu)  which has the responsibility for coordinating the project, with Dr. Antigoni Parmaxi as the Scientific Coordinator of the Project. The FeSTEM project includes leading universities and research centres with a distinguished research activity in the fields of science and education: the Smart Mobile Interactive Learning Environments (SMILE, http://smile.uom.gr/) Laboratory of the University of Macedonia, the CESIE Research Center (https://cesie.org/en/), the Geoss Educational Organization (www.ic-geoss.si) and two industrial partners: Magenta Consultoria (www.magentaconsultoria.com) and ARIS (http: //www.ariscy.com/).

The main objective of the FeSTEM project is to promote an innovative pedagogical approach that will enable Higher Education students to use traditional and computationally rich tools to create common exhibits that will serve as mentoring models to encourage girls and women to remain active in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

During the kick-off meeting, a sequence of different presentations took place in relation to the philosophy and the goals of the project. In addition, the partners had the opportunity to exchange their views, focusing on the priorities of the FeSTEM project. 

For more information about the project:

Subscribe at the project’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/festemeuproject/

Follow project updates on Twitter @festemeuproject

aiD Kick-off meeting

aiD Kick-off meeting

The aiD Kick-off meeting took place at 09 and 10 of December 2019, at Athens-Greece. It was hosted at EGG[1], as a kind sponsorship of Eurobank Hellas.

Kick-off meeting agenda

Each beneficiary participated with at least one person, who attended the meeting either on-site or via video conference. The full participant’s catalogue can be found in Annex.

The meeting was focused on establishing common ground for the project team regarding the work packages, the milestones and the necessary deliverables as well as the challenges involved. The detailed agenda can be found at Annex.

Finally, the Coordinator discussed thoroughly the managerial requirements that every beneficiary and each researcher have in the context of the project. It was explained in detail how the financial processed work and which are the corresponding required documents, in order to ensure the prompt and valid delivery of all secondments.

Kick-off meeting of the ERUM project

Kick-off meeting of the ERUM project

The kick-off meeting of the ERUM project (Enhancing Research Understanding through Media) took place on December 5th and 6th, at the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece. The ERUM project is funded by the European Commission, under the Erasmus+ framework (Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education). The project consortium is composed by seven partners (University of Vienna, Cyprus University of Technology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, University of Alcalá, University of Versailles, Vytautas Magnus University and the European University Foundation) in seven countries (Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, France, Lithuania and Belgium).

Cyprus was represented by the Cyprus Interaction Lab (https://www.cyprusinteractionlab.com/) of the Social Computing Research Center (http://www.socialcomputing.eu), which is involved in all of the Intellectual Outputs as a contributor,  will host the 4th Transnational Project meeting, and has a leading role in the organization of the second multiplier event in Limassol.

Dr. Andri Ioannou (Assistant Professor at the Cyprus University of Technology and Director of the Cyprus Interaction Lab) is the local coordinator of ERUM and Dr. Yiannis Georgiou (Postdoctoral Researcher at Cyprus Interaction Lab) acts as project manager and main researcher from CUT. Other people involved in the project are Michael Sirivianos (Assistant Professor, Cyprus University of Technology) and Sotirios Chatzis (Assistant Professor, Cyprus University of Technology).

The main objective of the ERUM project is to develop a relevant transversal educational offer on the topic of “quality of information between mis and disinformation today” for higher education students who are partaking in the shaping of the present and future of the information and knowledge society. It also brings about a shift in the way higher education institutions and media are collaborating vis-a-vis evidence-based and research communication.

The first day of the kick-off meeting began with partners’ introduction followed up by a presentation an introductory presentation about the project by Alessandra Santoianni, Judith Goetz and Johanna Urban on behalf of the coordinating partner (University of Vienna). Next, a sequence of additional presentations took place focusing on Risk Analysis and Impact assessment, Dissemination Plan, Financial Management as well as on Tools and plans to structure coordination/cooperation. Subsequently, the second day of the kick-off meeting included presentations about the first two Intellectual Outputs (IOs) of the project by the IOs leaders as well as planning about the next steps and milestones of the project.

The ERUM European project is expected to be completed by the end of May 2022. The official website of the project will be announced soon. Stay tuned to follow up the ERUM project’s updates.

New project on students’ empowerment on the topic of “quality of information between mis and disinformation today” in Higher Education

New project on students’ empowerment on the topic of “quality of information between mis and disinformation today” in Higher Education

The Cyprus Interaction Lab (https://www.cyprusinteractionlab.com/) of the Social Computing Research Center (http://www.socialcomputing.eu) at the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) has secured funding under the Erasmus+ program (Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education) with the project “Enhancing Research Understanding through Media” (ERUM).

The Cyprus Interaction Lab is a  partner in the two-year project, which is coordinated by the University of Vienna and has received a total funding of 350,000 euros. The ERUM project includes also five additional leading universities with distinguished research activity in the field of Media education, as follows: University of Alcalá (Spain), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), University of Versailles (France), Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), and the European University Foundation (Luxembourg).

The main objective of the ERUM project is to develop a relevant transversal educational offer on the topic of “quality of information between mis and disinformation today” for higher education students who are partaking in the shaping of the present and future of the information and knowledge society. It also brings about a shift in the way higher education institutions and media are collaborating vis-a-vis evidence-based and research communication.

In addition to the Assistant Professor Andri Ioannou (ERUM local coordinator), Michael Sirivianos (Assistant Professor), SotIrios Chatzis (Assistant Professor) and Yiannis Georgiou (Postdoctoral Researcher and ERUM project manager) are also involved in the project, on behalf of the Cyprus University of Technology.

Project results are expected to make a significant contribution to increase the international reach of the academic and research community through relevant publications in leading scientific journals and conferences.  At short and mid-term, higher education students from different study fields will benefit from advanced learning tools and material to develop and reinforce their skills and resilience related to the mis/disinformation topic. At long-term, the project will enable the establishment of structured collaboration between media and academia on a structural systemic level.

New Scientist covers SCRC’s study of the Gab social network

Savvas Zannettou at Cyprus University of Technology and his colleagues set up an account on Gab, then cross-checked posts against terms in Hatebase, a database used by governments and non-governmental organisations to track the spread of hate speech. One in every 20 posts the researchers analysed included words in the Hatebase corpus – 2.4 times the rate on Twitter. However, hate-filled posts on Gab were only half as common as on 4chan’s /pol/ message board, a notorious home of internet trolls.

Click to view the Article