Notre Dame, Condé Nast announce new research collaboration on content consumption and deep learning

by Brandi Klingerman

Nitesh Chawla with a student

How each and every person consumes digital content is different, but University of Notre Dame researchers are working to better understand and model this process. The Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) at Notre Dame is partnering with Condé Nast – a media company known for producing high-quality content for the world’s most influential audiences – to advance deep learning research on content consumption.

Deep learning systems can learn to recognize patterns implicit in the digital footprints of content, whether in text, images or audio, and begin to model the pathways of audience engagement. Together, iCeNSA and Condé Nast will collaborate on research to develop these systems, which focus on how audiences find and utilize a variety of digital content.

“Our goal is to advance deep learning to better understand how audiences are consuming and engaging with varied content, develop predictive models for content personalization, and potentially impact how Condé Nast’s content is developed,” said Nitesh Chawla, director of iCeNSA and Frank M. Freimann Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. “This partnership is set to explore how consumers are interacting with everything from feature stories to videos and podcasts.”

Through this research collaboration, Condé Nast will be poised to provide a more tailored experience for its audience members.

“Humans consume digital content and react in a variety of ways. In some cases these interactions can lead to positive outcomes for the individual – increased knowledge on current topics and trends or information gathering to find the right product to purchase,” said Karthic Bala, head of data strategy at Condé Nast. “In a world where humans and machines are working together in increasingly collaborative relationships, breakthroughs in the field of deep learning will potentially help us live more productive lives. By bringing together researchers and data scientists to solve this complex technical challenge, we will advance the state-of-the-art in AI with our collaborators at Notre Dame."

iCeNSA is a University research center organized around fundamental network and data science research and their applications to social, biological, biochemical, physical, environmental, financial, organizational, technical and defense systems. iCeNSA is at the forefront of advances in basic research, while making transformative interdisciplinary advances and generating societal impact. To learn more about iCeNSA, visit icensa.com.

Contact: Jessica Sieff, 574-631-3933, jsieff@nd.edu