Duncan Watts and CSSLab’s New Media Bias Detector

Picture of a person holding a remote while watching a political debate on TV

The 2024 U.S. presidential debates kicked off June 27, with President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump sharing the stage for the first time in four years. Duncan Watts, a computational social scientist from the University of Pennsylvania, considers this an ideal moment to test a tool his lab has been developing during the last six months: the Media Bias Detector.

“The debates offer a real-time, high-stakes environment to observe and analyze how media outlets present and potentially skew the same event,” says Watts, a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with appointments in the Annenberg School for CommunicationSchool of Engineering and Applied Science, and Wharton School. “We wanted to equip regular people with a powerful, useful resource to better understand how major events, like this election, are being reported on.”

The Media Bias Detector uses artificial intelligence to analyze articles from major news publishers, categorizing them by topic, detecting events, and examining factors like tone, partisan lean, and fact selection.

This story was written by Nathi Magubane. To read the full article, please visit Penn Today.