Pure Maths Colloquium: Alex Stewart

This talk is part of the Pure Maths Colloquium at the University of St Andrews. Check out our upcoming talks at https://theran.lt/pure-colloquium/.

Where: Zoom 839 8511 3808
When: Feb 11 2021 @ 16.00
Video: Link (internal)
Speaker: Alex Stewart University of St Andrews
Title: Evolutionary game theory as a tool for understanding online information ecosystems

Evolutionary game theory describes the development of social behaviour not as careful, rational decision making but as a mixture of imitation and messy trial and error. I will discuss the evolutionary perspective in the context of iterated games: what the folk theorems mean for evolutionary dynamics and how choice of strategy space can have important consequences for the fitness landscape associated with an evolutionary process. I will then discuss a real-world application of evolutionary game theory to help understand the spread of misinformation online. I’ll summarize predictions for patterns of fake news sharing and engagement that arise from studying the evolutionary dynamics of an iterated “fake news game”. Finally i’ll present some recent data gathered to test those predictions.