Dr. Shiri Dori-Hacohen - Controversy Detection in Social Media #70


Dr. Shiri Dori-Hacohen is the CEO & founder of AuCoDe, an AI-based FinTech startup that detects online and social media controversy. (Controversy Detection).

She has fifteen years of academic and industry experience, including Google and Facebook. She received her M.Sc. and B.Sc. (cum laude) at the University of Haifa in Israel and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she researched computational models of controversy.

Dr. Dori-Hacohen is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2011 Google Lime Scholarship and first place at the 2016 UMass Amherst’s Innovation Challenge. She is married with two kids; identifies as a person with disabilities; and has taken an active leadership role in broadening participation in Computer Science on a local and global scale.

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Episode Summary

It’s 2020 and it’s safe to say, if it’s controversial, it’s on the Internet, whether it started there or not. In fact, it’s more than likely that it started on the Internet in a small community that then went viral. What’s that got to do with Develomentor? Our guest today is Dr. Shiri Dori-Hacohen and she is the CEO and co-founder of AuCoDe (OCode), a company dedicated to detecting controversies online.

While that’s what she’s doing now, she’s had a career that has spanned working as a software engineer, a university researcher and a consultant.  Along the way, she’s earned a PhD in Computer Science and worked for the likes of Facebook and Google as well as The Motley Fool and Answers.com.  As if she’s not already busy enough, she’s a regular public speaker, having spoken at events like the Grace Hopper conference and she’s the co-founder of “Women in Information Retrieval” a mentoring group focused on female identified researchers in search.

“I could go to Israel and get my entire undergraduate (degree) for the cost of 1 year at a public school in the states.”

“Part of what was fun for me in opening a startup was this steep learning curve of all the stuff about business that I didn’t know anything about and then bringing that together with my technical experience.”

“I’m also the technical co-founder. So I definitely get my hands dirty with the technical work. But my main role is to raise money so that everyone else in the company can get their job done.”

—Dr. Shiri Dori-Hacohen

Key Milestones

  1. Shiri went to school in both America and Israel. What was it like having academic parents?
  2. Why did Shiri decide to get her undergraduate degree in Israel instead of sticking around in the US?
  3. Shiri was working in industry after getting her master’s degree, Why did she end up pursuing a PhD?
  4. When did tech become dominated by men?
  5. What is AuCode and what inspired Shiri to start her own company?
  6. Explanation of Automated Controversy Detection
  7. What are some of the key lessons Shiri learned about starting a running her own company

Additional Resources

Do you have many passions and don’t just want to pick one? Check out Renaissance Souls - http://renaissancesouls.com/

Learn more about automated controversy detection and Shiri’s company - http://controversies.info/

Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley - by Emily Chang

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action - By Susan Jeffers

The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup - by Noam Wasserman

Check out Ramit Sethi’s online courses on business - https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/

Previous episodes mentioned:

Gary Flake – Scientist, Author, and Former CTO of Search at Salesforce (#42)

Josh Wills – Statistician, Former Director of Data Engineering at Slack #51