Zening (‘Ze’) Duan is a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in political science as a minor. His primary research interest revolves around algorithmic agents in online communication. In essence, he explores how emerging AI technologies and media algorithms impact human interactions on digital platforms. Additionally, he investigates the integration of moral messaging into algorithm-mediated communication to enhance conversational and behavioral outcomes.
Recently, Zening’s research agenda encompasses two interconnected areas:
- At the macro level, he examines the influence of algorithmic actors, such as Twitter bots, on the hybrid media ecosystem. He investigates how these actors either permeate, amplify, or diminish certain voices
- At the micro level, he delves into how algorithmic actors utilize persuasive messaging appeals to shape human-machine communication.
To achieve these goals, Zening employs various research methodologies, including large-scale computational content analysis, language models, and experiments. Furthermore, he actively develops novel computational tools to facilitate his research endeavors.