Deb Roy

Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
  • MIT Center for Constructive Communication

Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine system design with applications in understanding large scale social media ecosystems and designing communication tools and social networks. Deb is also co-founder and CEO of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology organization that develops and operates a conversation platform designed to surface underheard voices and enable deep systematic listening.

Previously, Roy was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School from 2021-22. He served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. Roy co-founded and was CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition to date. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.

Deb serves on the board of the Knight First Amendment Institute and the FRONTLINE advisory council. He has previously served on the Knight Commission on Trust, Media, and Democracy, the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder

Roy is the author of over 175 academic papers including a study of the spread of false news that was the cover of Science magazine in 2018 and one of the most influential academic publications of the year. Roy’s widely-viewed TED talk Birth of a Word presents his research on his son’s language development that led to new ideas in media analytics, while his 2021 talk envisions a new kind of social platform for a stronger democracy.

A native of Canada, Roy received his Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Waterloo and PhD in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT.