skip to main content

Digital society

Digital society 

Digital technologies have revolutionised how we live and work, and they could help create a more prosperous and fairer world. 

Digital tools like AI are solving real-world problems in healthcare, engineering and resilience. 

Social media connects nearly half the global population. However the pace of technological change brings the potential for both positive and negative impacts.  

Studying data from social media, search queries and online activity is vital for understanding the challenges and opportunities of advancing technology. It can help us to lift the lid on crucial topics such as online safety, misinformation, the digital divide and the future of work, often intertwining with health and productivity research.  


Understanding algorithmic recommendation systems  

Researchers and policymakers around the world are increasingly concerned about the impact of algorithmic recommendation systems, which are used by online platforms to promote content to users.  

These systems can shape our views on a wide range of topics, from vaccines to housing, from films to music. They can also be used to drive certain behaviour. Interdisciplinary research using online data has a vital role to play in understanding algorithmic recommendation systems and their impacts on individuals, societies and marketplaces.   

Tackling online harms and disinformation 

Smart data can also be used to tackle online harms and disinformation, and to assess public sentiment. For example, social media content classified as harmful, or considered disinformation, can be used to better understand the profiles of those groups who are most susceptible to this type of content.  

This information can then be used to develop more effective education and intervention programmes. Smart data can also be used to track public sentiment on a broad variety of issues. This information can be used by governments and businesses to make better informed decisions about policies and programmes.  

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our latest news updates