14:15 31 May 2017
A multidisciplinary research and teaching department of the University of Oxford, which is dedicated to the social science of the Internet, identifies the current grand challenges of Internet research. These include:
· The challenge of auditing algorithms – Algorithms can mitigate and exacerbate social problems as seen in the 2016 US Presidential election where it was alleged that millions of dollars was spent to manipulate algorithms for political gain.
· Ethical issues – It is easy to write code and run experiments to manipulate users. While it is possible to write a bot that alerts the public about regime interference, it brings ethical concerns as to how it impacts the public.
· Human rights and technology – The grand challenge is making explicit rights and freedom we have on the Internet and designing a future society.
· Government filters – Government choose to filter what we see in the Internet and it is important that we understand the motivations behind these decisions.
· Several companies have built things on the Internet without considering their implications. Different models created by Silicon Valley may work for some and may fail others. We are not going to find a solution to each of our problems but we need to be part of that ongoing process.
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