Category archives: Sociology

Deadbots can speak for you after your death

Deadbots can speak for you after your death

Computer scienceEthicsSociology

By Invited Researcher

Machine-learning systems are increasingly worming their way through our everyday lives, challenging our moral and social values and the rules that govern them. These days, virtual assistants threaten the privacy of the home; news recommenders shape the way we understand the world; risk-prediction systems tip social workers on which children to protect from abuse; while […]

Is Ukrainian a language or a dialect? That depends on whom you ask and how the war ends

Is Ukrainian a language or a dialect? That depends on whom you ask and how the war ends

LinguisticsSociology

By Invited Researcher

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the number of people studying Ukrainian on Duolingo, a language learning website and mobile app, has increased by more than 500%. Most of those who are taking up Ukrainian are probably unaware that there is a long-running controversy about this particular form of speech. One side views […]

Robots can be companions, caregivers, collaborators — and social influencers

Robots can be companions, caregivers, collaborators — and social influencers

RoboticsSociology

By Invited Researcher

In the mid-1990s, there was research going on at Stanford University that would change the way we think about computers. The Media Equation experiments were simple: participants were asked to interact with a computer that acted socially for a few minutes after which, they were asked to give feedback about the interaction. Participants would provide […]

Child slavery in West Africa: understanding cocoa farming is key to ending the practice

Child slavery in West Africa: understanding cocoa farming is key to ending the practice

EconomicsSociology

By Invited Researcher

In 2000 and 2001, the use of child slaves on cocoa farms in West Africa was exposed in a series of documentaries and pieces of investigative journalism, sparking an international outcry . This series of events was far from unprecedented. As discussed in my paper, since the 19th century, when cocoa was first introduced to […]

Digital activism for social transformation

Digital activism for social transformation

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Martha R. Villabona works at Subdirección General de Cooperación Territorial e Innovación Educativa of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, where she coordinates the area of multiple literacies. Communication trough networks has changed how relationships between governments, citizens, politicians and other social actors develop. This form of communication, interconnection and interaction is […]

Online harassment toward women

Online harassment toward women

Sociology

By Invited Researcher

Author: Martha R. Villabona works at Subdirección General de Cooperación Territorial e Innovación Educativa of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, where she coordinates the area of multiple literacies. The seemingly unlimited possibilities of citizen participation in social networks are affected by the polarization of debate, the aggressive style of communication and the […]