There is a growing body of academic research looking at all aspects of emoji usage 😍🌴😀👍

If you have a mobile phone made in the last eight years, or if you've used social media, you're likely familiar with emoji. The colorful icons, first available in Japan in the 1990s, are ubiquitous and an increasingly common part of our online lives. They have all but replaced emoticons, their punctuation-based precursors, though kaomoji (more detailed emoticons, originating in Japan) such as ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ still enjoy popularity in some corners of the internet. Perhaps the most compelling example of emoji popularity was the "face with tears of joy" emoji 😂 being selected as the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2015 - a fact you will find in the introduction of many academic papers on the topic.

Gender equality in social data science. Get to know our panel and join us on 8th October

A week today sees the biggest SAGE Ocean event to date as we takeover the RocketSpace Theatre to bring you an exciting evening of drinks and discussions around diversity and gender equality in academia and in particularly, social data science. Sorry to all those people scattered further afield in the UK who can’t make it to London but fear not, we will be filming the event and the recording should be available later in the year.

The ethics of AI and working with data at scale: what are the experts saying

If we were to do a text mining exercise on all the incredible discussions at last week’s conference 100+ Brilliant Women in AI & Ethics, education would beat all other topics by a mile. We talked about educating kids, we had teenagers share their thoughts on AI in poems and essays, and exchanged views on the nuances of teaching ethics in computing and working with large volumes of social data both for computer scientists and experts from other disciplines. 

Euro CSS 2019: European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science

The 2nd-4th September 2019 marked the third in a series of symposia on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science (Euro CSS). Computer scientists, political scientists, sociologists, physicists, mathematicians and psychologists from 24 countries gathered in Zurich for a day of workshops and tutorials followed by a two-day one track conference.

Who’s disrupting transcription in academia?

Transcribing is a pain, recent progress in speech recognition software has helped, but it is still a challenge. Furthermore, how can you be sure that your person-identifiable interview data is not going to be listened and transcribed by someone who wasn’t on your consensus forms. The bigger disruptor is the ability to annotate video and audio files

10 organizations leading the way in ethical AI

AI is susceptible to misuse and has been found to reflect biases that exist in society. Fortunately, there are a number of organizations committed to addressing ethical questions in AI. We list our top 10.

Book review: The code: Silicon Valley and the remaking of America by Margaret O’Mara

In The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America, Margaret O’Mara provides a new account of the region’s evolution that brings the US government into the story. The book offers a compelling narrative that tracks the key players and events that have underpinned Silicon Valley’s tremendous, but messy, rise, writes Robyn Klingler-Vidra, while also underscoring the gender imbalance and casual misogyny that has been a longstanding characteristic of its culture.

Interning at SAGE Ocean: My experience

This summer we've had the pleasure of welcoming four Masters students from UK universities to work with the SAGE Ocean team. All four students have been quite incredible, and have managed to produce a variety of outputs and substantially contribute to our work. In this blog post, they share testimonials of their time in the team.

The five pitfalls of document labeling - and how to avoid them

Whether you call it ‘content analysis’, ‘textual data labeling’, ‘hand-coding’, or ‘tagging’, a lot more researchers and data science teams are starting up annotation projects these days. Many want human judgment labeled onto text to train AI (via supervised machine learning approaches). Others have tried automated text analysis and found it wanting. Now they’re looking for ways to label text that aren’t so hard to interpret and explain.

SMaPP-Global: An interview with Josh Tucker and Pablo Barbera

In April this year a special collection examining social media and politics was published in SAGE Open. Guest edited by Joshua A. Tucker and Pablo Barberá, the articles grew out of a series of conferences held by NYU’s Social Media and Political Participation lab (SMaPP) and the NYU Global Institute for Advanced Study (GIAS) known as SMaPP-Global. Upon publication Joshua Tucker said ‘the collection of articles also shows the value of exposing researchers from a variety of disciplines with similar substantive interests to each other's work at regular intervals’. Interdisciplinary collaborative research projects are a cornerstone of what makes computational social science such an interesting field. We were intrigued to know more so caught up with Josh and Pablo to hear more.

No more tradeoffs: The era of big data content analysis has come

For centuries, being a scientist has meant learning to live with limited data. People only share so much on a survey form. Experiments don’t account for all the conditions of real world situations. Field research and interviews can only be generalized so far. Network analyses don’t tell us everything we want to know about the ties among people. And text/content/document analysis methods allow us to dive deep into a small set of documents, or they give us a shallow understanding of a larger archive. Never both. So far, the truly great scientists have had to apply many of these approaches to help us better see the world through their kaleidoscope of imperfect lenses.

Instead of seeing criticisms of AI as a threat to innovation, can we see them as a strength?

At CogX, the Festival of AI and Emergent Technology, two icons appeared over and over across the King’s Cross location. The first was the logo for the festival itself, an icon of a brain with lobes made up of wires. The second was for the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a partner of the festival. The SDG icon is a circle split into 17 differently colored segments, each representing one of the goals for 2030—aims like zero hunger and no poverty. The idea behind this partnership was to encourage participants of CogX—speakers, presenters, expo attendees—to think about how their products and innovations could be used to help achieve these SDGs.