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Research institute

Web Science Institute

Java coding in different colours on an angled computer screen

We combine expertise in web science, data science and artificial intelligence to study the relationship between society and the largest information system in history: the World Wide Web.

The web has transformed our business practices, the way we interact socially and our cultural expression. We explore the challenges and opportunities it brings to society, from issues around privacy and data to the notion of trust in artificial intelligence. Our researchers collaborate across social, computational and natural sciences, humanities, medicine, health, business and law. We coordinate the University's membership of The Alan Turing Institute.

We established the research area of web science to study this ecosystem that we have created, and to understand how machines and people are working together collectively.
Dame Wendy Hall
Director of the Web Science Institute
Web science continues to expand, and now includes the role of data in society and the development of human-centred AIs.
Professor Leslie Carr
Professor of Web Science and Deputy Director of the Web Science Institute
Work on trust, bias and effective governance within AI and web science is central to what we’re doing.
Professor Pauline Leonard
Professor of Sociology and Deputy Director of the Web Science Institute

Can AI be used to undermine elections?

Online political disinformation and voter profiling spiked during recent elections in the UK and US. How can we now protect democracies from threats posed by AI?

Working out if a computer can play jazz

A Southampton researcher was awarded an Alan Turing Institute fellowship to investigate whether AI can replicate the complexities of jazz improvisation.

Related research institutes, centres and groups

Related research institutes, centres and groups

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Please get in touch to enquire about partnerships and collaborations, our web science research, education and enterprise, or to join our mailing list.

Web Science Institute
Building 32
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

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Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm UK time