From personal life to the global economy and the frontiers of science – nothing has been left untouched by the digital revolution, a set of transformations almost certainly only as yet in their early stages. Arguably these already amount to the greatest period of innovation ever in human history in terms of its intensity, speed and global scope. In the social sciences, they have thus far mostly been interpreted in terms of the rise of the internet and the social media. The digital revolution should be seen, however, as the increasingly complex integration of the internet, supercomputers and robotics, in which supercomputers have the prime role. It is a fundamental mistake to allocate such a development to a separate space of ‘tech’, since the implications for our lives are so profound. One of the prime tasks of sociology today must be to track these implications and relate them to the core concerns of the discipline.
Anthony Giddens is a former Director of LSE and a member of the House of Lords.
Howard Covington is Chairman of the Alan Turing Institute, and of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University.
The Department of Sociology at LSE (@LSEsociology) was established in 1904 and remains committed to top quality teaching and leading research and scholarship today.
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