Information & Technology

Can social media sentiment affect stock market performance?

The boom of social media in the past decade has transformed the way investors forecast the stock market. As social media provides large volumes of real-time user opinion, investors can potentially exploit that information by leveraging machine learning and natural language processing techniques. In recent years, popular news channels have repeatedly reported that predicting the market using “alternative data”, […]

Net Neutrality in a hyperlinked Internet economy

Have you ever realized that the websites and social platforms you use are full of links that lead you to contents, videos or advertisements of other content providers? And that you usually surf from one site to another without typing their URL addresses? No doubt, this is an important feature of the Internet. For instance, direct visits of The […]

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    How do children judge what’s appropriate to share online, and with whom?

How do children judge what’s appropriate to share online, and with whom?

How can social media platforms respect the “best interests of the child” if they don’t know which user is a child? How can they meet the needs of children of different ages if the law imposes “bright line” rules – 13+ (COPPA), 16+ (GDPR)? Yet how can society not extend hard-won child rights-respecting policy and practice from offline to online? And why […]

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    Piracy could be a blessing in disguise for content supply chains

Piracy could be a blessing in disguise for content supply chains

“He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for society that it was no part of his intention”.      — Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, p. 477

Manufacturers of […]

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    How e-marketplace sellers configure platform-based functions to increase sales

How e-marketplace sellers configure platform-based functions to increase sales

An equivalent of over US $887.40 billion of online retail transactions took place via e-marketplaces in China in 2017, rising 29.6 per cent from a year earlier according to iResearch 2018. The growth of e-marketplaces has been accompanied by increasingly intense competition among sellers on transaction platforms. For instance, more than nine million sellers are competing on Taobao, China’s dominant […]

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    A shared audience amplifies people’s influence over their peers

A shared audience amplifies people’s influence over their peers

When consumers speak positively about a product or brand on social media it can have a very large influence on other consumers’ purchase decisions. In fact, recent research has found that user-generated content has a greater overall influence on purchase activity than marketer-generated content, i.e., marketers’ attempts to advocate on social media for themselves, or coverage in the popular […]

Google’s involvement is a step forward for blockchain

Just before the Google Next event at the end of July, Google announced that it had partnered with two different blockchain technology companies to integrate their solutions into Google Cloud. These partnerships were made with an objective of helping enterprises streamline the development of blockchain applications as the technology continues to rapidly gain popularity.

With more than 86,000 blockchain projects […]

Notes on the public debate about digital responsibility

Policymakers and the Silicon Valley giants are engaged in a battle over freedom and regulation. The UK’s Internet Commission is catalysing a new, positive cycle of organisational accountability, transparency and multi-stakeholder dialogue. The dialogue on digital responsibility brings policymakers, academics and activists together with online firms to make progress on digital responsibility and accountability.

One of the first meetings in this […]

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    When machines become sentient, we will have to consider them an intelligent life form

When machines become sentient, we will have to consider them an intelligent life form

For most of us, our understanding of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) is drawn more from science fiction than from fact. Intelligent robots are often portrayed as either a virulent threat to humanity, as seen in the Terminator series of films or in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot, or a socially beneficial tool, as with the Star Wars robots R2-D2 […]

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    ICOs: raising money by issuing cryptocurrency, with less regulation

ICOs: raising money by issuing cryptocurrency, with less regulation

Back in the day — I remember it well, it was only ten years ago! — when a large company wanted to raise money it would almost certainly issue equity or debt. These securities would then be exchanged with investors for the relevant currency, with the investors expecting higher cash flows in return at a later date. From my desk […]

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    Data silos are the greatest stumbling block to an effective use of firms’ data

Data silos are the greatest stumbling block to an effective use of firms’ data

Greater access to data has given business leaders real, valuable insights into the inner workings of their organisations. Those who have been ahead of the curve in utilising the right kinds of data for the right purposes have reaped the rewards of better customer engagement, improved decision-making and a more productive business, whilst those who have lagged behind have […]

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    How would-be entrepreneurs can harness the power of the internet of things

How would-be entrepreneurs can harness the power of the internet of things

The internet of things – it’s a wonderfully vague term, but one that both consumers and businesses will have been hearing a lot over recent years. IoT is, after all, one of the single biggest areas of technological development that is reshaping the world around us. In short, the umbrella term refers to the way in which devices – […]

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    The new federalism: blockchain will decentralise big tech’s power on the internet

The new federalism: blockchain will decentralise big tech’s power on the internet

For most of history, the only form of government that humanity had known was despotism. Pharaohs, tsars, emperors and kings enjoyed a centralised and absolute power. The world had known but a few democratic experiences in the Athenian polis, the Roman Republic, and the Florence and Venice of the Renaissance.

In the 18th century, revolutions in France and the United […]

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    What Twitter reveals about a company’s reputation and productivity

What Twitter reveals about a company’s reputation and productivity

Reputation plays an important signalling role in an imperfect information world and companies endeavour to preserve it. In this study, I evaluate empirically the role of reputation for companies that engage in Twitter. The results confirm that getting negative tweets, many expressing grievances, strongly correlates with low firm performance, suggesting the importance of social media (SM) in times when […]

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    Navigating the fintech landscape with a customer-market-competition matrix

Navigating the fintech landscape with a customer-market-competition matrix

New fintech firms are bringing a stream of technology innovations to the financial services industry, and banks and other incumbent firms are experiencing extraordinary competitive pressures and process-disrupting new rivalries in many of their primary business areas. Industry and academic observers think this is a revolution, with financial services as a whole due for major improvements in the efficiency […]

Why tech markets are winner-take-all

‘Competition is for losers. If you want to create and capture lasting value, look to build a monopoly’– Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir

In the 1960s, IBM dominated the mainframe market. It still does. In the 1980s, Microsoft and Intel dominated the PC software and processor markets. They still do. From the 1990s, with the World Wide Web, […]

AI’s lack of transparency triggers a debate over ethics

Alexa may be up to more tricks than just unnerving us with her creepy laugh.

The artificial intelligence technology that drives Amazon’s digital assistant and others like it is being used in an ever-growing list of applications. Some, like a Netflix recommendation on what to binge-watch next, are relatively benign. Others, however, hold high stakes: sizing up job applicants, reviewing […]

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    Cryptocurrencies: the future of money, speculative bubble or something else?

Cryptocurrencies: the future of money, speculative bubble or something else?

This month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast investigates whether cryptocurrencies are the future of money, a speculative bubble that will burst, or something else.

In 2008 a person or group going under the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ published a white paper setting out the fundamentals of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system called bitcoin. This would do away with the need […]

The voice of the silent majority behind bitcoin’s rise

How much is a bitcoin worth? This question is difficult to answer because bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, are notoriously volatile. Users face significant market risk because of the fluctuation in the exchange rate between bitcoin and other currencies. For all the hypes about how cryptocurrency is shaping the future of fintech, it is crucial to understand the factors behind its […]

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    The ‘onlooker effect’: how bystanders influence our use of digital technologies

The ‘onlooker effect’: how bystanders influence our use of digital technologies

The use of mobile devices has permeated our daily lives and has in various ways influenced the way we interact with each other. For instance, even during an animated conversation with a loved one we allow ourselves to be disturbed by intruding push messages on our phone. In work meetings we often switch between screens on our laptop to […]