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Computational Social Science ≠ Computer Science + Social Data

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Computational Social Science, illustration

Credit: Evannovostro

This viewpoint is about differences between computer science and social science, and their implications for computational social science. Spoiler alert: The punchline is simple. Despite all the hype, machine learning is not a be-all and end-all solution. We still need social scientists if we are going to use machine learning to study social phenomena in a responsible and ethical manner.

I am a machine learning researcher by training. That said, my recent work has been pretty far from traditional machine learning. Instead, my focus has been on computational social science—the study of social phenomena using digitized information and computational and statistical methods.


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