Consequences of changes in global patterns of human interaction

Anne-Marie Grisogono, Roger Bradbury, John Finnigan, Nicholas Lyall, Dmitry Brizhinev

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    Recent rapid and extensive changes in global patterns of interaction between individuals resulting from exponential growth in the proportion of populations participating in social media and other interactive online applications, suggest a number of possible consequences some of which are concerning for the future of democratic societies and for the stability of global order. We draw insights from the scientific study of collective phenomena in complex systems. Changes in interaction patterns often bring about phase transitions – system rearrangements that are sudden and transformative, through the emergence and self-amplification of large-scale collective behaviour. We see a parallel here in the possible effects of changes in human interaction patterns on the structure of global social systems – including the traditional structures of nation states, and national and cultural identities. Since the growth of new groupings is now largely driven by recommender algorithms in social applications, whereby people become more and more connected to likeminded others and have less and less visibility of alternate perspectives, the possible trend we are concerned about is towards increasing global fragmentation into large numbers of disjoint groupings, accompanied by erosion of national identities, and weakening of the democratic base. We study these new long-range interactions and their disruptive potential through both historical analysis and modelling of the dynamics, and draw conclusions about the risks and their consequences
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages132-140
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventIX International Conference on Complex Systems 2018 - Cambridge
    Duration: 1 Jan 2018 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceIX International Conference on Complex Systems 2018
    Period1/01/18 → …

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