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5 Digital Economy Trends to Watch

January 26, 2021

COVID-19 clearly dominated the world’s business concerns last year and will continue to be a primary focus in 2021, too. At the same time, AI, data analytics, algorithm bias, social media, digital experimentation, and fake news are critical topics spilling into the new year as well. Researchers at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) continue to interpret these digital economy trends, and offer guidance for IT and business leaders. Below is a quick reference guide of recent IDE research papers, video, and blogs that will help jumpstart action plans for the year ahead.

1. The future of work starts now. As businesses get back on their feet in 2021, many challenges lie ahead. When and how can supply chains, healthcare, municipalities, and workers rebound from COVID-19? Here’s a compilation of articles and research to answer the most pressing concerns.

10 Ways Businesses Can Emerge Stronger Post-Pandemic

Six Keys to Better Jobs and Wider Prosperity

Can Tech Be a Boon to Healthcare Workers?

Reshaping Labor Markets and Accelerating Automation

Tactics for Reopening the Economy

Data Will Transform Post-Pandemic Supply Chains

COVID-19 Research Hub

2. Algorithmic bias. IDE leaders Dean Eckles, Renée Richardson Gosline, and others explain the surge of AI and machine learning and also the rise of algorithmic bias.

Bias In, Bias Out: Seeking More Objective AI Algorithms

Renée Richardson Gosline on Human-Centered AI

How Can the Technology Industry Fight Bias in Machines and People?

3. Social media under scrutiny. MIT IDE Director, Sinan Aral, spells out the dangers of unbridled social media and what may be ahead to keep it in check.

Sinan Aral, Facebook, Examine the Future of Social Media

How Social Media Disrupts our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health

4. Data analytics is going corporate. Researchers find mainstream applications in publishing, retail, and finance. Here’s how businesses can reap rewards.

Analytics Gets Buy-in From Supermarket Retailer

New Methods Improve Customer Targeting, Business Outcomes

Businesses Embrace Digital Experimentation

5. Fake news still running rampant. Professor David Rand unpacks how fake news and partisanship infiltrated the media.

Why Fact-checking Along Won’t Stop Fake News

Research papers