Every day, we interact with countless technological systems, which support our communication, our transport, our shopping activities, and much more. These interactions are generating increasing volumes of “big data”, documenting our collective behaviour at an unprecedented scale. Suzy Moat explains how bringing social science, natural science and engineering together can help us decode these digital traces of human behaviour, to understand our decisions today — and anticipate our decisions tomorrow.

Dr. Suzy Moat is a computational social scientist. Her research investigates what our behaviour on the Internet might tell us about the decisions we make in the real world, by analysing gigantic data sets created by our everyday use of technology. In collaboration with Tobias Preis and colleagues, her recent work has provided evidence that Internet users from richer countries search for more information about the future, and that patterns in Google and Wikipedia usage could have been used to anticipate stock market moves. Originally trained as a computer scientist, a cognitive scientist and a linguist, Moat was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and won a series of prizes during her studies. Her research has been featured by television, radio and press worldwide, including recent pieces on CNN and the BBC.

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