- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Twitter are teaming up on a $10 million project to better understand social networks and figure out new ways to benefit from them.

As part of the five-year partnership, Twitter will provide full access to its real-time, public stream of tweets, as well as the archive of every tweet ever posted.

The new Laboratory for Social Machines based at MIT’s Media Lab will focus on the development of new technologies to make sense of patterns across the broad span of mass media and social media.

“The Laboratory for Social Machines will experiment in areas of public communication and social organization where humans and machines collaborate on problems that can’t be solved manually or through automation alone,” said Deb Roy, an associate professor at the Media Lab who will lead the Laboratory for Social Machines and who also serves as Twitter’s chief media scientist.

The goal is not just to understand how people think and use social media but also how networks can be used to increase accountability and transparency and gauge public opinion.

“With this investment, Twitter is seizing the opportunity to go deeper into research to understand the role Twitter and other platforms play in the way people communicate, the effect that rapid and fluid communication can have and apply those findings to complex societal issues,” CEO Dick Costolo said.

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