Vidya was a post doctoral researcher in the Computational Propaganda Project. She has several years of experience working as a researcher in Artificial Intelligence, with groups at both universities and in commercial environments. Her research interests, lie in the interface between technology, ethics and policy, and she is primarily engaged in developing systems that use technology for the greater good of society. She completed her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Southampton, building adaptive techniques for automated negotiations. Prior to this, she completed her M.S., in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, working on problems in decentralised decision making, specifically in the defence logistics domain. Her basic background is in Mathematics, which she studied at the masters level at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and as an undergraduate at the University of Madras. She has also worked as a scientific coordinator at BAE Systems and as a software engineer at Tech Mahindra. She tweets from @vidunarayanan.

Research Interests:

Impact of AI on society, Machine learning.

Position held at the OII:

  • Researcher, November 2017 – 2020


Current projects

  • Strengthening Digital Democracy

    Participants: Dr Victoria Nash, Professor Philip N. Howard, Dr Dimitra (Mimie) Liotsiou, Lisa-Maria Neudert, Dr Vidya Narayanan

    This programme supports research into the use of computational propaganda in developing democracies, our management of strategic relations with industry, government and civil society stakeholders, and capacity transfer to civil society groups.

  • Political Communication, AI and Data Diversity in the US

    Participants: Dr Victoria Nash, Professor Philip N. Howard, Dr Dimitra (Mimie) Liotsiou, Lisa-Maria Neudert, Dr Vidya Narayanan

    This project investigates contemporary trends in political communication, political polarization, artificial intelligence, and data diversity in the United States.

  • Alternative News Networks – Understanding the spread and influence of disinformation, propaganda, and divisive political news content in the UK online information ecosystem

    Participants: Dr Jonathan Bright, Professor Philip Howard, Dr Scott Hale, Hannah Bailey, Mona Elswah, Megha Mishra, Dr Vidya Narayanan, Marcel Schliebs, Christian Schwieter, Katarina Rebello, Ali Arsalan Pasha Siddiqui, Karolina Werens, Alexandra Pavliuc, Anna George

    This project seeks to understand the health of the UK online information ecosystem, including tracking the spread of divisive and misleading content.

Past projects

  • Computational Propaganda

    Participants: Professor Philip Howard, Dr Vidya Narayanan, Dr Dimitra (Mimie) Liotsiou, Lisa-Maria Neudert, Samantha Bradshaw

    This project will focus on how bots, algorithms and other forms of automation are used by political actors in countries around the world.


  • ‘Lie Machine’s’ UK book launch

    Recorded: 24 June 2020

    Duration: 00:58:50

    Professor Philip Howard presents his new book 'Lie Machines' in this UK launch, which offers new insights into the world's most damaging disinformation campaigns. He is joined by Dr Vidya Narayanan.



Integrity Statement

I conduct my research in line with the University's academic integrity code of practice.