Ashton is a PhD candidate in Web Science at the University of Southampton. Her research is interdisciplinary, combining criminology, history, and computer science to explore the ways in which right-wing extremists utilise technology for recruitment and radicalisation, whilst giving equal weight to the subcultural elements of the users of this technology. Additionally, her work examines the various ways that history is being manipulated and weaponised to fuel contemporary right-wing extremist narratives. In terms of technology, her work specifically focuses on the influence and impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning on the radicalisation process, and the increased need for ethical and explainable AI. The ultimate question being: can we really hold intelligent machines accountable for radicalisation?
Specialist research areas:
Subcultural elements of radicalisation; Impact of artificial intelligence on the radicalisation process; Power of image within extremist propaganda; Weaponisation of history within right-wing extremist narratives.