From Wikipedia to Facebook, social machines have become integral to our daily lives. Digital networked technology now routinely enables coordination of collective action, releasing the power of decentralised hybrid human-machine problem-solving at scale.
The SOCIAM project was funded by the EPSRC from 2012 to 2018 and brought together three leading UK universities to produce the first major interdisciplinary research insights into the realm of social machines. Using methods from computer science, mathematics, social science, network science and data science, SOCIAM delivers theory, data and practical knowledge for innovative design of social machines.
In 2019, the project’s work was summarised in the book ‘The Theory and Practice of Social Machines’ by Nigel Shadbolt, Kieron O’Hara, David De Roure, and Wendy Hall. In addition to explaining the concept of social machines in detail, and describing the innovative research methods pioneered within SOCIAM, the book considers ethical issues and future research trends. The book is published by Springer and available in hardcover and as an ebook.