Intersection Scale and Social Machines

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Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, Wolfson College, Oxford14 July 2014

Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School, Wolfson College, Oxford14 July 2014

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  • ESRC Cities Expert Group


  • 1. David De Roure Intersection, Scale, and Social Machines The humanities in the digital world
  • 2. What Digital Humanities isn’t A silo Digital Research in the Humanities But equally Humanities in Digital Research Digital Humanities at Oxford video
  • 3. The Big Picture More people Moremachines Big Data Big Compute Conventional Computation “Big Social” Social Networks e-infrastructure Online R&D (Science 2.0) Social Machines @dder
  • 4. Edwards, P. N., et al. (2013) Knowledge Infrastructures: Intellectual Frameworks and Research Challenges. Ann Arbor: Deep Blue.
  • 5. ChristineBorgman
  • 6. Pip Willcox @marstonbikepath Datasets or dataflows?
  • 7. F i r s t
  • 8.
  • 9. New Social Process
  • 10.
  • 11. Scientists Talk Forum Image Classification data reduction Citizen Scientists
  • 12. Community Software Supercomputer Digital Music Collections Student-sourced ground truth Community Software Linked Data Repositories Supercomputer 23,000 hours of recorded music Music Information Retrieval Community SALAMI
  • 13. Pip Willcox
  • 14. Interdisciplinary and “in the wild” In it not on it Pull not Push
  • 15. A revolutionary idea… Open Science!
  • 16. Executable Documents Knuth, Literate Programming
  • 17. The R Dimensions Research Objects facilitate research that is reproducible, repeatable, replicable, reusable, referenceable, retrievable, reviewable, replayable, re-interpretable, reprocessable, recomposable, reconstructable, repurposable, reliable, respectful, reputable, revealable, recoverable, restorable, reparable, refreshable?” @dder 14 April 2014 sci method access understand new use social curation Research Object Principles
  • 18. Real life is and must be full of all kinds of social constraint – the very processes from which society arises. Computers can help if we use them to create abstract social machines on the Web: processes in which the people do the creative work and the machine does the administration... The stage is set for an evolutionary growth of new social engines. The ability to create new forms of social process would be given to the world at large, and development would be rapid. Berners-Lee, Weaving the Web, 1999 (pp. 172–175) Social Machines
  • 19. SOCIAM: The Theory and Practice of Social Machines is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant number EPJ017728/1 and comprises the Universities of Southampton, Oxford and Edinburgh. See
  • 20. Scholarly Machines EcosystemDavid De Roure, JCDL 2013
  • 21. Richard O’Bierne
  • 22. “Yet Wikipedia and its stated ambition to “compile the sum of all human knowledge” are in trouble. The volunteer workforce that built the project’s flagship, the English-language Wikipedia—and must defend it against vandalism, hoaxes, and manipulation— has shrunk by more than a third since 2007 and is still shrinking… The main source of those problems is not mysterious. The loose collective running the site today, estimated to be 90 percent male, operates a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that deters newcomers who might increase participation in Wikipedia and broaden its coverage…”
  • 23. By Ségolène Tarte, David De Roure and Pip Willcox Working out the Plot The Role of Stories in Social Machines
  • 24. Stories within Social Machines Stories about Social Machines Social Machines for stories Now we consider... SOCIAL MACHINES AS STORIES
  • 25. STORYTELLING AS A STETHOSCOPE FOR SOCIAL MACHINES 1. Sociality through storytelling potential and realization 2. Sustainability through reactivity and interactivity 3. Emergence through collaborative authorship and mixed authority Zooniverse is a highly storified Social Machine Facebook doesn’t allow for improvisation Wikipedia assigns authority rights rigidly
  • 26. A computationally- enabled sense-making network of expertise, data, software, models and narratives Iain Buchan
  • 27. Don’t retrofit digital Think post-digital, post-disciplinary Social Machines Humans in the loop, empowered Challenge assumptions
  • 28. Thanks to Christine Borgman, Iain Buchan, Chris Lintott, Richard O’Bierne, Nigel Shadbolt, Ségolène Tarte, Pip Willcox; FORCE11, SOCIAM; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, JISC, EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC. @dder
  • 29. @dder