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On 21st of March, we held the HUMANE Intentional Workshop in Oxford. We had some 50+ participants from across different sectors; academia, industry, and public sectors, as well as technicians and freelancers. Among different events and workshops that I have attended in the recent years, I can easily say that our workshop was unique in terms of the wide range of topics, speakers, and attendees. We started the day with a great keynote by David De… Read More

The introduction of new technology causes concern for the future of work. What is the role of humans in a work life in which an increasing number of tasks are conducted better and more efficiently by machines than by humans. In a much cited paper on automation of work through computerization, Frey and Osborne, take a starting point in the premise that new technology makes old jobs redundant faster than new jobs are… Read More

The HUMANE project is building roadmaps that can help guide future policies in specific social domains such as Sharing Economy, eHealth, and Citizens’ Participation. The HUMANE roadmaps act as a reference on which a collaborative effort for a complex task, such as the one needed for finding and implementing efficient policies for Human-Machine Networks (HMNs), can be based on. It helps all the involved parties recognize the goals and the steps needed for… Read More

In an excellent cross-cultural study on Wikipedia edit/revert behaviours [1], Tsvetkova and her colleagues argue among other things for a mediating effect of culture in accounting for different dominance patterns to the editings in different language editions of the online encyclopaedia. The Wikipedia Humane-Machine Network is biased in some sense towards large geographical reach and network size, along with high human agency, low workflow interdependence, but low network organisation. And facebook, as highlighted… Read More

In the course of the HUMANE project, we examine a sample of social domains, where human-machine interaction is expected to be significant in the future. We study the type of interactions, the roles of humans and machines, and the challenges that must be addressed to ensure the successful integration of machines in a way that is beneficial for society. We then create a roadmap implementation for each domain that can guide future… Read More

Are users always worried about their data? One consequence of the Wanless report is a need for more distributed healthcare. This means that an ageing and expanding patient population can be supported at home and in the community. But also not everyone in rural communities will be able to travel any distance for specialist care. This really is the essence of telemedicine or eHealth. So the idea is that ICT can mediate… Read More

What does HUMANE profiling tell us about data protection?  Back in 1995, the European Parliament issued the Directive for data protection, which by 1998 had passed into national law in the UK. Now, eleven years on and after much consultation such as Working Party 29, in April 2016 the Parliament issued a corresponding regulation – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which will automatically pass into law across Member States by… Read More

In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the number of bots online, varying from web crawlers for search engines, to chatbots for online customer service, spambots on social media, and content-editing bots in online collaboration communities. The online world has turned into an ecosystem of bots. However, our knowledge of how these automated agents are interacting with each other is rather poor. Bots are predictable automatons that do not… Read More

Our study on disagreement in Wikipedia was just published in Scientific Reports (impact factor 5.2). In this study, we find that disagreement and conflict in Wikipedia follow specific patterns. We use complex network methods to identify three kinds of typical negative interactions: an editor confronts another editor repeatedly, an editor confronts back an equally experienced attacker, and less experienced editors confront someone else’s attacker. Disagreement and conflict are a fact of social… Read More

As machines take a more active role in human-machine networks (HMNs), they exert an increasing level of influence on other participants. Machines are not just passive participants in such networks, merely mediating communication between humans; technological advances allow greater autonomy and the performance of increasingly complex tasks. While most psychology and sociological models only attribute agency to human actors, more recent models have been proposed that attribute agency also to machines, such… Read More