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22.3.2018 : 1:21

Session III.2 Future Social Computing


Nick Taylor (Heriot-Watt University, UK)
Kevin Doolin (Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland)
Fausto Giunchiglia (University of Trento, Italy)


Social computing has come of age and, via the Internet, makes its presence felt in a variety of ways. The tweeting and posting of individual citizens is having remarkable effects on our socio-political procedures and systems, social networking sites are being integrated into business enterprise operations, social computing is becoming context aware and offering new ways to harness the enormous amount of intelligence and knowledge which lies in the heads of the general populace. The time is ripe to examine the consequences of this explosive phenomenon for both the Internet and society at large.


This session aims to assess the advances which social computing will make in the future with a view to identifying the support required of the Future Internet infrastructure and the challenges, both technical and social, which are likely to arise as social computing continues to evolve.


The session will open with an overview of the main themes by one of the session organisers.

Socialising is one thing that computer users have never needed to be encouraged to undertake. From the earliest days of the Internet, human beings have used it to communicate about any and all subject matter (witness the variety of Usenet newsgroups formed back in the 1980s). Today, this need to socialise online has resulted in a meteoric rise in the popularity of social networking sites. Whilst Facebook is by far the largest social networking site, with over half a billion subscribers, there are innumerable others around the globe claiming registrations from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions. Our first speaker will summarise expected future developments in social networking sites.

The main economic engine driving content production and consumption on the web today is advertising. Most advertising income goes to information aggregators and intermediaries and not to the original creators of content or services. Our second speaker will address business models for User Generated Content (UGC) that support direct economic  transactions between buyers and sellers and build on dynamic pricing, incentive compatible negotiation schemes and voluntary payments.

Our third speaker will target the interface between social computing and pervasive computing. Pervasive systems aim to seamlessly and unobtrusively enable individual users to interact with devices, networks and services in their vicinity. Until now, their focus has been on the individual rather than on communities of users. Social computing, on the other hand, can almost be defined in terms of community formation. Products in this area, however, do not integrate well with any but a few of the many devices and services to which their users have access. It will be argued that the time is now ripe for these two paradigms to converge.

The Social Computer is the subject of the presentation by our fourth speaker. It is a future computational system that harnesses the innate problem solving, action and information gathering powers of humans and the environments in which they live in order to tackle large scale social problems that are beyond our current capabilities. The hardware of a social computer is supplied by people’s brains and bodies, the environment where they live, including artefacts such as buildings and roads, environmental sensors, networks and computers; while the software is the people’s minds, laws, organisational and social rules, social conventions, and computer software.

The session will include an open panel discussion in which the speakers will respond to questions from the audience on any aspects of future social computing technologies, applications and issues.

The session will conclude with a wrap-up by one of the session organisers.


Introduction - undefinedNick Taylor, SOCIETIES - 5 mins
Future directions in social networking  - undefinedGabriel Yoran, aka-aki networks - member of EU Social Networks Group - 20 mins
Business models for UGC in the context of social networks  - undefinedDorit Geifman, SocIoS - 20 mins
Integration of pervasive and social computing - undefinedKevin Doolin, SOCIETIES - 20 mins
Social embodiment of computation -undefinedFausto Giunchiglia, The Social Computer - 20 mins
Panel discussion (ALL) - 30 mins
Wrap up - Nick Taylor, SOCIETIES - 5 mins