Category Archives: WSTNet News

Web Science: The Age of the Social Machine

Anni Rowland-Campbell speaking at the University of Southampton/Digichamps ©2016
Anni Rowland-Campbell speaking at the University of Southampton/Digichamps ©2016/cc by-nc

At the Web Science Institute seminar held earlier this week WST board advisor, Anni Rowland-Campbell spoke on the socio-technical changes that are happening in the world as a result of the Social Machine, which began with the World Wide Web. The talk focused on Tim Berners-Lee proposal of the Web where the “people do the creative work and the machine does the administration”1. Setting out to challenge this, Rowland-Campbell argued that the balance between “man” and “machine” is changing, and the idea of humanity is changing as a result. In her talk she provides a number of suggestions on how this symbiotic relationship between man and machine may play out. 

1 Berners-Lee, T and Fischetti, M, Weaving the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web, Harper Collins, New York, 1999.

WSTNet Review – July 2016-07-27 14-57-43The Web Science Trust Network (WSTNet) brings together world-class research laboratories around the world to support Web Science research and education. In the first of an occasional series we look at activity across the network during the past month.

Institute WeST, Koblenz, Germany
The Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) reported their input into the founding of the German Internet Institute. The Institute will explore the ethical, legal, economic and participatory aspects of the Internet.

Oxford Internet Institute, UK
pokemon-1536855_1280In a timely blog post on the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, the Institutes’ Connectivity, Inclusion, and Inequality Group considered what happens when real and virtual spaces combine.

Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard receiving Best Paper Award/Paul De Bra ©2016

Web Science Institute, Southampton, UK
MySociety founder Tom Steinberg gave a distinguished lecture at WSI on 8th July.

Researchers based at WSI, Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard were awarded the Douglas Engelbart Best Paper Award at ACM Hypertext 2016, for their paper on location aware hypertext.

Aaron Schecter @SonicNU using Watson to decode Apollo emotion networks

SONIC, Evanston, IL, USA
A group of researchers from the Science of Networks in Communities group (SONIC) at Northwestern University took part in Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research Conference (INGRoup16) in Helsinki, Iceland, 14-16 July.

CSAIL, Massachusetts, USA
The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, reported on two interesting new papers: What Ants Teach us About Exploring Networks Efficiently and Robot Helps Nurses Schedule Tasks on Labor Floor 

ACM Hypertext 2016

Charlie Hargood with ACMHT'16 Best Paper Award/David Millard ©2016
Charlie Hargood with Best Paper Award/David Millard ©2016

Here at WST HQ in Southampton we’ve been following events at Hypertext 2016 in Halifax, Canada over the past few days. It was a brilliant conference for our WSTNet colleagues in from the University of Southampton – with Charlie Hargood and Dave Millard picking up the Douglas Engelbart Best Paper Award. Their paper, co-authored with Verity Hunt and Mark Weal, focusses on location aware hypertext – an emerging form of digital storytelling. 

Hossein Derakhshan UMAP’16 Keynote/David Millard ©2016

On the final day HT’16 linked with UMAP’16 and included a riveting keynote from ‘the blog father’ Hossein Derakhshan.

To get a flavour of the conference see: “ACM Hypertext 2016” on Storify, and conference proceedings.

Web Science Summer School 2016

Web Science Summer School
On the beach at WWSSS16/ Steffen Staab ©2016

This years’ Web Science Summer School featured keynotes from WST chair, Jim Hendler, and board member, Noshir Contractor. Hosted by the Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, the School ran between 30 June and 6 July. A range of tutorials and project work covering Computational Social Science, Social Machines, Politics, Entrepreneurship, and Law were run for the 20+ participants.

To get a taste of the Summer School, see “Web Science Summer School 2016” on Storify, and presentation slides.

Saving the Web Symposium

Putting Data to Work Panel
Putting Data to Work Panel/Wendy Hall ©2016

Co-sponsored by WST, and hosted by our managing director, Professor Dame Wendy Hall, the “Saving the Web” symposium held yesterday at the John W Kluge Center, Washington, provided a great opportunity for Web scientists to share knowledge on preserving the ephemeral Web. The symposium featured contributions from TCP/IP co-inventor and Google Internet Evangelist, Vin Cerf, Web archivists, Abbie Grotke (Library of Congress), and Jefferson Bailey (Internet Archive), WST chair, James Hendler, and many other speakers.

Professor Hall took up the post of Kluge Chair in Technology & Society in March this year, and the Symposium, together with its associated Datathon (Archives Unleashed), marked the culmination of her 3-month tenure.

To get a taste of the Symposium, and outputs from the Datathon, view “Save the Web Symposium” on Storify.