General Discussions

Social Machines

Decades ago the concept of web seemed like an un-realizable dream, more like a science fiction movie concept. Today, with a realized web, so looks the realization of an intelligent semantic web. The statement of ‘people doing the creative work and web doing the administration and management work’ can be respectfully discarded. Web is growing to be more intelligent and is being crowded with new data every day.

why-program

The Concern is Data!

The concern is the data. Data is not as open as it presents to be. With development of social platforms each functioning in its own way and technology has created a silo of information isolated from rest of the web. We don’t have a single set of social policies or mechanisms that will work across all domains.

The demand is for a kind of social machine which:

  • are a new generation of open and interacting machines
  • work on a new web infrastructure, as they call for
  • are secured by relevant social policy expectations

The machines must be able to refer to real world objects of any kind with ease guided by the rules and formal logic. The social machines insist for context aware solutions. Like the way we have now, a mobile location is just not enough and we need more powerful context representations. There has to be information flow for explicit conceptualizations of domain specific information to build these contexts.

The idea is creating an information space that is useful to everyone and progress with smaller steps so that it can find research developments from around the corner. Mostly thinking in the form of a layered approach where protocols are standardized at each layer.

Not having an access control policy framework where user need not worry about data being used in inappropriate ways is one of the major concerns. We lack structures for formally representing and computing qualities like trustworthiness, reliability and use of information.

Creating a social interface for future web is one of the major challenges. We need workflows that represent the trust worthy data on web, secure transaction and healthy information accountability. It is more like asking for a powerful crawler designed with formal rules.

At a very abstract level, we need graphs to express social protocols and policies which are going to interconnect people’s ideas. Artificial Intelligence is going to play a ‘hero’ role in this realization.


The motivation to write this post is the following paper:

Jim Hendler, Tim Berners-Lee, From the Semantic Web to social machines: A research challenge for AI on the World Wide Web, Artificial Intelligence, Volume 174, Issue 2, 2010, Pages 156-161, ISSN 0004-3702.

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