Towards a classification framework for social machines

Nigel R. Shadbolt, Daniel A. Smith, Elena Simperl, Max Van Kleek, Yang Yang, Wendy Hall
2013 Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on World Wide Web - WWW '13 Companion  
The state of the art in human interaction with computational systems blurs the line between computations performed by machine logic and algorithms, and those that result from input by humans, arising from their own psychological processes and life experience. Current socio-technical systems, known as 'social machines' exploit the large-scale interaction of humans with machines. Interactions that are motivated by numerous goals and purposes including financial gain, charitable aid, and simply
more » ... fun. In this paper we explore the landscape of social machines, both past and present, with the aim of defining an initial classificatory framework. Through a number of knowledge elicitation and refinement exercises we have identified the polyarchical relationship between infrastructure, social machines, and large-scale social initiatives. Our initial framework describes classification constructs in the areas of contributions, participants, and motivation. We present an initial characterization of some of the most popular social machines, as demonstration of the use of the identified constructs. We believe that it is important to undertake an analysis of the behaviour and phenomenology of social machines, and of their growth and evolution over time. Our future work will seek to elicit additional opinions, classifications and validation from a wider audience, to produce a comprehensive framework for the description, analysis and comparison of social machines.
doi:10.1145/2487788.2488078 dblp:conf/www/ShadboltSSKYH13 fatcat:fyuv6zhjfzbl3l62ljzm5644kq