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Social Machines

Abstract

The term ‘social machine’ has recently been coined to refer to Web-based systems that support a variety of socially-relevant processes. Such systems (e.g., Wikipedia, Galaxy Zoo, Facebook, and reCAPTCHA) are progressively altering the way a broad array of social activities are performed, ranging from the way we communicate and transmit knowledge, establish romantic partnerships, generate ideas, produce goods and maintain friendships. They are also poised to deliver new kinds of intelligent processing capability by virtue of their ability to integrate the complementary contributions of both the human social environment and a global nexus of distributed computational resources. This chapter provides an overview of recent research into social machines. It examines what social machines are and discusses the kinds of social machines that currently exist. It also presents a range of issues that are the focus of current research attention within the Web Science community

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