The SmartSociety Project
The SmartCollectives toolkit was developed within the framework of the EU-funded SmartSociety project (FP7/FET - contract number 600854). The SmartSociety Consortium brings together leading universities, top-notch research centers and innovative SMEs from all other Europe, working on the development of principles and solutions for building a new generation of hybrid intelligent system where people and machines tightly work together to build a smarter society.
Society is progressively moving towards a socio-technical ecosystem in which the physical and virtual
dimensions of life are more and more intertwined and where people interaction often takes place with
or mediated by machines. The scale at which this is happening and the differences in culture, language
and interests makes the problem of establishing effective communication and coordinated action
Our goal is to move towards a hybrid system where people and machines tightly work together to build a smarter society. We envision a new generation of smart systems centred on the two foundational notions of compositionality and diversity where humans and machines “compose” by synergically complement each other thus bridging the semantic gap between low-level machine and high-level human interpretation of data and where they interoperate collectively to achieve their possibly conflicting goals both at individual and societal levels.
To meet this very ambitious goal these systems should be hybrid, distributed, open and large scale where multitudes of heterogeneous peers producing and handling massive amounts of data can join/leave dynamically following unpredictable patterns with no central coordination and interoperating at different spatial and temporal scales. By identifying the right incentive schemes and privacy levels, these systems should assist humans in their everyday activities, be able to cope with the diversity of the world in terms of language, knowledge and personal experience and to work in presence of possibly imperfect information.
Platforms for the sharing and collective economy applications - as the ones you can build with
SmartCollectives - bring about significant ethical implications, related to the balance of powers
between platform operators and contributing individuals, to the respect of the privacy of participating
peers and to the potential discriminations towards cohorts of users created by the irresponsible use of
Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
The Smart Society project is developing the next generation of Smart Platform technologies and considering what new governance models will be needed. Smart Platforms promise much, including convenience and more sustainable use of resources, but have demonstrated downsides too, including: making work more precarious, eroding privacy, creating new forms of social control, and intensifying economic divisions. The Social Charter for Smart Platforms aims to address these issues via a rights-based approach to platform governance. The principles in the Social Charter have been included in the design and implementation of the SmartCollectives toolkit.