Real-time Ridesharing a service that arranges one-time shared rides on very short notice, is a prototype in the SmartSociety project that investigates how to engineer systems where human users and machine agents can jointly solve hard societal problems. The Missing Maps project brings together thousands of volunteers on the Open Street Map platform to remotely map the most vulnerable places in the developing world.
Both cases integrate technology and people to achieve collective action but differ in their demands on users. The complexity of combining routes, times and people in car sharing is approached by hybrid, distributed, systems dynamically handling massive amounts of data. Collective mapping instead relies on large numbers of people investing time and effort to analyse images and input data on a joint platform.
At this event, panellists discussed the social, ethical and cognitive implications of each model.
Michael Rovatsos is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh and Director of Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications. His recent research focuses on hybrid man-machine intelligence, especially in the context of large-scale collective intelligence systems on the Internet.
Harry Wood is a volunteer with the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) who create maps of the developing world and maps for disaster response, through online mass collaboration using OpenStreetMap. OpenStreetMap offers a powerful platform for creating open licensed maps and map data, which can then be used by aid agencies in their life-saving work. Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres are not only using the maps, but also working with the HOT community to improve the maps in a project called 'Missing Maps'.