Workshops

Below are the accepted Workshops (more to follow).  All Workshops will take place on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 June (times for individual Workshops to be confirmed).

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AI and Inclusion - Overcoming accessibility gaps on the Social Web

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Data Ethics, Algorithmic Accountability, and Digital Inequality in the Global South

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Data Literacy

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Democratic Futures and the Web

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Designing Web-based Experiments: Sampling, Recruitment, and Data Collection in Social Media and other Digital Environments

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Digital Capabilities

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Human-Centered Data, Modeling, and AI

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Human Value in design and measurement

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Joined up data equals better care: Facilitating health and social care transformation through trustworthy and collaborative data sharing

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Music as Embodied and Social Data

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People You May Know (PYMK). From research to film: how to turn your research into a documentary

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Research Infrastructure for Web Science

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The Near Future of Work: Supporting Digital and Remote Collaboration in COVID and Beyond

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Understanding society through social computing: Implementations of culture, media, and governance

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Web and Philosophy (PhiloWeb) 2021: A Decade Retrospective

AI and Inclusion – Overcoming accessibility gaps on the Social Web

June 22, 14:00 – 18:00 British Standard Time

The rapid transformation of social activities from offline to online that has occurred since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many disabled people have encountered both opportunities and challenges in their daily social life. This workshop aims to invite academic and industry experts in the area of digital accessibility and AI to offer research and their individual views as to a range of digital accessibility issues they perceive as causing barriers to access, alongside possible solutions and strategies powered by AI technologies to provide an inclusive social web.

Data Ethics, Algorithmic Accountability, and Digital Inequality in the Global South

21 June, 08:00 – 16:00 Central European Time

Web Science studies how society and technology co-constitute one another and impact society at large. The nature of impact is shaped by data and algorithms used in the design of the technical systems. Consequently, the nature of impact encompasses the issues related to data ethics and accountability of the algorithm for harm assignment. Further, the web facilitates rapid knowledge acquisition and makes internet users an integral part of the knowledge economy. The non-users of the internet are deprived of abundant technology resources which widen socio-economic disparities within and between the nations. Presently, the study of socio-economic disparities is western-centric. Henceforth, the web science community also bears the responsibility to investigate and address the socio-economic issues that arise when web technologies are used.

The workshop on Data Ethics, Algorithmic Accountability, and Digital Inequality in the Global South aims to contribute to the research on issues surrounding data collection, generation, analysis, dissemination, responsibility assignment for harm in the algorithmic decisions, and inequality in the access and use of information, all of them being relevant in a web setting. Our workshop focuses specifically on the global south, a term often used to identify developing countries, as the aforementioned issues are currently centered in the global north setting. This workshop aims to bring researchers from diverse fields ranging from computer science, philosophy, law, policy, and social sciences to discuss challenging problems related to data ethics, algorithmic accountability, and digital inequality. We have invited several distinguished speakers with their research interests representing voices of the global south.

Data Literacy

22 June, 09:00 – 17:00 British Standard Time

The Data Literacy Workshop aims to investigate the potential for coherent multidisciplinary research into what data literacy means for society as a whole, why it matters, and how it might be facilitated.

Such research should address questions such as:

What do we mean by data literacy?

Is there one kind of data literacy or many?

What skills, knowledge and attitudes does it include?

How does it relate to other types of literacy (digital, numerical, statistical and linguistic)?

Why do we need data literacy?

What are the social, political, economic, technical issues it can address?

How should it be achieved?

Is it best done through education, training, or behaviour change or does it require better tools and support?

What are the pros and cons of national training schemes such as those in Finland and The Netherlands?

What are the alternatives?

What should private and public sector organisations do about data literacy?

How should data literacy participate in education and research?

How does data literacy interplay with ethical guidance?

Does improved data literacy without associated ethical education carry risks?

Democratic Futures and the Web

22 June, 13:00 – 17:00 British Standard Time

A future without the web is unthinkable, but whether the web threatens or strengthens democratic futures is highly contested. This workshop is aimed at understanding and imagining how the web can be shaped to enhance rather than reduce rights and values of equality, liberty, solidarity, and freedom. Contributions address different dimensions of the precarious relationship between the web and democratic futures. On the one hand, we identify the risks and threats the web poses to democratic futures. On the other hand, we envision solutions that ensure that the web empowers people resulting in more inclusion and equality rather than repression, exploitation and unwanted surveillance. The interdisciplinary perspective of the workshop seeks to truly appreciate the affordances of web for political action, and to understand what actions and affordance should be promoted and should be avoided. Our work ultimately aims to seek intelligent design of sociotechnical systems to benefit a politics that steers societies away from harm and violence.

Designing Web-based Experiments: Sampling, Recruitment, and Data Collection in Social Media and other Digital Environments

21 June, 11:00 – 15:00 Moscow Standard Time

Providing access to diverse populations and being cost-efficient, online experiments have been widely used to study human interactions with and within the Web environment. However, this approach often leads to a range of methodological challenges — both conceptual and technical. This workshop focuses on the methodology of online experiments. It will bring together researchers from various fields with expertise in experimental designs who will present their studies and share experience in methodological problem-solving. The goal of the workshop is to discuss different stages of Web-based experiments (such as sample construction, recruitments of participants, development of digital instruments, ethical considerations, etc.) as well as affordances and limitations of this method.

Digital Capabilities

21 June, 09:30 – 17:30 India Standard Time

Empowerment of individuals and communities is a critical factor for achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formulated by the UN. World over, development economics has come to define empowerment as the ability of individuals and societies to protect and enhance an abstract notion of “well-being”. This in turn, is facilitated by an abstract notion of “capability” that is sought to be enhanced with relevant interventions. Depending on the context, the terms “well-being” and “capability” can take on different definitions, and may be composed of different building blocks– be it education, health-care, safety, wealth creation, and so on.

Digital Capabilities is an emerging term that relates the development economics notion of capability with ICT– especially Web and Internet technologies, as an enabler. The idea of digital capabilities is not just concerned with developing economies, but is fast becoming center-stage worldwide, following the COVID pandemic and the resultant disruptions in the functioning of societies, economies and countries. Digital capabilities in areas like mobile payments, online learning, online political campaigns, virtual conferences, tele-medicine, remote working, and so on, have grown tremendously during the pandemic, and are likely to stay on even beyond the pandemic.

It is hence timely and relevant to develop and establish the concept of Digital Capabilities, that can give us a framework to interpret, analyze and design in the context of social empowerment and well-being. This workshop aims to bring together a disparate and eclectic population of researchers, practitioners and policy-makers to help build this emerging discipline.

Human-Centered Data, Modeling, and AI

22 June, 14:00 – 18:00 China Standard Time

In the past 10 years, the development and use of AI is a decentralized global phenomenon with relatively low barriers to entry. We have seen that AI-generated content makes it more and more difficult to tell facts from the fiction; recent examples of machine learning deviations showed how our technology can easily magnify prejudice and inequality. Therefore, the frontier of AI cannot be just technology, it must also be humanistic. Particularly, when social media are not only offering almost infinite data to related subjects but also influence both online and offline user behavior in a various way, itself should play a vital role on every aspect of human-centered data, modeling, and AI.

Human Value in design and measurement

22 June, 14:00 – 18:00 British Standard Time

The majority of digital services today use consumption as a model of success. The impact of such is that the design and measurement of these services use attention and engagement as a means to increase consumption. The human values framework challenges this idea to instead question, what if we optimised for human values? The human values framework is a longstanding piece of research that identified 14 human values through empirical research, created a framework for designers to think about the impact of their designs, and reframed success to consider what is good for people. This workshop will highlight the importance of taking a value led approach to design and measurement of services, engage a discussion and debate about optimisation, and take participants on a journal to not only discover their own values, but offer tools to use within their own work.

Joined up data equals better care: Facilitating health and social care transformation through trustworthy and collaborative data sharing

22 June, 09:30 – 13:30 British Standard Time

To realise the benefits of health and social care transformation for communities and individuals, we need strong multi-disciplinary and cross-organisational understanding of how

data sharing initiatives – both existing and emerging (e.g., data collaboratives, data foundations, data trusts) – support multi-party sharing of regulated data in ways that are socially acceptable, trustworthy, sustainable, and scalable.

The workshop will provide a forum for discussion by bringing together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers and practitioners with a wide-range of specialisms – e.g., health care and social care practice, cyber-security, data governance, (health) data science, ethics, law, public health planning and policy, technology and innovation – to explore the state of the art, challenges, and future research directions for trustworthy and collaborative sharing of regulated data, as well as the insights generated from these activities.

Music as Embodied and Social Data

21 June, 14:00 – 18:00 British Standard Time

We live in the age of music as commodified data. Any future global history of music will have to come to terms with the profound shifts in the way people create, perform, share and consume music occasioned by the creation of the World Wide Web and the data revolution that accompanied it. The Web has created a platform upon which countless musical “social machines” can flourish. The discipline of Web Science has grown up around this data revolution and seeks to better understand the Web by approaching it from diverse perspectives including (but not limited to) computer science, legal studies, sociology, political science and digital humanities.

Music studies, a diverse collection of disciplines that brings together historians, theorists, ethnographers, sociologists and of course creative practitioners, have been mostly missing in a formal sense from the Web Science project, with some notable exceptions in areas such as the sociology of streaming, Music Information Retrieval and human-computer interaction. This Workshop aims to put the encounter of Web Science and music studies on a more formal footing, by examining what has already been done and exploring new ways forward.

People You May Know (PYMK). From research to film: how to turn your research into a documentary

22 June, 14:00 – 18:00 British Standard Time

Researchers unearth all sorts of things.  Dr Charles Kriel, Associate Fellow, King’s Centre for Strategic Communications (KCSC), King’s College London wrote a paper for a Nato Journal in 2017, then was hired by the DCMS Select committee as a Special Advisor to support the investigations into Cambridge Analytica of 2018.  Something he heard , said by Cambridge Analytica’s Alexander Nix grabbed his attention – and that lead to People You May Know , a chilling, investigative documentary now streaming on Amazon Prime. 

It follows the way in which social media data, big data, predictive analytics and psychometric data when combined can give up to 5000 data points for any targeted individual.  The addition of AI and generation of content to scale can target Facebook dark ads to people – all of which can lead to their mobilisation, activation in the service of politics – in the case study this film presents into Trump’s foot-soliders in the run-up to the 2020 Presidential Election.

For data scientists, social media researchers, specialists in machine learning and AI this film shows how the manipulation of data , leads to the manipulation of people.  We are pleased to host this workshop with Dr Charles Kriel and Katharina Gellein Varker , the researchers and filmmakers behind this filmed journey.  Professor Lucy Hooberman, a former Executive Producer and Factual programme Commissioner chairs this workshop where we will show you how to turn your research into a film, if you have something momentous to say.  We will discuss any sections of the film of interest, take all questions and try and provide answers.  In addition participants will have some time to pitch their ideas to the panel for some expert feedback!

Research Infrastructure for Web Science

22 June, 10:00 – 14:00 British Standard Time

Web Science researchers are using a rich set of data sources, software tools, and computational infrastructure in all aspects of their work – and many are creating new tools and methods. The Web Science conference is the ideal moment to share experience, practice and innovations in all these aspects of our work, and to identify what we want our future Web Science research infrastructure to look like. We’re particularly interested in interdisciplinary intersections, for example techniques from digital humanities and social data science applied to Web Science – and vice versa. The insights and evidence gathered through this workshop will influence future developments in our Web Science research environment, as we co-create our Web Science knowledge infrastructure.

The Near Future of Work: Supporting Digital and Remote Collaboration in COVID and Beyond

22 June, 10:00 – 14:00 Central Daylight Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided us an opportunity to participate in a global “beta-test” of Web-only based remote work. No web scientist could have conceived that we would have this “opportunity” to reimagine the Future of Work. Individuals around the world have switched to work-from-home or work-from-anywhere arrangements and rely on digital tools to support teamwork. This workforce must contend with challenges they did not encounter in face-to-face jobs, but also have benefited from new opportunities created by digital technologies.

The impacts of Web-based work reverberate all the way from the psychological states of workers (including burnout), their teaming processes and outcomes, sociological concerns (such as work-life balance), economic issues (related to labor rights in the gig economy), to geopolitical concerns (such as data privacy and protection, effects on carbon footprint). This workshop will reflect on the changing nature of work across all of these levels, identify factors that explain these changes, and how we can learn from the “new” normal to prepare for a better “next” normal. By doing so this workshop seeks to facilitate multidisciplinary dialog and research examining challenges and opportunities stemming from digital and remote work on the Web. Topics relevant to this workshop include, but are not limited to: remote work, virtual teaming, enterprise social media (ESM), computer-supported cooperative work, digital platforms, human-AI teaming, work in the gig economy, crowdsourced labor, work-life balance in the digital age, the well-being of remote workers, and workplace communication technology. We especially encourage findings about remote work and digital collaboration that are relevant in the aftermath of COVID-19 (but not necessarily relying on COVID-19 related data).

Understanding society through social computing: Implementations of culture, media, and governance

21 June, 09:00 – 17:00 China Standard Time

This workshop focuses on the implementation of machine learning methods such as text mining and image analysis techniques to study social issues. Over the past few decades, the explosive increase of unstructured data, e.g., text and image, offers a great opportunity for social scientists to understand complex social and cultural phenomena. Assisted with machine learning techniques, contents such as images and texts that were difficult to capture in the past, can be digitized and analyzed, which promotes the emerging field of social computing. For example, by using word vector technology and topic clustering method in machine learning, scholars can capture the deep cultural, social, and even gender implications inside a large amount of movie and literature texts. Thus, through social computing, a shadowy concept such as “culture,” “society,” or “information cocoon” becomes a tangible phenomenon. Furthermore, analyzing online texts, images, and visual information can help scholars to understand how social media mobilizes collective action, and explore how text features of online opinions influence the government’s response, which could be vital for understanding society in the digital age. In addition, social computing can also improve governance, such as predicting the rate of domestic violence and introducing policies to intervene and evaluating the dynamic process between measures adopted by local government and negative social sentiment in the context of the COVID pandemic.

Web and Philosophy (PhiloWeb) 2021: A Decade Retrospective

22 June, 14:00 – 19:00 Central European Time

The workshop “Web and Philosophy” PhiloWeb will take a ten year retrospective on how the Web, once viewed as a possible harbinger of knowledge and democracy in 2011, has become today considered a source of “fake news” and AI-based discriminations. We plan to outline the vital role of an interdisciplinary conversation on these topics, in order to achieve a nuanced theoretical and interdisciplinary perspective that go beyond both the positivism of traditional scientific approaches to the Web as well as the negative critiques of the Web in the popular press. We consider philosophy to be a core part of Web Science, and will invite interdisciplinary contributions from social science and philosophy, as well as contributions that touch on important pressing political concerns such as the possible nationalization of the Web, the increased role of the Web in education due to COVID-19, and the ecological impact of the Internet as a whole in the face of global climate change. Ten years ago these problems were not even considered, and now they are of utmost importance to not only Web Science, but the world.