Orchid Project

The ORCHID Project

As computation increasingly pervades the world around us, it will profoundly change the ways in which we work with computers. Rather than issuing instructions to passive machines, humans and software agents will continually and flexibly establish a range of collaborative relationships with one another, forming human-agent collectives (HACs) to meet their individual and collective goals.

This vision of people and computational agents operating at a global scale offers tremendous potential and, if realised correctly, will help us meet the key societal challenges of sustainability, inclusion, and safety that are core to our future.

To fully realise this vision, we require a principled science that allows us to reason about the computational and human aspects of these systems. Delivering this science is the core research objective of ORCHID. Specifically, we seek to establish the science that is needed to understand, build and apply HACs that symbiotically interleave human and computer systems to an unprecedented degree. With multi-disciplinary expertise in the areas of artificial intelligence, agent-based computing, machine learning, decentralised information systems, crowd sourcing, participatory systems, and ubiquitous computing, the ORCHID team aims to drive the science of HACs to real-world applications in the critical domains of the smart grid, disaster response and citizen science.

Latest News

  • Feb 11

    How a Lone Hacker Shredded the Myth of Crowdsourcing
    High-tech analysis of a 2011 DARPA Challenge shows why we can’t have nice things. https://medium.com/backchannel/how-a-lone-hacker-shredded-the-myth-of-crowdsourcing-d9d0534f1731
  • Jan 30

    Southampton smart energy spin-out acquired by Quby
    Joulo, a spin-out from the University of Southampton, has been acquired by Quby, Europe’s leading developer of smart thermostats and energy displays. See http://www.southampton.ac.uk/mediacentre/features/joulo.shtml for more details.
  • Dec 22

    How will tech affect disaster response in the next decade?
    Regius Professor Nick Jennings, Patrick Meier and others address this question in the December issue of WIRED magazine http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2014/12/start/how-tech-affects-disaster-response
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Doctoral Training Programme

Offering fully funded scholarships to eligible applicants interested in building the next generation of intelligent information systems.

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Disaster response

We are developing systems that allow first responders, unmanned ground and aerial vehicles, and software agents to work effectively together.

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Smart Grid

We are developing novel algorithms and interfaces to optimise energy consumption and coordinate consumers and producers in the smart grid.

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Citizen Science

We are developing approaches that make full use of the skills, preferences and capabilities of citizen scientists.

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