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

  • Mar 18

    Joulo wins Sustainability Award
    Joulo, which created a low-cost device to provide people with better understanding of the home heating and advice on how to reduce energy costs, wins the Outstanding Staff Team award at the University of Southampton 2015 Sustainability Awards.
  • Mar 16

    ORCHID student internships
    ORCHID summer internships, which are funded, are available from mid -June until September 2015. For more details see http://www.orchid.ac.uk/orchid-internships-2015/. Applications from undergraduate and postgraduate taught students will be considered. Closing date is 17 April 2015 at 18:00 GMT.
  • 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
Download the Annual Report

Doctoral Training Programme

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

Learn more »

Disaster response

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

Learn more about Disaster response »

Smart Grid

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

Learn more about Smart Grid »

Citizen Science

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

Learn more about Citizen Science »