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

  • Aug 11

    Rescue Global and ORCHID – further collaboration
    A team from Rescue Global headquarters met with their counterparts from ORCHID to review current joint projects, discuss next steps and to establish future priorities on 6 August. These regular meetings allow invaluable practical feedback from Rescue Global experts on innovative technology and ensure a productive dialogue based on exercises and fieldwork. Read more at: […]
  • Jul 31

    ORCHID Industry Day 2014
    The ORCHID project held its third Industry Day on July 24th 2014 at the British Computer Society in London. The event was attended by a mix of ORCHID researchers and external attendees from industry (BAE Systems, QinetiQ, IBM, Envitia, Blue Bear, Selex, British Gas, Toshiba, Kiwi Power, Secure Meters), local and national government (Avon Fire […]
  • Jul 24

    Google Impact Challenge
    The Malaria Atlas project, including ORCHID researchers, has been announced as a finalist in the 2014 Google Impact Challenge UK, which will award funding to 10 charitable projects using innovative technology to change the world.
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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.

Learn more about Citizen Science »