The social turn of artificial intelligence

AI and Society (online) (2021)
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Social machines are systems formed by material and human elements interacting in a structured way. The use of digital platforms as mediators allows large numbers of humans to participate in such machines, which have interconnected AI and human components operating as a single system capable of highly sophisticated behavior. Under certain conditions, such systems can be understood as autonomous goal-driven agents. Many popular online platforms can be regarded as instances of this class of agent. We argue that autonomous social machines provide a new paradigm for the design of intelligent systems, marking a new phase in AI. After describing the characteristics of goal-driven social machines, we discuss the consequences of their adoption, for the practice of artificial intelligence as well as for its regulation.
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First archival date: 2021-10-05
Latest version: 2 (2021-10-05)
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