The future of computing is far more than hardware and software, bits and bytes, increasing amounts of data, or storage and speed. Computing futures are fundamentally about people. The ways in which humans and technologies interact - individually and collectively - fashion and forge the complex relationships of modern life. We shape technology while it shapes us. The Intel Science & Technology Center for Social Computing is a collaboration between Intel Labs and five exemplary academic institutions to explore the frontiers of social and humanist sciences in the context of advancing technologies. Combining computer science and engineering with informatics, anthropology, design, communications, media studies, and other sciences, this academy-industry partnership has created new pathways for considering the design of infrastructures to come.
Teams from Cornell, Georgia Tech, Indiana, NYU, UC-Irvine, and Intel Labs have tackled a broad array of topics where society and technology meet, such as Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, new paradigms for information and data privacy, mobile health and the quantified self, emerging styles of work and labor, critical design practices and theories, digital identity throughout and beyond the human life cycle, civic participation, the DIY and maker movements, technological obsolescence and repurposing, and the ways that algorithmic regimes scaffold human activity in increasingly opaque and subtle ways.
What has been built through the ISTC•Social is not simply a set of projects, papers, and artifacts. The network of researchers that spans across the academy and industry, and most particularly the young scholars trained through the program, will continue to build upon the work generously funded by Intel, and continue innovating in the social computing space for the decades ahead.