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Over the last decade, we have made great progress establishing scientific and engineering principles for cyber-physical systems (CPS). We are thus now on the threshold of a world of physical systems that are computational and connected at all scales, yielding radical improvements in function and performance. A next major frontier in research and development is the integration of cyber-physical with complex human and social systems at scale, with the goal of achieving radical improvements in system performance in all dimensions that matter.

Progress in this new field will catalyze the transformation of major existing service systems into cyber-social learning systems (CSLS) that continually and rapidly improve in their function and performance in complex, evolving environments. Progress in the science and application of CSLS theory, technology, and practice has the potential to drive revolutionary advances across all sectors of our society, including health, healthcare, transportation, education, housing, justice, defense, and more.

The CCC convened three workshops, in August and November, 2016, and in January, 2017, in order to develop and test the propositions that there is a compelling opportunity and need for substantial programs for basic and applied research in cyber-social learning systems; there are communities that can be formed now to conduct this research; and success would enable dramatic improvements in the function and performance of the systems of the future on which our society will rely. Click here to visit the CCC workshop pages.

Goals of these three workshops included:

  • Developing detailed examples of cyber-social learning systems, including overall cyber-social system architectures, system properties and enforcement, and performance improvements.

  • Grounding and validating this vision in the challenges faced in several major sectors, including health, education, and communities, which have histories of chronic underperformance.

  • Articulating basic research challenges in cyber-social learning systems, and potential approaches, generalizing across scales and sectors, including open questions, measures of progress, and characteristics of multi-disciplinary teams and methods (including in situ testbeds), required to fully develop and evaluate cyber-social learning system theories, methods, and tools.

  • Articulating challenges and opportunities for applied research and development in cyber-social learning systems within specific sectors, and project the potential for broader impacts on system function and performance, on economic and workforce development, and on quality of life broadly.

  • Defining capabilities that a combined basic and applied research community could demonstrate in 1, 3, and 5 years, with a view to a 10-20 year time frame for national impact, with measures of success for each phase.

  • Formulating and communicate a vision of how the NSF, other national, state and municipal agencies, academic and industrial researchers, and industry broadly can form a coalition to advance the science, engineering, design, and impact of cyber-social learning systems.

Cyber-Social Learning Systems: CCC Workshop Series
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