WebSci'20 Workshop: Socio-technical AI systems for defence, cybercrime and cybersecurity (STAIDCC20)

This workshop (hosted by WebSci'20 conference) will bring together a mixture of inter-disciplinary researchers and practitioners working in defence, cybercrime and cybersecurity application areas to discuss and explore the challenges and future research directions around socio-technical AI systems. The aim is to showcase where the state of the art is in socio-technical AI, charting a path around issues including transparency, trustworthiness, explaining bias and error, incorporating human judgment and ethical frameworks for deployment of socio-technical AI in the future.


A key aspect of the Web Science conference is exploring the socio-technical challenges of deploying AI technologies in the web for use in interdisciplinary ways. We propose a workshop to explore the wider issues around socio-technical AI systems being deployed in the critical areas of defence, cybercrime and cybersecurity.

Law enforcement, cybersecurity and defence applications of AI often involve decision making that can have significant human impact. Such decisions need support from robust tools and intelligence products, where potential for bias, error and missing data is made clear so that decisions made can be both informed and proportionate.

The web is increasingly being used for open source Intelligence (OSINT), with online posts, images and videos being analysed, data mined, verified and then included as evidence within intelligence products. AI is critical to tackle the extreme volumes of data from the web, allowing filtering, summarizing and modelling for use by human analysts and decision makers. However, AI must be deployed with care and need to be trusted along with the bias/error of results being understood.

Socio-technical AI systems offer the chance for 'human in the loop' solutions, overcoming some of the problems associated with black box AI. This workshop will provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to come together, showcasing where the state of the art in socio-technical AI currently is, and identifying as a group the key challenges and future research directions that are most important in the short and medium term for defence, cybercrime and cybersecurity.

STAIDCC20 is a one day workshop held in conjunction with WebSci'20. The workshop will host an interesting mix of inter-disciplinary researchers and practitioners working in defence, cybercrime and cybersecurity application areas.

COVID-19 update

Given the situation in relation to Coronavirus (COVID-19), the ACM Web Science Conference will this year run as an online conference, where presenters will be able to present their work remotely to the online participants. Once WebSci'20 have the infrastructure plans in place they will publish the registration fees, which will be nominal. See WebSci'20 main website for latest updates.

List of topics

We invite researchers and practitioners to submit papers on this non-exhaustive list of topics:

- Transparency and trustworthiness of socio-technical AI
- Understanding and explaining bias and error in socio-technical AI
- Methodologies to incorporate human judgment into socio-technical AI
- Ethical frameworks for deployment of socio-technical AI
- Case studies of socio-technical AI deployments and practitioners' reports

Submission guidelines

All papers must be original and not simultaneously submitted to another journal or conference. Short papers are invited of at most 6 pages. The limit of pages includes the references. The authors shall adopt the current ACM SIG Conference proceedings template (acmart.cls), which is available at ACM guidelines. All contributions will be judged by the Program Committee upon rigorous peer review standards for quality and fit to the workshop. We will adopt a single-blind review process. Do not anonymize your submissions. Submissions without authorship information will be desk-rejected without review.

Papers should be submitted through https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=staidcc20, see the associated EasyChair CFP.

Workshop papers will be included in the companion collection of the ACM WebSci20 proceedings. The outcomes from the workshop group discussions will be included on the webscience.org website as a blog post after the conference.

Important dates

Abstract submission deadline: April 24, 2020 * extended *
Paper submission deadline: April 24, 2020 * extended *
Acceptance notification authors: May 8, 2020
Camera-ready deadline (for inclusion in Web Science proceedings): May 15, 2020
Workshop: July 7, 2020


The workshop will be held at University of Southampton, UK. Attendance will be virtual in line with WebSci'20 decision to run as an online conference.

Organizing committee

Stuart E. Middleton, University of Southampton, UK (chair)
Anita Lavorgna, University of Southampton, UK
Ruth McAlister, Ulster University, UK


To be announed - will be a virtual workshop with keynotes, paper presentations and a panel led discussion and group activity.

Workshop panel members

Greg Elliot, National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), National Crime Agency (NCA)
Steven Meers, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
Mark McCluskie, Nuix, EMEA Head of Investigations
David Wall, University of Leeds, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
Wendy Hall, University of Southampton, Electronics and Computer Science


All questions about submissions should be emailed to Stuart E. Middleton {sem03}@soton.ac.uk