ARTICONF Project

ARTICONF Project

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ARTICONF addresses trust, time-criticality and democratisation for a new generation of federated infrastructure, to fulfil the privacy, robustness, and autonomy-related promises that proprietary social media platforms have failed to deliver so far. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825134, the ARTICONF Project. Project Website →

Summary of results

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Vialog was the leader of Work Package “Dissemination and exploitation” which achieved an outstanding impact for ARTICONF: - Reached five times more website visitors than the objective; - Met four times more stakeholders (Decentralised APP [DAPP] Developers and DAPP Explorers); - Published two times the papers and five times the articles; - And collaborated with two times more EU projects then promised in the original grant proposal. The project reached 27K people and reported all 200+ activities for transparency and iterative learning purposes. Vialog led ARTICONF in organising three Expert’s Vision Chats, a Datathon, and in creating four Knowledge Basis, 32 blog posts and 1200+ tweets.
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Vialog provided a use case of “video opinion discussion”. During the project the team built the use case tool from scratch to empower communities on their website, as opposed to the centralised social media platforms, providing more control, authenticity and trust over the whole lifecycle of video opinion discussions than any alternative could provide. In the project, Vialog completed hundreds of Trello tickets (iterative product development), generated thousands of unique social videos (solid pilots), stored tens of thousands of video moderation events on ARTICONF’S TIC tool (integrated production environment) and served millions of video discussion loads (proven technical scalability).

Introduction

Vialog's use case promotes open democratic Video Opinion Discussions while exploring applications of blockchain technologies with tamperproof video lifecycle events and gamified reward mechanisms. Vialog's mission is to inspire conversations on community webpages and enhance the role of prosumers by turning passive visitors into active contributors.

The use case is developing an embeddable tool that operates on any website enabling Video Opinion Creators to record short video opinions from any device and web browser. It operates with the lowest-participation-threshold policy which means that there is no software required from anyone to participate.

Value proposition

Community Managers and website owners can transform their sites into hyper‐relevant micro-social networks and engage their visitors in trusted discussions.

Advantages of the ARTICONF use case technology
  1. Ability of public video discussions in a time zone‐proof asynchronous format
  2. Many‐to‐many communication to its clients with added value, in contrast to most competitors' one‐to‐many communication models
  3. Integrated ARTICONF tools, powering tamper-proof video lifecycle events, topic‐modelling and other deep insight extraction, in contrast to templates and filter libraries provided by competitors
  4. Blockchain recorded user actions and transactions, able to offer financial or gamified rewards to video creators in a transparent and accountable manner, based on community needs

Problem and context

The digital trust in communities is broken and needs to be re-established on platforms that communities fully own: starting with their websites. It has become increasingly challenging for communities to connect in meaningful, safe and engaging discussions.

Problem statement

Community Managers lost direct access to their communities because of intermediary, heavily centralised social media networks. Communities tend to be reliant and dependent on centralised social media platforms and whose business model is driven by selling the personal data of its user to different advertisers. Non-transparent algorithms are harming the rights of communities and the long-term objectives of the Community Managers.

Scale and cause of root problem
Studies show that 50% of participants trust online reviews more than friends and family's opinions. To demonstrate the scale of broken trust and the sheer quantity of false information, ReviewMeta analysed 203 million Amazon reviews and found that 11.3% are untrustworthy. Hence, we need an alternative format such as video‐based to provide a viable solution to the root problem of fake reviews.
According to The Economist, influencers with at least 100,000 subscribers on YouTube can get an average of $12,500 for a sponsored post. In comparison to these financial realities, in a UK poll, one in three children, aged 7 to 16 said they hoped to be a full-time YouTuber when they grew up. Only a third as many said they wanted to be a doctor or nurse. The top reasons for being a YouTuber were creativity (24% – “you get to make cool videos and content”), fame (11%), self-expression (11% – “you get to make the content you want to make”) and money (10% – “it pays well”).
Back in the ‘70s, nearly 50% of Americans thought most people could be trusted; today, that figure sits at 31%. There is abysmally low trust not just in the pillars of our democracy, the press (12%), banks (14%), and government officials (16%), but even our neighbours (42%) and co-workers (58%). These rates are even worse among millennials.
Across the Internet, creators of all stripes have struggled to maintain viable revenue streams in an age of centralised social media platforms and widespread use of ad-blockers. One of the key propositions of Web 3.0. is the idea that it could transform an "Internet of Knowledge" into an "Internet of Value".
China’s "pay-for-knowledge" economy was estimated to be worth $7.3 billion in 2017, with the bulk of the revenues from paid podcasts, according to a research institute run by China's State.

Building on widely spread research concepts such as “Global Village”, “Public Sphere” and “Network Society”, Vialog Ltd is developing video commenting technology that enables citizens to create shareable and searchable video comments easily.

Wider Context

Video is the new frontier in engagement and provides a better alternative compared to written formats. Video reviews provide the tone of the creator and speed in creation compared to the written comments, and have many human elements related to viewer trust. Recording one’s video results in more credibility and accountability over their words by the power of human tone and warmth. Creating content with a name and face attached can be a stand up against the fake news phenomena. Fake bots and malicious trolls cannot do videos.

Market Perspective

By giving faces to the voices of Pilot partner organisations, the use case team is reducing the amount of cyberbullying and trolling, while shifting the virtual conversations to a more meaningful spectrum.

Theory of change

The wider societal implications are in line with the goals of improving justice, equality and diversity in social media networks. With the ARTICONF project's help, unheard voices can practise freedom of speech in temporal or hyper-local social networks.

The Vialog platform has a zero-tolerance policy for bullies, executed with machine-assisted community technologies and further advanced by ARTICONF to develop and maintain a safe and supportive platform of interaction.

By allowing swift creation of video opinion discussions, innovation will come in three layers:

Inclusivity

Timezone-proof, async updates to thematic discussions instead of one-off published or real-time news. Short, easy-to-create and highly shareable format.

Trust

As each video opinion is connected to a face and a name, videos increase the level of responsibility and re-establish trust.

Diversity

the characteristics of contribution also modify the circle of creators. Professionals and citizens can easily interact while the use case preserves the editor or curator's role with the Community Managers.

The use case is implementing the Lean Startup Methodology

  • Conducting Pilots in different market verticals for thematic video co‐creation technology
  • Gathering real‐life requirements directly from main target groups via stakeholder interviews and testimonials
  • Captured requirements directly feed into the product roadmap
  • Collecting and disseminating best practices of successful campaigns
  • Educating future pilot partners and empowering communities
Milestones
  • Moderation Dashboard to enable Community Managers to publish, hide or delete submitted videos.
  • Automated email alerts for Community Managers when new videos are submitted; Video Opinion Creator email notifications when a new response was published.
  • Share and follow video opinion discussions as a Video Opinion Viewer.

Stakeholders

The video opinion discussion use case identifies three end‐user roles:

Community Managers

Community Manager can integrate video opinion discussions on their website in 5 minutes to grow their community, sales and engagement by co‐creating financial value with their community.

With use case technology, the CMs enable visitors to generate unique social video content and transform their sites into hyper-relevant micro social networks that increase all website KPIs: unique website visitors, sessions and session durations.

Only videos approved by Community Managers are published. Community Managers are responsible for ensuring that videos align with the technology's Terms of Service and are relevant to the given video opinion discussion. They can review the videos submitted by video opinion creators to their discussions on the Dashboard and decide to publish, hide or delete them. They can add new video opinion discussions and get email alerts for new video submissions. CMs receive technical support with personal assistance from the use case team.

Video Opinion Creators

Video Opinion Creators can submit their opinions, questions and insights in short video messages on websites that are enabled with the technology. Video opinion creators are active prosumers who respond to CM-specified call‐to‐actions on websites.

They can use any device with a camera and internet to record short (up to one minute) videos in any thematic opinion discussion thread provided by CMs. They can submit a new video to the video opinion discussions or reply to an existing video opinion. Creators can replay and redo their videos before submitting them for CM moderation and can receive a notification email when their video receives a response.

Video Opinion Viewers

Video Opinion Viewers view video opinions on websites enabled with use case technology. They can use any major browser to play back videos and listen to the video opinion creators. They can report inappropriate content for CMs' review by flagging any video. The use case considers it a design and product challenge to enable and incentivise video opinion viewers to become Video Opinion Creators themselves after listening other video opinions. They can share video opinion discussions or decide to follow them.

ARTICONF tools

ARTICONF is developing open-source tools for decentralised applications for trustworthy, resilient, and globally sustainable social media.

TIC - Blockchain-as-a-Service

A Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) reduces the complexities of setting up a federated decentralized ecosystem, making its deployment simple, configurable, dynamic and easy. Get TIC →

The video opinion discussion use case's Community Manager Dashboard communicates with the TIC tool to record moderation events. The tamperproof video lifecycle‐ events enable improved trust and transparency for the CMs.

TIC can also retrieve and manage reputation points and allow to transfer of rewards (tokens) between users using the underlying Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. The use of blockchain ensures transparency, security, community protection, business predictions and enables a fair and straightforward financial accounting of users.

SMART - Cognitive AI

SMART provides a semantic contextualisation, abstraction and democratic-decision making framework capable of finding and building socially-entrusted interest group communities. Get SMART →

SMART analyses the information stored in the Hyperledger Fabric. It aggregates crowd data (such as "trending", "most appreciated", and "new buzz") to provide intelligent AI‐supported business decisions to the communities.

CONF - Infrastructure

The CONF is for planning cost-effective distributed cloud infrastructures for a decentralized application, automating the service deployment and configuration, monitoring and adapting the runtime system to ensure the business value. Get CONF →

CONF allows the video opinion discussion use case administrators to deploy the different microservices of the use case and automatically scale them when needed. CONF also deploys the necessary infrastructure for TIC, SMART and TAC to cope with the throughput requirements upon increasing numbers of videos opinion viewers and video opinion creators.

TAC - dashboard

TAC embraces the development of techniques that improve efficiency and inject intelligent insights into operational and mission-critical social media businesses through guided visualytics. Get TAC →

TAC aggregates the insights from the SMART tool and makes them available in a user‐friendly way. More specifically, TAC provides a GUI to the end‐users and administrators, aggregating and summarising the insights gathered by SMART about video consumption

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Dissemination

Selected dissemination activities of the use case team

Annexes

The following deliverables were used to create the above page: D2.1, D2.3, D7.2, D7.3, D8.3, D8.4, D8.6, D8.7

For more information about the ARTICONF video opinion discussion use case, visit the links below or contact support@vialog.io

EC portal: results page for the use case →

ARTICONF: Results page →

ARTICONF: Video Opinion Discussion use case →

Blog: The pandemic opened the door for video opinion discussions →

Blog: Vialog for education and product improvements →

Information on EU funding

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825134, the ARTICONF Project.

Get in touch with the Vialog team or with ARTICONF project coordinator Radu Prodan radu@articonf.eu and scientific coordinator Nishant Saurabh nishant@articonf.eu to discuss the project and collaborate.

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