Structure3C Announces the C3/A3 Research Project to Study The Connected Future of Online Communities, AI & Automation

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Structure3C, a strategic advisory and research firm, is partnering with leading brands, startups and institutions to study implications of AI-driven disruption to networks and online communities, and to develop a helpful and human-centered path forward.

“The C3/A3 research project will explore the implications of AI, Agents and Automation to networks and online communities, and offer a helpful and human path forward.”

Many organizations are well into their digital transformation journey, yet still struggle to understand and leverage the social technologies their customers use to connect and communicate with each other. Complex human networks have sprung up on and across myriad social media, social network and topic-based communities, forming community ecosystems that transcend technological, geographical and organizational boundaries.

Looking forward, it seems things are about to get even more complicated within these social networks and community ecosystems. New technologies are emerging to augment human cognition (AI), enhance human agency (Agents) and shape digital experiences and outcomes by taking advantage of a rich set of tools and APIs (Automation). Whether these technologies empower human networks or allow humans to be dominated by AI-driven networks is one of the most pressing questions facing humanity in the near future.

There are many reasons to be hopeful that AI can provide real value to our networked experiences. “AI agents can enhance internal collaboration by helping to “activate” human networks” says Joe Kleinschmidt CEO and Co-Founder of Obindo. “For example, imagine a bot on that network whose job it is to identify key knowledge that might otherwise remain hidden (or trapped in a silo) — and then uses that information to spark an introduction between two individuals. What a powerful way to leverage AI to make a community even more effective.”

Collective Intelligence, the combination of community expertise enhanced with AI, can create very effective predictions in complex market networks, like a startup funding ecosystem. Tom Kehler, Chief Data Scientist at CrowdSmart says that Collective Intelligence “significantly outperforms individual expert intelligence at predicting the success of a new products, services and startups.”

Structure3C’s research project is the first large scale study of the intersection of online communities and AI. “Our hypothesis is that this combination of social technologies with human augmentation technologies will usher in a new age of social network and community experiences. These new experiences will present unprecedented opportunities and challenges for organizations and individuals, and complex policy issues for society” says Bill Johnston, CEO of Structure3C. “The C3/A3 research project will explore the implications of AI, Agents and Automation to networks and online communities, and offer a helpful and human path forward.”

Focal Areas of the Project:

  • Technology: The current and emerging technology landscape
  • Business: Corporate strategy, competence, needs and level of readiness
  • Individuals: Customer (a.k.a. Community member) needs, expectations and likely challenges

Key Components of the Project:
Community Executive survey – February 2018
Technology landscape analysis - March 2018
Community platforms (ex: Community Cloud, Lithium, Higher Logic)
AI technologies (ex: Watson, Einstein)
Agent interfaces (ex: Cortana, Alexa, Obindo)
Automation platforms
Executive interviews - March through May 2018
(with select technology providers, early adopters and startups)
Mass practitioner survey - June 2018

The first wave of research launches on Monday, February 26th with an invitation-based survey to Executives who own community and social media experiences for their respective companies. Detailed results will be shared privately amongst this group, and summary data will be shared publicly.

Call for Participation:

Technology Providers: We welcome briefings from technology providers and startups focused on artificial intelligence, agents and automation solutions for online communities, crowdsourcing platforms, social networks and collaboration platforms.

Digital Executives: We are actively seeking Executives who own digital strategy at their organizations who have deployed, or are in a pilot phase with AI, Agents or Automation technologies in their communities.

For general information about the C3/A3 project, or about Structure3C, please contact Alexandria Powell: Lexi(at)structure3c(dot)com

About Structure3C
Structure3C designs modern communities and networked products, working with leading brands including Salesforce, IBM, Intuit and AARP. You can find out more by visiting

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Bill Johnston
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