The University of Southampton

Dr Brian Pickering MA, PGCert, MSc, DPhil, MBPsS, MBCS

Having worked at IBM on speech and voice technologies for many years, Brian joined the IT Innovation Group in 2010 and now works as a Senior Research Fellow looking into aspects of human-machine networks and interactions, and more recently into the ethical aspects of medical data sharing and use. He has many years’ experience of European FP7 and H2020 collaborative projects and has recently published on technology acceptance and trust in machines and actor networks as well as the use of technology in identity formation. He is a member of the British Psychological Society, the British Computer Society, the Research Data Alliance, and the Association of Internet Researchers. Brian is involved with ethics, data protection and information governance; and sits on the faculty Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee. As well as over 30 patents, Brian holds an MA (BA.i.Hons) in Modern Languages and a DPhil in Phonetics from Oxford, a PGCert in Psychology from Roehampton and a MSc (Distinction) in Psychology from Manchester Metropolitan University.


Research interests

My focus is on how human agents interact with technology, especially the online world, to achieve their goals. Most of the work I do is informed by Actor Network Theory and tussle analysis, but also the social psychology of group interactions. This also involves the development of agency and increased self-efficacy.

Trust: The social science construct of trust as an ongoing negotiation between trustor (who is willing to expose themselves to vulnerability) and the trustee (who must demonstrate their trustworthiness through their actions) is an underlying theme to much of the work I am involved in. I do not conflate trust with a cognitive assessment of cost versus benefit since there is definitely both a social and an emotional component. With regard to technology, trust is an "organising principle" for much technology-mediated interaction. It also relates to constructs like self-efficacy and agency in technology adoption.

Cyberpsychology: I bring together many years of experience with computer technologies (especially speech- and language-enabled applications) with a broader psychological perspective. I'm interested primarily in the Internet as a tool to be adapted for user needs, rather than an independent environment, and therefore uncovering the social and network processes which help individuals engage.

Technology Acceptance and Adoption: As part of application and technology evaluation, I am interested in how potential adopters and users create narratives with technology embedded as a predictor of technology acceptance rather than more traditional models (like TAM, UTAUT and DoI)

Ethics: Like trust, all of my work has strong overtones of what is right for the individual, the community and the environment. Ethics is very different from data protection, though the two are often conflated. My focus is on allowing everyone an equal opportunity for self-expression and agency. I am member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and was also heavily involved with the COVID-19 initiative, including the legal and ethical issues on data sharing.

Qualitative Research Methods: Although I'm perfectly comfortable with quantitative research methods, with a background in speech and language, I am aware and appreciative of the power in language. Not least because of pragmatics, I am especially drawn to qualitative research methods to provide more than a simple quantification of a behaviour or a cohort.


Boniface, Mike, Pickering, Brian, Meyer, Eric and Cobo, Cristobel (2011) Legislative Tensions in Participation and Privacy University of Southampton IT Innovation & Oxford Internet Institute

Leguay, Jeremie, Sallstrom, Annika, Pickering, Brian, Boniface, Mike, Gracia, Ainhoa, Perrina, Franca, Giammatteo, Gabriele, Roberto, Jose and Campowsky, Konrad (2011) Testbed Facilities for Multi-faceted Testing throughout the Service Development Lifecycle. ServiceWave 2011, Poznan. (Submitted)

Oostveen, Anne-Marie, Hjorth, Isis, Pickering, Brian, Boniface, Mike, Meyer, Eric, Cobo, Cristobal and Schroeder, Ralph (2012) Cross-disciplinary lessons for the future internet. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 7281, 42-54. (doi:10.1007/978-3-642-30241-1_5).

Boniface, Mike, Pickering, Brian, Meyer, Eric, Cobo, Cristobal, Oostveen, Anne-Marie and Waldburger, Martin , Stiller, Burkhard (ed.) (2011) Deliverable D3.1. First report on social future internet coordination activities (European Seventh Framework Project FP7-2010-ICT-258138-CSA) Southampton, GB. ICT Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects

Boniface, Mike and Pickering, Brian (2011) Digital agenda for Europe annual progress report 2011 Southampton, GB. IT Innovation Centre Socio-Economic Services for European Research Projects (ITCSESERV) 10pp.

Pickering, Brian, Beamish, Callum, Hooper, Clare and Surridge, Mike (2013) Multiple data owners: who’s doing what with your data?

Osstveen, Anne-Marie, Meyer, Eric and Pickering, Brian (2014) User involvement in future internet projects. In The Future Internet: from Promises to Reality. vol. 7281, Springer..

Grace, Paul, Barbosa, Justan, Pickering, Brian and Surridge, Mike (2014) Taming the interoperability challenges of complex IoT systems. 1st ACM Workshop on Middleware for Context-Aware Applications in the IoT, co-located with Middleware 2014, France. 08 - 12 Dec 2014.

Hooper, Clare, Sanchez, Eva Maria Vega, Simarro, Javier Hitado, Cirujeda, Jesus Benedicto, Isaja, Mauro, Letellier, Maxime, Doumeingts, Guy, Lazaro, Oscar, Achinioti, Katerina, Engen, Vegard, Pickering, Brian, Tavola, Ricardo, Perini, Stefano, Pereira, Azevedo, Sesama, Michele, Ferreira, Fernando and Ducq, Yves (2014) FITMAN: D8.6 Phase III package and SEs terms and conditions (final) Southampton, GB. IT Innovation 101pp.

Jansson, Kimn, Karvonen, Iris, Kettunen, Outi, Ollus, Martin, Hooper, Clare J., Engen, Vegard, Pickering, Brian, Surridge, Mike and Redwood, Mike (2015) Forecasting impact of technology developed in R&D projects: the FITMAN approach. 21st ICE/IEEE International Technology Management Conference, United Kingdom. 22 - 24 Jun 2015.

Dimaraki, E., Zoakou, A., Dimitropoulos, K., Cobello, S., Boniface, M., Pickering, B., Modafferi, S., Peters, C., Star, K., Cannon, J. and Allsopp, J. (2015) D7.2 1st experiment planning and community management Palli­ni, GR. PROSOCIALLEARN: Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) 86pp.

Grace, Paul, Pickering, Brian and Surridge, Michael (2016) Model-driven interoperability: engineering heterogeneous IoT systems. Annales of Telecommunications, 71 (3), 141-150. (doi:10.1007/s12243-015-0487-2).

Pickering, John, Engen, Vegard and Walland, Paul (2017) The Interplay between human and machine agency. Kurosu, M (ed.) In Human-Computer Interaction. User Interface Design, Development and Multimodality: HCI 2017. vol. 10271, Springer, Cham. pp. 47-59 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-58071-5_4).

Eide, Aslak Wegner, Pickering, Brian, Tsvetkova, Milena, Garcia Gavilanes, Ruth, Yasseri, Taha and Engen, Vegard , Folstad, Asbjorn (ed.) (2015) HUMANE D2.1 - Typology and Method v1 HUMANE Consortium 89pp.

Pickering, Brian, Yasseri, Taha, Engen, Vegard, Walland, Paul and Luders, Marika , Tsvetkova, Milena (ed.) (2016) HUMANE D1.1 Systematic Literature Review HUMANE Consortium 81pp.

Følstad, Asbjørn, Engen, Vegard, Haugstveit, Ida Maria and Pickering, J. Brian (2017) Automation in human-machine networks: how increasing machine agency affects human agency. Gruca, A, Czachórski, T, Harezlak, K, Kozielski, S and Piotrowska, A (eds.) In Man-Machine Interactions 5 - 5th International Conference on Man-Machine Interactions, ICMMI 2017: ICMMI 2017. vol. 659, Springer Verlag. pp. 72-81 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67792-7_8).

Walland, Paul and Pickering, Brian (2017) Mediated behavioural change in human-machine networks: Exploring network characteristics, trust and motivation. In SocInfo 2017: Social Informatics. vol. 10540, Springer International Publishing AG. pp. 491-500 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67256-4_39).

Walland, Paul and Pickering, Brian (2017) Roadmap for human-machine networks for Citizen Participation Springer Verlag

Eide, Aslak Wegner, Pickering, Brian, Yasseri, Taha, Bravos, George, Folstad, Asbjorn, Engen, Vegard, Tsvetkova, Milena, Meyer, Eric, Walland, Paul and Luders, Marika (2016) Human-Machine networks: towards a typology and profiling framework. In Human-Machine Networks: Towards a Typology and Profiling Framework. Springer Verlag..

Engen, Vegard, Pickering, Brian and Walland, Paul (2016) Machine agency in Human-Machine networks; impacts and trust implications. In Human-Computer Interaction. Novel User Experiences: 18th International Conference, HCI International 2016, Toronto, ON, Canada, July 17-22, 2016. Proceedings, Part III. vol. 9733, Springer Verlag. pp. 96-106 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39513-5_9).

Jaho, Eva, Klitsi, Marina, Sarris, Nikos, Folstad, Asbjorn, Lech, Till Christopher, Haugstveit, Ida Maria, Skjuve, Marita, Walland, Paul, Pickering, Brian and Meyer, Eric (2017) HUMANE D4.4 - Final roadmap of future human-machine networks ATC

Jaho, Eva, Klitsi, Marina, Sarris, Nikos, Folstad, Asbjorn, Lech, Till Christopher, Walland, Paul, Pickering, Brian and Meyer, Eric (2017) HUMANE D4.2 Roadmap of future human-machine networks ATC

Jaho, Eva, Meyer, Eric, Pickering, Brian, Walland, Paul, Lech, Till Christopher, Folstad, Asbjorn and Sarris, Nikos (2016) HUMANE D4.1 Report on implications of future thinking ATC

Folstad, Asbjorn, Engen, Vegard, Mulligan, William, Pickering, Brian, Pultier, Antoine, Yasseri, Taha and Walland, Paul (2017) HUMANE D2.3 - The HUMANE typology and method SINTEF

Folstad, Asbjorn, Engen, Vegard, Yasseri, Taha, Garcia Gavilanes, Ruth, Walland, Paul, Tsvetkova, Milena, Jaho, Eva, Pickering, Brian and Pultier, Antoine (2016) HUMANE D2.2 Typology and method v2 SINTEF

Tsvetkova, Milena, Yasseri, Taha, Meyer, Eric, Pickering, Brian, Engen, Vegard, Walland, Paul, Luders, Marika, Folstad, Asbjorn and Bravos, George (2017) Understanding human-machine networks: A cross-disciplinary survey. ACM Computing Surveys, 50 (1). (doi:10.1145/3039868).

Grace, Paul, Burns, Daniel, Neumann, Geoffrey, Pickering, Brian, Melas, Panagiotis and Surridge, Michael (2018) Identifying privacy risks in distributed data services: A model-driven approach. In 2018 IEEE 38th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS). IEEE. 1513 - 1518 . (doi:10.1109/ICDCS.2018.00157).

Taylor, Steve, Boniface, Michael, Pickering, Brian, Grace, Paul, Bakir, Vian, boyd, danah, Engesser, Sven, Epstein, Robert, Fawzi, Nayla, Fernbach, Philip, Fisher, Dana, R, Gardner, Beth Gharrity, Jacobs, Kristof, Jacobson, Susan, Krämer, Benjamin, Kucharski, Adam, McStay, Andrew, Mercier, Hugo, Metzger, Miriam, Polletta, Francesca, Quattrociocchi, Walter, Sloman, Steven, Sperber, Dan, Spierings, C.H.B.M., Wardle, Claire, Zollo, Fabiana and Zubiaga, Arkaitz (2018) Opinion forming in the digital age Geneva. HUB4NGI Consortium 75pp. (doi:10.5281/zenodo.1468575).

Taylor, Steve, Boniface, Michael, Pickering, Brian, Anderson, Michael, Danks, David, Følstad, Asbjørn, Leese, Matthias, Müller, Vincent, Sorell, Tom, Winfield, Alan and Woollard, Fiona (2018) Responsible AI – Key themes, concerns & recommendations for European research and innovation Geneva. HUB4NGI Consortium 35pp. (doi:10.5281/zenodo.1303252).

Taylor, Steve, Boniface, Michael and Pickering, Brian (2017) D2.2 NGI GUIDE V2 HUB4NGI Consortium 63pp.

Pickering, Brian (2018) A Second Life: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Online Transgender Identity Formation. Manchester Metropolitan University, Masters Thesis, 49pp.

Pickering, Brian, Surridge, Michael, Nouri Janian, Mariet, Lòpez Moreno, Borja, Micheletti, Andrea and Sanno, Alberto (2019) Seeing potential is more important than usability: revisiting technology acceptance. Marcus, Aaron and Wang, Wentao (eds.) In Design, User Experience, and Usability. Practice and Case Studies. HCII 2019. vol. 11586, Springer. pp. 238-249 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-23535-2_18).

Surridge, Michael, Meacham, Kenneth, Papay, Juri, Phillips, Stephen, Pickering, Brian, Shafiee, Ardavan and Wilkinson, Simon (2019) Modelling compliance threats and security analysis of cross border health data exchange. Attiogbe, C., Ferrarotti, F. and Maabout, S. (eds.) In New Trends in Model and Data Engineering. MEDI 2019. vol. 1085, Springer. pp. 180-189 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-32213-7_14).

Pickering, Brian, Faiella, Giuliana and Clemente, Fabrizio (2019) Resolving stakeholder tussles in healthcare systems: ethical challenges to data protection. Attiogbe, Christian, Ferrarotti, Flavio and Maabout, Sofian (eds.) In MEDI 2019: New Trends in Model and Data Engineering: Communications in Computer and Information Science. vol. 1085, Springer. pp. 190-201 . (doi:10.1007/978-3-030-32213-7_15).

Lavorgna, Anita, Middleton, Stuart, Pickering, Brian and Neumann, Geoffrey (2020) FloraGuard: tackling the online illegal trade in endangered plants through a cross-disciplinary ICT-enabled methodology. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 1-23. (doi:10.1177/1043986220910297).


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