[Air-L] May 6 talk "Assessing the 'creepy' factor" at MSR New England

Annette Markham amarkham at gmail.com
Fri May 1 06:32:40 PDT 2015


Hi All,

If you or your students are around the Cambridge/Boston area and
interested, you're welcome to attend the talk I'll be giving next week.

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MSR Colloquium: Assessing the "Creepy" Factor:  Shifting from regulatory
ethics models to more proactive approaches to 'doing the right thing' in
technology research - Annette Markham, Aarhus University| Wed, May 6 @ 4 PM

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WHEN:  Wed, May 6

WHERE: Microsoft Conference Center located at One Memorial Drive, First
Floor, Cambridge, MA

SCHEDULE:  4:00 PM - 5:00 PM is the colloquium. Note: Immediately following
there will be a brief reception to meet the speaker and address detailed
questions.


Abstract

What constitutes ethical design of technologies, ethical use of data, and
ethical research? How can we pay better attention to the ways in which some
aspects of our research or outcomes of our designs might seem 'creepy'?

In this talk, I begin with the premise that "doing the right thing" is an
outcome of rhetorically powerful tangles of human and non-human elements,
embedded in deep-often invisible-structures of software, politics, and
habits. Every action by individuals-whether designers, programmers,
marketers, researchers, policy makers or consumers-reinforces, resists, and
reconfigures existing ethical boundaries for what is acceptable and just.

Despite the development of nuanced approaches for ethics in digital and
technology studies, the general language surrounding ethics has remained
ensconced in that of regulations, requirements, and concepts, born from
biomedical models that don't fit well with contemporary research
environments and practices. In this talk, I suggest a framework of ethics
in digital research that focuses less on 'ethics' and more on what might be
potentially 'creepy' about what we're doing in our everyday research and
design.  This is combined with a future oriented 'what if' approach.
Placing more responsibility on one's personal choices is not the most
comfortable position, but as the world grows more technologically mediated
and digitally saturated, it is particularly important to speculate about
future possibilities and harms.

I hope to conclude this talk by introducing and getting feedback on sample
scenarios that could be used to help Microsoft Researchers include ethical
considerations in both conceptual and practical research contexts.


Biography

Annette Markham is Associate Professor of Information Studies at Aarhus
University in Denmark and Affiliate Professor of Digital Ethics in the
School of Communication at Loyola University in Chicago. She earned her PhD
in organizational communication (Purdue University, 1998), with a strong
emphasis in interpretive, qualitative, and ethnographic methods. Annette's
early research focused on how identity, relationships, and cultural
formations constructed in and influenced by digitally saturated
socio-technical contexts. Her pioneering sociological work related to
digital identity is well represented in her book Life Online: Researching
real experience in virtual space (Altamira 1998). Her more recent research
focuses on innovative qualitative methodologies for studying networked
sociality and ethics of social research and interaction design. Her work
can be found in a range of international journals, handbooks, and edited
collections, including the book Internet Inquiry (2009, co-edited with
Nancy Baym).

Hope to see some of AOIRistas there!

annette


*****************************************************
Annette N. Markham, Ph.D.
Visiting Researcher, Microsoft Research New England, Cambridge
Associate Professor, Dept of Aesthetics & Communication, Aarhus University
Affiliate Professor, School of Communication, Loyola University, Chicago
amarkham at gmail.com
http://markham.internetinquiry.org/
Twitter: annettemarkham


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