PechaKucha Presentation—When a man rang our doorbell late at night and claimed that his teenage daughter was in our house, but she wasn't, my husband and I considered getting a doorbell cam. With camera surveillance and facial recognition becoming more commonplace, we wanted a privileged view of our surroundings, and a sense of control over what was happening on our doorstep. But, while we wanted the doorbell cam to see our late-night visitor if he ever came back, we knew it would also see us coming and going, and living our lives. We put the thought of a camera aside, but a few weeks later another uninvited guest knocked on our door. The coronavirus arrived in the US with a vengeance, and suddenly everybody we saw was a possible carrier of contagion. My husband and I, the people who had rejected a little doorbell cam as being too invasive of our privacy, started daydreaming about living in a country like Korea where our privacy and independence would be tested, but where our interdependence...
This paper reports on the use and perceptions of deployed A.I. and recognition social-material assemblages in China and the USA. A kaleidoscope of “boutique” instantiations is presented to show how meanings are emerging around A.I. and recognition. A model is presented to highlight that not all recognitions are the same. We conclude by noting A.I. and recognition systems challenge current practices for the EPIC community and the field of anthropology....
EPIC2019 Panel, Providence, Rhode Island
KEN ANDERSON, Principal Researcher, Intel Corporation
LIZ KENESKI, Head of Privacy Research, Facebook Inc.
PETER LEVIN, Principal Researcher, Autodesk
ELENA O’CURRY, Senior User Researcher, Uber
JEFF SOKOLOV, Designer & Researcher, IBM Watson Health
Algorithmic systems are increasingly integrated into the physical and digital infrastructures of our lives. The borders of privacy are being pushed and redefined, provoking new debate about what privacy is. All corporations claim privacy is important, but what does that mean? Panelists will consider what privacy might look like or mean when individuals are tied into multiple networks, both human and AI.
KEN ANDERSON, panel chair, is an anthropologist, who is a Principal Engineer in Next Generation Standards at Intel Corporation. He does pathfinding at the intersection of technology, strategy, and the human experience to drive towards creating technology that enables us to have richer relationships,...
This paper traces the role of ideology in shaping the beliefs and situated knowledge used by information technology and security managers to make sense of and justify systems of surveillance they oversee. In particular, the analysis explores the role of the contested meanings of the ideology of ‘freedom’ as an important resource in this process of meaning construction, providing a ground-level account of the process of interpellation, described by Louis Althusser as the subjectification of individuals by ideology made available from dominant discourse....
PechaKucha—Our homes are becoming instrumented glass houses where even the most intimate and personal acts may leave data footprints that companies providing services (and potentially others) can access. As homes become instrumented with data-generating technologies, existing information boundaries will be tested, and householders will take on the burden of creating new boundaries on information about their homes lives. Existing low-tech methods of obfuscating activities will no longer suffice. As ethnographers working on smart home solutions, we wonder: what information about which daily activities and home conditions will make householders uncomfortable living in glass houses? Who do people imagine will be looking through those glass facades, and what do they worry about them ‘seeing’? Even when the activities they consider sensitive are self-described as ‘normal’, how do we design smart home solutions so...
Good afternoon, everyone. It is a complete pleasure to be here. Can I say a very special thank you to Timothy and to Ken for inviting me to join you here this year. It’s been really interesting to hear so many fantastic talks. My name is Kate Crawford. As you heard, I work at Microsoft Research and at MIT out of NYU, and so I’m one of those multi-affiliation people. What I research are spaces where data, algorithms, and people intersect. Over my research life, that has included things like looking at how flagging systems work on platforms through to how we understand and interpret crisis data, through to high frequency trading algorithms. What I’ve been doing for say the last four or five years, is in looking at the politics and ethics of big data, specifically looking at how we might consider the epistemologies and ethical systems that are emerging with this new set of technological practices. But today I actually want to talk about something different. I want to talk about the effects of big data; In other words,...
by TONY SALVADOR, Intel Corporation
Seems that everyone’s recording everything all the time – so much so, that people and some governments are asserting a “right to forget”. But the act of recording at all in any instance also is, significantly, an act of control: the more recording, the more control such that “recording everything” would, arguably, lead to the total control. And total control would lead to a de facto, if not actual global authoritarian regime. And despite the dystopian nature of this account, this is precisely the direction we are heading.
Therefore, a “right to forget”, while a delightful, human-emotional analogue – and therefore readily relatable and marketable – is merely an insidious illusion, a misdirection, a sleight of thinking. This is because there are no controls sufficient to protect the individual in society if a recording occurs. A right to forget requires the recording entity to take positive action against their own interest. This is untenable in the long run and frankly just...
DANNY MILLERThank you very much, indeed. I’m really delighted to be here and to meet this community. I hope that this will be the start of an engagement.
As I think it’s sort of clear, I am a pretty academic anthropologist. That makes me a bit anxious, because I do remember going to something a bit like this a long time ago, and the keynote was this kind of academic anthropologist. It was very much this sense of they were standing there and it was like what they had done was so important and so kind of profound. Yes, there were these people doing this kind of more applied work. Well, I suppose you’ve got to do something for a living, but with all of these theories, you know, we can help you do this kind of thing.And when you actually look, I think these days the work of the kind of people who stand up and say that, I would actually say that they’re the kind of theoretical academic work going on in the social sciences today—it is actually increasingly problematic. I think an awful lot of it is very pretentious; it’s very...
KNOWL BAEK, KYLE DUKE, ROY LUO, MONICA LEE and ANIJO MATHEW
This paper illustrates how the concept of “Human API” can help cancer post-treatment cancer patients with challenges they face once they are released from the hospital. The results and implications of this semester long graduate project will help illuminate how the Human API through its various data collection methods could potentially play a larger role in extended cancer care. The research will also attempt to determine if hyper-connected networks of individual patients could become effective sources of information for health institutions to engage and connect with patients after treatment or surgery....
NICOLE CONAND and ALICIA DORNADIC
Technological advances that enable seemingly endless information sharing, as well as various counter efforts that attempt to limit and control access to information, have prompted us to reexamine how industry-based practitioners of ethnography promulgate their research. A comparison of two distinct professional experiences reveals how varying degrees of information “openness” impact ethnographic work. One occurs within a large corporation in which research is proprietary and confidential. The second is an open source project supported by a Knight Foundation grant. In doing so, we aim to discern which elements of open source ethnography have beneficial applications in corporate environments. We present a “layering model,” as well as a set of questions to consider, as a way of determining which aspects of ethnographic research should be shared and with whom....
Starting from their interactions within shared spaces and use of shared objects, to large social networks, the Indian society has developed a range of ways to incorporate subtle gestures and systems into their lives that neither forces them to share all their time and space with everyone, nor isolates them completely. This paper explores this idea that privacy is not always mutually exclusive from shared states. In the process, it highlights quality of time and space as a construct of subtle negotiations between the socially structured and personally desired. These subtleties allow Indians to design their lives around extensive grey spaces that exist in between the community and individual. This suggests some new ways for us to think about meaning of privacy, and its impact on how people in countries like India navigate complex social networks, cultural systems, and rigid social hierarchies, very often using technologies like phones and TVs....
This paper explores the nature of networked contact lists in an emerging new media ecology as they relate to a population of 10 American pre-teens and teens (9-15). Mobile, gaming, and Web 2.0 services are contributing to a shift in the role of the contact list from a static visualization of a database to an active communication tool and the site of sociality. We draw in material from ethnographic research illustrating contact lists as dynamic sites for social activity, existing across multiple media channels, which evolve in time with an individual user. We then describe how contact list use by American youth (9-15) produces new understandings of accessibility, sociality, and visibility within the scope of personal relationships, mobility, and play in everyday life. We conclude with how we are informing corporate strategy on youth marketing and new product development....