Call for Participation - Susan Halford (SOTON) Presents @ UOW

We are fortunate to be hosting Professor Susan Halford, Director of the Web Science Institute (WSI) from the University of Southampton, to give a leading edge talk on the future of big data research from a social science perspective.

Date: Friday, 7 April 2017

Time: 11am-12pm

Where: SMART Infrastructure Facility Advisory Council Room, 6.101, University of Wollongong

RSVP: 3 April, 2017

Register here: https://katinamichael.wufoo.com/forms/register-for-susan-halfords-seminar-7-april-2017/

More details below:

Symphonic social science and the future for big data research

Abstract: 

Over recent years there has been a persistent tension between proponents of big data analytics on the one hand - using new forms of digital data to make computational and statistical claims about ‘the social’ - and, on the other hand, many social scientists who are skeptical about the value of big data, its associated methods and claims to knowledge. This talk seeks to move beyond this, taking inspiration from a mode of argumentation developed by some of the most successful social science books of all time: Bowling Alone (Putnam 2000). The Spirit Level (Wilkinson and Pickett 2009) and Capital (Piketty 2014). Taken together these works can be distinguishedas a new approach, that can be labelled as‘symphonic social science’. This bears both striking similarities and significant differences to the big data paradigm and – as such – offers the potential to do big data analytics differently. The talk will suggest that this offers value to those already working with big data – for whom the difficulties of making useful and sustainable claims about the social are increasingly apparent – and tosocial scientists, offering a mode of practice that might shape big data analytics for the future.

Susan Halford, Professor of Sociology

Professor Susan Halford is Director, Web Science Institute within Social Sciences at the University of Southampton. Her research interests range from the sociology of work and organization - with projects on the third sector, the ageing workforce and employee driven innovation - to the sociology of technology and specifically the World Wide Web. She has a particular interest in the politics of data and digital artefacts, information infrastructures and digital research methods.

Professor Halford has a background in Geography (she studied at the University of Sussex 1981-4) and Urban Studies (also at Sussex 1985-1990) and moved into Sociology when she joined the University of Southampton in 1992. Since this time she has developed a range of research around the themes of gender, work, and identity and - connected to this - exploring digital innovation in the workplace, and beyond particularly through Web Science in collaboration with colleagues in Health Sciences and Computer Sciences.

More here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/socsci/about/staff/sjh3.page

 

By Invitation Only - Cross Collaboration SOTON-UOW

Professor Susan Halford and Professor Katina Michael will be going off-site for a collaborative meeting with key PhD students who will be presenting on their research. Schedule is as follows:

Lunch at 1.30 pm, Gerroa Fisherman's Club

Sightseeing 3pm-4pm

Presentations at 4pm: format (10 min presentation, followed by 10 min discussion for each participant)

 4 PhD students from the University of Southampton, UK

     - Participant 1: J. Webster, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training

Title: Algorithmic Taste-Makers: How are Music Recommender Systems Performing as "Cultural Intermediaries" and Shaping Cultural Consumption Practices?

Abstract: The digital age has seen the rise of new cultural intermediaries in the music marketplace. Music streaming services have invested heavily in the development of recommendation systems, which are used to enhance the quality of their user experience by selecting and organising music in a personalised fashion. As they seek to shape what we consume and how we come to consume it, music recommender systems have the potential to impact on cultural consumption practices and taste formation processes. Indeed, the automated nature of these systems means they have the potential to intervene in these social processes at a rate and scale not previously encountered. Whilst existing social science literature has begun to speculate on the impact of their cultural intermediation, little attention has been given to what music recommender systems are, how they come to exist and operate in the field, or how interaction with these systems is shaping consumption practices. The aim of my PhD is to advance our understanding of how music recommender systems are performing as cultural intermediaries and shaping consumption practice. This presentation will offer a window into my research and provide a brief account of what I have learnt so far about the cultural intermediary work of music recommender systems.

Bio: Jack is a second-year Web Science PhD student at the University of Southampton, UK. His research focusses on how the music recommender systems used by music streaming services, such as Spotify, are operating as "cultural intermediaries," shaping how cultural goods and symbolic value are circulated in the field of cultural consumption. Jack is an interdisciplinary researcher, combining perspectives from the social and computer sciences to understand both how music recommender systems work, but also how they are experienced by consumers and the rationale behind their design and implementation. If you would like to find out more Jack and his research, please visit www.jwebster.net.

 

     - Participant 2: C.N. Tochia, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training

me.jpg

Title: Does craving a digital detox make me a bad digital citizen?

Abstract: My PhD topic is looking at digital literacy and in particular joining the argument that busts the myth of the "digital native" concept. A lot of work has been done in this area already, but I believe there is a unique group of people born just before the digital / information age took over, however have a very good understanding and grasp of new digital technologies they come into contact with. Some of them are known already as the want-nots. This group therefore understands and sometimes craves the pre-digital era and I would like to understand what deters them from choosing some new technologies or wanting to access the Web less or not at all. I also have a general interest in online identities and behaviours, particularly how we present ourselves on and off the screen.

Bio: After completing a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from Bournemouth University I joined the advertising industry working at OMD, an Omnicom media agency. Beginning first in their Communications department then moving across to their Insight department I managed several projects across clients such as Boots, Vodafone, Hasbro, Pepsi Co and Disney. Then I moved back to a company I previously interned at, Substance Global, that specialises in PR and marketing films, TV and games. There I worked in the Social team managing over 100 + accounts for brands such as Warner Bros Interactive, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and HBO.

 

     - Participant 3: R.D. Blair, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training

Title: Social media, learning and risk

Abstract: Social media is much lauded as a powerful tool for use in support of non-formal learning, and a tool of choice for teenagers. With this in mind the aims of my research were to determine the position of, and the barriers to the use of social media in support of learning activities by school pupils. To achieve these aims an investigation of the perceptions and use of social media by primary stakeholders at the operational level was conducted.

Data was collected from pupils and teachers using both quantitative and qualitative methods. 384 pupils responded to an online survey and 96 pupils participated in semi-structured focus group interviews. As a ratio comparable to the average teacher to pupil ratio in English secondary schools 18 teachers participated in semi-structured, individual interviews. The findings suggest that the main reason social media does not appear to be having an impact is a perception of risk. Initial findings indicated that usage of social media for learning was dominated by logistical task support (for example, clarifying instructions) mostly focused on homework activities. On further investigation findings suggest that activities which support general school work and a deeper engagement through homework understanding are taking place with a not insubstantial number of pupils.

The research findings also indicate that though social media is being used by this age group to support their learning, generally in a dyadic fashion, factors other than pupil skill and imagination in the use of social media may be in play. Of these other factors a the primary factor suggested by the findings appears to be a perceived risk to social capital accrued in a time of life in which social capital is assuming increasing importance.The reluctance of teachers to promote social media as a tool to support learning support through knowledge sharing by pupils appears to stem primarily from the possibility of risk to pupil welfare followed by professional risk to the teacher then risk to institution. With a recognition and understanding of the perceptions of risk held by the primary stakeholder at the operational level the next stage of this work is to determine how to reconcile and overcome these barriers to access the power of networked to technologies to support socially constructed learning.

Bio: Robert Blair is a final year PhD candidate at the Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training, department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He holds an MSc Information Systems from the University of East Anglia and an MSc Web Science from the University of Southampton. For his PhD research Robert is investigating the driving factors affecting change in the use of digital technologies. In particular, he is interested in the apparent enthusiasm for the use of Social Media displayed by children and young adults and the possibility of how this may be leveraged to support formal and non-formal learning. Prior to commencing his research Robert gained over 20 years experience of teaching Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science in compulsory, further and higher education.

 

     - Participant 4: F. Hardcastle, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training

Abstract: This talk will be loosely based on a draft submitted to TOIT's Special Section on Computational Ethics and Accountability that is currently under review. As part of it I will introduce a conceptual sociotechnical intervention called TATE (Targeted Advertising Tracking Extension) that - using semantic web technologies, W3C PROV model, and the concept of sociotechnical imaginary - aims to contribute to supporting accountability in the Online Behavioural Tracking and Advertising (OBTA) landscape. On-going work involves evaluating a hypothetical implementation and normalisation of this model informed by STS theories to identify overlapping interests, values, and incentives of various stakeholder groups to map its design to these spaces. 

Bio: Faranak is a PhD candidate at the Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Southampton. Studying Web Science has challenged her views about society and technology. She is currently interested in critically engaging with the Web and the Internet from the intersection of arts and design, technology, sociology, and STS, and continuously tries to avoid letting the disciplinary boundaries to discipline her "thinking”, “designing", and “making”.

2 students and 2 honoraries from UOW's School of Computing and Information Technology

     - Associate Research Fellow and PhD Candidate, Robert Ogie, SMART Infrastructure Facility*

     - Honorary Fellow Dr Roba Abbas, Persuasive Technology and Society

Title: Big (Geospatial) Data and Location Intelligence in Action: The Consumer Perspective

Abstract: The big data movement has, in recent years, promised to deliver a wide range of benefits to organisations, offering business insights generated through the analysis of vast and varied datasets. The potential to create an enhanced understanding of consumer and corporate opportunities, through the extraction of trends and patterns, is certainly appealing from a business perspective. Increased emphasis is now being placed on the use of geospatial datasets. This essentially refers to “geo-enriched” data; data that is supplemented with a geographic component, and when contextualised, layered with additional levels of detail, and analysed, provides some form of “location intelligence”. The proliferation of consumer location-based services (LBS) applications, in conjunction with the wealth of publicly accessible geospatial data and supporting applications, now signifies that location intelligence activities are not exclusive to geographic information systems (GIS) professionals, as was traditionally the case. Rather, advanced mapping and location capabilities are now accessible to the individual user or consumer. This presentation provides a practical demonstration of consumer-level location intelligence and the societal implications of “geo-enriched” data analysis more specifically.

Biography: Dr Roba Abbas is an Honorary Fellow with the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong, Australia and is the Associate Editor (Administrator) for the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. She completed her Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded Doctor of Philosophy on the topic of Location-Based Services Regulation in 2012, earning special commendations for her thesis titled “Location-Based Services Regulation in Australia: A Socio-Technical Approach”.

    - Mr Asslam Umar Ali, Doctoral Candidate, School of Computing and Information Technology

Title: Analysis Framework to Integrate Knowledge Derived from Social Media for Civic Co-Management during Extreme Climatic Events

Abstract: Information generated on social media during extreme climatic events has forever changed disaster relief and response. This information shared as private conversation on public social media platforms is reliant on citizens to share their personal information and knowledge. This type of content generated by individuals with geospatial information has been termed ‘Volunteered Geographical Information’. A large number of VGI have used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to crowd-source disaster information in real-time for effective management of infrastructure systems and their population. Therefore, providing more eyes on the ground and a source of intelligence that serve to improve situational awareness. On the other hand, managing the disaster activities is challenging, complex and involves various stakeholders; agencies, organisation, managing individual with different roles, resources and goal. This also puts time constraints on the decision makers make information intensive activities. Therefore, it challenging to coordinate or obtain timely and right type information from the social media channels. More importantly the disaster management activities follow a standard set of disaster management plans with set goals. Whereas, currently crowdsourced applications do not generally interact to share knowledge with the existing disaster management activities. This presentation shows results of social media data analysis obtained during floods and provides some interesting insights to type information (text/photos) shared, their relationship and how this could used by emergency management teams. 

Bio: Asslam Umar Ali is a Business Intelligence professional at the Information Management Unit, University of Wollongong. His educational background connects the technology and business spectrum, with a bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering and a Master in International Business and a MBA specialisation in Engineering Management. Asslam is enthusiastic about data analytics, visualisation and data informed decision making.

     - Honorary Associate Professor Dr MG Michael, Persuasive Technology and Society

Check-in at hotel at 6pm

Dinner at 7.00 pm (venue to be announced)

Close 9.30 pm

CFP: Socio-ethical Approaches to Robotics Development (IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, March 2018)

Background

Converging approaches adopted by engineers, computer scientists and software developers have brought together niche skillsets in robotics for the purposes of a complete product, prototype or application. Some robotics developments have been met with criticism, especially those of an anthropomorphic nature or in a collaborative task with humans. Due to the emerging role of robotics in our society and economy, there is an increasing need to engage social scientists and more broadly humanities scholars in the field. In this manner we can furthermore ensure that robots are developed and implemented considering the socio-ethical implications that they raise.

Source: https://www.robots.com/images/Robot%20Integration.jpg

Source: https://www.robots.com/images/Robot%20Integration.jpg

This call for papers, supposes that more recently, projects have brought on board personnel with a multidisciplinary background to ask those all important questions about “what if” or “what might be” at a time that the initial idea generation is occurring to achieve a human-centered design. The ability to draw these approaches into the “design” process, means that areas of concern to the general public are addresses. These might include issues surrounding consumer privacy, citizen security, individual trust, acceptance, control, safety, fear of job loss and more.

In introducing participatory practices into the design process, preliminary results can be reached to inform the developers of the way in which they should consider a particular course of action. This is not to halt the freedom of the designer, but rather to consider the value-laden responsibility that designers have in creating things for the good of humankind, independent of their application.

This call seeks to include novel research results demonstrated on working systems that incorporate in a multidisciplinary approach technological solutions which respond to socio-ethical issues. Ideally this Robotics and Automation Magazine paper is complemented by a paper submitted in parallel to Technology and Society Magazine that investigates the application from a socio-ethical viewpoint. 

ARLINGTON, Va. (Nov. 9, 2010) Greg Trafton, center, a cognitive scientist with the Naval Research Laboratory, discusses Octavia, left, an MDS or mobile, dexterous, social robot, to exhibit hall attendees during day two of the Office of Naval Research 2010 Naval Science and Technology Partnership Conference. Octavia is part of the Office of Naval Research human robotics interaction research program which focuses on the abilities of teams of humans and autonomous systems to communicate clearly, collaborate to solve problems, and interact via means both locally and remotely. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams - This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 101109-N-7676W-127. 

ARLINGTON, Va. (Nov. 9, 2010) Greg Trafton, center, a cognitive scientist with the Naval Research Laboratory, discusses Octavia, left, an MDS or mobile, dexterous, social robot, to exhibit hall attendees during day two of the Office of Naval Research 2010 Naval Science and Technology Partnership Conference. Octavia is part of the Office of Naval Research human robotics interaction research program which focuses on the abilities of teams of humans and autonomous systems to communicate clearly, collaborate to solve problems, and interact via means both locally and remotely. U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams - This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID 101109-N-7676W-127. 

Schedule:

March 10 - Call for papers

August 1 - Submission deadline

October 1 - Author notification

November 15 - Revised paper submitted

November 25 - End of the second review round

November 30 - Final acceptance decision communicated to Authors

December 10 - Final manuscripts uploaded by authors

March 10, 2018 -  issue mailed to all members

* Information for authors can be found here.

CFP: Robotics and Social Implications (IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, March 2018)

Guest Editors

Ramona Pringle (Ryerson University), Diana Bowman (Arizona State University), Meg Leta Jones (Georgetown University), Katina Michael (University of Wollongong)

Background

Robots have been used in a variety of applications, everything from healthcare to automation. Robots for repetitive actions exude accuracy and specificity. Robots don’t get tired, although they do require maintenance, they can be on 24x7, although stoppages in process flows can happen frequently due to a variety of external factors. It is a fallacy that robots don’t require human inputs and can literally run on their own without much human intervention. And yet, there is a fear surrounding the application of robots mostly swelled by sensational media reports and the science fiction genre. Anthropomorphic robots have also caused a great deal of concern for consumer advocate groups who take the singularity concept very seriously.

Stephanie Dinkins  and Bina48, Sentients (Video Still), 2015

Stephanie Dinkins and Bina48, Sentients (Video Still), 2015

It is the job of technologists to dispel myths about robotics, and to raise awareness and in so doing robot literacy, the reachable limits of artificial intelligence imbued into robots, and the positive benefits that can be gained by future developments in the field. This special will focus on the hopes of robot application in non-traditional areas and the plausible intended and unintended consequences of such a trajectory.

Getting Social: Robot Therapists Help Acclimate Children with Autism. Source: http://www.paperdroids.com/2013/02/26/getting-social-robot-therapists-help-acclimate-children-with-autism/

Getting Social: Robot Therapists Help Acclimate Children with Autism. Source: http://www.paperdroids.com/2013/02/26/getting-social-robot-therapists-help-acclimate-children-with-autism/

Engineers in sensor development, artificial consciousness, components assemblage, visual and aesthetic artistry are encouraged to engage with colleagues from across disciplines- philosophers, sociologists and anthropologists, humanities scholars, experts in English and creative writing, journalists and communications specialists- to engage in this call.

Multidisciplinary teams of researchers are requested to submit papers addressing pressing socio-ethical issues in order to provide inputs on how to build more robust robotics that will address citizen issues. For example:

  • How can self driving cars make more ethical decisions?
  • How can co-working with robots becoming an acceptable practice to humans?
  • How might their be more fluent interactions between humans and robots?
  • Can drones have privacy-by-design incorporated into their controls?

This issue calls for technical strategic-level and high-level design papers that have a social science feel to them, and are written for a general audience. The issue encourages researchers to ponder on the socio-ethical implications stemming from their developments, and how they might be discussed in the general public.

Source: https://cdn.techinasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/robot-helps-elderly-people-exercise.jpg

Source: https://cdn.techinasia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/robot-helps-elderly-people-exercise.jpg

Broad Vertical Sectors

•    Driverless cars, buses, transportation
•    Military robots
•    Security robots
•    Assistive technologies
•    Robots as companions
•    Robots as co-workers
•    Ageing population
•    Children with syndromes
•    Learning technologies
•    Mentorship
•    Sex trade
•    Conversation

 

Multidisciplinary Angles:
•    Privacy-enhanced technologies, privacy by design, security, ethics
•    Legal entity, trust, control, moral agency, authority, autonomy, liberty, regulatory
•    Cultural, philosophical, anthropological, sociological, critical, phenomenological, normative
•    Real, virtual, conscious, artificial intelligence, anthropomorphic

 

Proposed Schedule

Paper Submission: April 30, 2017

Author Notification of Paper Acceptance: August 1, 2017

Final Revised Paper: November 1, 2017

Publication Date: March 1, 2018

 

How to Submit

Formatting guidelines for IEEE Technology and Society Magazine are available here. Select the Magazine menu  and go to "Information for Authors".

All papers are to be submitted to https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tsm

During the submission process you will be asked to enter in your details if you are a new author to the Magazine. You will also be asked to enter the names and email address of three academics who might be able to review your article. These individuals must not be close contacts.

Papers cannot go over 5,000 words, including references. A variety of paper types are acceptable including: commentaries, opinion pieces, leading edge, industry views, book reviews, peer reviewed articles etc.

Guest Editor Biographies

Ramona Pringle

Ramona Pringle is an Assistant Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University and Director of the Transmedia Zone, an incubator for innovation in media and storytelling. As a writer, producer and digital journalist, Ramona’s work examines the evolving relationship between humans and technology. She is a technology columnist with CBC, and the writer and director of the interactive documentary “Avatar Secrets.” Previously, she was the interactive producer of PBS Frontline’s “Digital Nation” and editor in chief of “Rdigitalife”. Ramona is a co-editor of the IEEE Potentials Magazine special edition, “Unintended Consequences: the Paradox of Technological Potential” (2016) and an associate editor of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine. Ramona’s projects have been featured at festivals and conferences including i-docs, Power to the Pixel, TFI Interactive, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, SXSW, NXNE, Social Media Week, TEDx, and in publications including the New York Times, Mashable, Cult of Mac and the Huffington Post. Ramona has a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Diana Bowman

Diana M. Bowman is an Associate Professor in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law  and the  School  for  the  Future  of  Innovation  and  Society  at  Arizona State University,  and a visiting  scholar  in  the  Faculty  of  Law  at  KU  Leuven.  Diana’s research has primarily focused on the legal and policy issues associated with emerging technologies, and public health law. Diana has a BSc, a LLB and a PhD in Law from Monash University, Australia. In August 2011 she was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria (Australia).

Meg Leta Jones

Prof. Meg Leta (previously Ambrose) Jones is an Assistant Professor in the Communication, Culture & Technology program at Georgetown University where she researches rules and technological change with a focus on privacy, data protection, and automation in information and communication technologies. She is also an affiliate faculty member of the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program in Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, the Center for Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law Center, and the Brussels Privacy Hub at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Dr. Jones's research interests cover issues including comparative information and communication technology law, engineering and information ethics, critical information and data studies, robotics law and policy, and the legal history of technology. She engages with indisciplinary fields like cyberlaw, science and technology studies, and communication and information policy using comparative, interpretive, legal, and historical methods. Ctrl+Z: The Right to be Forgotten, her first book, is about the social, legal, and technical issues surrounding digital oblivion. Advised by Paul Ohm, Dr. Jones earned a Ph.D. in Technology, Media & Society from the University of Colorado, Engineering and Applied Science (ATLAS). Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., she earned a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2008, where she focused on technology and information issues. She has held fellowships and research positions with the NSF funded eCSite project in the University of Colorado Department of Computer Science, the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado School of Law, the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and CableLabs. Since 2013, Dr. Jones has been teaching and researching in Washington, DC at Georgetown University.

Katina Michael

Katina Michael is a professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong.  She is the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine editor-in-chief and also serves as the senior editor of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine. Since 2008 she has been a board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation, and also served as Vice-Chair. Michael researches on the socio-ethical implications of emerging technologies. She has also conducted research on the regulatory environment surrounding the tracking and monitoring of people using commercial global positioning systems (GPS) applications in the area of dementia, mental illness, parolees, and minors for which she was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery grant.