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Treating non-humans as stakeholders is the key to sustainable technology

A first-year PhD student at Pennsylvania State University of Information Science and Technology observed birds for four months to learn the implications of designing technology from a more human perspective. Her autoethnography research contributes to tackling challenging research issues on how to put the posthuman concept into practice for human-computer interaction. House Finch Nigel.Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Focused on designing systems that influence users to lead a more sustainable life, often with many innovations in technology focused on meeting human needs and needs at ecological costs. There is a research field that focuses on.


Researchers studying a field known as Sustainable Human Computer Action (SHCI) aim to eccentric humans in the transition to posthuman design. Theoretical approach This challenges the assumption that only humans are stakeholders in technology, as technology will increasingly shape the future.

“HCI researchers are increasingly asking how technology contributes to the human era, referring to the geological era in which human activity greatly shapes the Earth’s ecosystems. In response, environmental sustainability. Post-humanism as an approach to possibilities has received a lot of attention, “says Shaowen Bardzell. , Professor of Penn State University of Information Science and Technology. “But it remains difficult to put posthuman concepts such as” natural culture, “” companion species, “and” notice different “in practice into HCI practice. “

Bardzell and her research team have a methodology for a potential answer to that question through a project in which first-year PhD Heidi Biggs observes birds for four months and rethinks their relationship with nature as a technology designer. Contribution.

This project was not about bird watching in the scientific sense, as it is when classifying bird appearances and barks. Rather, Bigs sought to experience how she and birds coexist in their living environment: how humans and birds interact with each other and share space and resources. .. In doing so, the researchers said Biggs imagined the implications of designing technology from a more human perspective.

“As a discipline, we are interested in posthuman design ideas, which require that there must be something like a posthuman designer,” said Professor and Vice-Principal of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies at IST University. Jeffrey Basel, director, said. “But there is no model for that. Part of what this paper intended to contribute was to get a glimpse of what it looks like and how it feels.”

In her observations, Bigs used a method known as autoethnography. This is a form of qualitative research in which a researcher is both an informant and a researcher.It uses Personal experience And Introspection Through her writing, she connects her direct experience, posthuman theoretical perspectives, and the research and design agenda in human-computer interaction. Biggs observed and recorded birds in 30 separate hours of sessions, reporting dates, times, weather conditions, and general observations of the birds she saw. Over time, Biggs moved from trying to identify and classify birds to creatively imagining new ways related to birds.

“The key idea implemented in this treatise is the technology to be noticed in different ways, and it is a well-known fact that our conceptual schema underlies the possibilities of what we are seeing. “Shaowen said. “What we can perceive is built by our cognitive schema, our assumptions. Therefore, one of the goals of the art of awareness is to be aware in a way that goes beyond the normal cognitive scheme. To train and thereby unleash our creativity. “

In addition, researchers are looking at how birdwatching made Bigs hate.

“Disgust is the idea that what was once a part of the body, but no longer a part of the body, causes a lot of discomfort and even disgust,” Jeff said. “I felt it was a fascinating way for Heidi to explain his relationship with non-humans, and he felt they were part of her, not part of her.”

From a design point of view, these changing relationships helped Biggs overcome the way birds are at the same time familiar and alien. Experiencing strange kinship with birds helped Bigs as a designer understand how birds and other non-humans are stakeholders in human invention.

“I wanted to convey some of the humility,” Shaowen said. “You deliberately learn to undo what you know and open yourself up to think and see in new ways. I’m doing it. “

Researchers are paying attention to the efforts that Biggs notices bird By eccentricity of herself, and by the feelings of abuse she has experienced, there is the potential for efforts to transform abstract theoretical concepts such as “natural culture” into everyday design methods.

“This treatise explores the importance of Heidi’s discomfort. She breaks down her conceptual schema to do this,” says Shaowen. “I think this is one of the first images that posthuman designers might think and see.”

The team announced their work at ACMCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI2021, the best international flagship conference on human-computer interaction, took place virtually May 8-13. The work is supported by the National Science Foundation.


Observing eco-farmers can lead to sustainable information technology innovation


Quote: Treating non-humans as stakeholders was obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-non-humans-stakeholders-key-sustainable-technologies.html on June 14, 2021. The key to sustainable technology (June 14, 2021)

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Treating non-humans as stakeholders is the key to sustainable technology

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