HCI & Digital Civics



Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is by its interdisciplinary nature at the intersection between different academic fields, as such it finds itself in a position where its legitimacy can be questioned. We can ask whether the role of HCI is that of a discipline- to build and sustain a body of knowledge –

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Hidden in plain sight

As the ‘gig economy’ and the concept of platform work has risen in visibility over the last very years with Uber and Deliveroo being perhaps the most visible among platform workers, those who work as micro taskers for services such as Amazon Mechanical Turk(AMT) have for many passed below the radar.

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"They’ve completely missed the nontechnical part of what ubiquitous computing is all about.”

The idea that technologies ‘weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it’[1] is one that is familiar to many today.

For some this might be the Uber home at the end of the evening, or the Deliveroo for lunch. For those on the other side of this service provider/recipient relationship its logging on in the hope that today you will receive enough work to feed your family and keep a roof over your head.

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People over profit

Human Computer Interaction, Digital Civics and the relationship between academia and the recognition of what is a science and what is not raises a number of significant questions that have no simple answers. However, for me the issues that matter more relate to why Digital Civics researchers do what they do.

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