Week 7: Pervasive & Invasive: Ubiquitious Computing

This week we had the #BigDebate of Ubiquitious Computing, with groups arguing for or against the following motions:

Motion #1: This house believes we are living in Weiser’s dreamt up future and it is even better than he imagined

Motion #2: This house would ban ubiquitous computing as it invades peoples lives and removes human agency

We had lively debate around the two motions, I enjoyed shouting “Order!”, and particular mention to Agata for her excellent confrontational style!

Through this we unpacked lots of pertinent ideas about ubicomp, such as: Are we living in Weiser’s imagined Future? Is this vision/ideal of Ubicomp desireable? Are there any ways we might re-imagine Weiser’s predictions to be relevant to ubicomp today? A diversity of perspectives are avaliable in the course reading, & I’d encourage you to have some familiarity with these different positions, and think about where you sit with ubicomp ‘debate’ – this could be a good premise for your coursework on this module.

By way of opening this up, I asked you to put yourselves on a spectrum of (crudely) ‘Ubicomp Good’ to ‘Ubicomp Bad’ (Alexandra was missed from the photo as she picked the ‘absolute middle’)

Tasks for Next Week:

(1) I’ve given you all the same reading for the coming session – ‘Readings and Responses’ from the “Human-Machine Reconfigurations”, the second edition of Lucy Suchman’s seminal text ‘Plans & Situated Action’.

In addition, (2) I would like you to individually engage with some further reading – but I’m leaving this open this week. I’ve put lots of papers in the ‘Further Reading’ folder, many of which Suchman references in the chapter I gave you, others responding/reviewing the first and second editions of the text. For this task, you can read one (or more!) of these papers, or you are also welcome to identify other literature if you prefer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *