Weapons of affect: the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Much has been written about ethical and human-centred Information Systems (IS) design, most recently regard-ing the deleterious outcomes and negative affect of some machine learning applications that embed and perpet-uate unethical or even inhumane automation. Terms such as ‘harm’, ‘damage’, and surprisingly, ‘weapon’ have entered the language of this discourse. However, these characteristics are not unique to applications of data science but have long manifested in IS that can also can exhibit opacity and establish tight vicious cycles. These, when coupled with a lack of governance feedback, can perpetuate injustice that has community or sector-wide reach. In this paper, we explore how IS design that sets out with the best of intentions or at least, conceived as a ‘neutral’ system for managing transactional information, can emerge as ‘tools that punish’. We argue that there are crucial principles to be taken from Recordkeeping Informatics, concerned as it is with the entanglement of information and people across space and through time on multi-generational timescales. In particular we discuss how transdisciplinary and critical approaches are necessary to cover more of the design space and surface issues, rights, stakeholders, and, most importantly, values that may be otherwise hidden from a here-and-now, transactional viewpoint.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting - Building & Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology
Subtitle of host publication10-14 November 2018
EditorsLydia S. Middleton
Place of PublicationSilver Spring Maryland USA
PublisherAssociation for Information Science and Technology
Pages420-423
Number of pages4
Volume55
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9780578414256
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAnnual conference of American Society for Information Science and Technology 2018 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 9 Nov 201814 Nov 2018
Conference number: 81st
http://www.asist.org/am18

Conference

ConferenceAnnual conference of American Society for Information Science and Technology 2018
Abbreviated titleASIST
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period9/11/1814/11/18
Internet address

Keywords

  • Recordkeeping
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Participatory
  • Design
  • Ethical

Cite this

Rolan, G., Evans, J. E., Bone, J., Lewis, A., Golding, F., Wilson, J., ... Reeves, K. (2018). Weapons of affect: the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design. In L. S. Middleton (Ed.), Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting - Building & Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology: 10-14 November 2018 (1 ed., Vol. 55, pp. 420-423). Silver Spring Maryland USA: Association for Information Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.2018.14505501046
Rolan, Gregory ; Evans, Joanne Elizabeth ; Bone, Jane ; Lewis, Antonia ; Golding, Frank ; Wilson, Jacqueline ; McKemmish, Susan Marilyn ; Mendes, Philip ; Reeves, Keir. / Weapons of affect : the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design. Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting - Building & Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology: 10-14 November 2018. editor / Lydia S. Middleton. Vol. 55 1. ed. Silver Spring Maryland USA : Association for Information Science and Technology, 2018. pp. 420-423
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title = "Weapons of affect: the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design",
abstract = "Much has been written about ethical and human-centred Information Systems (IS) design, most recently regard-ing the deleterious outcomes and negative affect of some machine learning applications that embed and perpet-uate unethical or even inhumane automation. Terms such as ‘harm’, ‘damage’, and surprisingly, ‘weapon’ have entered the language of this discourse. However, these characteristics are not unique to applications of data science but have long manifested in IS that can also can exhibit opacity and establish tight vicious cycles. These, when coupled with a lack of governance feedback, can perpetuate injustice that has community or sector-wide reach. In this paper, we explore how IS design that sets out with the best of intentions or at least, conceived as a ‘neutral’ system for managing transactional information, can emerge as ‘tools that punish’. We argue that there are crucial principles to be taken from Recordkeeping Informatics, concerned as it is with the entanglement of information and people across space and through time on multi-generational timescales. In particular we discuss how transdisciplinary and critical approaches are necessary to cover more of the design space and surface issues, rights, stakeholders, and, most importantly, values that may be otherwise hidden from a here-and-now, transactional viewpoint.",
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Rolan, G, Evans, JE, Bone, J, Lewis, A, Golding, F, Wilson, J, McKemmish, SM, Mendes, P & Reeves, K 2018, Weapons of affect: the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design. in L S. Middleton (ed.), Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting - Building & Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology: 10-14 November 2018. 1 edn, vol. 55, Association for Information Science and Technology, Silver Spring Maryland USA, pp. 420-423, Annual conference of American Society for Information Science and Technology 2018, Vancouver, Canada, 9/11/18. https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.2018.14505501046

Weapons of affect : the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design. / Rolan, Gregory; Evans, Joanne Elizabeth; Bone, Jane; Lewis, Antonia ; Golding, Frank; Wilson, Jacqueline; McKemmish, Susan Marilyn; Mendes, Philip; Reeves, Keir.

Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting - Building & Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology: 10-14 November 2018. ed. / Lydia S. Middleton. Vol. 55 1. ed. Silver Spring Maryland USA : Association for Information Science and Technology, 2018. p. 420-423.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

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AU - Mendes, Philip

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PB - Association for Information Science and Technology

CY - Silver Spring Maryland USA

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Rolan G, Evans JE, Bone J, Lewis A, Golding F, Wilson J et al. Weapons of affect: the imperative for transdisciplinary information systems design. In S. Middleton L, editor, Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting - Building & Sustaining An Ethical Future With Emerging Technology: 10-14 November 2018. 1 ed. Vol. 55. Silver Spring Maryland USA: Association for Information Science and Technology. 2018. p. 420-423 https://doi.org/10.1002/pra2.2018.14505501046