cltc thinking

[idea] Surveillance Transactions

Lisa goes to a cafe and gets a coffee. She gets a receipt back. On the receipt is a record not only of the financial transaction of exchanging money for coffee, but also the additional "information transactions" that are taking place

  • Ethnicity: white (this is really race but the label is intentionally off)
  • Gender: female
  • Age: 20-30
  • Heart rate: 70-80 bpm
  • Mood: 70%
  • Purchase: medium coffee (prediction confidence: 50%)
  • You might like: Chocolate Croissant (recommendation confidence: 75%)
  • Informatics Value: $0.0001
  • Have a nice day!

[idea] Emotionally Aware Desk Lamp

An office manager has a nice lamp. It sits off to the side of his office, sort of halfway between where he would sit behind his desk and someone would sit in front of his desk to talk with him. It glows in different colors based on the mood valence of the people in the room. It uses the heart rate and GSR of the people in the room to do this, because employees are required to wear Empatica wristbands.

The manager thinks the office lamp helps create a more relaxing atmosphere for his conversations with those he manages. He keeps an eye on how it changes color to gauge whether he or the other person is getting tense.

The Empatica data of the individuals, and the lamp's averaged data, is collected by the company and used as part of the manager's annual performance report. Unfortunately for this manager, the lamp has reported that there was not enough Focused time in his office, a little too much Relaxed time, and a little too much Tense time. The manager tries to explain that he usually has focused group work meetings in another larger room, and that his office is mostly for personal check ins and mediating employee relations. Unfortunately there is not a lamp in the meeting room, because it would be too complicated for the lamp to take in a variable number of Empatica wristbands' data.

dominant metaphors or values:

  • optimizing for a healthy lifestyle is good
  • optimizing for productivity is good
  • the individual should optimize their own life
  • responsibility for action is on the individual, and the apps / algorithms they employ for help along the way
  • our body is equal to the sum of its individual components as measurable by technology (organs, data streams, etc)
  • if you can't measure it with technology, then it isn't real
  • sharing in an anonymized form is safe
  • algorithms as neutral / free of human bias
  • data as neutral / free of human bias (when actually it is created by designers as mentioned above)
  • Also, the data is something that already "exists" out there, independent of observation (versus something that's being constructed or co-constructed by the observer)
  • everyday people as consumers of biosensing devices and simultaneously producers of data