Living with a black box¶
The assumed omniscience and power of AI-powered smart home devices propels both techno-utopian and techno-critical narratives. This experiment encourages participants to recognize, amplify and subvert the types of claims explicitly and implicitly made by the makers of these devices. For one week, participants live with an extremely powerful, albeit fictional, piece of extracivist smart home technology: an immaterial smart speaker that claims to hear health abnormalities. In an auto-ethnographic manner, participants record and reflect on their daily interactions with this fictional piece of technology. After the week, participants gather together to share material and discuss their experiences.
- Explain main concepts and issues.
- In turn introduce yourself and read one excerpt from your auto-ethnographic reflections (5 minutes each).
- How did the claims of the device condition your lived experience? What shifts in your daily practices did you observe? In what ways did you see yourself acquiesce and/ or resist this device? Read further excerpts aloud in response to these questions. (60 min).
- Wrap up:
- ?? (30 min).
- Langdon Winner, Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought (1978)
- Heewon Chang, Autoethnography as method (2008)