1 October 2008

“Resistance is Futile”: reading science fiction alongside ubiquitous computing

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by experientia

Crucible
The Crucible/Microsoft HCI Reading Group at Cambridge University is a journal-reading group dedicated to review and critique of recent theoretical developments in human-computer interaction.

In early August, the group discussed a draft manuscript from Paul Dourish (UC, Irvine) and Genevieve Bell (Intel) that is currently under review, entitled “‘Resistance is Futile': Reading Science Fiction Alongside Ubiquitous Computing”.

Abstract
Design-oriented research is an act of collective imagining – a way in which we work together to bring about a future that lies slightly out of our grasp. In this paper, we examine the collective imagining of ubiquitous computing by bringing it into alignment with a related phenomenon, science fiction, in particular as imagined by a series of shows that form part of the cultural backdrop for many members of the research community. A comparative reading of these fictional narratives highlights a series of themes that are also implicit in the research literature. We argue both that these themes are important considerations in the shaping of technological design, and that an attention to the tropes of popular culture holds methodological value for ubiquitous computing.

Download paper (pdf, temporary available at this url)

(via Nicolas Nova)

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