University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Computer Laboratory Wednesday Seminars > Reconciling Temporalities in Relating Different Worlds

Reconciling Temporalities in Relating Different Worlds

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  • UserProfessor Nicola Bidwell - International University of Management, Namibia
  • ClockWednesday 27 January 2021, 15:00-16:00
  • HouseOnline.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ben Karniely.

In this talk, I discuss temporality, human meaning-making, and user experiences in a meta-analysis of some of my research over the past five years. I refer to examples in five distinct Human-computer-interaction (HCI) and interaction design studies in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. I begin by considering community networks (CNs), or telecommunications networks that local groups set up and run themselves, often to “connect the unconnected”. My research suggests that people sustain their CNs by adapting to local social and ecological relations as they go along. My studies on CNs, in seven countries in the Global South also show that temporal differentiation interacts with the politics of space to exclude people from access. I elaborate on temporal differentiation, and how people get into temporal register to make collaborative systems work, by drawing on examples from our studies on ‘ride-sharing’ and transport apps in the two Global South countries.

Next, I consider temporality in our collaboration with an indigenous group to design probabilistic programming languages suited to their predictive logics. We find that we cannot abstract temporal registers from their expert reasoning about social, ecological, and other phenomena in the desert where they live. Finally, I consider timing and people’s awareness of phenomena in remote, unfamiliar contexts. We trialed a Blockchain-based platform that enabled people to set conditions for financial transactions using data about various real-world phenomena (from earthquakes to politician’s tweets). Automation enforced when transactions were made, which prompted people to feel connected to situations far away and were more aware of temporal marginalisations. Thus, I conclude by encouraging a sensitivity to multiple temporalities when we design technologies to support richer interconnectivities.

Link to join: https://cl-cam-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/91253900399?pwd=SU5TNnpYdDlQbzQ4SEVPVWVWa0Nldz09

A recording of this talk is available at the following link: https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/seminars/wednesday/video/

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Wednesday Seminars series.

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