Cornell University
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Batya Friedman, November 5th, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Athreya Conference Room (Rm 310)

Please join us for the Information Science Colloquium with guest, Batya Friedman. Batya Friedman is a professor in the Information School, adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science, and adjunct professor in the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington where she co-directs the Value Sensitive Design Research Lab and co-directs the UW Tech Policy Lab. Dr. Friedman pioneered value sensitive design (VSD), an approach to account for human values in the design of information systems. First developed in human-computer interaction, VSD has since been used in information management, human-robotic interaction, computer security, civil engineering, applied philosophy, and land use and transportation. Her work has focused on a wide range of values, some include privacy in public, trust, freedom from bias, moral agency, sustainability, safety, calmness, freedom of expression, and human dignity; along with a range of technologies such as web browsers, urban simulation, robotics, open source tools, mobile computing, implantable medical devices, social media, ubiquitous computing and computing infrastructure. Dr. Friedman is currently working on multi-lifespan information system design and on methods for envisioning – imagining new ideas for leveraging information systems to shape our futures. Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal is an early project in this multi-lifespan information system design program. In 2012 Batya Friedman received the ACM-SIGCHI Social Impact Award and the University Faculty Lecturer award at the University of Washington. She received both her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Title: Technology of Value: Principles, Policy and Practice

Abstract: Tools and technologies are fundamental to the human condition. They do no less than create and structure the conditions in which we live, express ourselves, enact society, and experience what it means to be human. They are also the result of human imagination. Yet, with our limited view, it is not at all obvious how to design tools and technology so that they are more likely to support the actions, relationships, institutions, and experiences that human beings care deeply about.

In this talk I will explore the question of how to design information and computing technology to be sensitive to human values and concerns. To do so, I will draw from over two decades of design work and theory development in value sensitive design. Along the way, I will touch on designing for secure implantable medical devices and for privacy in public with attention to how information and computer technologies instantiate human values, the locus of value tensions in complex systems, and key value tensions. From there I will turn to new work on multi-lifespan information system design and focus attention on a project to support systems of international justice – the Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal. Here my discussion will emphasize the interplay among principles, policy and practice in the design of long(er) term information systems in complex socio-political and technical settings. Throughout, I will take an interactional stance: that our tools and technologies shape human experience and our very being; and through our experiences and being, we continually re-imagine those very tools and technologies.