BCNM at CSCW 2018

03 Jan, 2019

BCNM at CSCW 2018

The 21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing featured presentations by BCNM faculty, students, and alumni!

CSCW is the premier venue for research in the design and use of technologies that affect groups, organizations, communities, and networks. Bringing together top researchers and practitioners, CSCW explores the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges of designing technology to support collaborative work and life activities.

Read more about the work our community shared here:

Emotional Biosensing: Exploring Critical Alternatives

Noura Howell (DE): University of California; John Chuang: UC Berkeley; Abigail DeKosnik (Faculty): UC Berkeley; Greg Niemeyer (Faculty): UC Berkeley; Kimiko Ryokai (Faculty): UC Berkeley

Emotional biosensing is rising in daily life: Data and categories claim to know how people feel and suggest what they should do about it, while CSCW explores new biosensing possibilities. Prevalent approaches to emotional biosensing are too limited, focusing on the individual, optimization, and normative categorization. Conceptual shifts can help explore alternatives: toward materiality, from representation toward performativity, inter-action to intra-action, shifting biopolitics, and shifting affect/desire. We contribute (1) synthesizing wide-ranging conceptual lenses, providing analysis connecting them to emotional biosensing design, (2) analyzing selected design exemplars to apply these lenses to design research, and (3) offering our own recommendations for designers and design researchers. In particular we suggest humility in knowledge claims with emotional biosensing, prioritizing care and affirmation over self-improvement, and exploring alternative desires. We call for critically questioning and generatively re-imagining the role of data in configuring sensing, feeling, ‘the good life,’ and everyday experience.

It was fun, but did it last? The dynamic interplay between fun motives and contributors’ activity in peer production

Martina Balestra: New York University; Lior Zalmanson: New York University; Coye Cheshire (Faculty): UC Berkeley; Ofer Arazy: University of Haifa; Oded Nov: New York University

Peer production communities often struggle to retain contributors beyond initial engagement. This may be a result of contributors' level of motivation, as it is deeply intertwined with activity. Existing studies on participation focus on activity dynamics but overlook the accompanied changes in motivation. To fill this gap, this study examines the interplay between contributors’ fun motives and activity over time. We combine motivational data from two surveys of Wikipedia newcomers with data of two periods of editing activity. We find that persistence in editing is related to fun, while the amount of editing is not: individuals who persist in editing are characterized by higher fun motives early on (when compared to dropouts), though their motives are not related to the number of edits made. Moreover, we found that newcomers’ experience of fun was reinforced by their amount of activity over time: editors who were initially motivated by fun entered a virtuous cycle, whereas those who initially had low fun motives entered a vicious cycle. Our findings shed new light on the importance of early experiences and reveal that the relationship between motivation and participation levels is more complex than previously understood.

Operationalizing conflict and cooperation between automated software agents in Wikipedia: A replication and expansion of ‘Even Good Bots Fight’

R. Stuart Geiger (Alumni): UC-Berkeley; Aaron Lee Halfaker: Wikimedia Foundation

This paper replicates, extends, and refutes conclusions made in a study published in PLoS ONE ("Even Good Bots Fight"), which claimed to identify substantial levels of conflict between automated software agents (or bots) in Wikipedia using purely quantitative methods. By applying an integrative mixed-methods approach drawing on trace ethnography, we place these alleged cases of bot-bot conflict into context and arrive at a better understanding of these interactions. We found that overwhelmingly, the interactions previously characterized as problematic instances of conflict are typically better characterized as routine, productive, even collaborative work. These results challenge past work and show the importance of qualitative/quantitative collaboration. In our paper, we present quantitative metrics and qualitative heuristics for operationalizing bot-bot conflict. We give thick descriptions of kinds of events that present as bot-bot reverts, helping distinguish conflict from non-conflict. We computationally classify these kinds of events through patterns in edit summaries. By interpreting found/trace data in the socio-technical contexts in which people give that data meaning, we gain more from quantitative measurements, drawing deeper understandings about the governance of algorithmic systems in Wikipedia. We have also released our data collection, processing, and analysis pipeline, to facilitate computational reproducibility of our findings and to help other researchers interested in conducting similar mixed-method scholarship in other platforms and contexts.

Workshop: Sociotechnical Systems of Care

Austin Toombs: Purdue University;Laura Devendorf (Alumni): University of Colorado Boulder;Patrick C. Shih: Indiana University Bloomington;Liz Kaziunas: AI Now Institute;David Nemer: University of Kentucky;Helena Mentis: University of Maryland, Baltimore County;Laura Forlano: Illinois Institute of Technology;

The goal of this workshop is to bring together CSCW audiences who engage in studies and interventions related to care work. Our aims are to understand how care has been conceptualized in the extant CSCW community, identify core issues and concerns, and formalize how CSCW concepts could be used as a lens to inquire into this domain. This workshop will be devoted to understanding how notions of “care” shape the methods, contexts, and practices of CSCW researchers. By shifting focus from care (a term that often connotes particular contexts for research) to care-ing (practices that involve care), we will trace patterns across multiple genres of research: from those that we typically associate with care-work (e.g., healthcare, eldercare, childcare) to those in which care motivates research objectives (e.g., social justice, sustainability) and perspectives (e.g. postanthrocentrism, feminism). This shift brings with it an expanded notion of how we might understand and design with care by framing care as a term that congeals certain sets of practices and orientations to the subjects of research. The aim of this workshop is to bring multiple practitioners to question how CSCW researchers practice and can practice “caring” within multiple realms of research. For instance, how might insights from studies of caregiving in healthcare settings apply to research involving care for the environment? How can care shape how our research is practiced and presented? How might care force us to confront and motivate action in areas for which we have long been concerned? How can we broaden our understanding of care labor and caring beyond medicalized and formalized understandings of care? As interpersonal and community interactions are increasingly facilitated through the technologies we design, how can we ensure that these often-tacit interactions are still able to take place? How might we be able to improve their efficacy?