Publications

Publication date: 2020

How many steps did you take today? Counting steps may seem like a clear-cut number, but this number is embroiled in bigger goals around health, broadly conceived, how we feel about our bodies, behavior, and lifestyle. We engage these issues on a personal level while also influenced by social relationships and societal narratives. Technologies such as step-counters influence what “counts”, or...

Publication date: 2020

Migrants play a central role in the economy and society of most developing countries and are primary drivers of economic mobility among poor and rural households. The decision to migrate is one of the most important economic decisions an individual can make. On the one hand, social networks play a crucial role in influencing people's migration decision. On the other hand, as migrants adapt to...

Publication date: 2019

The explosion in the use of software in important sociotechnical systems has renewed focus on the study of the way technical constructs reflect policies, norms, and human values. This effort requires the engagement of scholars and practitioners from many disciplines. And yet, these disciplines often conceptualize the operative values very differently while referring to them using the same...

Publication date: 2019

A fascinating examination of technological utopianism and its complicated consequences.

In The Charisma Machine, Morgan Ames chronicles the life and legacy of the One Laptop per Child project and explains why — despite its failures — the same utopian visions that inspired OLPC still motivate other projects trying to use technology to “disrupt” education and...

Publication date: 2019

Recent interest in ethical AI has brought a slew of values, including fairness, into conversations about technology design. Research in the area of algorithmic fairness tends to be rooted in questions of distribution that can be subject to precise formalism and technical implementation. We seek to expand this conversation to include the experiences of people subject to algorithmic...

Publication date: 2019

Historians identify the process of registration as key to the ‘modern mark’. Hence the introduction of trademark registration with the US federal law of 1870 appears as a pivotal event, endorsing Chandlerean accounts of the modern mark as a product of the ‘Second Industrial Revolution’. Such accounts overlook the earlier registration laws in places where economic conditions challenge claims...

Publication date: 2019

Differential privacy is at a turning point. Implementations have been successfully leveraged in private industry, the public sector, and academia in a wide variety of applications, allowing scientists, engineers, and researchers the ability to learn about populations of interest without specifically learning about these individuals. Because differential privacy allows us to quantify cumulative...

Publication date: 2019

Modern data-driven technologies are providing new capabilities for working with data across diverse storage architectures and analyzing it in unified frameworks to yield powerful insights. These new analysis capabilities, which rely on correlating data across sources and types and exploiting statistical structure, have challenged classical approaches to privacy, leading to a need for radical...

Publication date: 2019

At a time when globalization is taking a step backward, what’s the best way to organize a global enterprise? The key, explains political economist Steven Weber, is to prepare for a world increasingly made up of competing regions defined by their own rules and standards.

Globalization has taken a hit as trade wars and resistance to mass migrations dominate headlines....

Publication date: 2019

Collecting data to inform policy decisions is an ongoing global challenge. While some data collection has become routine, certain populations remain difficult to reach. From targeting social protection programs in densely-populated urban areas to reaching the "last mile" of infrastructure coverage, data collection and service delivery go hand-in-hand. Understanding the populations that live in...

Publication date: 2019

Three studies assessed the relationship between need for closure (NFC) and evaluations of political ideology conversions as a function of mortality salience (MS). Following anexperimental (vs. control) manipulation, 156 participants evaluated politicians who switchedpolitical ideologies. Results indicate that MS induced people high in NFC to express greater support for politicians seeking...

Publication date: 2019

In a world instrumented with smart sensors and digital platforms, some of our most intimate and information-rich data are being collected and curated by private companies. The opportunities and risks derived from potential knowledge carried within these data streams are undeniable, and the clustering of data within the private sector is challenging traditional data infrastructures and sites of...

Publication date: 2019

In this pictorial, we explore how emergent menstrual biosensing technologies compound existing concerns for the everyday ethics of extracting and analyzing intimate data. Specifically, we review the data practices of a set of existing menstrual tracking applications and use that analysis to inform the design of speculative near future technologies. We present these technologies here in the...

Publication date: 2019

In calls for privacy by design (PBD), regulators and privacy scholars have investigated the richness of the concept of "privacy." In contrast, "design" in HCI is comprised of rich and complex concepts and practices, but has received much less attention in the PBD context. Conducting a literature review of HCI publications discussing privacy and design, this paper articulates a set of...

Publication date: 2019

Word clouds continue to be a popular tool for summarizing textual information, despite their well-documented deficiencies for analytic tasks. Much of their popularity rests on their playful visual appeal. In this paper, we present the results of a series of controlled experiments that show that layouts in which words are arranged into semantically and visually distinct zones are more effective...

Publication date: 2019

In this moment of rising nationalism worldwide, governments, civil society groups, transnational companies, and web users all complain of increasing regional fragmentation online. While prior work in this area has primarily focused on issues of government censorship and regulatory compliance, we use an inductive and qualitative approach to examine targeted blocking by corporate entities of...

Publication date: 2018

What can machines know about the mind, even theoretically? This dissertation examines what people (end-users and software engineers) believe the answer to this question might be, where these beliefs come from, and what effect they have on social behavior and technical practice. First, qualitative and quantitative data from controlled experiments show how basic biosignals, such as heartrate,...

Publication date: 2018

‘Financial Inclusion’ has over the years assumed a central role in poverty alleviation by connecting the materially poor with formal financial services. Access to these formal financial services is expected to help the poor manage their erratic income streams and thus manage their day-to-day and critical expenses. In this way, the financial inclusion narrative assumes that the poor around the...

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