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People as technology, technology as people

People as technology, technology as people

A talk on the relationship between people and technology, presented at Velocity Amsterdam

Marta Paciorkowska

November 08, 2016
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Transcript

  1. People as technology
    technology as people

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  2. An opinion: heavy use of
    computers alienates us, is a
    manifest of desperation and lack
    of “meaningful” human contact.

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  3. But… most of us treat computers
    as if they were human.

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  4. Marta Paciorkowska
    Likes weird stuff
    Has twitter: @a_meba
    Blogs on occasion: https://thatmarta.wordpress.com
    Owns the command line at Acrolinx GmbH

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  5. Clifford Nass
    Was a pretty cool person
    Worked with other cool researchers
    Sociologist interested in interactions between humans and computers
    Wrote The Man Who Lied to His Laptop and What Machines Teach Us
    About Human Relationships

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  6. THE EXPERIMENTS

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  7. Multitasking

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  8. Multithreading:
    the ability of the CPU to execute
    multiple processes concurrently, or
    an execution model that allows one
    process to have more than one
    thread.
    Multitasking:
    the ability to handle multiple tasks
    at once

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  9. “Frequent multitaskers find it very difficult to
    focus, even when they are pried away from
    technology. (...) They fail to notice emotional
    signals in people’s voices, faces and posture.”
    Clifford Nass, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop, p. 12

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  10. “even brief mental blocks created by shifting
    between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of
    someone's productive time”
    http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx

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  11. Even when frequent multitaskers
    focus on doing just one thing,
    the use of their brain is less
    effective.
    Details at http://business.time.com/2013/04/17/dont-multitask-your-brain-will-thank-you/

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  12. Being forced to multitask:
    is a manifestation of an underlying organizational problem,
    can be caused by:
    ➔ too much work,
    ➔ understaffing,
    ➔ suboptimal prioritization,
    ➔ ...

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  13. Ban laptops
    on meetings

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  14. Meeting>Slack*
    * special conditions apply

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  15. You speak computer
    ...but you’re not one

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  16. Computer = friend, literally

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  17. The experiment:
    Two groups of people,
    Both perform the same task on identical computers,
    One group fills questionnaire on the tested computer,
    Other group fills questionnaire on another computer.

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  18. “users entered more positive responses on the
    computer that asked about itself than they did on
    the separate (...) computer.”
    Clifford Nass, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop, p. 7

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  19. Power
    to the people

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  20. Empathy
    is a strong word

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  21. Emotional attachment to
    computers, tools and software
    makes us more reluctant to
    change.

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  22. The opposite team

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  23. The experiment:
    Read team, blue team,
    Color-coded, identical computers,
    Team members perform tasks,
    half on “own” computer, half on “rival” computer.

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  24. Surprise: people rated “their” computers higher
    than those of the opposite team.
    Details in Clifford Nass, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop

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  25. We are the Borg.
    Your distinctiveness will be added to our own.

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  26. Ops vs Devs: a false dichotomy
    that creates identity by exclusion.

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  27. Critical = smart

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  28. The experiment:
    A tutoring computer presented facts and asked how well users knew
    them,
    A testing computer ran a quiz checking what participants learned,
    A grading computer asked to rate the tutoring computer,
    Half grading computers were positive, the other half - critical.

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  29. The grading computers that were more critical
    scored lower on likeability but higher on
    intelligence.
    Details in Clifford Nass, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop, p. 45-53

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  30. “Only pessimism sounds profound. Optimism
    sounds superficial.”
    Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile,
    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/01/21/why-does-pessimism-sound-so-smart.aspx

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  31. Genius assholes
    have to go

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  32. THE TAKEAWAY

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  33. we think we’re like computers,
    while we actually aren’t, and
    we think we’re rational when
    working with computers, while we
    actually aren’t.

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  34. Thank you for listening ♥
    Catch me on Twitter: @a_meba
    Find written talk version with links to research on my blog:
    https://thatmarta.wordpress.com
    Talk to me!

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