Experiencing the Future Mundane

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Lancaster Inst for the Contemporary Arts

Abstract

The potential economic and societal benefits of emerging and future technologies is ultimately linked to their adoption and acceptability by a majority of potential users. However, the processes that drive adoption and acceptability are rarely considerations for research into emerging and future technologies and are generally regarded as someone else's future work. Therefore, the challenges and barriers to adoption and acceptability can occur only *after* potentially problematic design patterns have become established, resulting in diminished impact or unintended consequences. Framing this issue as a research challenge, this proposal addresses the problem by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of researchers to shape a novel methodology that merges Design Fiction and Breaching Experiments to create Mundane Experiential Futures that enable citizens to 'get their hands on the future' and thereby elaborate acceptability and adoption challenges.

The research will extend the Living Room of The Future (LRoTF) [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrNPwYZMS2w] and embed it in a mobile platform to enable the public to experience for themselves what an 'intelligent' Internet of Things might look in their everyday lives. Development and deployment of the experiential futures involves the co-creation of familiar but provocative mundane experiences to enable public exploration of the transactional nature of personal data use, end-user agency and control over data flows, and automated decision-making in mundane interaction. A roadshow will expose these Mundane Experiential Futures to a diverse cohort at a broad range of public events, from high-profile technology showcases to country shows, to enable 'informed citizens' to shape IoT-AI research agendas around *their* expectations of the role and function of future technologies in everyday life.

Planned Impact

Impact is not a bolt-on extra to the proposed research but is *baked in* from the outset through the direct engagement of researcher/developer communities and citizens. Its outputs are also of direct relevance to policy makers.
R&D Communities. Academic and industrial researcher and developer communities will shape initial iterations of the Mundane Experiential Futures through a catalyst workshop to reflect their interests in the IoT and AI. Initial evaluation of these futures will concretise developer visions of the future and enable reflexive self-assessment of their proposals when viewed from the stance of mundane experience. The subsequent LRoTF Roadshow will furnish further insight into the viability of IoT-AI design visions from the perspective of those who will ultimately adopt them. These pathways to impact converge to deliver *economic impact*, accelerating researcher and developer understandings of acceptability and adoption challenges confronting IoT-AI technologies early in the design life-cycle and thereby enabling them to accelerate the economic competiveness of the UK in these key areas.
Citizens. The LRoTF Roadshow provides a pathway to impact that engages those directly affected by the introduction of the IoT and its integration in everyday life: citizens whose everyday lives will be directly impacted by these future technologies. The roadshow enables a diverse constituency of citizens to experience mundane potential futures for themselves. It provides a two-way pathway towards accelerating *societal impact* in exposing citizens to potential intelligent futures in everyday life and reflexively involving them in shaping those futures around their mundane expectations.
Policy. The outputs and understandings produced through the proposed research will be of direct relevance to the UK's digital strategy, and policy makers involved in shaping the data economy to unlock the power of data and improve public confidence in its use. Both academic institutions have broader policy programmes into which this proposal fits, feeds, and delivers, which will be leveraged to achieve greater impact, including the Cabinet Office's Open Innovation Partnership. The proposed research thus accelerates the pathway to *knowledge impact*, providing valuable empirical insights into the practical challenges and opportunities involved in enabling a key part the digital economy to respond to the social and ethical expectations of citizens.

Publications

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Title Gogglebox of the Future (installation at AHRC Beyond Conference) 
Description Gogglebox of the Future captures and communicates a range of authentic reactions to the technological provocations which the Living Room if the Future project raises: Is it preferable to have the living room constantly sensing you and your guests? Does adaptive furniture which automatically becomes part of the programme enhance the viewing experience? How do we make judgements about the use of our (and our loved ones) data? 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Contacts willing to particpate in future study and host the next version 
URL https://youtu.be/cjxbXbF_TPE
 
Title Interactive Experience Installation as part of AI: more than human exhibition as World Museum Liverpool 
Description Future mundane caravan AI/IoT experience 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact Over 70 people were able to experience this first iteration and we have potential to display at other museums operated by Liverpool Museums 
URL http://imagination.lancaster.ac.uk/update/experiencing-ai-more-than-human/