CSCW and Algorithmic Systems

Workshop at the 20th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

The workshop

The European Union announced recently that Europe should be a global hub and leader in the development of AI that guarantees safety and fundamental rights. In this workshop, we investigate how we can approach this challenge from the perspective of CSCW. Starting with a general conceptual focus on algorithmic systems and their increasing role in society, we are particularly interested in such systems in and as organisations, and the questions that come up when investigating them as part of complex, cooperative work practices. The full-day workshop, designed for up to 20 participants, advances a CSCW-perspective on algorithmic/AI systems by bringing together researchers within (and where possible beyond) the CSCW community who study algorithmic systems, with the aim of sharing ongoing research and connecting participants with others who share their research interests.

Call for Papers

We invite anyone interested in participating to submit a two to four-page position paper (or equivalent material) that addresses the workshop themes (see below). We encourage you to discuss your interest in the themes, welcoming reports of (preliminary) empirical results, theoretically oriented pieces, as well as methodological reflections. To promote broader participation, in particular from the industry and civic organizations, we offer the option of submitting alternative material of rough equivalence (e.g., a design portfolio, white paper, or similar). Submissions will be reviewed by the organisers and accepted based on the relevance and development of their chosen topic, as well as participants’ potential to contribute to the workshop.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Airi Lampinen airi@dsv.su.se

Please use the link to the Google Form below for your submission.

Important Dates

  • Submit position paper by April 27, 2022 May 4 2022 AoE
  • Notification by May 9, 2022
  • Pre-workshop preparation package by June 20, 2022
  • Workshop at ECSCW June 27 or 28, 2022

Themes

  • Concepts and metaphors. Algorithmic systems have been approached with various concepts and metaphors, including but not limited to street-level bureaucracy and street-level algorithms , bureaucracy and uncertainty, games and strategic interaction, and algorithmic power and different conceptions of power. We welcome contributions that examine and/or advance the use of metaphors and concepts in understanding algorithmic systems as a part of society. 
  • Empirical cases. When it comes to empirically oriented contributions, we welcome research focused both on algorithmic systems in organisations (changes in work practices, strategic interaction in the workplace, such as efforts at negotiating workflows with and around algorithmic systems, etc.), and algorithmic systems as organisations, that is, how algorithmic systems in some cases essentially bring about the workplace by configuring workflows and managing labor (such as in the case of food delivery apps). That said, we are especially interested in research that engages with the public sector.
  • Performativity. We are also interested in works that draw on theories of performativity and analyse algorithmic systems as methods that participate in the enactment of new realities. In an organisational context, this entails asking questions such as: What kinds of organisations do algorithmic systems bring into being? Or, to what extent do these systems create the very problems they set out to solve? Such questions also lead us to the politics of algorithmic systems, that is, if different systems bring into being different realities, who benefits from the use of these systems, and who suffers the costs?
  • Methodology. We identify methodology as an area that can help articulate what a CSCW perspective to algorithmic systems could be and where fresh ideas and experience sharing can be valuable to participants. We welcome methodological accounts and reflections, from different types of algorithmic audits to ethnography and research-through-design — and beyond.
  • Historical Trajectories. While the notion of algorithmic systems is relatively new, the CSCW community has been working on related themes since its inception. Our final theme is an invitation to critique the notion of an algorithmic system (do we really need it?) and/or connect it to longstanding CSCW concepts and research trajectories (workplace technologies, workflow systems, workarounds, …). In developing the CSCW perspective to the study of algorithmic systems, we wish to do so from a historically informed standpoint.

Workshop Activities

Preparation before the workshop: We will circulate the accepted position papers and abstracts beforehand.

  • Thematic panel discussions consisting of short presentations and discussion
  • Walk-and-Talk in Break-Out Groups. Sharing of key insights and reflections afterwards
  • Discussion around next steps

Workshop Goals

  • Bring together researchers within (and where possible beyond) the CSCW community who study algorithmic systems, with the aim of sharing ongoing research and connecting participants with others who share their research interests.
  • Reflect collectively on what a CSCW perspective can contribute to the study of algorithmic systems and their increasing role in society at large and in organizations in particular.
  • Facilitate in-depth conversations about research during the event, while also seeking to support and scaffold collaborative efforts that exceed the short duration of the workshop.
  • Discuss how participants could (and already do) collaborate not just with other researchers but also with practitioners, civic servants, journalists, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Facilitate the formation of this sub-community in CSCW and HCI, and discuss possibilities for a lightweight collaborative infrastructure to sustain it (e.g. a listserv or a wiki page for resources).

Workshop Organizers

Airi Lampinen is an Associate Professor in Human–Computer Interaction at Stockholm University, Sweden, and a Docent in Social Psychology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She holds a PhD in social psychology from University of Helsinki, Finland. Lampinen currently runs the Kone Foundation funded project Algorithmic systems, power, and social interaction, and leads the NOS-HS workshop series Nordic Pesperctives on Algorihtmic Systems: Concepts, Methods, and Interventions.

Naja Holten Møller is an Assistant Professor in the Software, Data, People & Society section, Department of Computer Science, at University of Copenhagen – and the founder of the Confronting Data Co-Lab (www.confrontingdata.dk). She holds a PhD in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work from the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Møller is currently a co-investigator in the Public Administration and Computational Transparency in Algorithms (PACTA) research project as well as the Data for Asylum Legal Landscaping (DATA4ALL) research project.

Riyaz Sheikh is a PhD student at the Department of Computer and System Sciences, Stockholm University. An HCI design researcher interested in probing the intelligent algorithmic authorities behind conventional and emerging technologies, he intends to design for socially asymmetric and pluralist societies. Sheikh has a background in computer science and holds a Master’s degree in Interaction Design from the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay.

Asbjørn Ammitzbøll Flügge is a PhD student in the Software, Data, People & Society section, Department of Computer Science, at University of Copenhagen. From a CSCW-perspective he studies how cooperative work in public services is affected and changes through the implementation and use algorithms and AI for decision support. With a focus on transparency, he investigates how caseworkers in job placement use profiling algorithms in their daily work. Flügge has a background social science and holds a Master’s degree in Digital Innovation and Management from the IT University in Copenhagen.

Kristin Kaltenhäuser is a PhD fellow in the Software, Data, People & Society section, Department of Computer Science, at the University of Copenhagen. Drawing on participatory design and data science methods, her research evolves around grounded sense-making of data in asylum decision-making in the Nordic countries. She has a MSc in Software Development and a MA in Intercultural Communication with a focus on Gender Studies.

Baki Cakici is an Associate Professor in the Technologies in Practice research group at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He holds a PhD in Computer and Systems Sciences from Stockholm University. In his research, he draws on theories from the field of Science and Technology Studies. Cakici’s research interests include surveillance, politics of numbers, digital state infrastructures, and the history of computing.