Problematising Upstream Technology through Speculative Design: The Case of Quantified Cats and Dogs

Shaun Lawson, Ben Kirman, Conor Linehan, Tom Feltwell, Lisa Hopkins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is growing interest in technology that quantifies aspects of our lives. This paper draws on critical practice and speculative design to explore, question and problematise the ultimate consequences of such technology using the quantification of companion animals (pets) as a case study. We apply the concept of "moving upstream" to study such technology and use a qualitative research approach in which both pet owners, and animal behavioural experts, were presented with, and asked to discuss, speculative designs for pet quantification applications, the design of which were extrapolated from contemporary trends. Our findings indicate a strong desire among pet owners for technology that has little scientific justification, whilst our experts caution that the use of technology to augment human-animal communication has the potential to disimprove animal welfare, undermine human-animal bonds, and create human-human conflicts. Our discussion informs wider debates regarding quantification technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '15 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherACM
Pages2663-2672
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3145-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2015
Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 18 Apr 201523 Apr 2015

Conference

Conference33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period18/04/1523/04/15

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