At ViC we are interested in understanding how digital technologies come to life more than in understanding how digital technologies may change people’s lives. That is, while there is value in the latter, we value the former more (the reference is intentional).
After several years of working on projects focusing on the development of digital tools for social change, personalised health IoT, and assistive technology, staff from the The School of Computing at Lancaster University, UK and the HCI Group, TUW, Vienna – jointly organized a one-day workshop at CHI2017. The workshop stemmed from research that identified the need to look deeply into the values (vs Ethics) in computing. For this, we started the search for methods that could give equal exposure to both easier (e.g. monetary value) and less easy to quantify (‘human’) values.
Some perceived our call as a rather hard ‘positivist’ approach to the study of the emergent ( “mushy” ) nature of values. We responded to such critique by making it clear that, precisely because we distance ourselves from reductionist approaches to the study of human nature, we uncompromisingly support the search for a better scientific understanding of values.