Anna Normark and Rebecca Oskarsson presented their interesting master thesis on filter bubbles today. In their work they answer several research questions through the use of an experiment with bots on a social media platform, and a qualitative literature study on filter bubbles.
In their presentation they concluded that filter bubbles can be a threat to society, and that our awareness of filter bubbles need to be raised. However, interestingly enough they did not find clear evidence of filter bubbles in the experiment that they did on one of the existing social media platform. Though this does not mean that they do not exist elsewhere.
Anna Normark and Rebecca has previously presented their work twice in the blog, and you can read these blog posts here and here. I also hope that they will do one last blog post presenting some highlights from their resuls. 🙂
I was one of the supervisors of this master thesis work and I am very impressed. These students combine technical skills with an interest in society and ethics which is needed in our digital society. And today they also proved that they have excellent presentation skills!
Are you aware of that even the smallest actions you do and the likes you give online, can put you into a filter bubble? In our investigation of filter bubbles we use automated bots as our own test subjects. If you don’t know what a filter bubble is, read our first blog post to find out more (https://www.htogroup.org/2018/02/13/what-is-a-filter-bubble/). This Wednesday, 14th of March, we are speaking at the Women in Data Science conference in Stockholm about our work.
For the mission of creating filter bubbles we are using a large social media platform as our tool. A user of this platform has access to a flow of information. This flow is individualized for each user based on its actions and behavior on the platform. We are creating 14 unique accounts on this site, extremely similar to one another, with the exception of username, email and IP address. The purpose is to have the individualized flows exactly alike in the beginning. For each of the 14 accounts, we are creating a bot (total of 14 bots). A bot is an automated software, designed to click and use the website just like a human would. In this case, each bot is hitting a like-button for a certain type of information, a certain amount of times per day. This is simulating a real user’s actions on the site. The information that is liked by the bot, is uploaded to a storage on the cloud, that we are using to investigate the behavior, potentially leading up to a filter bubble.
In order to get the data from the individualized flow, we use a crawler. The crawler go through the individualized flow and save the important parts to a file which is then uploaded to the cloud. The data is later used to evaluate the content of the flow to establish whether the user is put in a filter bubble or not. To get a deeper understanding of filter bubbles and whether they can be harmful, we conduct a literature study as well.
Our names are Anna Normark and Rebecca Oskarsson. We are two master students in the IT engineering programme, currently working on our master thesis. Our thesis consists of investigating filter bubbles and their effects, and have the title “Individualizing Without Excluding: Ethical And Technical Challenges”. We are invited to write some blog posts here by our reviewer Åsa Cajander and this is our second part.
We think that we have a very cool project. We are truly a multidisciplinary team working on digitalization and the effects on the nurses work environment. We also have a very good reference group, and our collaboration with Region Uppsala in the project is fantastic.
When we saw that there was a competition about the coolest project at Uppsala University we nominated ourselves!
They will announce the winners of the competition in a couple of weeks at a faculty pub event. We´ll be there to celebrate with the winners, or perhaps we are the winners?
Lars Oestreicher was recently nominated to the Equal Opportunites 2018 award by the departments’ equal opportunities group. Congratulations!
The nomination text :
Lars Oestreicher works as a teacher and researcher in the field of Accessibility and Design for everyone in Human Computer Interaction. The Design for All area resides on a very clear equal opportunities basis, and contains both knowledge of people’s differences, as a value base that strongly emphasizes inclusion and the problem of stigmatization of people with disabilities in society as well as their vulnerability.
Lars Oestreicher has developed a pioneering course for students in the Design for All area, and has also written a new textbook on the subject as there is no suitable course literature to find to teach these questions. In the course of the course, Lars works very consciously to learn an inclusive mindset, where he, among other things, has moments where the students themselves can experience how to live with a disability.
Lars Oestreicher has also participated as a specialist in accessibility issues in a reference group for the development of the MegaMind exhibition at the Stockholm Technical Museum, and is conducting a VINNOVA-funded project together with Årsta specialist, which aims to allow children with severe cognitive and physical impairments to create music independently.
Lars Oestreicher is the university’s most competent researcher and teacher in this field, and his work and dedication goes far beyond what is expected of a teacher as he has an inclusive perspective in mind. Through his work, he has included equal opportunities issues as part of our education programs for students in computer science. We believe that this deserves to be noted and therefore wishes to nominate Lars to the University’s Equal Opportunities Award.
Jonas Moll, Åsa Cajander, Christiane Grünlog and Isabella Scandurra are organising a workshop at Medical Informatics Europe on “Identifying the Need of Self-reported Data and Self-measurements for Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer”
Today, numerous data sources are available to healthcare professionals for diagnosing and treating cancer, but there are also data captured by patients, e.g. related to daily progress, which are not readily accessible to healthcare.
In this workshop, we will use the critical incidents technique to inspire participants to elaborate on the need of using new data collections and measurements, for example from continuous self-tracking, as well as utilizing already existing data in new ways for diagnoses and treatment of cancer. Real-life critical incidents related to patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers, will be discussed and used as a basis for scenarios that will illustrate future visions of how self-reported data and self-measurements should be used in combination with existing data sources.
Welcome to the workshop!
To register, visit the MIE website.
The HTO team not only works with research, but also quite a lot with teaching and pedagogic development. The Phd students in the group usually teach around 20% of their time, whereas seniors teach around 40-60%.
Some examples from our teaching are:
Diane Golay works with pedagogic development of an online HCI course and has substantial work in redesigning and improving the learning experience of the students. She has presented this development work at a well received seminar at the department, and submitted an abstract to a Uppsala University pedagogic development conference (TUK). Diane has written an interesting blog post about the learning experience from redesigning here.
Lars Oestreicher from HTO is one of the departments most appreciated lecturers, and he teaches in many different areas. One example is inclusive design where he has also written a course book and has world leading expertice. Lars has been awarded the title Excellent teacher, and is indeed an inspiration related to teaching.
Åsa Cajander and Diane Golay are currently working with the development of our new course: Complex IT systems in large organisations, see this blog post.
Attending Pedagogic Development Conferences.
In 2018 HTO are planning to attend at the following conferences in teaching and learning:
- NU 2018. NU stands for Network and Development (in Swedish nätverk och utveckling), is a national conference organized annually for all those involved in Swedish higher education. The main purpose of the conference is to promote pedagogical development work by offering a meeting place for dissemination, dialogue and debate. NU2018 is the sixth NU conference in the scheme.
- TUK 2018. The Faculty of Science and Technology at Uppsala University organise this conferenec which gives possibilities for meetings, discussions and presentations for the educational development and educational projects at our faculty. At the conference, we discuss with colleagues in pleasant forms, maybe around your own project (as you can present) and / or around other projects. The conference is also a great forum for discussing new projects and project ideas, or linking contacts with future partners about pedagogically relevant issues.
- Frontiers in Education 2018. This is an annual conference in the area of Computer Science Education, and this time it has the theme “Fostering Innovation Through Diversity”. This is a meeting place to be inspired in your research based innovation work. This conference will be organised in Uppsala 2020.
- ITiCSE 2018. This is the 23rd Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, will take place in Larnaca, Cyprus, hosted by University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus. This conference was organised in Uppsala in 2014 with Mats Daniels and Åsa Cajander as conference chairs.
We have one paper from the DISA project accepted for Medical Informatics Europe 2018. The paper is written by Åsa Cajander, Jonas Moll, Sara Englund and Anastasia Hansman and will be presented at the conference in Gothenburg 24-26 of April 2018. The paper is based on Sara Englund and Anastasia Hansmans study with interviews of nurses in primary care.
Below is the abstract of the paper:
In 2012 Patients Accessible Electronic Health Records (PAEHR) was introduced in Region Uppsala, Sweden. When PAEHR was introduced heath care professionals were very concerned especially in relation to potential negative effects on their work environment. However, few studies exist that investigate in what way work environments have been affected, and no studies have focused on the nurses’ working in primary care. Hence, the purpose of this study was to fill this gap through seven interviews with primary care nurses that were transcribed and thematically analysed.
The study shows that the nurses’ experiences an altered contact as patients accessing PAEHR came prepared to meetings with more informed questions. They also experienced that the service had increased their work load and that it creates uncertainty for nurses who do not know when to inform the patient about test results etc. Finally, some implications are discussed in relation to the patients’ role in shared decision making.
Since the late 40’s, every president of the United States obtains multiple documents of informations several times a day. The documents are adjusted according to each new president’s desires. Donald Trump desires to receive a document that is unofficially called “The Propaganda Document”. On orders from Mr. Trump, it contains only positive news, flattering tweets about himself and in some cases, when there are no happy news, just pictures of him looking powerful. It is also said that the news and national security issues in other documents are ranked with the only purpose of not upsetting him.
Filter bubbles can happen to everyone, not just president Trump. It happens when we use Facebook, Google or almost any other social media that adapt their content to their users. By adapting the content, users will only see information in subjects they have earlier shown interest in. One example could be if a coder and a zookeeper Googles “python”, they will probably receive different results. We believe that the effect of filter bubbles might be much more than just getting different Google results. If people only find information that matches their interests and opinion they will not see things from several points of view. In our project, we are investigating if there are such thing as a harmful filter bubble and what it might look like.
Our names are Anna Normark and Rebecca Oskarsson. We are two master students in the IT engineering programme, currently working on our master thesis. Our thesis consists of investigating filter bubbles and their effects. We are invited to write some blog posts here by our reviewer Åsa Cajander and this is our first blog post on this topic and there will be two more coming up this spring.
It’s time to charge your batteries and spend some time with family and friends. It is important to rest during holidays, especially if your work has been stressful. Far too many in academia burn out, or end up with depressions or other stress related problems.
Tip of the day: Last week there was a stress test released by SuntArbetsliv that I strongly recommend as it is based on the latest stress research:
(Unfortunately in Swedish. I hope Google Translate will work)
We really hope that you take some time off, and that we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!