Reblog> digital | visual | cultural

Nvidia's Metropolis platform

Gillian Rose has a new project, which she’s blogged about. It sounds interesting. I was sort of wondering if the analysis of a “specific way of seeing the world through digital visualising technologies emerging” might crossover with Matt Jones’ ‘sensor vernacular‘ and James Bridle‘s, and others’, conceptualisation of a ‘new aesthetic‘…

Lovely that such work is supported by an institution (Oxford). I am sure it will create all sorts of interesting linkages and conversations.

digital | visual | cultural

I’m very excited to announce a new project: Digital | Visual | Cultural.   D|V|C is a series of events which will explore how the extensive use of digital visualising technologies creates new ways of seeing the world.

About Banner

The first event will be on June 28, when Shannon Mattern will give a public lecture in Oxford. Shannon is the author of the brilliant Code and Clay, Data and Dirt as well as lots of great essays for Places Journal. ‘Fifty Eyes on a Scene’ will replay a single urban scene from the perspective of several sets of machinic and creaturely eyes. That lecture will be free to attend but you’ll need to book. Booking opens via the D|V|C website on 23 April. It will also be livestreamed.

I’m working on this with Sterling Mackinnon, and funding is coming from the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, and St John’s College Oxford.

The website has more info at dvcultural.org, and you can follow D|V|C on Twitter @dvcultural and on Instagram at dvcultural. There’ll be a couple more events in 2019 so follow us to stay in touch.

So that’s the practicalities. What’s the logic?

The key questions D|V|C will be asking are: Is a specific way of seeing the world through digital visualising technologies emerging? If so, what are its conditions and consequences?

Read more.

Event> Close Reading + Digital Humanities

glitched text

This event, tomorrow (20th April 2018), looks really interesting. [via Scott Rodgers]:

Close Reading + Digital Humanities

Friday 20th April 2018
2pm-5pm
114 (Keynes Library), 43 Gordon Square

Birkbeck’s Centre for Technology and Publishing is pleased to present “Close Reading + Digital Humanities: A Dialogue”.

Digital practices in literary studies have been at the forefront of recent debates about what it means to ‘read’ at scale. Meanwhile, conventional literary studies has followed the modernist paradigm of ‘close reading’, insisting on close textual attention. This afternoon brings together scholars of both approaches to investigate how one can inform the other, chart common goals and navigate potential tensions and anxieties. Each speaker will present for 25 minutes with Q+A, followed by a panel discussion.

Please RSVP on the Eventbrite page.

Contributors:

Professor Martin Paul Eve
Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing
Birkbeck, University of London

Erik Ketzan
PhD Candidate: Digital Humanities
Birkbeck, University of London

Dr. Richard Robinson
Associate Professor, English Literature & Creative Writing
Swansea University

Dr. Gabriele Salciute Civiliene
Teaching Fellow in Digital Humanities Technologies,
Department of Digital Humanities
Kings College London

This event is generously supported by the Lorraine Lim Postgraduate Fund, Birkbeck, University of London.

CFP> ‘The Spectre of Artificial Intelligence’

Still from George Lucas' THX1138

An interesting CFP for Spheres: Journal of Digital Culture. Heard through CDC Leuphana:

‘The Spectre of Artificial Intelligence

Over the last years we have been witnessing a shift in the conception of artificial intelligence, in particular with the explosion in machine learning technologies. These largely hidden systems determine how data is gathered, analyzed, and presented or used for decision-making. The data and how it is handled are not neutral, but full of ambiguity and presumptions, which implies that machine learning algorithms are constantly fed with biases that mirror our everyday culture; what we teach these algorithms ultimately reflects back on us and it is therefore no surprise when artificial neural networks start to classify and discriminate on the basis of race, class and gender. (Blockbuster news regarding that women are being less likely to get well paid job offers shown through recommendation systems, a algorithm which was marking pictures of people of color as gorillas, or the delivery service automatically cutting out neighborhoods in big US cities where mainly African Americans and Hispanics live, show how trends of algorithmic classification can relate to the restructuring of the life chances of individuals and groups in society.) However, classification is an essential component of artificial intelligence, insofar as the whole point of machine learning is to distinguish ‘valuable’ information from a given set of data. By imposing identity on input data, in order to filter, that is to differentiate signals from noise, machine learning algorithms become a highly political issue. The crucial question in relation to machine learning therefore is: how can we systematically classify without being discriminatory?In the next issue of spheres, we want to focus on current discussions around automation, robotics and machine learning, from an explicitly political perspective. Instead of invoking once more the spectre of artificial intelligence – both in its euphoric as well as apocalyptic form – we are interested in tracing human and non-human agency within automated processes, discussing the ethical implications of machine learning, and exploring the ideologies behind the imaginaries of AI. We ask for contributions that deal with new developments in artificial intelligence beyond the idiosyncratic description of specific features (e.g. symbolic versus connectionist AI, supervised versus unsupervised learning) by employing diverse perspectives from around the world, particularly the Global South. To fulfil this objective, we would like to arrange the upcoming issue around three focal points:

  1. Reflections dealing with theoretical (re-)conceptualisations of what artificial intelligence is and should be. What history do the terms artificiality, intelligence, learning, teaching and training have and what are their hidden assumptions? How can human intelligence and machine intelligence be understood and how is intelligence operationalised within AI? Is machine intelligence merely an enhanced form of pattern recognition? Why do ’human’ prejudices re-emerge in machine learning algorithms, allegedly devised to be blind to them?
  2. Implications focusing on the making of artificial intelligence. What kind of data analysis and algorithmic classification is being developed and what are its parameters? How do these decisions get made and by whom? How can we hold algorithms accountable? How can we integrate diversity, novelty and serendipity into the machines? How can we filter information out of data without reinserting racist, sexist, and classist beliefs? How is data defined in the context of specific geographies? Who becomes classified as threat according to algorithmic calculations and why?
  3. Imaginaries revealing the ideas shaping artificial intelligence. How do pop-cultural phenomena reflect the current reconfiguration of human-machine-relations? What can they tell us about the techno-capitalist unconscious? In which way can artistic practices address the current situation? What can we learn from historical examples (e.g. in computer art, gaming, music)? What would a different aesthetic of artificial intelligence look like? How can we make the largely hidden processes of algorithmic filtering visible? How to think of machine learning algorithms beyond accuracy, efficiency, and homophily?

Deadlines

If you would like to submit an article or other, in particular artistic contribution (music, sound, video, etc.) to the issue, please get in touch with the editorial collective (contact details below) as soon as possible. We would be grateful if you would submit a provisional title and short abstract (250 words, max) by 15 May, 2018. We may have questions or suggestions that we raise at this point. Otherwise, final versions of articles and other contributions should please be submitted by 31 August, 2018. They will undergo review in accordance with the peer review process (s. About spheres). Any revisions requested will need to be completed so that the issue can be published in Winter 2018.

>> Read more

Digital work and automation link dump

Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times

Ok. Whilst I was not blogging I kept finding things through twitter and reading blogs that I find interesting. I kept thinking “oh, I ought to write something about that”… the thing is, I haven’t had the time and I don’t have the time now. So… I’m going to do a sort of annotated link thingamajig so that I don’t lose these things (I have over 45 tabs open in Chrome on my phone, this is unworkable) and also to share and to maybe invite other people to comment on this stuff..?!

The future of work, a history by Kevin Baker – A relatively long piece of writing that charts a history of American worrying about the replacement of the human worker with machines. Some interesting historical details that help contextualise some of the alarmism today. What I like about this is that the piece ends by reminding us all that there are choices to be made, which are political, but it also highlights how inescapable forms of determinism are (as Sally Wyatt so expertly tells us).

Tech culture, unions and the blind spot of meritocracy by Wendy Liu in Technology and The Worker (#2) –an interesting piece by Wendy Liu that documents a conversation with Xavier Denis a former engineer at Shopify about what working in the US tech. market is like – the sorts of working conditions, norms and management practices.

Automation, skills use and training by Ljubica Nedelkoska and Glenda Quintin (OECD) — A report that builds upon and that authors claim improves assessments of the potential for the automation of particular kinds of work. “Beyond the share of jobs likely to be significantly disrupted by automation of production and services, the accent is put on characteristics of these jobs and the characteristics of the workers who hold them.” This contributes to the ongoing arguments around the likelihood or not of job/role/work automation.

What can machine learning do? Workforce implications by Erik Brynjolfsson (MIT) and Tom Mitchell (Carnegie Mellon) in Science – A short-ish “Insights” article that makes some fairly grandiose and sweeping claims about the ‘impacts’ of automation on the workforce (with an American focus). Some references are made but if you follow them up it seems to me that the statements they are used to support make fairly big leaps. This, in contrast to the OECD report, is a stoking of the now brightly burning fire of the imaginings of automation.

The Guardian view on automation: put human needs first – A Grauniad editorial that passes comment on the above OECD report. It’s interesting to see the reception, interpretation and sometimes misrepresentation (I don’t think that’s what the Graun are doing here) of these academic economic reports. This plays into the general, normative, discussions and senses of the risks and/or realities of automation (this is a part of what I want write a book about).


BBC Click offer a Twitter-length version of ‘what it’s like to work with robots’.

Dr Easy.

Shynola re-imagine/visualise the opening section of Matthew De Abaitua’s novel Red Men – a PKD-like imaginative exploration of the emergence of AI.

The Incomplete Vision of John Perry Barlow by April Glaser (Slate) – Reflecting upon Barlow’s “Declaration of the independence of cyberspace” and the rise of EFF following his death earlier this year. Fits nicely with Fred Turner’s work examining the hippy-libertarian nexus of Silicon Valley moguls. In many ways this gets at some of the ideological foundations and/or misgivings of automation talk.

Face Recognition Glasses Augment China’s Railway Cops by Bibek Bhandari (SixthTone) – An article about the alleged deployment of facial recognition through AR glasses for Chinese police. Predictable comparisons to “Black Mirror” and other forms of dystopianism.

The Ethics Advisory Group of the European Data Protection Supervisor Report on Data Ethics (2018) [PDF] – On the back of the GDPR and contemporary debates around privacy in light of perennial controversies with Facebook and others the Ethics Advisory Group published a report claiming that: “The objective of this report is thus not to generate definitive answers, nor to articulate new norms for present and future digital societies but to identify and describe the most crucial questions for the urgent conversation to come.” The report is written by J. Peter Burgess, Luciano Floridi, Aurélie Pols and Jeroen van de Hoven.

The network Uber drivers built by Alex Rosenblat – an article that addresses some of the ways that Uber drivers have collectively organised in order to manage working with a quasi-automated system in which the policies are not necessaerily in the best interests of the worker.

Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy (Report of Strategic Council for AI Technology) ( a Japanese government report) [PDF] – A 25 page report written for the Japanese government. It’s fairly dry and dense and has some crazy Powerpoint-style diagrams but it is sort of interesting as a documenting of an apparently strategic governmental approach to “AI”.

Why the Luddites matter : Librarian Shipwreck – A good blogpost on who the Luddites really were and framing them as an interesting means of getting at how popular understandings of technology might be found wanting.

Sci-Fi doesn’t have to be depressing: welcome to Solar Punk by Tom Cassauwers – What if we don’t write dystopian science fiction but build imaginary worlds based on positive and affirmative uses of technology? That is the premise of what is called ‘Solar Punk’, as outlined here by Tom Cassauwers – who charts the movement with Sarena Ulibarri, an editor who is a key proponent of the sub-genre.

Our driverless future on CNN Money – a video feature on driverless cars with four episodes and a couple of additional videos. There’s some interesting interviews and it’s not all boosterism. It’s sort of emblematic of the current discourse on automation. If nothing else this is probably useful for teaching purposes as there are some clips that nicely sum up some of the key questions being asked.

Unpopped – the podcast you should be listening to

Mary & Marina from Bristol in Gogglebox

I’ve been expanding my podcast listening. I still listen to a mix of tech-related stuff and pop culture. I’ve also begun to listen to the very helpful Radio 4 Extra Podcast Radio Hour. I don’t always get on with the contents, sometimes fast-forward but blimey does it give you an intro to a much bigger range of podcasts!

Anyway, one of the podcasts that I turned to from that show was Unpopped (via Geoff Lloyd). It’s a podcast hosted by Hayley Campbell in which she gets a panel together to talk about a particular subject/aspect of pop culture. The most recent (at the time of writing) was an excellent discussion about the roots of Grime and representation. Other episodes I have really enjoyed include one about Paris Hilton and the nature of celebrity. The only other podcast experience I have had that is analogous was a great OUP podcast episode about Rihanna and representations of black women.

I am starting to think, after listening to around five episodes, that you could almost build a module from the podcast. The discussions are (mostly) brilliant – insightful, politically astute and often funny. In many ways this is the cultural studies of Stuart Hall, Paul du Gay and others alive and kicking in a medium they may have studied.

Rather than over-coding the descriptive and analytical detail with “big” theory (in the ways of which social & cultural geographers are, I fear, terribly guilty) —it’s not always reducible to affect, neoliberalism and subjectivity 😉 — most episodes of unpopped offer specific and nuanced discussions of a particular phenomenon/subject/topic.

I recommend listening to it…

In the mood for a comeback…

Foggy illuminated pier

So… not been blogging for a little while.

Finally feel like I can return to this now though. I’ll try and build momentum up again. Maybe even write more of my own thoughts rather than just curate things but we’ll have to see.

I have had a lot going on outside of work. I am not keen on the apparently  modish ‘confessional’ style of telling the world details of things that are uncomfortable or difficult so I’m not going to. Suffice it to say that since December things have generally been hard for me. I’m not asking for sympathy just explaining why there’s been no blogging. Work stuff for many of us has also been fraught. In some UK universities we’ve been on strike to attempt to protect our pension benefits, which the organisation supposedly representing our employers is attempting to change to our detriment. You can read more on this through the excellent ‘USSBriefs’. The strike deeply affected my teaching. My students were excellent but I have found it an emotionally fraught time.

I have tried to keep on top of things and I do have some stuff to talk about, but I confess it really is hard when my head is not really in it. Having said this, here’s what I’m thinking about…

Automation is still on the agenda for me. I am convening a double session at this years RGS-IBG conference. This will include me basically giving my pitch for a book: “The Automative Imagination” — there’s some text below [1] to give you sense of what that means. I had grand hopes of beginning a podcast this year to build on the ideas I had swirling around my head/laptop but with all that’s been going on – it seems like it’s all of sudden April and I’m still where I was at Christmas. I’d still like to do this though. If you’re interested in being a ‘guest’ please feel free to get in touch. I am keen!

How we theorise digital mediation in terms of spatial experience is something I will revisit in a talk next month. I will be speaking at the 2018 IRS Spring Academy on “Virtuality and Socio-Materiality”, which is the second of three ‘Spring Academies’ organised by the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) together with different academic partners and supported by the Volkswagen Foundation, with the overall title “Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches”. I’m really grateful to Oliver Ibert and Karina Böhm at IRS who invited me and have been incredibly supportive. I have copied below my abstract [2]. I’m sort of interested in thinking about this a bit more with a view to maybe writing something about what theorising ‘the digital’ and ‘mediation’ means or can mean for geographyland, which, it seems to me, has a fairly peculiar way of doing that theorising at present.

[1] The Automative Imagination

Automation is imagined as much as it is planned and enacted. There are various kinds of cultural, economic and social forms of imagination that are drawn upon and generated when discussing how automation works and the kinds of future that may come as a result. The concept of an ‘automative imagination’ is proposed as a means of articulating these different, sometimes competing – sometimes complementary, orientations towards automation. The neologism ‘automative’ is not used here to assert discursive authority but rather as a pragmatic tool – to speak of an ‘automated’ or ‘automatic’ imagination does not describe the characteristics of automation but suggests the imagining is itself automated, which is not the argument I am seeking to make. My aim is not to validate/invalidate particular narratives of automation – but instead to think about how they are produced and what they tell us about how we tell stories about what it means to be ‘human’, who/what has agency and what this may mean for how we think politically and spatially.

[2] Worrying realities: Spatial theory and digital geographies

As practitioners of a ‘spatial science’ geographers frequently espouse forms of ‘spatial’ theory, yet the ambiguities of mediation through technologies produces enduring disagreements over the nature of that mediation. While prominent geographical theorists have asserted a relational nature of space on the one hand, on the other hand binaries of ‘real’/’virtual’ worlds remain common currency in the study and theorisation of ‘digital geographies’. There is a sense in which geographers concerned with ‘the digital’, or ‘the virtual’, continue to both worry and worry about the nature of ‘reality’. This talk addresses forms of theorising and problematising ‘the digital’ for geographical research. Rather than asserting a ‘correct’ form of theory, the concern here is to attempt to tease out productive ways to theorise whatever it is that we variously address as ‘cyberspace’, ‘the digital’, mediation and ‘the virtual’. The aim is to think about what it means to ‘do theory’ in relation to such concerns. Thus while there is necessarily an abstract side to such discussions, the kinds of theorising addressed will be grounded in examples taken from contemporary research and popular culture.

 

P.S. Title of the post comes from this…

Automating inequality – Virginia Eubanks and interlocutors [video]

Still from George Lucas' THX1138

This Data & Society talk by Virginia Eubanks on her book Automating Inequality followed by a discussion with Alondra Nelson and Julia Angwin is excellent. This seems like vital empirical analysis and insights that flesh out what is, perhaps, frequently gestured towards by ‘critical algorithm studies’ folks – ‘auditing algorithms’, analysing what’s in the black box, how systems function and what is their material and socio-economic specificity and what then can we learn about how particular forms of actually existing automation (and not simply abstract ideals) function.

Eubanks talks for the first 20-ish minutes and then there’s a discussion that follows. This is really worth watching if you’re interested in doing algorithm studies type work and in doing ‘digital geographies’ that don’t simply lapse into ontology talk.

Investigating Space(s): Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches: Virtuality and Socio-Materiality IRS Spring Academy

Facial tracking system, showing gaze direction, emotion scores and demographic profiling

I will be a ‘keynote’ at the IRS Spring Academy this year, which is concerned with ways of addressing ‘virtuality and socio-materiality’. Other speakers and contributors to the Spring Academy include: Annett Heft, Brian J. Hracs, Gertraud Koch, Daniel MaierDaniela Stoltenberg and Matt Zook.

I’ll be talking about ways of theorising space and spatial experience for ‘digital’ things. I’ve copied my abstract below, as well as the details of the Spring Academy.

This is a really good opportunity for PhD students – it is free (including travel and subsistence, as far as I can tell) and there are lots of interesting things going throughout the week. I encourage people to take a look, consider applying and/or sharing with others who might benefit from this opportunity.

My talk:

Worrying realities: spatial theory and digital geographies

As practitioners of a ‘spatial science’ geographers frequently espouse forms of ‘spatial’ theory, yet the ambiguities of mediation through technologies produces enduring disagreements over the nature of that mediation. While prominent geographical theorists have asserted a relational nature of space on the one hand, on the other –binaries of ‘real’/’virtual’ worlds remain common currency in the study and theorisation of ‘digital geographies’. There is a sense in which geographers concerned with ‘the digital’, or ‘the virtual’, continue to both worry and worry about the nature ‘reality’. This talk addresses forms of theorising and problematising ‘the digital’ for geographical research. Rather than asserting a ‘correct’ form of theory, the concern here is to attempt to tease out productive ways to theorise whatever it is that we variously address as ‘cyberspace’, ‘the digital’, mediation and ‘the virtual’. The aim is to think about what it means to ‘do theory’ in relation to such concerns. Thus while there is necessarily an abstract side to such discussions, the kinds of theorising addressed will be grounded in examples taken from contemporary research and popular culture.

IRS Spring Academy 2018

In the past two decades the interdisciplinary field between spatial and social sciences has undergone an extraordinarily dynamic development with a high potential for innovation. On the one hand, many social-scientific disciplines performed a “spatial turn” and became more interested in integrating spatial concepts and terminology. On the other hand, disciplines like human geography or spatial planning, understand space less as an exclusive object of analysis and instead emphasize a “spatial perspective” as a shared ontological ground. This has opened up a broad “trading zone” within which novel conceptualizations of space and spatiality are negotiated in an inter-disciplinary field. Against this background, the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) together with different academic partners and supported by the Volkswagen Foundation organizes a series of three successive Spring Academies entitled “Investigating Space(s): Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches”.

Each event focuses on different aspects of the emergent thriving field. The opening event, on “Temporality and Procedurality”, already took place in 2017. Part 2 on “Virtuality and Socio-Materiality” is addressed with this call for applications and will take place from 22 to 25 May 2018. Part 3 on “Topologies” will follow in 2019.

The IRS Spring Academy (Part 2) is organized with the participation of the collaborative project “Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

See the full website and the call for participation (PDF).

Retooling ‘the human’ – animal constructions and technical knowledge

A crow using a stick as a tool

A really interesting review, by Emma Stamm, of what seems like an equally interesting book: Ashley Shew’s Animal Constructions and Technical Knowledge. Full review on Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.

In its investigation of the flaws of anthropocentrism, Animal Constructions implies a deceptively straightforward question: what work does “the human clause” do for us? —  in other words, what has led “the human” to become so inexorably central to our technological and philosophical consciousness? Shew does not address this head-on, but she does give readers plenty of material to begin answering it for themselves. And perhaps they should: while the text resists ethical statements, there is an ethos to this particular question.

Applied at the societal level, an investigation of the roots of “the human clause” could be leveraged toward democratic ends. If we do, in  fact, include tools made and used by nonhuman animals in our definition of technology, it may mar the popular image of technological knowledge as a sort of “magic” or erudite specialization only accessible to certain types of minds. There is clear potential for this epistemological position to be advanced in the name of social inclusivity.

Whether or not readers detect a social project among the conversations engaged by Animal Constructions, its relevance to future studies is undeniable. The maps provided by Animal Constructions and Technical Knowledge do not tell readers where to go, but will certainly come in useful for anybody exploring the nonhuman territories of 21st century. Indeed, Animal Construction and Technical Knowledge is not only a substantive offering to philosophy of technology, but a set of tools whose true power may only be revealed in time.

Reblog> WIAS Workshop: Academic Labour, Digital Media and Capitalism 31/01/18

Glitched screenshot of Antony Sher in Malcolm Bradbury's The History Man

Saw this via Phoebe Moore:

WIAS Workshop: Academic Labour, Digital Media and Capitalism

by Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies

This workshop marks the publication of the special issue “Academic Labour, Digital Media and Capitalism” in tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. We will hear presentations by experts who have contributed to the issue: guest editor Thomas Allmer (University of Stirling), Karen Gregory (University of Edinburgh) and Jamie Woodcock (LSE).

Modern universities have always been embedded in capitalism in political, economic and cultural terms. In 1971, at the culmination of the Vietnam War, a young student pointed a question towards Noam Chomsky: “How can you, with your very courageous attitude towards the war in Vietnam, survive in an institution like MIT, which is known here as one of the great war contractors and intellectual makers of this war?” Chomsky had to admit that his workplace was a major organisation conducting war research, thereby strengthening the political contradictions and inequalities in capitalist societies.

Today, universities are positioning themselves as active agents of global capital, transforming urban spaces into venues for capital accumulation and competing for international student populations for profit. Steep tuition fees are paid for precarious futures. Increasingly, we see that the value of academic labour is measured in capitalist terms and therefore subject to new forms of control, surveillance and productivity measures. Situated in this economic and political context, the new special issue of tripleC (edited by Thomas Allmer and Ergin Bulut) is a collection of critical contributions that examine universities, academic labour, digital media and capitalism.


Workshop presentations:

Anger in Academic Twitter: Sharing, Caring, and Getting Mad Online
Karen Gregory, University of Edinburgh

Digital Labour in the University: Understanding the Transformations of Academic Work in the UK
Jamie Woodcock, LSE

Theorising and Analysing Academic Labour
Thomas Allmer, University of Stirling

The workshop will be chaired by WIAS Director and tripleC co-editor Christian Fuchs. WIAS invites everybody interested to attend this afternoon of talks and discussions tackling the question of academic labour in the age of digital capitalism. A coffee break is provided.

Thomas Allmer is Lecturer in Digital Media at the University of Stirling, Scotland, UK, and a member of the Unified Theory of Information Research Group, Austria. His publications include Towards a Critical Theory of Surveillance in Informational Capitalism (Peter Lang, 2012) and Critical Theory and Social Media: Between Emancipation and Commodification (Routledge, 2015). For more information, see Thomas’ website.

Karen Gregory is a Lecturer in Digital Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, a digital sociologist and ethnographer. She researches the relationship between work, technology, and emerging forms of labour, exploring the intersection of work and labor, social media use, and contemporary spirituality. She is the co-editor of the book Digital Sociologies (Policy Press, 2017).

Jamie Woodcock is a fellow at the LSE and author of Working The Phones. His current research focuses on digital labour, the sociology of work, the gig economy, resistance, and videogames. He has previously worked as a postdoc on a research project about videogames, as well as another on the crowdsourcing of citizen science. Jamie completed his PhD in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and has held positions at Goldsmiths, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Queen Mary, NYU London, and Cass Business School.

Christian Fuchs is Professor at the University of Westminster. He is the Director of the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI) and Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies (WIAS). His fields of expertise are critical digital & social media studies, Internet & society, political economy of media and communication, information society theory, social theory and critical theory. He co-edits the open-access journal triple:Communication, Capitalism & Critique with Marisol Sandoval.