Week 1: Personal Data: Digital Personhood, 15 March 2017, 5:30pm 2017-03-15T09:39:57+00:00

Wolfson-HAT Annual Symposium on the Digital Person – March 15-April 5


Covering topics such as the expression of digital identity, curating personal, digital narratives and memories, proxies of digital self, digital and physical world connections, online identities and understanding how individuals and society could benefit from the value of digital selves

This session will be chaired by Professor Wendy Moncur



Professor Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee) Chair

In sync? Online and offline personhood at times of change

In this post-digital area, where digital technology is ever present but mundane, online and offline aspects of people’s lives and identities are intertwined. But what happens at times of change in their lives?
I will draw on 11 years of user research to illustrate how digital technologies can help and hinder during times of change, using examples that include becoming an adult, becoming a parent, romantic breakup, and even end of life.

Wendy Moncur is an Interdisciplinary Professor with a joint appointment across DJCAD and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review Associate College. She has honorary appointments as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and as an Associate of the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath. Wendy has been Principal Investigator/ Co-Investigator on grants worth over £2.7Million since 2011. She leads the Living Digital research group. The group’s research is grounded in Human-Computer Interaction, and focuses on the design of technology to support being human in a Digital Age, particularly around significant life experiences. Before moving into academia, Wendy worked widely in the IT industry, across financial services, utilities and manufacturing sectors.

Dr Siân Lindley (Microsoft Research) – Designing Interactions for Digital Possessions

It is well known that people struggle to manage, curate and keep track of their digital possessions. This is exacerbated as our relationships and interactions with digital materials diversify, shifting from the notion of files stored on a computer to material that is shared with different people, saved as different versions over time, and distributed and propagated across services and devices. I will draw on user research and design work in asking how new paradigms for user interactions might address these issues, and enable people to be more aware and in control of their digital content.

Siân is a social scientist in the Human Experience & Design (HXD) group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. She researches how people manage and interact with their personal digital content, in order to inform the design of new technologies. She works on the Digital Possessions project, which is motivated by the need to reimagine the ‘file’ metaphor. The file was designed before the Internet became ubiquitous, and doesn’t deal well with how digital content gets copied to different places, shared with different people, and saved as different versions over time. By designing new metaphors and interactions, Siân aims to address these problems and enable people to be more aware and in control of their digital content.

Professor Irene Ng (Warwick Manufacturing Group) – Schema, Memory and Personal Data

In psychology, a schema is a mental concept that helps a person know what to expect from different experiences and situations. Schemas are built through  information provided by life experiences and are then stored in memory.

As more of human interactions get recorded through sensor and interaction data, how can we emerge a way to structure, curate and organise personal data such that it can be an effective fit to the way we as humans organise information in our heads and in so doing, use personal data to augment recall and improve well being and decision making? Is there a data structure for the augmented personification of the human, similar to the human genome?

I will present the practical aspects of this challenge by illustrating the ‘horizontalization’ of personal data on the HAT dashboard and posing the problem for discussion with the panel and the audience.

Irene is a Professor of Marketing and Service Systems and the Director of the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation at WMG, University of Warwick. She is also a Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge. Irene was an entrepreneur and practitioner for 16 years before switching to an academic career. During her time in industry she occupied a number of senior positions in industry rising to become CEO of SA Tours and Travel group of companies (Singapore, Malaysia, China and UK) and founded Empress Cruise Lines, a company with an annual turnover of USD250m which she sold in 1996. An industrial economist through her doctoral training, Irene’s research lies in the trans-disciplinary understanding of value and the design of markets and economic/business models. She is the recipient of several ESRC fellowship appointments, including being one of the 6 UK Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) research Services Fellows, the ESRC/NIHR Placement Fellow and more recently, one of the five ESRC/InnovateUK Innovation Caucus Thought leaders. Both an entrepreneur and an academic, Irene is passionate about the link between practice and research. She is an advisor to start-ups on new financial models in digital businesses.