Background

Introduction

As the IoT is beginning to bring automation to domestic practices such as heating, washing, and cleaning (see Figure 1), this trend may instigate a shift from home automation towards a ‘sharing economy’ by opening up the home to an interconnected network of suppliers of goods and services, as well as the local neighbourhood [8]. The sharing economy may disrupt existing industries with new decentralized peer-to-peer market places [2]. For example, proactive software agents may purchase locally available goods based on sensing stock at home, schedule their automated delivery, and trade with neighbours to optimise the use of resources, promoting sustainable trade, fair treatment of producers, and minimising cost, waste, and emissions. However, user studies of nascent proactive IoT devices show that they lack intelligibility and controllability, which has led to users being frustrated and wasting time and money, which may ultimately lead to abandoning the technology [12]. Additionally, new mechanisms of consent and withdrawal may be necessary for technologies that constantly gather data from our homes [7]. It is these challenges that we seek to address in this workshop.

Background

The workshop is motivated against a background of a new research grant on “Future Everyday Interaction with the Autonomous Internet of Things”. This aspect of the workshop is related to a substantial body of work at CHI and UbiComp related to home automation of activities such as heating [10], washing [3], and energy tariff switching [1]. This proactive IoT will be focused on acting on anticipated need on behalf of users on the basis of data gathered from the IoT. This brings into focus the fundamental challenge of anticipation as a topic for automation. Seminal research into this topic in human-computer interaction has highlighted the challenges for interactive systems design to respond appropriately to the contingent and situated nature of human action [11]. In turn, we wish to foreground the ways in which the devices making up an Internet of Things might be situated in the context of everyday activities and connected to a broad ecology of resources. Consequently, rather than focus on IoT artefacts (the things) we suggest an emphasis on the everyday activities these are implicated in, the broader human practices involving these activities, and their place in the broad ecological arrangement. While many IoT technologies have been envisioned, prototyped or even commercialized, they have tended to lack support for the flexibility of everyday life that would be necessary for accountable autonomous operation. This workshop seeks to investigate this shortcoming.

References
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