Research Highlights from late 2018.

Research Highlights from late 2018.

Happy New Year to any readers of this blog, hope you had an enjoyable festive break to recharge your batteries and relax. As 2019 starts to gather pace, I thought I’d use this window to provide an update for this this poor blog, which has been rather neglected of late. I think starting a new job as a lecturer, moving house and so forth might get me a pass for now, but there has been some interesting research news to report, so as seems to be the practice at this time of year, I’ll look back over the last few months for an update on what research I’ve been up to. As this blog only fell into disrepair in the latter part of last year, I’ll just focus on things that have been happening in more recent months.


It is nice to see that quite a few interdisciplinary papers I’ve written in 2018  have now moved to the final stages of going to print (or are already in print). I’ll share them once they go live, but in the near future, we will see the following (with co-author’s backgrounds for context):

  • IJLIT: ‘Demonstrably Doing Accountability for the Internet of Things’ with A Crabtree (Sociology/CompSci) & T Lodge (CompSci) for International Journal of Law and Information Technology DOI 10.1093/ijlit/eay015 just went live here (open access).

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  • IRLCT: Adaptive Architecture: Regulating Human Building Interaction’, with N Jäger (Architecture/HCI) & H Schnädelbach (Architecture/HCI) **Won Taylor & Francis Prize at BILETA 2018** International Review of Law, Computers & Technology

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  • CHI 2019: ‘Card Mapper: Enabling Data-Driven Reflections on Ideation Cards’ with D Darzentas (Comp Sci- HCI), R Velt (Comp Sci- HCI), R Wetzel (Comp Sci- HCI), H Wagner (Politics/Psychology), P Craigon (Critical Theory), S Benford (CompSci – HCI).  ACM SIGCHI 2019

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  • TOCHI: ‘Adaptive Architecture and Personal Data’ with H Schnädelbach (Architecture/HCI) & N Jäger (Architecture/HCI). ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction Special Edition on Adaptive Architecture

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  • Good Data (Edited Collection): ‘Domesticating Data: Socio-Legal Perspectives on Smart Homes & Good Data Design’ with M Goulden (Sociology/Science & Technology Studies), M Flintham (CompSci – HCI) & D Price (CompSci) for A Daly et al (eds.) Good Data

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  • Journal of Risk Research: ‘Performing the Future: Risk, Uncertainty & Artistic Process’ with R Jacobs (Artist/HCI), Frank Abbott (Artist) & D Price (CompSci), Journal of Risk Research.

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Also excitingly, after being involved with the project for a long time with Lilian as an RA and contributor, Lilian’s fantastic new book Law, Policy and The Internet has been launched. I have two chapters in there (listed below). It is a great collection for anyone looking to get up to speed with recent developments in the field. I was down for the launch in London at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies on 13th Dec. It was lovely  to catch-up with other everyone involved, and the wider IT law community  for some pre-Christmas celebration. The two chapters are as follows:

  • ‘Exploring Cybersecurity and Cybercrime: Threats and Legal Responses’ in L Edwards, Law, Policy and the Internet (Hart Publishing: 2018)
  • Regulating Privacy and Freedom of the Press from 2004-2018: From Campbell to Fake News’, in L Edwards, Law, Policy and the Internet (Hart Publishing: 2018)

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There was also a paper based on a conference talk from last year’s ETHICOMP which was in Orbit, but has now also found its way into a conference special of ACM Computers and Society.

  • ‘Ethical Dimensions of User Centric Regulation’ ACM Computers and Society, 47(4), 81-95 DOI – 10.1145/3243141.3243151

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(New) Governing Emotional AI Project: With Profs Andrew McStay, Vian Bakir and Peter Mantello, we found out just before Christmas that we’ve won a project grant from the ESRC-AHRC SSH Japan Connections call for a £50k project to consider the implications of  Emotional AI in Commerce, Civic Life and Security In Japan and the UK. This will involve us meeting  in the UK and Japan, and running a series of workshops to find ways to collaborate in this novel area, considering the technical, governance and ethical dimensions of affective computing technologies being deployed in many contexts of everyday life. Andrew also has a fantastic new book on the topic for any interested readers called Emotional AI.

DADA Project: Before Christmas, I was also down in Nottingham for the second meeting of our large EPSRC project DADA (Defence Against Dark Artefacts) for a catch-up with the team and to discuss our plans to help make smart homes more secure (just a small task then ;)…). Newly appointed Doctor, Jiahong Chen (of former Edinburgh fame) has now joined Horizon, and he will be working with me on the project, which is exciting news for all involved – looking very much forward to working with him on this. We also have a new Horizon CDT student, Stanislaw Piasecki, doing a 3 month project with Derek McAuley, Andy Crabtree and me on unpacking what a range of IoT standards have to say about smart home cybersecurity.

Towards Moral-IT & Legal-IT – this project has also been moving ahead with workshops to further evaluate the use of our newly minted cards in different research and commercial contexts. Peter Craigon and I are still in the midst of data analysis and paper planning to document our findings in next year, so watch this space. For those who can’t wait that long, we’ve also just had a paper accepted at leading IT conference, TILTing Perspectives 2019, to talk about our findings, (with Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab’s virtual and augmented reality expert , Dimitri Darzentas on the paper too). For anyone who is interested, the cards are publicly available on this blog, if you check the tabs at the top. If you download them, please let us know what you think.

Linked to this project, my new PhD student Natalie Leesakul (former Edinburgh LL.M graduate) presented our paper (also written with Dominic Reedman Flint) on ‘Responsible Robotics in the Home’ at ETHICOMP 2018 in Gdansk. She did a great job, and the full paper has recently been submitted to an invited special conference edition of the Journal of Information, Communication, Ethics and Society, so hopefully we’ll hear in the not too distant future about how that one is getting on too.

Memory Machine:  Two further workshops have run since our trust and privacy one (with Rachel Jacobs) back in the summer. This project is now assimilating the findings from this work and moving towards designs based on co-constructed requirements for an IoT device to manage identity and memories of those living with dementia. Once the prototype is developed, it will be novel to see, and subsequent papers will also document findings of the work.


In addition to Lilian’s book launch in London, there have been a few other interesting events in Edinburgh and beyond I’ve participated in recently. In Edinburgh, an Edinburgh Futures Institute event an internet of things and health workshop was rather interesting, due to the range of stakeholders in the room, all seeing benefits from IoT in different ways. I attended some of a PACTMAN project TIPS research event bringing together early career researchers working on Trust Identity, Privacy and Security issues run by Design Informatics. Next year I’ll hopefully be doing a talk at Design Informatics Seminar series, and also one with the Edinburgh Futures Institute Controversies in the Data Society Seminar Series (so watch this space). Slightly further afield, I went along to the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Association Human Computer Interaction all hands day at St Andrews which got me up to speed on HCI research ongoing in Scotland, to meet some researchers and the opportunity to see  talks from speakers on the organising committee of the CHI conference (which will be in Glasgow this year). Our paper on computationally tracking card use over time to inform design will be presented at CHI next year.

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