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Intimate Futures: Staying with the Trouble of Digital Personal Assistants through Design Fiction

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


While digital personal assistants (DPAs) are moving into our homes, managing our everyday lives and providing help in the household, we have barely begun to understand them. Design fiction can be a method for contextualizing the social and cultural implications for adoption of future technologies like DPAs. In this paper, we present an analytical perspective on gender issues arising when a DPA moves into our home. Through a critical and feminist design methodology, the design fiction project "Intimate Futures" focuses on how a DPA's character and functions are often gendered and what it means for the design and adoption of a DPA. We argue that the gender issues of DPAs are interwoven with our collective imaginings of DPAs, and that design fiction is a method to explore and "trouble" our collective imaginings of DPAs. The paper contributes with an analysis of gender issues of DPAs, and a methodological way of "staying with the trouble" of future technologies through design fiction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Designing Interactive Systems Conference : Proceedings of the 2018 Designing Interactive Systems Conference
Number of pages12
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication yearJun 2018
ISBN (electronic)978-1-4503-5198-0
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Event2018 Designing Interactive Systems Conference, DIS 2018 - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 9 Jun 201813 Jun 2018


Conference2018 Designing Interactive Systems Conference, DIS 2018
LandHong Kong
ByHong Kong

    Research areas

  • Collective imaginings, Design fiction, Digital personal assistants, Feminist HCI, Research-through-design, Voice assistant, Women's health

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