At this year's ACM CHI Conference (CHI '22) in New Orleans, John Seberger, a postdoctoral research associate at MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and co-authors Irina Shklovski (University of Copenhagen), Emily Swiatek (Indiana University), and Sameer Patil (University of Utah), were recognized for their hard work. Their paper, “Still Creepy After All These Years: The Normalization of Affective Discomfort in App Use,” won one of twenty-five Best Paper Awards out of more than 3,000 papers submitted.
This is a prestigious award within the community of those who study Human-Computer Interaction. "It is a tremendous honor to receive a Best Paper Award at CHI, particularly for a passion project. We are humbled and delighted to receive this award,” said Seberger. The results of their work provide a surprising conclusion. “We found evidence that people expect apps to make them feel uncomfortable, or creeped out, because invasive data practices have become normalized. I think the award signals that the computing community is increasingly interested in the broader effects that apps have on the quality of people’s lives and their expectations about values like privacy. I would personally be thrilled if this work contributed to a wider understanding that we don't simply design technologies, but that technologies also design us, up to and including our affective experiences of our worlds,” said Seberger.
Moving forward, John said he and his team still feel there is work to be done. “This paper builds upon work we published at CHI'21, as well as earlier work that each one of us published separately. Both individually and collectively, we’re continuing to work in this vein, and I have no intention of stopping. Each of my co-authors on this paper does truly fine work, and I would encourage anyone with an interest in privacy and human-centered, affective approaches to technology to consult their work.”
If you want to learn more, check out their paper or presentation video.
By Allie Horning