Newsletter from Center for Digital Welfare
Newsletter from the Center for Digital Welfare - October 2021​​​​​​​
On artificial intelligence, Actor Network Theory, and more
Barely two months into the fall semester and life is looking somewhat normal in the buildings of ITU at Amager, where students meet with supervisors, lectures draw crowds to the auditoriums, and researchers gather regularly to spar with each other.

At the Center for Digital Welfare (CDW), we are well underway with launching postponed activities; we have invited members for expeditions, working group meetings, symposiums, and our brand-new series of public talks, the Distinguished Speakers Series – Lectures in Digital Welfare, which will be announced via our LinkedIn very soon.

The Center is also expanding steadily and since our last newsletter, we have welcomed a line of fresh faces. The working group Sustainable Digitalization has formed an interdisciplinary team of interesting research profiles from ITU’s three institutes – Business IT, Computer Science and Digital Design –  and furthermore, Telepsykiatrisk Center from Region Syddanmark (the Region of Southern Denmark), DaneAge Association, and Implement Consulting Group have joined as our newest members.

As we congratulate Research Assistant Lara Reime on her new Ph.D. and thank her for all her good work, she is now replaced by Laura Na Blankholm, who is a visual anthropologist and freelance journalist and brings a lot of know-how to the team. Last, but not least, we have the pleasure of welcoming a new member to the CDW advisory board, Cathrine Hasse, who is a Professor of Educational Science at Aarhus University with a focus on learning processes and technological artifacts. Having her perspectives will undoubtedly be of great benefit to the center’s journey.

We are happy to have all newcomers on board and wish you a good read.

Greetings from,

Laura Juncker,
Strategic Project Manager

Digital Citizen working group, the Danish Red Cross, Implement Consulting Group, National Association of Shelters, Telepsychiatric Center gathered around a table at a meeting
Short News
An animated robot hand
Unpacking AI for Business
Postdoctoral researcher, Sunniva Sandbukt, who is part of the working group, Sustainable Digitalization, recently initiated her fieldwork in the research project AI Denmark. The project consists of a consortium of the Danish Technological Institute, the Alexandra Institute, Aalborg University, the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen, and the IT University of Copenhagen.

The primary aim of the project is to ‘inspire and help small and medium-sized enterprises to successfully start using data and AI tools in their digital transformation process, as it states on its website. The project intends to make digitization and artificial intelligence practical and easy to understand for those not used to applying them. Specifically, Sandbukt will over the next couple of months use interviews and ethnographic fieldwork to study what the term ‘AI’ holds, to qualify how AI is meant to bring about ‘value creation,’ and not least to map how these technologies are translated and implemented among the companies.

The aim is to understand the ways in which digital technologies are emphasized as being automating and labor-saving, whereas, in practice, they often demand quite a lot of invisible manual work and extensive resources to implement. The understanding of the human work behind new technologies is to us an essential part of developing sustainable technologies that create value for both employees and end-users, and to this end, ethnography holds exceptional methods. We look forward to sharing the findings of Sandbukt’s fieldwork in the future.

In Other Words
Irina Papazu (Working Group Leader, the Agile State) and Brit Ross Winthereik (Head of Center) have edited a new introduction to Actor-Network Theory (ANT): ‘Aktørnetværksteori: I Praksis’. The book is a guide for everyone who wishes to use ANT in their research or teaching. Drawing upon theory and their own analytical practice, a group of ANT researchers presents various concepts and methods, which can inspire the reader to start using ANT.

We are therefore throwing a book launch on the 14th of October, where you are invited to join us. Show up at ScrollBar at ITU from 3 pm-4.30 pm, where snacks and a glass will be served, and hear more about the book, meet the authors and purchase the book at a reduced price.

The book is the first Danish textbook about ANT as theory and method and contains contributions from researchers from Copenhagen University, Aarhus University, Aalborg University, and the IT University of Copenhagen. It is now available for purchase via Djøf Forlag here.

Maguire, J., 2021. Data Echoes: Sound, Evidence, and Acoustic Methods in Energy Landscapes. Science, Technology, & Human Values.

Papazu, I. & Winthereik, B. R. (eds), 2021. Aktørnetværksteori: I Praksis. Djøf Forlag.

Papazu, I., 2021. Entrepreneurial Resource Construction through Collective Bricolage on Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island: An Ethnographic Study. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development.

Papazu, I. & Hjelholt, M., (2021). ”De har fået NemID, men det er ikke nemt for mig” – Digital rum(me)lighed i den danske velfærdsstat. Social Kritik Nr. 163 / 2021-2.

When We're Not Doing Research, We…     
… go to exhibitions and performances at the online Synthesis Gallery (by Berlin-based founders), which shows an immersive blend of technology and new wave art through VR and AR - among others the current online NFTs exhibition MARFA ROOM.
Black background white font with the gallery logo
A brickwall with graffiti written Y2K being painted over by a man
Listen to Dan Taberski’s podcast “Surviving Y2K” about the most anticlimactic New Year’s Eve of our era. The Y2K bug was a computer flaw, that may have caused problems when dealing with dates beyond December 31, 1999. As the year 2000 approached, computer programmers realized that computers might not interpret 00 as 2000, but as 1900…
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