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Concept of the Human

In Informatics research and technology development, various roles are assigned to humans: In the field of IT-Security, humans are seen as needing protection, but also as potential threats. In Artificial Intelligence, the human serves as a reference model. For Human Computer Interaction (HCI) design, human activity in the world and its support by digital media is the focus. This assignment of roles must be consciously reflected. What attributions come with them and what humans do researchers have in mind? The concept of “the human” has close relations to gender. An idea of (hu)man always entails gender concepts including social categories like physical and mental abilities and leaves its marks in research and development.

Questions relating to Project Definition

  • What kinds of people do we have in mind when formulating our project goal? Are they mainly like us or do we also imagine completely different population groups?
  • Does our project deal with a rich and diverse social world?
  • How can we avoid generalizing situations or stereotyping? For example, diversity aspects such as gender intersects with variables like educational background, socioeconomic status, age, or ethnicity. The experiences of Black migrant girls in Germany will differ from those of Black girls with migrant history in Germany.
  • What cultural, social, or political contexts should we study? Are there life domains and everyday contexts that might be particularly productive to inform our scenarios and use cases?
  • Participatory design, inclusive design, value-based design, or reflective design are approaches that include user participation and help to integrate gender/diversity-aspects. What if we used these approaches?
  • Will we include “ people with disabilities”in our concepts?