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Healthcare Biases

Researchers Receive $2.8 Million Grant to Study Hidden Biases in Healthcare

“The project seeks to use social signal processing (SSP), a computational approach that detects subtle cues in behavior that are typically invisible. For example, talk time, interruptions and body movements from health care providers might differ based on a patient’s race, gender or socioeconomic status.” - Nadir Weibel, Design Lab Faculty

Individuals have their own inherent biases. Most are harmless – preferred foods, favorite cars, go-to streaming services. However, biases tied to race, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status have serious consequences.

This is particularly true in medicine. Unintentional, hidden, biases may perpetuate healthcare disparities. While providers are not acting out of malice, these attitudes could have significant impacts on patient care.
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Smart Streetlights

Community members call for end to ‘Smart Streetlights’ in San Diego

KUSI NEWS Interviews Design Lab Faculty Lilly Irani

More than a dozen community groups are calling on the City of San Diego to turn off thousands of cameras positioned on streetlights around San Diego.

The “Smart Streetlights” were approved by the San Diego City Council in December 2016, and there are currently 4,700 installed according to the city’s website.

The cameras collect real-time data including video and audio, which the city says helps save money and increase public safety. However, activists called the technology a major privacy and civil rights concern.

City officials have said that these streetlights are not being used for spying.
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Smart Streetlights Data San Diego

San Diegans Shouldn’t Be Lab Rats for Innovation

Voice of San Diego Editorial by Design Lab Faculty Lilly Irani

In 2016, San Diego installed thousands of General Electric cameras, microphones and telecommunication devices on streetlights around the city. The City Council approved the project with little investigation, looking no further than the city’s casting of the project as environmental “sensors” and “nodes” that would analyze traffic and the atmosphere.

The city finally held town halls this year to explain the program to communities, but by then it was too late. Once installed, technologies of this type will outrun the uses for which they are designed and publicly justified. Over and over, researchers like myself have seen data creep — like mission creep — take hold as companies try to add value to data and monetize them.
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CHI 2019 Conference In Glasgow, Scotland

Design Lab Weaves the Threads of CHI 2019

From May 4-9, 2019, the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems took place in Glasgow, Scotland. Called “CHI” for short, this annual and prominent event brings together thousands of the world’s leading researchers, designers, and scientists in human-computer interaction. 

Design Lab members walked away with a number of awards for their research. Post-doctoral Fellow Sarah Fox won a Best Paper Award for “Managerial Visions: Stories of upgrading and maintaining the public restroom with IoT”.
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Tristian Harris STX Tech Society Interaction

To Really ‘Disrupt,’ Tech Needs to Listen to Actual Researchers

Wired Editorial by Design Lab Faculty Lilly Irani

THE STEREOTYPE OF the visionary male founder dominates Silicon Valley. The “move fast and break things” culture rewards those who announce promising new directions with confidence, often neglecting existing resources. It’s how the Valley has disrupted business and society for decades.

Earlier this month, Tristan Harris, cofounder of the Center for Humane Technologies, proposed a whole new field of study: "Society & Technology Interaction." The engineers building the technologies we all rely on, he argued, lack social and cultural knowledge. The problem: That well-established field already exists.
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