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Accepted Paper:

Automated Air Futures?: protecting our air, protecting ourselves  
Sarah Pink (Monash University)

Paper short abstract:

With bushfire smoke, asthma thunderstorms, allergens, and COVID-19, Australia's air is increasingly feared, while innovations in sensors, air quality analytics advance, and air filter/purifier use grows. But should we be protecting ourselves from our air, or protecting our air from us?

Paper long abstract:

The possibilities for automating our air are growing, as innovations in sensors, air filtration and purification technologies, air quality analytics and predictions advance. Simultaneously the air (in Australia) is increasingly positioned as dangerous and is feared as bushfire smoke, asthma thunderstorms and other allergens, and airborne virus like COVID-19 assemble as part of the composition of everyday air, in cities and in and around homes. In tandem sales of domestic air filtration and purification technologies are increasing, while they are being installed in Australian schools, and internationally being marketed as part of luxury cars (Pink 2022).

This paper argues for attention to how such technologies might realistically and ethically become part of our everyday futures. In doing so it draws on design ethnographic futures research, which explores how people imagine possible future air technologies in their own homes: how do people envisage these technologies? what tasks would they perform? What values relating to safety, care and relationships do they articulate; what roles could automation and AI play in ethical, inclusive air futures?

In doing so we also respond to dominant narratives surrounding emerging smart and automated air technologies and the solutions they are promised to deliver.

Panel P01d
AI and interdisciplinary Futures Anthropology
  Session 1 Thursday 9 June, 2022, -