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Accepted Paper:

Reframing AI-Driven Futures of the first and last mile of travel: A design ethnographic approach  
Vaike Fors (Halmstad university) Rachel Charlotte Smith (Aarhus University) Meike Brodersen (Halmstad University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we explain our tailored design ethnographic approach in the multi-stakeholder future AI-driven mobilities project AHA II (2018-2022), and demonstrate how it was used to reframe technology-driven visions of efficient and individualised transport rooted in people’s everyday lives.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper we discuss how a design ethnographic approach enables anthropological perspectives to become part of a co-creative multi-stakeholder innovation project across public and private actors. We advocate for a design ethnography that is helpful in imagining, anticipating and realising possible futures by playing in people’s everyday lives rather than playing against technology- and capital-driven innovation agendas (Pink et al. 2022, Smith et al. 2016). Based on a collaborative research and innovation project on future AI-driven mobilities (AHA 2018-2022), we explored the first and last mile of travel that people do when they leave their homes in two diverse suburban communities in southern Sweden. Through empirical examples we will demonstrate how materials from ethnographic fieldwork, in combination with design-oriented multi-stakeholder workshops, were used to co-create insights about what could be worst and best case scenarios for these communities. Through this process we could reframe what is commonly portrayed by both public and private actors as utopian design visions of efficient and individualised mobility, into questionable and contrasting narratives about the fabric of our social lives and decision-making processes in everyday rural and urban communities. We will end with presenting the pedagogical implications of this design ethnographic process - how such reframings can be steered into creating viable co-learning routes for real-life based, ethical and people-centered design opportunities and future transport mobilities.

Panel P01c
AI and interdisciplinary Futures Anthropology
  Session 1 Wednesday 8 June, 2022, -