Nordic Centre for Internet and Society

Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Conference

Conference held in Montreal on 10th-13th October. Author: Christoph Lutz.

The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society was involved in several contributions at this year's Association of Internet Researchers Annual Conference (#AoIR2018). The AoIR Conference took place in Montreal, Canada, from 10 to 13 October 2018 and is a key event for Internet researchers across academic disciplines. Initiated in 2000, the AoIR Conference has become a large and prestigious event (with more than 500 participants this year), while keeping its friendly and inclusive character. 

Christoph Lutz co-organized a half-day workshop on human-machine communication, which was well attended and engaged the participants in lively discussions about the social and ethical implications of new and "smart" technologies such as social robots, the Internet of things and virtual assistants (such as Siri and Alexa).

Christoph was also part of a panel on perpetual contact and mobile technology, presenting ongoing research in collaboration with Gemma Newlands on the role of mobile devices in crowdwork. The research approaches the question of how inclusive new forms of work such as crowdwork are in terms of technological access.

Finally, Christoph presented a paper about privacy cynicism in Germany based on a large survey of German Internet users (in collaboration with Giulia Ranzini from the Free University of Amsterdam and Christian Pieter Hoffmann from the University of Leipzig). The newly developed concept of privacy cynicism refers to individuals' attitudes towards online privacy, encompassing dimensions such as mistrust towards data collectors, uncertainty, powerlessness and resignation. The findings indicate that mistrust and powerlessness are quite pronounced among the respondents but resignation is less so.