Life in the Digital World

WASP-HS Community Reference Meetings are aimed at helping public and private organizations in Sweden with challenges and questions regarding their interests, as well as developments within WASP-HS. This is done to identify opportunities for collaboration between different sectors. At the meetings, the attendees will be divided into break-out roomsto discuss and generate ideas to keep a continuous link to society.

Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (VR, AR, and MR) is increasing in popularity, not only in the field of gaming, but also healthcare, engineering, live events, entertainment, retail, education, and more. People who are working, studying, and interacting with others remotely have to adapt to new, digital environments. Digital environments often engender new sets of distractions. One such distraction is, for instance, the fusion of work and private life. Due to the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work through the means of digital and interactive platforms and devices has increased substantially. In order to understand the dynamics and implications of virtual interactions between people, a multidisciplinary perspective is needed.

At the event Life in the Digital World WASP-HS brings together academics and practitioners to discuss these issues. We do so with the hope of building a foundation for further analysis of Virtual Reality and games, from the perspective of social sciences and humanities.


14:00 WASP-HS and media, games and virtual worlds

Virginia Dignum, WASP-HS program director

14:15 The role of humanities and social sciences research for games and virtual reality
Julian Togelius, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Tandon School of Engineering, New York University

14:30 Roundtable discussions (in parallel)

  • Marketing in Virtual Worlds
    Chair: Johanna Björklund, Associate professor, Department of Computing Science, Umeå University
    Co-chair: Sara Leckner, Docent in Media Technology and Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science and Media Technology, Malmö University
    We discuss the future of marketing in digital and virtual worlds, for example, in online games and other immersive media. Depending on the participants’ interests, we talk about topics such as (i) priming, i.e, how features in the situational environment affect the users’ thoughts and actions, (ii) fairness, i.e., what fairness policies are meaningful, and to what extent they are compatible with content personalisation, (iii) monetisation, i.e., business models for creatives that allow them to earn a livelihood from the content they create, or (iv) real versus self-assessed behaviour, i.e., the discrepancy known from traditional media between how the users expect themselves to respond to different types of stimuli, and how they actually respond. Additional suggestions are warmly welcome.

  • What do we talk about when we talk about ethics in AI-driven educational practices?
    Chair: Teresa Cerratto Pargman, Associate Professor of HCI, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University
    Co-chair: Cormac McGrath, Department of Education, Stockholm University
    This roundtable invites public and private organizations in Sweden to discuss ethical and legal challenges related to AI (i.e., machine learning, deep algorithms, big data) and learning analytics systems in education. The ambition is to bring together academics and practitioners to discuss these challenges in the actual context of the global pandemic and build the foundation for understanding AI from the social sciences and humanities perspective.

  • Altered Relationships to Autonomous Systems: somatic symbiosis, correspondence, alterity, or monster
    Chair: Kristina Höök, Professor in Interaction Design, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    Co-chair: Airi Lampinen, Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction, Stockholm University; Docent in Social Psychology, University of Helsinki
    A wave of new theories attempt to shed light on and redefine our relationship to smart objects, autonomous technologies, infrastructures and wearables: e.g. postphenomenological, pragmatist, somaesthetics, feminist and sociological theories. They point to novel engagements, other ways of interacting, sometimes decentring the “human”, sometimes enriching or questioning what can be understood as the category “human”. In this roundtable, we will discuss what these new theories might bring to the table.

  • From Social Simulations to Interactive Games for Policy Makers
    Chair: Frank Dignum, Professor, Department of Computing Science, Umeå University
    Co-chair: Cezara Pastrav, Research Engineer, Department of Computing Science, Umeå University
    Videogames are one of the more successful mediums for the communication of complex information in ways that are clear and engaging. Since many successful videogames are basically simulations with a handful of game mechanics thrown in, can/should we turn our simulations into (serious) games in order to better engage policy makers? In this roundtable, we’ll discuss whether gamifying simulations for policy makers is a worthwhile idea, and what are its advantages, limitations and technical challenges.

15:25 Summary and conclusions

16:00 End of the event

The event will be held in English. The number of participants is limited, and registration deadline was May 16th.  If you require any further information, please send an email to the WASP-HS program office.