Alex S. Taylor

Alex S. Taylor
City, University of London · Department of Computer Science

PhD

About

152
Publications
34,267
Reads
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4,114
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2005 - September 2017
Microsoft Research
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (152)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present findings from a year-long engagement with a street and its community. The work explores how the production and use of data is bound up with place, both in terms of physical and social geography. We detail three strands of the project. First, we consider how residents have sought to curate existing data about the street in the form of an...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter tells a story of promise, one about London’s bike rental data and how it might be used to re-imagine new figurings of human-machine relations. Experimenting with the relational capacities of (bio)sensing and the proliferation of data-everywhere, the possibilities of other worlds are imagined. Mixtures of data at all scales are thrown t...
Article
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In his 2015 Research Through Design provocation, Tim Ingold invites his audience to think with string, lines, and meshworks. In this article I use Ingold’s concepts to explore an orientation to design — one that threads through both Ingold’s ideas and Vinciane Despret’s vivid and moving accounts of human-animal relations. This is a “thinking and do...
Conference Paper
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Why is it so hard for chatbots to talk about race? This work explores how the biased contents of databases, the syntactic focus of natural language processing, and the opaque nature of deep learning algorithms cause chatbots difficulty in handling race-talk. In each of these areas, the tensions between race and chatbots create new opportunities for...
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For individuals with mental illness, social media platforms are considered spaces for sharing and connection. However, not all expressions of mental illness are treated equally on these platforms. Different aggregates of human and technical control are used to report and ban content, accounts, and communities. Through two years of digital ethnograp...
Article
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An increasing awareness of the potential biases and problematic impacts of digital technologies is driving a renewed focus on social responsibility and ethical considerations within the fields of engineering and the computer and data sciences. Similarly, a renewed sense of complicity in our socio-technical environments has encouraged scholars from...
Preprint
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Engaging residential communities with each other and with management remains a challenge. Housing providers deploy a variety of engagement strategies, some of which are supported by digital technologies. Their individual success is varied and integrated, multi-pronged approaches are seen to be more successful. As part of those, it is important to a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Engaging residential communities with each other and with management remains a challenge. Housing providers deploy a variety of engagement strategies, some of which are supported by digital technologies. Their individual success is varied and integrated, multipronged approaches are seen to be more successful. As part of those, it is important to ad...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research takes an orientation to visual impairment (VI) that does not regard it as fixed or determined alone in or through the body. Instead, we consider (dis)ability as produced through interactions with the environment and configured by the people and technology within it. Specifically, we explore how abilities become negotiated through vide...
Conference Paper
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Voice User Interfaces are becoming ubiquitously available, providing unprecedented opportunities to advance our understanding of voice interaction in a burgeoning array of practices and settings. We invite participants to contribute work-in-progress in voice interaction, and to come together to reflect on related methodological matters, social uses...
Conference Paper
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There has been a surge in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies co-opted by or designed for people with visual disabilities. Researchers and engineers have pushed technical boundaries in areas such as computer vision, natural language processing, location inference, and wearable computing. But what do people with visual disabilities imagine as...
Article
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We present findings from a five-week deployment of voting technologies in a city neighbourhood. Drawing on Marres’ (2012) work on material participation and Massey’s (2005) conceptualisation of space as dynamic, we designed the deployment such that the technologies (which were situated in residents’ homes, on the street, and available online) would...
Chapter
This chapter tells a story of promise, one about London’s bike rental data and how it might be used to re-imagine new figurings of human-machine relations. Experimenting with the relational capacities of (bio)sensing and the proliferation of data-everywhere, the possibilities of other worlds are imagined. Mixtures of data at all scales are thrown t...
Article
Full-text available
Interaction turns on the outmoded idea that there is a natural separation between people and things. Technologies have always been about producing dense, interconnected relationships of humans and non-humans. Seeing design as performing expansive networks of relations opens up possibilities beyond the human-computer interactions. The relations go m...
Article
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Interactivity is a unique forum of the ACM CHI Conference that showcases hands-on demonstrations, novel interactive technologies, and artistic installations. At CHI 2015 in Seoul we hosted more than 30 exhibits, including an invited digital interactive art exhibit. Interactivity highlights the diverse group of computer scientists, sociologists, des...
Conference Paper
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We present two sets of ‘data technologies’ that we have designed to collect and display local data, both derived from our engagement with a community. The first, Bullfrog, is a bespoke voting device. The second, a series of physical charts, respond to the increasing sophistication of data visualisations by making playful use of pie charts and bar g...
Article
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Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) represents a paradigm for the wider cancer field. Despite the fact that tyrosine kinase inhibitors have established targeted molecular therapy in CML, patients often face the risk of developing drug resistance, caused by mutations and/or activation of alternative cellular pathways. To optimize drug development, one ne...
Article
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Computational biology is a nascent field reliant on software coding and modelling to produce insights into biological phenomena. Extreme claims cast it as a field set to replace conventional forms of experimental biology, seeing software modelling as a (more convenient) proxy for bench-work in the wet-lab. In this article, we deepen and complicate...
Article
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What does the abundance of data and proliferation of data-making methods mean for the ordinary person, the person on the street? And, what could they come to mean? In this paper, we present an overview of a year-long project to examine just such questions and complicate, in some ways, what it is to ask them. The project is a collective exercise in...
Conference Paper
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This paper examines routine family car journeys, looking specifically at how passengers assist during a mobile telephone call while the drivers address the competing demands of handling the vehicle, interacting with various artefacts and controls in the cabin, and engage in co-located and remote conversations while navigating through busy city road...
Article
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Representing a new class of tool for biological modeling, Bio Model Analyzer (BMA) uses sophisticated computational techniques to determine stabilization in cellular networks. This paper presents designs aimed at easing the problems that can arise when such techniques—using distinct approaches to conceptualizing networks—are applied in biology. The...
Conference Paper
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Recent years have seen the possibilities of new imaging and interaction technologies for minimally invasive surgery such as touchless interaction and high definition renderings of three-dimensional anatomy. With this paper we take a step back to review the historical introduction and assimilation of imaging technologies in the surgical theatre in p...
Article
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Norman's critique is indicative of the issue that while using the word natural might have become natural, it is coming at a cost. In other words, precisely because the notion of naturalness has become so commonplace in the scientific lexicon of HCI, so it is becoming increasingly important, it seems that there is a critical examination of the conce...
Article
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In many respects, we take the age of things for granted. Age is assumed to be an inherent quality, dictated by the time a thing has been in existence and put to use. Many of us have even developed an appreciation for the wear associated with age. The worn leather covers of old books, their mottled pages and the creases along their spines are all co...
Chapter
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Bio Model Analyzer (BMA) is a tool for modeling and analyzing biological networks. Designed with a lightweight graphical user interface, the tool facilitates usage for biologists with no previous knowledge in programming or formal methods. The current implementation analyzes systems to establish stabilization. The results of the analysis|whether th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
BioModel Analyzer (bma) is a tool for modeling and analyzing biological networks. Designed with a lightweight graphical user interface, the tool facilitates usage for biologists with no previous knowledge in programming or formal methods. The current implementation analyzes systems to establish stabilization. The results of the analysis--whether th...
Article
Full-text available
DIYbio (Do It Yourself Biology) aims to 'open source', tinker and experiment with biology outside of professional settings. In this paper, we present the origins, practices, and challenges of DIYbio initiatives around the world. Our findings depict DIYbio as operating across intersections ('seams') between a range of stakeholders, materials and con...
Article
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Over the past decade, a diverse community of biologists, artists, engineers and hobbyists has emerged to pursue biology projects outside of traditional laboratories. Though still in its nascent form, this DIYbio (Do It Yourself Biology) movement has given rise to a host of technical innovations and sharing mechanisms that enable hobbyists to experi...
Conference Paper
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The complexities and costs of deploying Ubicomp applications seriously compromise our ability to evaluate such systems in the real world. To simplify Ubicomp deployment we introduce the robotic pseudopod (P.Pod), an actuator that acts on mechanical switches originally designed for human control only. P.Pods enable computational control of devices b...
Conference Paper
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In any design process, a medium's properties need to be considered. This is generally well established, yet still within interactive systems design, the properties of a technological medium are often glossed over. That is, technologies are often black-boxed without much thought given to how their distinctive material properties open up the design s...
Conference Paper
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As technologies age, they experience wear and degradation, sometimes resulting in loss of functionality. In response, parts are replaced and software is updated. Yet restoration - the process of returning something to a previous condition, often regardless of its instrumental value -"is a relatively rare practice with computational technologies. Th...
Conference Paper
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In any design process, a medium's properties need to be considered. This is nothing new in design. Still we find that in HCI and interactive systems design the properties of a technology are often glossed over. That is, technologies are black-boxed without much thought given to how their distinctive properties open up design possibilities. In this...
Conference Paper
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This work describes the design process and installation of three speculative, rudimentary machines, or rudiments. Through careful iterations in their design, the rudiments are intended to provoke curiosity and discussion around the possibility of autonomy in interactive systems. The design of the rudiments is described in detail, alongside the desi...
Article
Demo Hour highlights new prototypes and projects that exemplify innovation and novel forms of interaction. Leah Maestri, Editor
Conference Paper
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“Out there” is increasingly becoming a topic of concern in HCI. Thanks to various clarion calls, researchers in the field are turning their attention to technology-mediated activities that are shaped less by Euro-American sensibilities and defined more by how they are culturally and geographically distinct. Fieldwork and ethnography researchers, fo...
Conference Paper
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In this paper, we examine the ideas behind and reactions to a prototype online tool designed, in-house, for an art college's interaction design department. The web-based prototype, the Digital Scrapbook, was initially intended as a tool for tutors to oversee their students' work. However, our ongoing discussions with the department's members indica...
Conference Paper
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Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags containing privacy-sensitive information are increasingly embedded into personal documents (e.g., passports and driver's licenses). The problem is that people are often unaware of the security and privacy risks associated with RFID, likely because the technology remains largely invisible and uncontrollable...
Conference Paper
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"Light bodies" are mobile and portable, hand-held lights that respond to audio and vibration input. The motivation to build these devices is grounded in a historical reinterpretation of street lighting. Before fixed infrastructure illuminated cities at night, people carried lanterns with them to make their presence known. Using this as our starting...
Conference Paper
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People now routinely carry radio frequency identification (RFID) tags - in passports, driver's licenses, credit cards, and other identifying cards - where nearby RFID readers can access privacy-sensitive information on these tags. The problem is that people are often unaware of security and privacy risks associated with RFID, likely because the tec...
Article
In this paper we report an empirical study of the photographic portrayal of family members at home. Adopting a social psychological approach and focusing on intergenerational power dynamics, our research explores the use of domestic photo displays in ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Taylor, A. S. (2009). Ethnography in Ubiquitous Computing. In J. Krumm (ed), Ethnography in Ubiquitous Computing (pp. 203-236). , Boca Raton, FL., USA.
Chapter
We report the results of a field trial of a situated awareness device for families called the “Whereabouts Clock”. The Clock displays the location of family members using cellphone data as one of four privacy-preserving, deliberately coarse-grained categories (HOME, WORK, SCHOOL or ELSEWHERE). The results show that awareness of others through the C...
Article
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A diary is generally considered to be a book in which one keeps a regular record of events and experiences that have some personal significance. As such, it provides a useful means to privately express inner thoughts or to reflect on daily experiences, helping in either case to put them in perspective. Taking conventional diary keeping as our start...
Conference Paper
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Under certain conditions, we appear willing to see and interact with computing machines as though they exhibited intelligence, at least an intelligence of sorts. Using examples from AI and robotics research, as well as a selection of relevant art installations and anthropological fieldwork, this paper reflects on some of our interactions with the k...
Article
We present the results of a field trial in which a visual answer machine, the BubbleBoard, was deployed in five households. The aims of the trial were to create an improved answer machine, but also, and more interestingly, to encourage family members to appropriate it through the inclusion of open and playful design elements. Through making aspects...
Article
In recent years, computer and Internet technologies have broadened the ways that people can stay in touch. Through interviews with parents and grandparents, we examined how people use existing technologies to communicate and share with their extended ...
Conference Paper
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1 ABSTRACT In this paper we describe a design-orientated field study in which we deploy a novel digital display device to explore the potential integration of teenage and family photo displays at home, as well as the value of situated photo display technologies for intergenerational expression. This exploration is deemed timely given the contempora...