Autonomy and Automation in an Information Society for All (completed)
"Nobody should be excluded from the possibility of utilising and understanding digital public services due to factors like age, geography or economy."
Government White Paper # 17/2007: "An information society for all" (in Norwegian)
Today, the society should provide digital solutions and tools that are suitable and not too complicated for everyone to use, cf. Govt White Paper # 17/2007). The research project "Autonomy and automation in an information society for all" (A3) departs from this, and aims to contribute to improving and simplifying the systems that are part of public services, to the benefit of all citizens.
The basis for the project is the interplay between autonomy and automation: Does an automatic system increase human dependency and loss of self-determination or does it strengthen human agency and space for action through increasing the possibilities for human independence? There are no unambiguous correlation between autonomy and automation, e.g., a fully automated pacemaker will give its carrier increased autonomy.
The project explores three areas of public services in which automation is used, and where the automation affects the users' autonomy in different ways: 1) the semi-automatic tax, 2) patient information seen through the lens of patient privacy, and 3) welfare technology in health care (more about these can be found in the menu to your left). In the project we investigate the role of automation in these services, and if -- and how -- the autonomy of the users are influenced.
The A3 project is based on the view that autonomy is relational: a person's space for action and self-determination often involve other people and tools. The project hence explores how we through design van facilitate real and experienced autonomy for users of these public services.
The A3 project lasted from 2009 to 2014.