Intel/ISTC Workshop: New Forms of Data Work


On March 10th 2014 I hosted an Intel/ISTC workshop at the Intel Jones Farm campus on “New Forms of Data Work.”  The event brought together researchers from multiple universities in the US and Europe and researchers from multiple divisions within Intel to discuss their research and generate conversation around emerging forms of data-centric work.  Contact me for more information about the event.


While the social, cultural, ethical, and technical implications of big data science is an emerging topic of research, we lack empirically grounded studies to understand the individual practices,collaborative routines, and human assumptions that create mineable ‘big’ data resources.  And we know even less about the social and cultural implications of these emerging activities.  Researchers have claimed that “data is the digital air in which we breathe” (Boyd & Crawford, 2011).  But, such statements overlook the fact that creating data resources often requires a large amount of situated, complex work.  Currently, new forms of data work are emerging at all stages of the lifecycle of data, from infrastructure to entry to aggregation to computation.  This work is both private and public, for free and for pay, voluntary and coerced.  Such work includes, for example, laborious practices of culling, coding, and linking birth certificate data for large-scale research and quality analytics, monitoring and logging bodily data using personal sensors, “e-doctoring” patient data from a distance, and designing algorithms for music recommender systems.  Additionally, individuals and firms are attempting to capitalize on the real and speculative potential of data resources through developing various kinds of data repositories, tools, and services.    Ethnographic research on new forms of data work can illuminate the landscape of new developers and ecosystems for data creation at multiple levels, from the home to the workplace to large industry and public institutions.  This workshop will provide an opportunity for Intel and Intel-affiliated researchers to present research on emerging forms of data work.


Theme 1: New forms of data work of the self and in personal life

Judith Gregory (UC Irvine)

Jamie Sherman (Intel)

Kathi Kitner (Intel)


Theme 2: New forms of Organizational and Occupational data work

Katie Pine (Intel)

Nancy Vuckovic (Intel)

Cory Knobel (UC Irvine)

Pernille Bjorn (IT University Copenhagen)


Theme 3: Developers and development of emerging data tools & services

Alex Campolo (New York University)

Dawn Nafus (Intel)

Nick Seaver (UC Irvine)

Matt Bietz (UC Irvine)

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