Design Field Notes: Nick Seaver

Lecture | November 19 | 4-5 p.m. | 220 Jacobs Hall

 Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation

Nick Seaver is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and Program on Science, Technology, and Society at Tufts University. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with the developers of algorithmic music recommender systems in the US, which is the subject of a forthcoming book titled Computing Taste. He is now working on a new project about the relationship between attention and the design of machine learning systems.

At Jacobs, Nick will speak on "Hooking and Trapping: The Anthropology of Algorithmic Systems." The algorithms that have begun to shape human culture are often described as purely computational, but they are profoundly shaped by the people who build and maintain them. This talk draws on the anthropology of animal trapping to make sense of the very human ideas underlying algorithms designed to hook users' attention.

About Design Field Notes:
Each informal talk in this pop-up series brings a design practitioner to a Jacobs Hall teaching studio to share ideas, projects, and practices.

Image taken from 38th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology.