Books, articles, and reports published by Digital Life Institute members.

Crime, Punishment, and Video Games

Kristine Levan and Steven Downing

Book: Moving beyond discussions of potential linkages between violence and video games, Crime, Punishment, and Video Games examines a broad range of issues related to the representation of crime and deviance within video games and the video game subculture. The context of justice is discussed with respect to traditional criminal justice agencies, but also expanded throughout to include issues related to social justice. The text also presents the potential cultural, social, and economic impact of video games. Considering the significant number of video game players, from casual to competitive players, these issues have become even more salient in recent years. Regardless of whether someone considers themselves a gamer, video games are undoubtedly relevant to modern society, and this text discusses how the shift in gaming has impacted our perceptions of deviance, crime, and justice. The authors explore past, present and future manifestations of these connections, considering how the game industry, policy makers, and researchers can work toward a better understanding of how and why video games are an important area of study for criminologists and sociologists, and how games will present new promises and challenges in the years to come.

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Localizing Content: The Roles of Technical & Professional Communicators and Machine Learning in Personalized Chatbot

Daniel Hocutt, Nupoor Ranade, and Gustav Verhulsdonck

Journal Article: This exploratory case study of an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven chatbot demonstrates that microcontent, a snippet of personalized content that responds to users’ needs, is a form of localization reliant on a content ecology. In contributing to users’ localized experiences, technical communicators should recognize their work as part of an assemblage in which users, content, and metrics augment each other to produce personalized content that can be consumed by and delivered through AI-assisted technology. We conclude that technical communicators should teach, research, and practice competencies and skills to advocate for localized users in assemblages of user, content, metrics, and AI. Society for Technical Communication, Volume 69, Number 4

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The seer and the seen: Surveying Palantir’s surveillance platform

Andrew Iliadis, Amelia Acker

Journal Article (in The Information Society): Palantir is among the most secretive and understudied surveillance firms globally. The company supplies information technology solutions for data integration and tracking to police and government agencies, humanitarian organizations, and corporations. To illuminate and learn more about Palantir’s opaque surveillance practices, we begin by sketching Palantir’s company history and contract network, followed by an explanation of key terms associated with Palantir’s technology area and a description of the firm’s platform ecosystem. We then summarize current scholarship on Palantir’s continuing role in policing, intelligence, and security operations. Our primary contribution and analysis are a computational topic modeling of Palantir’s surveillance patents (n = 155), including their topics and themes. We end by discussing the concept of infrastructuring to understand Palantir as a surveillance platform, where we theorize information standards like administrative metadata as phenomena for structuring social worlds in and through access to digital information.

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Where is the AI? Educator perspectives

Where is the AI? Educator perspectives

Lesley Wilton, Stephen Ip, Merra Sharma, Frank Fan

Conference Paper: to be presented at 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, 27-31 July, Durham University, UK

Working Alongside Non-Human Agents

Ann Hill Duin, Isabel Pedersen

Conference Paper: From Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm), 2021, pp. 1-5.

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What AI? Making a case for AI Literacies for Educators

Lesley Wilton, Stephen Ip, Meera Sharma, & Frank Fan

Conference Paper: presented at 11th Annual SALTISE Conference, June 2022.

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Student APProval: Building a dynamic reading comprehension program for struggling middle school readers

Student APProval: Building a dynamic reading comprehension program for struggling middle school readers

Lesley Wilton & Sarah Bernholtz

Conference Paper: Paper presented at Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) Annual Conference (Online).

AI Agents, Humans and Untangling the Marketing of Artificial Intelligence in Learning Environments

Isabel Pedersen, Ann Hill Duin

Conference Paper: This exploratory study identifies the tangling of proposed relationships between human and non-human agents by providing an analysis on how AI technologies are marketed for learning subjects through a critical discourse analysis of corporate advertisements.

From the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences | 2022

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Not Busy Work! The benefits of new literacies and social practices in online discussion

Lesley Wilton

Book Chapter: In Designing for Meaningful Synchronous and Asynchronous Discussion in Online Courses.

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Building Digital Literacy Through Exploration and Curation of Emerging Technologies: A Networked Learning Collaborative

Ann Hill Duin, Isabel Pedersen, Jason Tham

Book Chapter: This exploratory study examines instructor discussion, instructional development, and study of student building of digital literacy as a result of the use and/or curation of Fabric of Digital Life collections on emerging technologies.

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Developing Digital Literacy

Kenyan Burnham, Jason Tham

Journal Article: Digital literacy is an ongoing area of inquiry and research in technical and professional communication (TPC) pedagogy. This article reports the findings from an analysis of assignment designs and deployments, complemented by student and instructor reflections on the use of a digital archive in digital literacy development. Programmatic Perspectives, vol 12 issue 2.

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Interrogating Alexa: Holding voice assistants accountable for their answers

Daniel L. Hocutt

Conference Paper: This paper reports on a preliminary comparative study of Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant voice assistants (VA) that explores the origins of answers provided on each platform in an attempt to determine the extent that these origins influence responses.  From Proceedings of the 39th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication.

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