Higher seminar with Martin Berg

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Segerstedtrummet (2-1026)
  • Lecturer: Martin Berg, Professor in media technique and associate professor in sociology, Malmö University.
  • Organiser: Sociologiska institutionen
  • Contact person: Miia Bask
  • Seminarium

Title: "Duct-tape solutionism in public automation: Repairing for emergent futures (that might not come)". In this talk, Martin Berg will discuss some results from the project "Working with Algorithmic Colleagues: Expectations and Experiences of Automated Decision-Making" funded by the Swedish Research Council.

Abstract: In Sweden, public administration is increasingly seen as a potential site for automation. Data-driven process automation is believed to alleviate administrative drudgery and support a goal-driven, efficient public sector. Drawing on ethnographic research with stakeholders from approximately ten Swedish municipalities, this talk explores two central and interrelated ideas: firstly, that the future will necessitate automation to prevent the public sector from collapsing, as it is perceived as dysfunctional and in need of repair; and secondly, that we must prepare for an automated future by transforming today's work forms and routines to be compatible with machine communication when needed. As I will demonstrate, the interaction between these two lines of thought reveals that the preparations involve constant repair work, yet these efforts are seldom deemed satisfactory. It appears to involve temporary, makeshift solutions, which continually defer the anticipated future. In this sense, repair becomes a form of future-making where the future is persistently delayed, making it a perpetually moving target.

Last modified: 2022-04-04