In this half-day symposium we invite members of the Digital Data and Society consortium to propose and present papers that connect to the theme of Digital Data and Automated Futures.

Digital data is an increasingly embedded element of everyday life as sensor technologies, self-tracking devices, institutional metrics, and forms of resistance to these become part of the configurations through which we live. Simultaneously automated features of technologies, are creating new possibilities for institutional, regulatory, user and activist engagements with data (eg through smartphone apps, cars with AD features, drones, forms of AI assistants).

This raises a series of questions relating to existing data and automated technologies are being used in everyday life contexts and the implications of this is for our more immediate and imagined futures.

This symposium seeks to scope out some of these issues, specifically from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities. It calls for an interrogation of the relationship between digital data and automation, the technological possibilities they create, the contingencies and forms of improvisation through which they are lived out, and a position about how we might intervene towards creating responsible and ethical automated data futures.


Sarah Pink, RMIT University

Sophia Maaslen, University of Sydney: Future-making ethnography practice

Venessa Paech: Online community management automative risks and opportunities: do we need mindful AI?

John Lenarcic, RMIT University: Digital Data as Kipple: Searching for Aporia in Mundane Automation

Chuan Khoo, RMIT University: The life of slow data

Donnell Holloway, Edith Cowan University: “You just want to know if his little heart is beating”: Market discourses about baby wearables

Julian Thomas, RMIT University: Pasts and futures of automated vehicles

The day will finish with an early evening lecture presented by Evelyn Ruppert:

We investigate how people experience the digital in everyday life, By researching from the ground up we bring fresh insight to a constantly changing world. The Digital Ethnography Research Centre DERC focuses on understanding a contemporary world where digital and mobile technologies are increasingly inextricable from the environments and relationships in which everyday life plays out. DERC excels in both academic scholarship and in our applied work with external partners from industry and other sectors.
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