Designing technology for application in rural and other underrepresented communities is often perceived as designing for solving a problem, rather than supporting the agency of community members in how they choose to represent themselves and their stories. Stories are accessible, universal, and powerful. They also allow for a combination of different areas of research: in using Human Computer Interaction (HCI) to understand the impact of technology on human behavior, in parsing human language with Natural Language Processing (NLP), in understanding patterns in storytelling with machine learning, and in leveraging theories from social science to understand how people think, how they organize themselves, and how this translates to online spaces. I will share results of this approach: (1) to elicit methodologies for designing respectful technologies by learning from how indigenous master storytellers share their stories, and (2) how we applied the knowledge to guide our design approach. Using the respectful approach as a scaffold, I will then describe ongoing and future work: how we can design tools to amplify other communities to tell their own stories offline and online, and more broadly, how these techniques offer key opportunities to understand other emerging and growing areas in computer science including fairness and accountability in algorithms, ethics, and Artificial Intelligence.
Lindah Kotut is an Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. Her research is at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Indigenous Knowledge (IK), and examines how people tell stories both online and offline, and the role that technology plays in the telling. Her work particularly focuses on communities that do not have equitable access to storytelling tools and technology, those that are resource-challenged, and those that are marginalized. She seeks to highlight how learning from these underrepresented stories can inform the design of tools to amplify other communities to tell their own stories offline and online, and, more broadly, in providing spaces to query how these techniques offer key opportunities to understand other emerging and growing areas in computer science including ethics, privacy, (cyber)security and fairness and accountability in algorithm design.