Animal-centered design needs dignity: a critical essay on ACI's core concept

van der Linden, Dirk (2022) Animal-centered design needs dignity: a critical essay on ACI's core concept. In: Ninth International Conference on Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI'22): December 5–8, 2022, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom. ACM, New York, pp. 1-7. ISBN 9781450398305 (In Press)

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Despite a massive acceptance of 'animal-centered design' being at the very heart of Animal-Computer Interaction, exactly what it means to be animal-centered often remains vague. In this position paper, I question and critique what animal-centered design really means as it is used. I argue that even though the ACI manifesto and subsequent foundational works clearly set out a focus on animal user-centered design, much work since has adopted 'animal-centered' as being a synonym for 'animal user-centered'. However, I argue, the fundamental essence of ACI's intellectual origins in human-centered design's preoccupation with human values, and in turn, human dignity — which set it apart from mere user-centered design, is lost in such a straightforward adoption of the term. I then analyze what it might mean to actually adopt a value-driven approach akin to human-centered design for animal-centered design, and how this might force us to move beyond the typical welfarist position dominant across most of ACI. Rather than consider the prevention of unnecessary suffering as a central goal of technologies developed by ACI researchers, I argue that technologies that preserve animal dignity as a core value is a more appropriate understanding of the term 'animal-centered'.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: dignity, values, ethics, animal-computer interaction, animal-centered, animal-centred
Subjects: G400 Computer Science
G500 Information Systems
G600 Software Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 14:22
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 14:30

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