Usages and Acceptance of Mobile AmI ? MINAmI Workshop
Sophia-Antipolis, French Riviera, September 19, 2007.
The MINAmI project organised a workshop on the theme Usages and Acceptance of Mobile AmI. The purpose of the workshop was to present the concept of mobile AmI from the user’s point of view: usages that mobile AmI provides and issues that affect to user acceptance of mobile AmI. The whole-day workshop was organised in connection ot the AmID conference.
MINAmI (Micro-Nano integrated platform for transverse Ambient Intelligence applications) is a European Commission FP6 supported IP project developing an open technology platform for mobile phone based ambient intelligence (mobile AmI). The platform extends the users’s personal mobile phone with wireless connections to tags and sensors, thus enabling access to ambient applications and services. The platform concept enables a wide variety of usages for mobile AmI ? but what do the users want and accept? These questions, which are investigated in the MINAmI project and the focus of the MINAmI workshop, reflect also to ambient intelligence and information society in general.
The morning part of the workshop presented the concept of mobile-phone centric ambient intelligence (mobile AmI) as envisioned in the MINAmI project, and illustrated usages of mobile AmI through MINAmI scenarios in the application fields of everyday, healthcare and homecare. The scenarios have been evaluated by users, and the results tell us about how people response to mobile AmI and reveal challenges regarding user acceptance of mobile AmI in different application fields. The morning part of the workshop was closed by Fabrice Forest from e-SENSE project who gave a presentation on social acceptance of context-aware mobile services enabled by sensor networks. Social acceptance was studied via usage inhibitors, conditions and attractors. User acceptance studies are focused on the motivations of usage by each individual user whereas social acceptance studies also recognise who else people see as forerunners in adopting technology.
The afternoon part of the workshop continued the examination of user acceptance of mobile AmI by considering the technology and its usages especially from an ethical viewpoint: are there specific privacy, security, trust, or social challenges in mobile AmI that would prevent user acceptance of the technology and applications? How can these be resolved? Four expert members from the Ethical Advisory Board of the MINAmI project - Penny Duquenoy, Marc van Lieshout, Olli Pitkänen and Kai Kimppa - gave introductory presentations. The workshop was closed with a round table discussion on critical ethical obstacles to user acceptance of mobile AmI and solutions to these. Some highlights of the presentations & discussion:
- Use ethical principles as basis: Autonomy and choice; protection of user (e.g. privacy); equal benefit; do no harm
- Main concerns: Privacy of the users; Autonomy of the users (control of their own situation); Integrity and dignity of the users and Reliability of the systems. Shortcomings in these may make friendly applications turn out hostile
- Different levels of privacy: anonymity ? reserve ? intimacy ? solitude
- AmI will broaden the discussion on privacy from information privacy to Connection of physical and virtual world >> spatial privacy and Trespassing the corporal border >> bodily privacy
Characteristics of AmI environment
- Understand the characteristics of the AmI environment: Unpredictability; invisibility; embedded assumptions; dependence; novice users ? what is the impact of these characteristics on ethical principles
- Ubiquitous and intelligent feature of AmI will increase: Tracking opportunities of people and objects; Unauthorized access to personal data; Function creep of systems and Profiling of people by indirect data
- Technological developments are based on assumptions concerning: Smooth and fault-free operation; Robustness and compatibility of the infrastructure; Capability of the user and Inferences drawn from data ? how far these actually can be assured?
- Design often focuses on individual systems but in practise multiple parallel systems may cause unpredictable consequences
- The target of unnoticeable and unobtrusive system may cause a system that is also uncontrollable. Minimum requirement: At start up, the system is configured by or with the user
- Key legal issues in AmI environments: Privacy, Data protection, Intellectual property rights (IPR), particularly copyright and Contract law when contracts are based e.g. on machines exchanging messages
- The European legal system provides reasonable protection, but it should be ensured that the legal system will not prevent useful services. Especially, the directives should be made more technology neutral than they are today.
Integrating ethical assessment in the design process
- Concrete application examples help in assessing how ethical principles should be taken into account
- Ethical and social accountability specialist and legal specialist should be integrated in projects to ensure timely assessment of ethical and legal issues
- Ethical assessment is required throughout the design process: Specification after (or even during) requirements gathering; Follow-up (and modification of specifications) during the project and Testing during the project (Scenario testing with prototypes; Implementation vs. specification testing)
- A remarkable challenge is how to get the attention of the designers. Possible negative consequences should be anticipated in the design; hiding them is not an answer
Individual presentations in the workshop: