Broadening Exposure to Socio-Political Opinions via a Pushy Smart Home Device

Tom Feltwell, Gavin Wood, Phillip Brooker, Scarlett Rowland, Eric P.S. Baumer, Kiel Long, John Vines, Julie Barnett, Shaun Lawson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Motivated by the effects of the filter bubble and echo chamber phenomena on social media, we developed a smart home device, Spkr, that unpredictably "pushes" socio-political discussion topics into the home. The device utilised trending Twitter discussions, categorised by their socio-political alignment, to present people with a purposefully assorted range of viewpoints. We deployed Spkr in 10 homes for 28 days with a diverse range of participants and interviewed them about their experiences. Our results show that Spkr presents a novel means of combating selective exposure to socio-political issues, providing participants with identifiably diverse viewpoints. Moreover, Spkr acted as a conversational prompt for discussion within the home, initiating collective processes and engaging those who would not often be involved in political discussions. We demonstrate how smart home assistants can be used as a catalyst for provocation by altering and pluralising political discussions within households.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1-14
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020
Event2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020 - Honolulu, USA United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020
CountryUSA United States
CityHonolulu
Period25/04/2030/04/20

Keywords

  • echo chamber
  • filter bubble
  • Nolan chart
  • pushy device
  • selective exposure
  • smart home technology
  • socio-political discussion
  • viewpoint diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

Cite this

Feltwell, T., Wood, G., Brooker, P., Rowland, S., Baumer, E. P. S., Long, K., Vines, J., Barnett, J., & Lawson, S. (2020). Broadening Exposure to Socio-Political Opinions via a Pushy Smart Home Device. In CHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-14). [3376774] (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376774