Veranstaltung: “2nd Colloquium on the Biographies of Artifacts and Practices” (online) on September 6th, 4pm organized by TU Berlin

2nd Colloquium on the Biographies of Artifacts and Practices

The colloquium will take place online on September 6th, 4pm (CEST). It will feature a talk by Ole Pütz, the scientific manager of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Institute (JAII) of Paderborn and Bielefeld University. Ole will present insights from his recent and ongoing research on the disciplining of language during technology development, linking conversation analytical work to the BOAP framework.

About the talk:

It is a commonsense assumption in science and technology studies (STS) that the development of technology is a social process with path dependencies. Based on the current state of technology, those who develop new technological artifacts are faced with different options of how the patterns of use of a new technological artefact may be realized, but only certain patterns of use are implemented during the development process. Insofar as these patterns prove to be successful, they are solidified at the expanse of alternative forms. I claim that this process of solidification is understood in STS in the abstract but not in its empirical details. In my talk, I will present evidence that the process of solidification can be traced to the smallest details of talk through conversation analysis. It becomes visible in the dynamics of face-to-face interactions and in language use.

This talk draws on both published and unpublished analyses of the meeting talk of computer scientists’ during prototype development, which were recorded as part of a long-term ethnographic study of computer science work. (1) I show that computer scientists are very exact when they talk about already implemented functionality of their prototype, but not when they talk about potential future functionality (Pütz, 2021). The prototype disciplines the language of the computer scientists studied, insofar as they attempt to describe it as exact as possible (and as is situationally adequate) when they talk amongst themselves (experts) or with other project stakeholders (laypersons). (2) While existing functionality of a prototype disciplines language, I also show that there is a heightened frequency of conflicts among meeting participants when the computer scientists discuss the next steps of prototype development but not when other topics are discussed during meetings. Because it is consequential for prototype development what specific patterns of use are implemented, these moments are also controversially discussed, even as discussions are constrained by interactional dynamics which limit the length of emerging conflicts. In conclusion, I will draw some methodological as well as theoretical consequences from these findings.

Zoom link and contact:

Zoom PW: 938429

If you are interested in the activities of the research network, or would like to present at the colloquium, get in touch at .

The full version of the invitation you can find here: Invitation_2nd Colloquium on the Biographies of Artifacts and Practices