Moral Agents is a hybrid split workshop – we will run two fully separate sessions to make it accessible to in-person and remote participants and take out the friction of common hybrid events, and participants will sign up for either the in-person or the online session. We will run a one-day face-to-face session at CHI 2023 in Hamburg on April 23 or 28, 2023 (tbc), and a five-hour remote session in May 2023 (date tbd with participants). All participants will join a single shared Discord server where they can access all preparatory and recorded materials of all sessions and communicate with all attendees before and after sessions. All workshop notes will be taken in a single Miro board across sessions, and all materials will be shared online with all participants.
Accepted position pieces and artefacts will be invited to make revisions based on reviews, and published on this workshop site prior to the workshop dates. Participants will also be invited to (a) provide short (150 word) case studies of moral agents that go into a public online library at moralagents.org and (b) reflect on an opportunity of sustainability moral agents in an everyday situation. The participants should record the situations arising from their reflections as short videos, which will be accessible to participants in advance of the workshop on a private channel.
Both on-site and in the online sessions, there will first be an opportunity to get to know each other and the organizers.
Another exciting part will be both keynotes by Peter-Paul Verbeek and Marc Hassenzahl. Marc Hassenzahl will be on site, give his keynote and be available for a Q&A session afterward.
Because we want to explore desirable futures and emerging questions about moral agents, the backbone of the workshop consists of a modified "Experiencing Utopia" design fiction format that combines service enactments or role-playing with anticipatory ethnography . In groups of 4-5 people each, participants are asked to (1) imagine utopias with moral agents for environmental and social sustainability (including health, justice, etc.), create a free list, and then prioritize desirable outcomes. Participants then (2) call moral agents into being with contextual enactments by enacting a concrete everyday encounter that realizes a selected idea, with one participant playing the moral agent and the other(s) playing human(s) and/or other interaction partners. Positive and negative scenarios of the same idea are acted out, using various forms of moral agents as prompters. Finally, participants (3) will evaluate and reflect on the performances by asking participants about their experiences and impressions in the role, as well as analyzing and recording emerging problems, limitations, and insights. Groups then reconvene to act out selected scenes with comments for the plenary.
In the form of a mini-barcamp, participants have the opportunity to suggest topics of key interest to them and thus help shape the program. From the resulting sessions, a program is created from which participants can choose. Finally, sessions will give a lightning presentation of their findings, and the organizers will discuss post-workshop plans.
All workshop materials will form the basis of an article (slanted for ACM interactions) and proposal for an edited open access book collecting contributions from participants, currently targeting Open Humanities Press, with MIT Press, Valiz, or Minnesota University Press as alternatives.