THE PARENT TRAP

inspiration

In Turkopticon: Interrupting Worker Invisibility in Amazon Mechanical Turk, the Irani and Silberman write, “In this sense, Turkopticon is not an expression of our own values, or even the values of the users we interviewed, but a compromise between those values and the weight of the existing infrastructural norms that torqued our design decisions as we intervened in this powerful, working real world system (618). In this statement, the authors validate their attempt to balance how workers and employers in order to collect data that is meaningful to both parties and they do so by creating for variables such as communicative, generosity, fairness, and promptness to review employers. This serves as a review for the employer and a tool to warn works from taking on a job from a certain employer (Irani & Silberman, 616).

design

The Parent Trap is a system of negotiation that siblings in a family use to strategically get what they want from their parents and vice-versa, but the desires of the children are placed over that of the parents. From chores, to outings with friends, and family dinners, everyone wins with this negotiation tool. This tool has two components, a technological board that goes on the fridge where everyone can see (siblings and parents) and there is a technological board that is secretly put away in a private place for the siblings. These boards can be shared with a larger network of families who have this technology. The parents will write what they want from their children on the board where everyone can see. The siblings will write what they want to do for the week on their private board (go out, sleep in, get a pet, etc.) and then have the option to work with each other or consult other parents. The siblings can share their board anonymously with parents who use the technology and ask for advice on how to reach their goals. From this advice, siblings can write their desires on the board where their parents can see, and hopefully after being advised by other parents, their wishes are articulated in a way their own parents can agree with.

critique

In this design, the first issue is the conversations between children and other adults who are not their parents. This is a huge risk for modern times because it is not certain what information other families could be feeding children in private. There would need to be a screening of parents that can advise children before this happens. This technology is an attempt to facilitate the interactions a child may have with another family member that can provide advice about how to navigate a problem with parents. Parents are often thought to be the bad cops and this technology allows children to have a good cop advisor. The safety of children is of utmost importance and security measures need to be flawless for a technology like this to succeed and be trusted.

takeaway

Irani and Silberman articulate the difficulties of collecting data that can be understood by both employers and workers; in the end, they came up with communicative, generosity, fairness, and promptness (Irani & Silberman, 616). This is a stagnant, non-changing vocabulary that is understood by both parties. With the Parent Trap, children can consult with other parents who presumably have the same core values as other parents, but as times change so do the issues and concerns of families, thus having a dynamic vocabulary that is informed by parents who live and experience the world real time is better than having imposed values from a researcher that may not withstand the changes in the world. The Parent Trap is a less regulated way for data collection, but is a more personalized and can arguably be more effective in the dynamic nature of the world.

Irani, Lilly C., and M. Six Silberman, 2013. Turkopticon: Interrupting Worker Invisibility in Amazon Mechanical Turk. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 611-620. ACM. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=2470654.2470742.