Designing our own digital receptionist

With the creation of the Internet, ICT has become the backbone of social and political structure. However, new issues regarding personal integrity has become evident as more people have brought Internet into their everyday life. The question of data privacy and personal integrity is a moral, legal and political concern. It influences how people, companies and governments can control their information in an environment where private personal actions and opinions no longer is bounded by our physical proximity. On the other hand, the availability of easily obtainable, cheap and exact data should also be considered an opportunity to provide adaptive and customized services.

This project aims to collect and exploit contextual information in order to provide a personalized user experience in a digital receptionist. By making the collected data visible we also hope to inspire users to think about what data they share consciously or unconsciously. The receptionist application will be used in the Gothenburg studio of Interaktionsbyrån where it will welcome visitors and provide personalized services to employees. We see this as a fitting environment to carry out the project in, since the work place is a setting where personal image can be an extra delicate matter - in business relations and among coworkers. We hope this will further enhance the feeling of importance when unexpected information is made visible.

How can we collect contextual information and leverage it in a digitalreceptionist in order to raise awareness about the issue of data privacy?

We define contextual information as any data with the potential to improve and/or personalize a design artifact's user experience. One example of such information might be the last time a person was seen at the studio. Using that extra knowledge one could change the greeting from a general ``Welcome!'' to the more personal ``Long time no see!'' when appropriate. In order to provide this feature the user needs to be identified reliably and quickly, preferably not requiring any action on the part of the user. To this end it might be necessary to draw on a number of identification techniques, most notably face recognition.


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