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Month: April 2018

Ackerman – 2000 – The Intellectual Challenge of CSCW

Summary: Ackerman argues that the persistent social-technical gap is a fundamental challenge for CSCW and which impedes progress of building technologies that address real-life collective needs. Drawing from Simon’s “Science of the Artificial”, Ackerman describes CSCW as engineering artifacts and studying/constructing phenomena driven by complex social goals, environmental contexts, and design tradeoffs — not by natural laws like the physical and natural sciences. Ackerman suggests one way forward to close the gap is to 1) apply palliatives to promote a more coherent approach to social requirements of technology, 2) construct first-order approximations to drive iterative development of initial work-arounds for the socio-technical gaps, and 3) develop systematic scientific/empirical methods to explore the engineering-design gap.

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