Bots mind the social-technical gap

Conference Contribution

Lee, M., Frank, L.E., Beute, F., de Kort, Y.A.W. & IJsselsteijn, W.A. (2017). Bots mind the social-technical gap. Proceedings of 15th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 28 August - 1 September 2017, Sheffield, United Kingdom (pp. 35-54). (Reports of the European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies, No. 1). European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET).

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Mobile workers experience the social-technical gap when moral dilemmas occur on communication platforms, and technology cannot adapt to social contexts on ethical matters. On messaging applications, bots are non-human team members and/or assistants that can aid mobile workers manage ethical challenges. We present excerpts from qualitative interviews with mobile workers that illuminate examples of moral challenges across communication channels. We then discuss how bots may be helpful intermediaries on these channels. Bots bridge the gap between mobile workers’ need for moral support and the communication medium’s incapability of having an intentionally moral stance.