Responsible Sensing Lab

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Responsible Sensing Lab

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Smart city systems can help solve urban challenges. But when collecting data, what public values are involved? The Responsible Sensing Lab explores how to integrate social values such as autonomy, privacy, transparency, inclusiveness and empowerment in the design of sensing systems in public space.

In January 2021 the Responsible Sensing Lab was officially launched during an interactive livestream event. In essence the Lab is a testbed for conducting rigorous, transparent, and replicable research on how our smart technologies placed in public space can be designed in a way that makes the smart city ‘responsible’. Responsible Sensing Lab is a collaboration between the City of Amsterdam and AMS Institute.

A lab for a ‘responsible’ smart city

The City of Amsterdam has many smart technologies in place: from smart devices that measure things (i.e. sensors) to smart devices that steer processes in the city (i.e. actuators) such as traffic lights, charging stations, adaptable street lights, barriers that go up and down, and adaptive digital signs.

At the Responsible Sensing Lab we research, develop and integrate smart technologies like the aforementioned to help solve urban challenges. At the same time, we explore how to embed society’s public and democratic values in the design of these innovations.

(Re)designing, prototype testing and implementing responsible sensing systems

Within the Lab academics are invited to connect and work with practitioners who are responsible for digital systems in the city to (re)design, prototype and test (more) responsible ways of sensing in public space.

Hence, Responsible Sensing Lab is a place where teams of multi-disciplinary stakeholders – such as computer scientists, policy makers, psychologists, designers and hardware experts – can address existing hardware, software and other city sensing systems.

Core values

At the Responsible Sensing Lab, we use the City’s values (TADA, Digital City Agenda) as our starting point. We explore what these values mean when applied to actual software, hardware, user-experience design and governance.

Also, we are inspired by the methodology of value sensitive design. This approach allows us to focus on design choices inherent in the type of sensing hardware, the distribution of intelligence between cloud and back-end, the physical design and placement of sensors in public space, and interaction possibilities for citizens.

Do you want to know more or are you looking to collaborate? Contact us via our website!

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