Underestimated for a long time, serendipity is an increasingly recognized design principle of the infosphere. Being influenced by environmental and human factors, the experience of serendipity encompasses fundamental phases of production, distribution and consumption of information. On the one hand, design information architectures for serendipity increases the diversity of information encountered as well as users’ control over information processes. On the other hand, serendipity is a capability. It helps individuals to internalize and adopt strategies that increase the chances of experiencing it. As such, the pursuit for serendipity can help to burst filter bubbles and weaken echo chambers in social media. The article reviews the literature on emerging issues surrounding serendipity in human–computer interactions. By doing so, it firstly presents the study of serendipity and the debate about its role in digital environments. Then, it introduces the main features of a preliminary architecture for serendipity. Finally, it analyzes from an interdisciplinary perspective the values that embraces and sustains. The conclusion is that serendipity can be conceived as an emerging design and ethical principle able to strengthen media pluralism and other emerging human rights in the context of online personalization. Main limitations and potential unintended consequences are also discussed.

Serendipity as an emerging design principle of the infosphere: challenges and opportunities / U. Reviglio. - In: ETHICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 1388-1957. - 21:2(2019), pp. 151-166. [10.1007/s10676-018-9496-y]

Serendipity as an emerging design principle of the infosphere: challenges and opportunities

U. Reviglio
2019

Abstract

Underestimated for a long time, serendipity is an increasingly recognized design principle of the infosphere. Being influenced by environmental and human factors, the experience of serendipity encompasses fundamental phases of production, distribution and consumption of information. On the one hand, design information architectures for serendipity increases the diversity of information encountered as well as users’ control over information processes. On the other hand, serendipity is a capability. It helps individuals to internalize and adopt strategies that increase the chances of experiencing it. As such, the pursuit for serendipity can help to burst filter bubbles and weaken echo chambers in social media. The article reviews the literature on emerging issues surrounding serendipity in human–computer interactions. By doing so, it firstly presents the study of serendipity and the debate about its role in digital environments. Then, it introduces the main features of a preliminary architecture for serendipity. Finally, it analyzes from an interdisciplinary perspective the values that embraces and sustains. The conclusion is that serendipity can be conceived as an emerging design and ethical principle able to strengthen media pluralism and other emerging human rights in the context of online personalization. Main limitations and potential unintended consequences are also discussed.
Design ethics; Echo chambers; Filter bubbles; Nudging; Personalization; Serendipity
Settore SPS/01 - Filosofia Politica
Article (author)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/840212
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