Playbouring cyborgs: renegotiating the human-machine ensembles

Sonia Fizek

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Playbouring Cyborgs: Humans & Algorithms Collaborating for ScienceSonia Fizek & Anne DippelThe path to post-automation economy is not so much paved with robots as it is with cyborgs of all kind. The cyborgs introduced in this talk are a symbiosis of humans, machines and algorithms entangled in a data net, pursuing their playful and labourious quest to evolve science. While thousands of humans play online games, combining molecules (Eterna) or detecting “bizarre” particle tracks (Higgs Hunters), algorithms keep learning from the their behavioural patterns. But the playbouring cyborg manifests itself not only amongst the cyber proletariat of the unskilled citizen scientist players. It also lurks into the world of the algorithmic literates; the cyber professionals, who interpret the data served by the players and digested by the algorithms. The other side of the Higgs Hunters is occupied by high-energy physicists of CERN (Centre Européen de la Recherche Nucléaire), where Anne ethnographically observes their daily routines enhanced by the digital calculating and simulating machines.Keywords: cyborg, human and machine, automation, play and labour, citizen science games, collaborative science
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
EventAmerican Association of Geographers Annual Conference: Workshop: Human, Digital, Labour - Boston, Boston, United States
Duration: 4 Apr 20177 Apr 2017


ConferenceAmerican Association of Geographers Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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