Studying Those Who Study Us: An Anthropologist in the World of Artificial Intelligence

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Overview

“Diane Forsythe pioneered the field of the anthropology of artificial intelligence, and the essays in this collection are crucially important for three reasons. First, they have historical value as groundbreaking work in a new field. Second, they have enduring value for other scholars, notably the burgeoning number of social scientists studying computer cultures. And Forsythe’s careful discussions of her methods, and the interesting reflexivity she worked out, will serve as important models for future anthropologists and others. The editor has done an outstanding job of selecting, ordering, and introducing the essays.” - Paul N. Edwards, University of Michigan
“The essays posthumously collected here are the fruits of the later career of a fine anthropologist and a sensitive, skilled ethnographer. . . . Forsythe’s collection will interest a broad audience concerned with the production of software and the behavior of teams. Highly and unreservedly recommended for all collections.”—Choice

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Diane Forsythe pioneered the field of the anthropology of artificial intelligence, and the essays in this collection are crucially important for three reasons. First, they have historical value as groundbreaking work in a new field. Second, they have enduring value for other scholars, notably the burgeoning number of social scientists studying computer cultures. And Forsythe's careful discussions of her methods, and the interesting reflexivity she worked out, will serve as important models for future anthropologists and others. The editor has done an outstanding job of selecting, ordering, and introducing the essays." - Paul N. Edwards, University of Michigan

"The essays posthumously collected here are the fruits of the later career of a fine anthropologist and a sensitive, skilled ethnographer. . . . Forsythe's collection will interest a broad audience concerned with the production of software and the behavior of teams. Highly and unreservedly recommended for all collections."—Choice

"[A] thought-provoking book . . . .[It] reveals an intriguing insight into the tacit assumptions made in the fields of artificial intelligence and current anthropology."—Science Books and Film

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804742030
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Series: Writing Science Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Diana E. Forsythe was Associate Professor in the Medical Anthropology Program at the University of California, San Francisco, and a visiting scholar in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford University.

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Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction
Editor's Note
1 Blaming the User in Medical Informatics: The Cultural Nature of Scientific Practice 1
2 The Construction of Work in Artificial Intelligence 16
3 Engineering Knowledge: The Construction of Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence 35
4 Knowing Engineers? A Response to Forsythe 59
5 STS (Re)constructs Anthropology: Reply to Fleck 66
6 Artificial Intelligence Invents Itself: Collective Identity and Boundary Maintenance in an Emergent Scientific Discipline 75
7 New Bottles, Old Wine: Hidden Cultural Assumptions in a Computerized Explanation System for Migraine Sufferers 93
8 Ethics and Politics of Studying Up in Technoscience 119
9 Studying Those Who Study Us: Medical Informatics Appropriates Ethnography 132
10 "It's Just a Matter of Common Sense": Ethnography as Invisible Work 146
11 Disappearing Women in the Social World of Computing 163
12 George and Sandra's Daughter, Robert's Girl: Doing Ethnographic Research in My Parents' Field 183
App Additional Publications 197
Notes 201
Bibliography 213
Index 229
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