IP CALL FOR RESPONSE BLOG POST
Inquiry Project Blog Post Assignments (Recap and new assignment):
To recap so far: In your first IP post, you reflected on how you “live” online. The purpose of this first reflection: to bring our class focus on digital media directly to your own experiences online. Many of you did some of your best writing in that first week reflective post. Do you have to focus your Inquiry Project on the digital media you wrote about in that post? No. But knowing what digital media you use, which you are passionate about, what annoys or concerns you about this media, is a good starting place. I encourage all of you, if you are at a loss for an Inquiry Project focus, to go back to your first Inquiry Post Reflection and ask yourself if there is something about this digital media that intrigues you enough to make it the focus of your Inquiry Project.
The second IP post asked you to brainstorm many avenues of research in the Interest Inventory Google Doc, so that if you were at a loss for ideas, you could look to that Google document for some inspiration. This Interest Inventory work has been ongoing this week (if you have not done it, please do so immediately).
The Collaborative Interest Inventory Assignment in Google docs AND the Concept Experience (where you began with a topic of interest like “digital media” and kept following links to see where you ended up) were been designed to keep you thinking about digital media and exploring any and all topics related to digital media.
In Reflection and Commitment to IP Blog post you reflected on and committed to an Inquiry Project focus. This week, you will state your IP project focus using a model given below, and then call for responses from other class members about your project idea.
IP Project Question and CALL for Response Post:
This week you need to articulate a specific, well-focused QUESTION that will drive your research. There’s a big difference between a broad “topic” and a specific RESEARCH QUESTION. To say: I am going to research AI (artificial intelligence) — this broad topic leaves you open to ALL the research on AI out there — everything from artificial intelligence used in drones, robotics, gaming, medicine, marketing, to name only a few. A specific research question about AI, however, narrows that focus. For example, “How do we really feel about bots, and why do we want to make them more “human?”
Now this question changes the focus — making it specific, and rich, and interesting. First — there’s no Google answer for this question. A good research question cannot be answered by a simple Google search. How do we “feel” about bots requires looking at quite a few writers’ viewpoints about bots in order for you to determine how people (gamers, citizens, developers) feel about them. And if we desire more “human” behaviors in our bots, why is this?
In a League of Legends developers’ blog, for example, the focus on making bots more human means slowing down how often they could scan the game environment and react.
After reading that blog post, I found out that gamers are tired of the “unrealistic super human reactions of bots.” Maybe gamers feel that doesn’t resemble fair play. I”m not sure — I’d have to do more research. But reading only one article that addresses a research question, almost naturally leads the researcher to more questions, and consequently, more research.
A recent Huffington Post piece written by Bianca Boster examines the Twitter handle @Horse_ebooks, which has a cult following, most of whom assumed the tweets were generated randomly by bots. Ironically, when it was revealed that two real people were generating the tweets “as an art piece,” (what this says about social media and art is itself interesting!) the Twitter world was in a stir. It turns out, people are “rooting” for the robot, said Bosker, We want an “algorithm that wasn’t just efficient, but actually was weirdly insightful.” But why? (Like I said, a good research question and good research almost always generates new questions to follow).
A difference I see in the League of Legends blog post and the Huffington Post piece is that the developers of the game assume that gamers want more “human” bots because they want to play against a realistic opponent. Perfect, super-human opponents are getting old, they seem to say. But in the Huffington Post piece, it seems Boster is implying that we have a yearning for bots to be more complex than just simply algorithms. We yearn for a quirky human nature in our robots, and it’s this idea that intrigues me. Why do we want our bots to be human? When people call Siri “her,” do they think of her as human? How close do we really want to be to our technology?
So, in summary: this specific research question leads me on a focused quest, and each article I read generates more focused questions for me, unlike a broad topic, which would bury me in a range of unlimited options.
Everyone should use this question heuristic:
I am studying x (broad topic)
because I want to find out y (what, how, why)… (more specific focus)
in order to help my readers z (understand, question, challenge, support, wonder about, etc).
My example: I am studying artificial intelligence used in internet bots
because I want to find out why we may not only accept bots, but also secretly wish them to be more human-like
in order to help my readers question our growing acceptance and dependence on more sophisticated artificial intelligence.
Research question: How do we really feel about bots, and why may we wish them be be more “human?”
The research question should grow out of “because I want to find out” segment. The research question should also begin with How or Why or What. Research questions should not be a yes or no / either or question. Research questions should be rich enough to involve research and finding a range of perspectives. If a research question can be easily answered by a Google search, it is not a rich enough question.
Now it’s your turn. Use the heuristic (above). Use the same format (I am studying x because I want to find out how/why/what… in order to help my readers z). Spend time on this statement to use the most accurate language you can. Notice the question itself comes from the “because statement.”
Then, after stating your research question using specific language you feel comfortable with, write a blog post that reflects on this question by discussing and linking to TWO articles that you find related to your topic on the Internet. NOTE that I I used two articles in my discussion of my research question about bots.
It’s important to discuss how the articles address your research question, but ALSO, what further questions each article raises for you that you will need to explore in more research. Also, try to extrapolate differences and similarities in the concerns, insights, and examples used in your first two articles.
Make sure you include the heuristic AND your specific RESEARCH QUESTIONS at the top of the blog post. At the END of this post, Write: CALL FOR RESPONSES. Category: IP Call for Response
In the CALL FOR RESPONSES: At the end of your post, ASK your readers at least 3 questions about your topic (more than 3 are encouraged!) Any questions you have — ranging from specific questions you may need help with, to broad questions for ideas, insights, or feedback. Please make questions more specific than “Do you have any ideas?” I would ask “If you are a gamer, how do you feel about playing against the computer or a bot?” — something more specific than “got ideas?”
Over the weekend, readers will respond to your CALL FOR RESPONSES, so in effect, you are focusing our attention on your concerns or needs related to your research question. You can find everyone’s URL to their call to response posts in the comments below this page! SEE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:
IMPORTANT: LEAVE THE URL OF YOUR SPECIFIC CALL TO RESPONSE BLOG POST BELOW THIS PAGE AS A REPLY SO THAT YOU CAN EASILY ACCESS ONE ANOTHER’S CALL TO RESPONSE POSTS.
(THIS ALSO ELIMINATES YOUR NEED TO CHECK ALL BLOGS FOR THIS POST, since late posters will not receive credit for this assignment, and you should not have to look for posts that are not present in blogs). ONCE AGAIN: IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT, PLEASE POST YOUR BLOG URL FOR THE CALL TO RESPONSE POST AS A REPLY ON THIS ASSIGNMENT PAGE.