Freedom-agency Trade-offs in Design and AI: Addressing Them With Installation Theory



Saadi Lahlou is Chair in Social Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He directed 4 research units (in Consumer Research, Sociology of Organizations, Cognitive Science and Social Psychology), including the Laboratory of Design for Cognition, a large user lab developing augmented environments for office work. Prof. Lahlou has worked in industry R&D for 15 years, in government (French Prime Minister’s strategy unit), and academia. His current research focuses on behavioural change and design; especially involving ICT and participative design; training and digital ethnography. The recently published “Installation Theory: The Societal Construction and Regulation of Behaviour” is his 5th book. In this talk Saadi addresses...

1. “Installations” channel behavior. They have 3 layers: affordances, embodied competences, social regulation. Redundancy of 3 layers makes installations resilient.
2. For better activity support (better business) improve installation layers (design / training / rules).
3. Artificial agents in installations raise serious design tradeoff issues (semantic Rubicon, privacy, freedom of action). Changes should be designed with the stake-holders.