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Menisha Patel

Personal photo - Menisha Patel

Menisha Patel

Research Associate

39a St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LW

Interests

Understanding, acknowledging and incorporating stakeholder perspectives in the processes and outcomes of innovation has always been of huge importance to me.  I have a great interest in exploring how we can use qualitative approaches (alongside other approaches) to engage stakeholders and to enable a more responsible development of technologies.  This is particularly now, given the increasing  pervasiveness of technologies and growing concerns about their impact on society- especially on vulnerable users.  I am very interested in how we can give a voice to those from more disenfranchised or impoverished communities, as their views are often overlooked- and yet they are most likely to experience the negative implications of the technological developments we are witnessing today  Through my work I continue to work with stakeholders at different levels of consideration- very local, to more broad-ranging, in order to contribute to work in RI and related socio-technical disciplines. 

Biography

I am a based within the Department of Computer Science, as a researcher within the Human-Centred Computing (HCC) Theme.  My work is primarily concerned with how we can sensitively render visible and embed stakeholder concerns (at a local, national and global levels)  into the processes and products of research and innovation. 

My early research was as a member of the Work Interaction and Technology (WIT) Centre at King’s College London.  It was here that my work was at a very local level of consideration, through a workplace studies approach (informed by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis). My PhD focused on unpacking the interactional accomplishments underpinning the management of a distributed workplace and control-room environment, namely Victoria Underground Station. I was also able to undertake and contribute to fine-grained studies of users interacting with technologies in a diverse range of settings-for example in control rooms, medical operating theatres, auction houses and within museums.

Following my PhD in 2013, I moved to the Oxford e-Research Centre, as part of HCC where my considerations moved to more macro concerns such as governance and Responsible Innovation (RI).  I worked on the EU FP7 Responsibility Project (http://responsibility-rri.eu), on the development of an online platform to facilitate interaction between researchers and policy makers in relation to the impact and dissemination of RI. My particular role involved an interactive assessment of the tool which was accomplished through quasi-naturalistic experiments and stakeholder interviews.  I was also able to contribute to two other FP7 Projects focused on RI concerns, and the societal and ethical issues related to the development and governance of innovate technologies- the Great Project, and Smart Society.

After three years at the Oxford e-Research Centre, I moved to the Department of Computer Science where I initially worked on a short Impact Acceleration project ‘ZOON’ (https://zoonproject.wordpress.com) - which was geared towards the development and assessment of an open source platform for Species Distribution Modelling. This involved using qualitative approaches- comprised of discussion and interactive activities with data modellers- to iteratively assess the tool and work collaboratively developers to help integrate the findings from each phase of assessment.

I am currently working on the EPSRC funded UnBias project (http://unbias.wp.horizon.ac.uk) that focuses on the user experience of algorithms- particularly concerned with issues of fairness in relation their design and deployment.  The project has placed primacy on understanding the perspectives of young people- and through engagement with them and other relevant stakeholders we have produced the outcomes of the project. These include a co-produced ‘fairness toolkit’; educational materials and resources; and the development of policy recommendations and response to calls for evidence regarding the concerns and rights of young internet users.

Selected Publications

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Projects

Supervisor