MeMa 2.0

MeMa 2.0 follows ‘The Memory Machine’ – a feasibility study funded by Horizon’ Services Campaign.

MeMa aims to contextualise personal memories (pictures, videos, music, 3D content) into timelines to create personalised digital souvenirs, digital repositories for the end-of-life, engaging tools for personal reflection, history education, reminiscence interventions for dementia care, and tools for accessing cultural heritage. MeMa, as a digital platform, provides the tools to allow creation and curation of memories that enable meaningful artefacts to be brought to life with rich emotional value.

MeMa 2.0 will involve work on the product design for MeMa – a design that should preserve user requirements and design specifications identified during the feasibility study. Commencing November 2020 and running for a period of 6 months the project will produce prototype memory machines, facilitate evaluation workshops, document the design process and support follow-on funding opportunities to continue new strands of research highlighted during activity.  One area of interest lies in how MeMa might be incorporated into dementia care programmes.  With this in mind the Institute of Mental Health – a partnership between Nottingham University Hospitals and the University of Nottingham – will provide support and expert advice on how this project could benefit dementia care.

 

Horizon Services Campaign Final blog

The overarching aim of our ‘Services Campaign’ was to gain a better understanding about the challenges faced by sharing our personal data with digital service providers. Working with our industry partners, we created different proof of concept digital services which acted as probes for us to study and investigate their impact on consumers, and the implications for privacy and trust.

We used a range of methodologies within these projects which included stakeholder workshops to enable co-creation of the digital services. We introduced our Moral-IT and Legal-IT ideation cards – tools developed by Horizon in earlier research – to facilitate reflection and discussion on ethical and legal issues within each of the projects – which helped us identify and embed safeguards into the new technologies. In addition, we also worked with internet users to gather and examine citizens’ thoughts and understanding about how their personal data is used.

The domains of application of digital services differed significantly, however the underpinning technical approach to delivering them had a number of similarities and consistent requirements. To support this we developed a software platform – Chronicle – which underpinned and supported each of the projects. Chronicle stored the digital representation of a timeline of a ‘thing’, the thing and the events on the timeline being defined by each project – for example memories in the Memory Machine project. In addition to the platform being customised and tailored to meet the requirements of each project, we also wanted answers to important questions such as: What did it mean to delete something from an historical record? Should deletion be possible, or should a record remain indelible? If so, what would be the implications for privacy and ownership rights?

The Services Campaign explored a range of services, each chosen to reflect the sharing of different types of personal data with diverse stakeholder groups:

Memory Machine (MeMafocused on our sense of identity, and aimed to capture people’s identities through memories. The blending of personal and factual data provides an opportunity to shape how people wish to be remembered, while creating an afterlife legacy.  Within the health and wellbeing domain we collaborated with the Institute of Mental Health and the Centre for Dementia.  We worked with older adults, people with early symptoms of dementia, care home managers, historians and media experts, to seek to elicit personal stories and explored topics including privacy, consent, data security and ethics. We also addressed challenging issues such as painful memories, and events that may prefer to be forgotten.

In My Seat engaged with the public around use of their personal data with a view to improving their journey experience on public transport. We worked with bus users and stakeholders and explored the exchange of data between bus operators and travellers through the development of an app which provided dynamic, location-based, real time information. As well as practical information for bus users such as end-to-end route planning and live updates on the service, the app also provided location and profile-based notifications tailored to the current journey, which offered passengers the opportunity to learn about their local surroundings as well as their destination. The app chose content shared with the bus user – without it being necessary to include the operator as part of this information exchange. The intention was to include user-generated content from other travellers, but understandably the operators didn’t want information they had no control over associated with their service. This highlighted some of the challenges encountered when developing digital services and managing data use and distribution.

Panopticon produced a framework for tracking the interactions of people with products in public indoor environments, to create personalised ‘visitor experiences’ – meaningful to audiences, whilst at the same time providing venues with valuable information, to continually improve the experience and drive repeat visiting. We worked with the National Videogame Arcade (NVA) to capture video footage of visitors engaging with interactive exhibits and analysed the data with computer vision techniques to build measures of their emotional responses. This tracking of visitors’ movements and behaviours proved valuable to the curators of public spaces, however it yielded large amounts of unnecessary data which was very invasive. In order to address this, we combined the data with a physical token which was offered to visitors to use when engaging with interactive exhibits at the now rebranded National Videogame Museum (NVM). The tokens captured their movement and emotional responses and had the potential to be developed into digital souvenirs –  however the important aspect being that visitors could voluntarily gift these back to the venue, thus allowing them to provide their consent to the venue to use their data. This enabled the NVM to analyse each individual’s experience, which provided them with a  better understanding of the performance and appeal of their interactive exhibits.

Hybrid Gifting explored how physical products could be combined with digital media to produce novel hybrid gifts. The project aimed to enhance the experience of ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ gifts and to support emerging gifting practices.  As a result of working with Debbie Bryan, an independent creative retailer in Nottingham, we created a gifting app that enabled ‘givers’ to curate and share media as part of a physical gift. ‘Receivers’ of gifts open the digital content embedded within their gift via the app and are able to further personalise it by adding additional media – with access to the digital content being managed through the Horizon Chronicle platform. Work continues to examine what it means for people to associate personal content with a physical artefact as part of a sharing experience – in the manner of a closed privacy-preserving online interaction – and the value of hybrid gifts and their impact on the giver/receiver relationship.

The activities we introduced to better understand the use of personal data in each of the projects demonstrated the importance of privacy –  particularly with regard to the context in which the data is shared. Whilst in one context sharing a particular type of data seemed reasonable, in another it was seen as invasive and alarming. The studies showed that users have complex ways of understanding their personal data. Our users came up with more than 20 distinct ways to describe their data, and there was a complex relationship between these descriptions – some was seen as personal but not necessarily sensitive or private, and when it had implications for other people (family members, friends), this affected how willing people were to share it. Operators and providers of services expressed concerns relating to the responsibilities involved in collecting and retaining users’ personal data, and ensuring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Our activities highlighted the complexity of systems using personal data, such as the developer’s responsibility for system (mis)use and how a correct understanding of a system’s operation can be ensured.  The need for human oversight, clear and transparent communication relating to privacy agreements, and how captured personal data would be stored, processed and used was highlighted as particularly important. 

Our Services Campaign is now complete and we have introduced our Products Campaign – the third in the series,  and developed in collaboration with the University of Nottingham’s Smart Products Beacon – nicely fusing our personal data agenda with the design manufacture and use of products.  Please follow our Products Campaign Blog and the Smart Products Beacon website for further information.

Memory Machine update – October 2019

paper by Dominic Price, Rachel Jacobs, Elvira Perez Vallejos, Dimitri Darzentas, Neil Chadborn, Sarah Martindale, Hazel Robbins and myself was presented at Designing Interactive Systems 2019 in San Diego. The paper entitled MeMa: Designing the Memory Machine’ is now available in the proceedings of the conference and it documents: ‘the Memory Machine project which aims to develop a device to capture people’s memories to create a blend of personal and factual data that builds identities, and contextualizes personal recollections. The Memory Machine has been guided by co-production and user-centred design principles to ensure users’ input has a critical role in the development of the technology. Through a series of creative workshops, we facilitated participants to discuss and represent their perceptions of memory making and recollection, towards the design of the Memory Machine. This paper investigates how a creative, participatory process enabled technical topics to be explored together, as well as enabling the participants to address more challenging issues of memory; such as painful memories, memory loss, and memories at end-of-life, with a particular focus on dementia, to inform the future design of the Memory Machine.’ Also, there is a very nice poster with hand drawn sketches here, which gives an overview of the project.

Designing a Memory Machine – Internship opportunity

 

Overview

The Memory Machine project aims to create a device that allows for the contextualisation of personal memories (e.g., pictures, videos, music) into a core ’timeline’ of other shared and public multimedia content from various sources. This device (the Memory Machine, or MeMa) can be used a personalised digital souvenir or digital repository for the end-of-life. These artefacts will not only encapsulate rich emotional value in themselves, but offer engaging tools for personal reflection, history education, interventions for dementia care and for accessing cultural heritage.

An overview of the Memory Machine project can be found at on the Horizon website and on the project blog. We have completed the 4 workshops detailed on the project blog and have collected plenty of design material for a potential design of a physical memory machine. We have also completed some preliminary analysis of the workshop data and narrowed the design down to a small number of potentials. We are now at the point where we desire to build a fully functional prototype.

Accordingly, we welcome applications for an internship that will focus on producing designs (in the form of technical diagrams) for one or more Memory Machine prototypes. The successful candidate will work with the project team to produce the required designs.

Closing date

Applications must be made before the 1st of July 2019 and are assessed on an ongoing basis.

Proposed dates

The Internship will run 10 weeks, and is available for successful candidates to start as soon as possible. Please indicate your availability on the application form, where requested.

Accordingly, we welcome applications for an internship that will focus on producing designs (in the form of technical diagrams) for one or more Memory Machine prototypes. The successful candidate will work with the project team to produce the required designs.

Who should apply?

Ideal applicants should be studying for a postgraduate degree in engineering or product design.

Required skills

  • Technical drawing skills.
  • Background in design and/or engineering.

Eligibility and financial aspects

This is a full-time internship for 10 weeks. For postgraduate students who receive a stipend from their home university during the internship, a bursary of £300 per week will be available. For postgraduate students who suspend their stipend, a casual wage of £350 per week will be available, and this may be subject to tax deductions depending on the successful candidate’s circumstances.

In general, students from The University of Nottingham are able to apply on the understanding they suspend their stipend, this is due to the nature of the funding source. For overseas students a Visa must be in place, covering the duration of the internship.

Internships will be based at Jubilee Campus, The University of Nottingham (NG7 2TU), and may not be undertaken remotely. 

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries may be made to Dominic Price, however applications should be made using the weblink below. Applications to this email address will not be accepted.

To apply, please complete the Internships Application Form

Memory Machine Workshop 4

Researchers at Nottingham University would like to invite you to the fourth Memory Machine workshop, as part of a series of workshops that explore how new technologies can help us preserve memories that are important for us. You’re welcome regardless of whether or not you attended previous Memory Machine workshops.

Sarah Martindale – media researcher – will lead the interactive and creative workshop which will take place on Thursday 22nd of November,  12.00 – 4.00 pm at the Institute of Mental Health, Jubilee Campus.

Participants will receive a £10 high street shopping voucher as a thank you. Travel expenses to the venue will also be covered with lunch and refreshments provided.

Register here.

 

Memory Machine – an overview of our third workshop

Memory Machine Workshop 3

21st September 2018

Identity and wellbeing

We had a diverse group join us for our third workshop which started with a short walk outside, down to the Raleigh commemoration sculpture:

Landscapes prompt memories, as does the weather – as we found when it started raining! So we rapidly retreated indoors. We discussed local places and community connections and their importance in building a sense of familiarity and identity. One of our participants talked about walking around Nottingham, looking at old buildings, and that seeing a building or street from a particular angle would evoke a memory – perspective and place is so important in our memories. In Nottingham we are lucky to have archives from local industries; Raleigh bikes (the factory stood on the site of our new campus) and Boots pharmaceuticals and toiletries. Participants mentioned that Nottingham is also famous for less healthy products; such as beer and tobacco.

I gave a brief talk about how place is connected with health in many different ways. As well as working life, our home life and communities hold strong memories. We had three groups discussing their memories of place and community. Memories of Trent bridge leather tannery, and streets of small shops including a tattoo parlour!

Rachel Jacobs described some interactive and digital experiences that explored issues of wellbeing and place, as well as interesting interactive public displays and interventions. These included:

Rachel talked about how the Memory Machine might be able to link into similar forms of interactive experiences either at home or in familiar places, or areas of local interest so that people could both share and access their memories of these places. She spoke about the value of our memories and how the memories and experiences of older generations can enrich the experience of being in places and help us to understand the history, as well as the present and future of the place where we live and work.

Our three groups then considered how a digital ‘memory machine’ might capture some of these memories about place. One group considered an ‘outdoors Alexa’- a kind of ‘listening post’ where people could record, and share, their own recollections of that place – e.g. a street or a park. This idea grew legs! We discussed how people could meet at one of these posts, and then walk together, discussing memories, and recording them at the next post. With a mechanism to assign this shared recording to your personal account – when you got home you could listen again.

Listening again, or recording from one place, but playing back inside, prompted discussion of sharing with residents of a care home or others who may not be able to get out and about. We thought about how to encourage individuals and families at early stages of dementia to start recording memories, or making notes. We had health and social care practitioners in the group who shared their experience of caring for people, and how prompts and recordings could be useful.

Another group discussed a similar use of the memory machine in a park such as Gedling Country Park, with a listening area where people can sit and hear about the history of the park and colliery that used to be there and share their own memories, and people who can’t get to the park can also take part in the conversation and share experiences of being in the park and their own memories from home or a care centre. They also talked about how we manage difficult memories as well as joyful ones and how you can create the right experience to help people to access different memories in a positive way. The group also talked about the positives and negatives of technology and the internet and how it is affecting younger generations and changing how they communicate with each other – how it can both bring people together, and make people feel isolated.

During the session I learnt a lot about Nottingham from the older members of the group. How black lead was used in the laceworks, which would cause damage to the brain and memories of the workers. I said how lucky we are that we can just type into a websearch any locality or industry and rapidly find some information, pictures or archives. One group had discussed cigarette cards – the Google of their generation! Recalling previous generations, we discussed how statues and stained glass of churches were a way of representing Biblical people and stories when the text was in inaccessible Latin.

Places and industry can prompt painful memories; we should not ignore difficult memories, but be aware of our reactions to these. Overall, we discussed how familiar places are interlinked with and our sense of identity and wellbeing. Neil suggested that many of the topics could be linked to Five Ways to Wellbeing – an evidence base linking activities to health and wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.

https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/mental-health-at-work/taking-care-of-yourself/five-ways-to-wellbeing/

Raleigh archivehttp://www.iworkedatraleigh.com/

John Players archivehttps://www.nottingham.ac.uk/connectedcommunities/projects/john-player-archive.aspx

 

Written by Neil Chadborn

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Machine Workshop 3

Researchers at Nottingham University would like to invite you to the third Memory Machine workshop, as part of a series of workshops (4 in total) that explore how new technologies can help us preserve memories that are important for us.

Led by artist Rachel Jacobs and Research Fellow Neil Chadborn, this workshop will be interactive and creative and we welcome older adults, those caring for people with early onset dementia, historians and tech developers

Participants will receive a £10 and travel expenses to the venue covered and it includes lunch and refreshments. The workshop will take place at the Institute of Mental Health.

Everyone welcome. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please email Rachel Jacobs to discuss any access requirements.

Register for this event here