We are surrounded by an increasing number of ICTs that automate human activities. One key challenge is to find an equilibrium between dependency and autonomy: Does the automatic system increase human dependency or strengthen human autonomy? Framed within the notion of democratic participation in an inclusive Information Society, we address this challenge in the form of three questions: 1) What is human autonomy in an inclusive information society and how do gender, age, ethnicity, and digital skills shape understandings of human autonomy; 2) How do digital automation and human autonomy inter-act with each other and are other interactions possible or desirable; 3) What are the designs and design criteria that enable flexible (re)configurations of automatio n and autonomy. In this study we explore these questions in a non-deterministic and non-binary frame. We will map the configurations of people and technologies in three large case studies located in the public sector: 'Learning (more) about taxes' (taxpay ers and the automated income tax return); 'Patients, privacy, and the Internet' (patients negotiating their privacy in social networking sites and personal health records); and 'Distributed health care' (the distribution of health care among people and te chnologies in home care). These case studies represent the different challenges to the development of an inclusive information society. Each case illuminates aspects of the interactions between automation and autonomy, while their analyses will provide im portant new data for the design and development of new or improved digital designs in the public services sector. The outcomes of this proposed project are deliverables such as prototypes, designs, products, and a toolkit, as well as the application of no vel approaches in Participatory Design, such as participatory mapping and knowledge cartography. The project results will be disseminated in national and international forums and journals.
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