I started a new job last week and I am quite excited about it. The job is a short-term contract as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Dundee (through November). During this time, I will be working with Professor Wendy Moncur on an EPRSC-funded research project, TAPESTRY: Trust, Authentication and Privacy over a DeCentralised Social Registry.
The TAPESTRY team is studying the socio-digital design of trusted services, and developing novel blockchain and machine learning solutions for identity assurance. It is a collaborative project between the University of Surrey’s Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing (project lead) and Centre for Cyber Security, the Department of Media Communication and Design at the University of Northumbria Newcastle, and the Duncan Jordanston College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee (that’s where I am).
The aim of the project is to investigate, develop, and
demonstrate new ways to enable people, businesses and services to connect
safely online, exploiting the complex “tapestry” of multi-modal signals woven
by their everyday digital interactions. Through this project, the team
will develop a de-centralised registry that stores trails of users’ digital
activity, enabling users to share portions of it to prove they are
trustworthy – without giving away so much information that it violates their
privacy. By doing this, the work will de-risk the Digital Economy,
delivering completely new ways of determining or engendering trust
online, and enabling users and businesses to make better decisions about
who they trust online.
Now, if you’re wondering how I managed to land a job on such
a techy project, it’s simple: Sometimes the technical side of life needs a bit
of the human side of life to help weave things together. (weave, tapestry… get
To that, my role on the project is to run two qualitative
studies looking at different aspects of determining trust in online
environments. I am just starting to get my head around the details of what I’ll
be doing, so I won’t get into the details here just yet. However, I will share more
about this work as time goes on.
This will be my first time contributing to a large-scale study of this kind, which will be a learning experience in its own right. I will also be balancing this role along with my post-doctoral work on my “social media proxies” project, as well as completing my thesis edits. So, I expect it to be a fairly chaotic few months. But chaotic in a good way (I hope!)
Wish me luck!