Emerging Technology and Organizing
I have the deep and abiding love of technology that characterizes most nerds. I've been part of many stages of the organizational technology life cycle, from algorithm design to systems architecture to programming to organization and process design to adoption and training. They say study something that you know. Well, here I go. To study organizations is to study technical and technological systems. My interests are in exploring how technology and organizations construct and reshape each other, and in exploring the various regimes or arrangements of technology, people, and process in organzational work.
I cowrote a paper with a fellow student and Samer for Information and Organization - on digitalization in the age of COVID. This is my first ever peer-reviewed publication! And even though it was a short-cycle paper that I basically got a chance at because of the structure within which I exist and not out of any extraordinary agency of mine, I'm still very, very proud of it. I also recently published a book chapter with these same coauthors on AI and Uncertainty Managment.
AI in the OR
I'm conducting a multi site ethnography of how AI/ML algorithms are developed and integrated into the process of coordinating the use of suites of operating theatres at two tertiary care hospitals. This process involves coordinating to use of specialized spaces and equipment with patients, surgeons, nurses, and other surgical and maintenance staff. I'm using observation, interviews, and analyses of texts to explore this phenomenon. This projects merges my interest in coordination and in technology. This will constitute my doctoral dissertation monograph.
The Ethics of AI Automation/Augmentation in Public Sector Organizations
As commercial AI becomes more practical and commonplace (particularly in the era of large language models), AI is increasingly being seen as a way to automate complex knowledge work in resource starved public sector organizations as a way to combat burnout and do more with less. This has profound implications for social sector work, particularly in healthcare, where judgement and emphathy are valued, and rule-breaking for compassionate reasons is both common and seen as a net positive. What happens then, if in our attempt to stretch public sector budgets, we replace moral actors (humans) with amoral actors (AI)? Can AI be imbued with morals, and if so, whose morals? This work is still at the ideation stage, with some preliminary conference presentations starting in Summer 2023.
Teaching: Emerging Technologies and Organizing
I'm interested in developing courses for undergraduate and MBA students who want to learn about how emerging technologies like AI/ML, distributed computing, and robotics are used in organizations today. The primary goal is to introduce students to real-world instances of emerging technologies, both to demystify the tech, and to arm students with new vocabularies. The secondary goal is to encourage students to think about potential first and higher order consequences (intended or otherwise) of introducing such emerging technologies in complex organizational work, and into broader social processes.
I co-developed an undergraduate course - MGPO434 Emerging Technologies: Organizing and Societal Stakes - with my supervisor, Samer Faraj. This course has been offered at McGill in 2022 and 2023 as a 400-level elective. Enrolment has been quite diverse, with students from management, entrepreneurship, economics, political science, engineering, law, public policy, sociology, and fine arts streams.