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(2022) Herse, SaritaThesisAs collaborative agents are implemented within everyday environments and the workforce, user trust in these agents becomes critical to consider. Trust affects user decision making, rendering it an essential component to consider when designing for successful Human-Agent Collaboration (HAC). The purpose of this work is to investigate the relationship between user trust and decision making with the overall aim of providing a trust calibration methodology to achieve the goals and optimise the outcomes of HAC. Recommender systems are used as a testbed for investigation, offering insight on human collaboration with dyadic decision domains. Four studies are conducted and include in-person, online, and simulation experiments. The first study provides evidence of a relationship between user perception of a collaborative agent and trust. Outcomes of the second study demonstrate that initial trust can be used to predict task outcome during HAC, with Signal Detection Theory (SDT) introduced as a method to interpret user decision making in-task. The third study provides evidence to suggest that the implementation of different features within a single agent's interface influences user perception and trust, subsequently impacting outcomes of HAC. Finally, a computational trust calibration methodology harnessing a Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP) model and SDT is presented and assessed, providing an improved understanding of the mechanisms governing user trust and its relationship with decision making and collaborative task performance during HAC. The contributions from this work address important gaps within the HAC literature. The implications of the proposed methodology and its application to alternative domains are identified and discussed.
Sone athe (golden hands) : Intercultural co-design strategies for the sustainable future of artisans in Indian traditional handcrafted textile communities(2022) Emmett, DeborahThesisThis practice-based research focuses on traditional textile artisan communities in Kashmir, India, who create handcrafted products with expertise learnt through intergenerational observation and making. The research shows that the rich cultural heritage inherent in these communities has the potential for growth towards a sustainable future through co-design projects. Assumptions in contemporary co-design processes are, however, based on industrialised and technological contexts which need to be reconsidered when working with artisanal communities in India. As members of India’s informal economy, these artisans tend to have low socio-economic status and limited educational opportunities. Consequently, the future of their craft heritage is now becoming economically and practically unsustainable, owing particularly to the global impact of fast fashion and the younger generations leaving the industry. Yet, at the same time, more and more consumers or users are becoming interested in traditional design processes and their provenance, and the makers and the techniques they use to produce these products, prior to purchase. For this research, three co-design projects were conducted with the Kashmir shawl artisan community and Australian users and collectors of their products. Two embroidered pashmina shawls were created by artisans working directly with two customers in Australia, while the third co-design project reintroduced using natural dyes to the shawl community. This practice-based research on co-designing within the context of artisan craft heritage investigates and documents the role of ‘facilitators’ sourced from within the artisan community; a re-evaluation of ‘value’ as perceived by intercultural participants; and using digital technologies to connect user and maker through storytelling and lived experience. The relevance of relationship-building to sustainability, recognised within the frameworks of co-design theory and slow fashion, are key drivers of this research. Through the researcher’s Kashmiri connections, these co-design projects were built on rare and unique access to artisans in their work environment who shared their perceptions of their work, relationships and values, without commercial or social status concerns. This research proposes a new understanding of co-design methodologies in the Indian context and highlights the potential constraints of language differences and geographical distances between the intercultural participants. The research also contributes to a critical rethinking of assumptions within contemporary co-design practices, especially when working with participants whose culture and values differ. The emergent co-design strategies proposed in this research have significant application to projects in other traditional artisanal communities in India, and towards a more sustainable future for handmade crafts.
(2022) Denny-Smith, GeorgeThesisIndigenous procurement policies have gained popularity as a form of social procurement in Australia and other countries with colonised populations as governments seek to create social value for and address the socioeconomic inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples. In Australia, Indigenous procurement policies require governments to meet purchasing and employment targets of Indigenous suppliers and workers. The construction industry is a major contributor to the success of these policies because of its size as an employer and the significant infrastructure investment commitments made by Australian governments before, and in response to, COVID-19. However, this thesis argues that the methods used to evaluate these policies are potentially misleading and misrepresent the potentially negative social value they could create. Operationalising an Indigenous evaluation framework and designed around principles of decolonised and community-based research, this thesis investigates the social value created by Indigenous procurement policies in the Australian construction industry. Findings indicate that creating social value for Indigenous construction workers may require a broader focus on culturally supportive workplaces. Findings also indicate that in general, Indigenous procurement policies can create social value when their aims are supported by all stakeholders. However, the policies can also create negative social value through compliance-driven behaviour and tokenistic employment which prevents Indigenous business and workforce development. Recommendations are made to address this and maximise the social value the policies create. Methodologically, this thesis shows how Indigenous programs and policies can be evaluated in partnership with Indigenous stakeholders. Theoretically, the findings help illuminate the underexplored area of social value in construction. Practically, this thesis will help construction managers aiming to develop, implement and evaluate Indigenous procurement strategies to create social value in partnership with the communities in which they operate.