A Busy October

I had a busy October, winning an award and giving three different talks.

So as not to bury the lede: I am deeply honored to announce that the Association for Business Communication named me the 2021 recipient of the Rising Star Award at this month’s 86th Annual International Conference. The award “recognizes meaningful contributions to the mission and membership of the Association and to the field at large through excellent teaching, research, and/or practical applications (e.g., consulting, training).” Executive Director Jim Dubinsky noted my research record and leadership of the Graduate Studies Committee as part of the selection criteria. It’s a humbling award (essentially, “let’s formalize that you have potential“), and thus I humbly look forward to living up to the honor.

I also contributed to a workshop on “Artificial Intelligence for Business Communication” at ABC 2021. My research group and I gave an overview of an in-press paper we wrote about foundational issues of AI in business communication (including a detailed set of open research questions, forming a research agenda); delivered short talks on issues (AI tools in meeting and collaboration, bias, and AI resume checkers) to generate breakout discussion; and encouraged people to join our research/teaching group to continue developing this theme in business communication. I contributed to the AI resume checkers talk. (If you’re interested in joining the group, please email me at Stephen.Carradini@asu.edu!)

Earlier in the month, I gave a Lightning Talk at SIGDOC ’21 with the title “The Great Reconsideration: How do we use social media professionally, now that we know?” I argue that amid all the consternation concerning the real damage that social media is currently doing to its users, little guidance has been given to social media practitioners on what to do about it. It’s their job to use social media — how should professionals use social media platforms for business in light of the controversies? I suggested that professionals should be minimalist, transparent, and ethically-minded (MTE) in their use. I gave some ideas for tactics, strategies, and policies that professionals can employ to work toward MTE goals. My full slides are here.

I also gave a colloquium to the Business Communication faculty at California State University – Fullerton called “Digital Ethics: What’s Digital About Ethics?” I talked about the ends of digital ethics (techno-dystopianism, techno-pessimism, pragmatism, techno-positivism, and techno-utopianism) and a small catalog of ethical approaches that drive people toward those ends (utilitarianism, virtue ethics, identity ethics / identity politics, Christian ethics, and existentialist/irrationalist ethics). I brought those two ideas together in two scenarios that encourage thinking about digital ethics in business communication settings. A recording of that talk is here. I’m particularly fond of this slide:

Yes, that’s a trolley in the background. Guilty as charged.

Also, I have Jaron Lanier listed in the “Dystopians” category because of his writing (You Are Not a Gadget, Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now), but his viewpoints are harder to pin down on this chart if we consider the work he does in VR as part of his overall view. One could argue, fairly, that it’s possible to place some of his ideas in each of the five categories. Walt Whitman’s famous quote applies.