Type of session : TALK
Title : How to limit black box effects in collaborative projects
Name of session facilitator(s) : Geraldine + Javier ?
Approximate duration : 30mn ?
Skill level : all
“In science, computing, and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs without any knowledge of its internal workings” (Wikepedia) + “a complicated electronic device whose internal mechanism is usually hidden from or mysterious to the user; broadly : anything that has mysterious or unknown internal functions or mechanisms” (Merriam Webster).
In research labs as well as in many companies today, computer scientists are working with non-specialists of computing who delegate to them tasks they are unable to perform on their own. Such a collaboration can lead to a productive partnership on both sides but dialogue between individuals and teams with different backgrounds, skills and methodologies can be challenging. One of those challenges is the blackbox effect. For a non-specialist of computing, how much does one need to understand of the mechanisms involved in the automated processes of the tasks performed to guarantee the scientific validity of the results ? What level of training is necessary and in what ? For a computer scientist working with non-specialists, how to make those processes understandable ? Is drawing a step by step summary of those tasks realistic ? Which tools could make it more easily manageable ?
Prerequisite : none