Human Computer Interaction: Regulation and Ethics of Digital Technology
Prof. Stephen Marsh , Dr. Roba Abbas , and Kristina Milanović 
 University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
 University of Wollongong, Australia
 Imperial College London, United Kingdom
In Human-Computer Interaction, “direct manipulation” describes users performing actions on graphical representations of computer objects. However, following Marshall McLuhan, “direct manipulation” could now refer to the ways that users are themselves being shaped by social media using targeted advertising and “addiction by design.” However, there is a growing awareness of the potential negative impact of technological developments and their unintended — and even intended — downstream consequences. To this end, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine is looking for papers that are identifying, addressing, or redressing these consequences.
While there has always been an audience for those who wanted to raise awareness of technological over-reliance, perhaps as never before has a widespread understanding of social responsibility been such a pressing concern. The possibilities can be seen with the popularization of moral life choices. Ideas such as clean living and living your best life are particularly important in younger generations of society, and are also demonstrated by the student climate change strike and backing for the Green New Deal.
However this is not enough. From the invention of the Social Credit System in China, to proliferation of “likes” in “Western” societies, un-nuanced ratings of individuals from doctors to teachers by the least well-qualified or objective does not allow society to effect judgements in an informed or informative way. Technologies that were designed to make things easier, better, or closer for individuals or communities, are being used in ways that were not expected or even not allowed.
Regulations have not kept up with developments. For example, there probably should be laws or regulations against the use of techniques to create addictions, such as in gambling, or to disrupt elections. However we do not have these regulations yet. To stem the tide of these ideas and inventions that were once solely in the realm of the dystopian novel we need to motivate all layers of society, including generational and economic layers, to take a more active stance for (or against) how technology is used.
The key question for the future is that with all the investment in new technologies, by both governments and business organizations, can regulation keep up with developments? This raises a whole series of pertinent questions. Will regulation protect individual consumers as opposed to their creators? Will the commercial potential of these devices outweigh the end consumer rights, rather than their “needs”? Without fair and objective regulation, the consumer is left vulnerable to hacking, identify theft, and who knows what else.
For more information, including on topics for this Special Issue, please visit:
Schedule May 30, 2019: Paper submission deadline July 15, 2019: Notification of acceptance (or otherwise) Mid-August 2019: Final version required December 2019: Special issue published
Papers should be submitted as a standard magazine submission via ManuscriptCentral:
but should indicate in a cover letter that the submission is intended to be considered as a paper for this special issue. For any inquiries please contact the Guest Editors, Prof. Stephen Marsh (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Roba Abbas (email@example.com) or Kristina Milanović (firstname.lastname@example.org).