Call for Papers

By on February 20th, 2019 in Ethics, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Special Issue



Human Computer Interaction:

 Regulation and Ethics of Digital Technology



Guest Editors: Prof. Stephen Marsh [1] Dr. Roba Abbas [2] and Kristina Milanović [3]

[1] University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
[2] University of Wollongong, Australia

[3] 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.


  • Technology such as big data, social media and artificial intelligence undermining
    • what it means to be human
    • what it means for humanity
    • appropriate use of psychology
    • the ability of the law to keep up with developments
  • Potential or required regulation in technology and engineering
  • Ethical dilemmas or considerations for designing and using new technology
  • Governmental policy relating to new and developing technology
  • Consumer trust in technology and software
  • Impact of virtual and augmented reality on society
  • Understandable artificial Intelligence and algorithms
  • Trustworthy artificial Intelligence and algorithms
  • Human computer interaction (HCI)
  • Human robot interaction (HRI)
  • The future of socio-technical systems
  • Where do regulations stop? The fine balance between overprotection and the rights of the individual to choose
  • Case Studies of specific technology for example: autonomous vehicles, digital home assistants, internet of things and so on


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 (, Dr. Roba Abbas ( or Kristina Milanović (