Category: Articles

A headshot of SSIT's 2021-2022 President, Clint Andrews

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Fifty Years Hence

By on July 6th, 2022 in Articles, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, President's Message, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Where do historical debates take us? Their political and economic contexts are similar to ours, and even the list of technological issues is familiar. Many decades later, institutions still feel shaky, economies remain inequitable, geopolitics are increasingly multipolar, and societies are riven by technological change.

The Digital Transformation and Modern Indentured Servitude

By on June 22nd, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Privacy & Security, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

It would be good if whenever a client connected to an http server, or indeed any app connected with a central server, the server responded with a corresponding acknowledgment of data, along the lines of “Before we begin our session this morning, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owner of the data which is being transferred, and respect rights to privacy, identity, location, attention and personhood.”

The Intelligence Factor: Technology and the Missing Link

By on June 20th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

One can see the emergence of ever more efficient forms of intelligence as networked self-similar patterns that are embedded in the universe at its core, driven as they are by the sustained maximization of entropy as a causal force. As a maximizer of future freedom of action, the very existence of gravity can be viewed as a form of embedded, purposeful, goal-directed form of intelligence.

BOOK REVIEW: Why Trust Science?

By on June 10th, 2022 in Articles, Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Oreskes’ answer to the question “Why Trust Science” is that science is trustworthy to the extent that the social process by which scientists vet research findings and reach (or fail to reach) a consensus about them is open to a diverse community of scientists with ample opportunity to make objections and critiques and have that feedback taken seriously.

The New York Times Test: An Intersubjective Reconsideration

By on April 28th, 2022 in Articles, Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

When faced with an ethical problem such as a conflict of interest in which codes of ethics or available ethical problem-solving methods cannot help us decide upon the moral course of action to take. A method claimed to be helpful in such situations is The New York Times Test.

Preparing to Design Robots for Social Contexts

By on April 22nd, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Emerging social contexts add new requirements to the knowledge that successful roboticists need. Much of this additional knowledge comes from the social sciences and humanities.

The Currency of the Attentional Economy: The Uses and Abuses of Attention in Our World

By on March 31st, 2022 in Articles, Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

By failing to attend to the source, disinformation can be stored along with information, making it difficult to distinguish the good penny from the bad penny.

Ideas on Optimizing the Future Soft Law Governance of AI

By on February 5th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

This special issue published in cooperation with IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society (December 2021) is dedicated to examining the governance of artificial intelligence (AI) through soft law. These programs are characterized by the creation of substantive expectations that are not directly enforced by government.

How to Design a Digital World Where Children Can Thrive

By on January 20th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact, SSIT Announcements

IEEE 2089™-2021, Standard for an Age-Appropriate Digital Services Framework Based on the 5Rights Principles for Children is the first in a family of standards that establishes a set of processes that helps enable organizations to make their services age-appropriate.

Knowing the Unknowable: Soft Laws and Hard Decisions

By on January 16th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Case Studies, Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

If it were possible to formulate laws involving vague predicates and adjudicate them, what would be the implications of such minimalist formulations for soft laws and even for “hard” laws? The possible implications are threefold: 1) does possibility imply desirability; 2) does possibility imply infallibility; and 3) does possibility imply accountability? The answer advanced here, to all three questions, is “no.”

Growing a Culture of Technological Stewardship

By on January 15th, 2022 in Articles, Commentary, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The negative effects of technological innovations can be foreseen, and more importantly, mitigated through more intentional and skillful engineering. Systematic efforts to address these impacts remain peripheral to the engineering profession. The Canada-based Engineering Change Laboratory has identified a set of behaviors that take a value sensitive approach to the practice and culture of engineering.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Will Not Bring the Future We Want

By on December 10th, 2021 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The promise of 4IR is overblown and its perils are underappreciated. There are compelling reasons to reject—and even actively oppose—the 4IR narrative.

Autonomous Vehicles in Rural Communities: Is It Feasible?

By on December 2nd, 2021 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Although much research has been devoted to the effects of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on urban areas, little work has been dedicated to the potential impacts of AVs in rural areas, especially related to feasibility and accessibility [1]. How will automated vehicles impact rural communities?