Category: Human Impacts

Leveraging Digital Disruptions for a Climate-Safe and Equitable World: The Dˆ2S Agenda

By on July 13th, 2020 in Commentary, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

In 2019, millions of young people took to the streets demanding “systems change not climate change.” Their call echoes the words of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, which stated that “Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

Sustainability in the Digital Age

By on July 6th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Disruptions can have positive as well as negative impacts on natural and human systems. Among the most fundamental disruptions to global society over the last century is the rise of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital technologies. These digital technologies have created new opportunities to understand and manage global systemic risks.

Smart Home Security: How Safe is Your Data?

By on May 25th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Privacy & Security, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Security threats to smart devices are not just from hacking, but also from a lack of control over data access. The separation of security from convenience makes it difficult for the average user to determine how secure a smart device is.

From Trust and Loyalty to Lock-In and Digital Dependence

By on March 25th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Mega-platforms have, with the addition of one extra ingredient, combined lock-in and loyalty to create a grave, and perhaps unexpected, consequence. The extra ingredient is psychology; and the unexpected consequence is what might be called digital dependence.

Smarter Homes for the Elderly: A Reality Check

By on February 27th, 2020 in Blog Posts, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The primary driver for agetech investment appears to be growing fears around caring for aging populations. But initiatives tend to skate over some of the inherent challenges.

photo of moon landing

Deepfake Videos and DDoS Attacks (Deliberate Denial of Satire)

By on February 19th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Democracy itself is under (yet another) threat from deepfake videos … deepfake videos could be used to create compromising material of politicians: for example, the digitally-altered video2 of U.S. House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing to slur drunkenly was viewed millions of times and tweeted by the U.S. President, and although the video is demonstrably a hoax, the tweet remains undeleted.

Ethics and System Design in a New Era of Human-Computer Interaction

By on February 10th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Contemporary and emerging digital technologies are leading us to question the ways in which humans interact with machines and with complex socio-technical systems. The new dynamics of technology and human interaction will inevitably exert pressure on existing ethical frameworks and regulatory bodies.

Tuning Networks for Prosocial Behavior

By on January 17th, 2020 in Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Social media have been seen to accelerate the spread of negative content such as disinformation and hate speech, often unleashing a reckless herd mentality within networks, further aggravated by malicious entities using bots for amplification. So far, the response to this emerging global crisis has centered around social media platform companies making reactive moves

Ethics and System Design in a New Era of Human–Computer Interaction

By on January 2nd, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

As technology pervades all aspects of our existence, and Artificial Intelligence and machine learning systems become commonplace, a new era of human-computer interaction is emerging that will involve directing our focus beyond traditional approaches, to span other intricate interactions with computer-based systems.

Being Human in the Days/Daze of Big Data

By on November 28th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Technology for Big Data, and its brother-in-arms Machine Learning, is at the root of, and is the facilitator of, deliberate string-pulling design choices. These design choices are made by people, and so the question actually becomes, do the design choices enabled by Big Data and Machine Learning have the capacity to alter, diminish and perhaps actually “destroy” what it means to be fundamentally human.

Bipartite Approaches: Designing and Delivering Technologies for Body and Soul

By on November 19th, 2019 in Human Impacts, Last Word, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Our authors identified risks that can result in diminished humanity, if technology is designed or delivered irresponsibly. Our community addressed much of what it means to be human, in the context of complex and converging processes.

Coming Up This Week – IEEE ISTAS 2019 – Boston

By on November 9th, 2019 in Blog Posts, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The IEEE Society for Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) invites you to participate in its flagship event, the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society.  IEEE ISTAS 2019 takes place 15- 16 November in Boston MA, hosted by the School of Engineering of Tufts University, on its Medford Campus.

If Technology Is a Parasite Masquerading as a Symbiont — Are We the Host?

By on October 29th, 2019 in Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Parents have no idea that lurking behind their kids’ screens and phones are a multitude of psychologists, neuroscientists, and social science experts, who use their knowledge of psychological vulnerabilities to devise products that capture kids’ attention for the sake of industry profit.

Health 4.0: Challenges for an Orderly and Inclusive Innovation

By on September 24th, 2019 in Commentary, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology

Healthcare is one of the sectors with the highest expectations for positive impacts of the 4.0 revolution. Healthcare systems must deal with the challenge of providing care without raising costs, given the fiscal constraints of the governments that provide such services to the population.