Category: Magazine Articles

Call for Papers – IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society 2020 (ISTAS ’20)

By on July 17th, 2020 in Blog Posts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

*Now a Virtual Conference* — IEEE ISTAS 2020 Public Interest Technology (Arizona State University) November 12 – November 14 – The International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) is the flagship conference of the IEEE’s Society on the Social Implications of Technology- the oldest society and conference of its kind.  ISTAS is a multi/inter/trans-disciplinary forum for engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, philosophers, researchers, social scientists, technologists, and polymaths to collaborate, exchange experiences, and discuss the social implications of technology.

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.

The Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age

By on June 25th, 2020 in Commentary, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Two major forces are shaping the future of human civilization: anthropogenic climate change and the digital revolution. The changing climate is driving systemic shifts that threaten to destabilize the health and wellbeing of humankind and the natural systems on which they depend.

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.

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.

Review: Films from the Future

By on January 28th, 2020 in Book Reviews, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Somehow at the heart of sci-fi is returning power to the people who almost always regain control before things get completely out of hand. But we learn that our freedom comes at a cost. The reassuring aspect of Maynard’s work is that justice prevails, despite the ominous lurking of some technological beast that is waiting to be unleashed.

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.

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Meaningful Human Control or Meaningful Human Certification?

By on December 23rd, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

It is important to define autonomy in technology, which is not the same as automation. Automated systems operate by clear repeatable rules based on unambiguous sensed data. Autonomous systems take in data about the unstructured world around them, process that data to generate information, and generate alternatives and make decisions in the face of uncertainty.

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.