Category: Commentary

Social Robots: The Friend of the Future or Mechanical Mistake?

By on September 10th, 2022 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Privacy & Security, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Social robotics is poised to impact society by addressing isolation and providing companionship by augmenting human interaction when none is available.

Co-Designing Location-Based Services for Individuals Living With Dementia

By on August 30th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Privacy & Security, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Worldwide, there are 55 million individuals living with dementia and it is projected that by 2050, this number will increase to 139 million. Technological devices and solutions that can benefit the dementia community also carry ethical implications such as privacy and issues of consent. AI-driven LBS solutions may exacerbate the marginalization of individuals living with dementia.

Modern Indentured Servitude in the Gig Economy

By on July 31st, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

In the first six months of 2018, eight New York City yellow cab drivers, impacted by big tech disruption on the taxi industry, took their own lives. “I am not a Slave and I refuse to be one,” wrote one in his suicide note.

Human Flourishing, Servitude, and Why They Are Incompatible

By on July 17th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Having a philosophical road map to what is required, might help those with skills to design intelligent machines that will enable and indeed promote human flourishing.

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.

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?

Thinking about Racism in Engineering Education in New Ways

By on January 10th, 2021 in Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Contemporary circumstances in the United States, both in broader politics, recent protest movements around police brutality, and in the demographics of engineering education, have prompted us to look for new ways to bring theory on gender, race, and class to audiences who would not normally consider it their usual reading.

Algorithms and Ethical Diversity

By on November 11th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Ethical diversity refers to “diverse beliefs … as to what are the most ethically appropriate or inappropriate courses of actions,” and takes into account the different values and beliefs people hold [2]. This diversity is and has always been a source of confusion and conflict, from the personal to the international. The answer, however, is to have forums to debate and discuss the ethical choices embedded in everyday life, not algorithms that render the choice being made invisible.

Creating a U.S. National Journalism Foundation

By on October 4th, 2020 in Commentary, Communication Technology, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

It is time to move beyond handwringing and nostalgia over our vanished American journalism past. While market forces will sustain some forms of serious reportage, evidence is mounting that creators of journalism in the public interest can’t innovate their way out of a deepening technological crisis.

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.”

The Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age

By on June 25th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), 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.

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

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.

Efficiency Versus Creativity as Organizing Principles of Socio-Technical Systems

By on April 10th, 2019 in Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

What sense of worth and dignity can a person have when their daily activities are confined within systemic contraptions where personal input, originality, and initiative are either undesirable, or quantified as targets to be maximized?

Information Technology in a City Enterprise

By on January 19th, 2018 in Commentary, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

We must challenge ourselves to transcend our familiar notion of the IT artifact as just an inanimate tool standing by for our use like some sort of mechanical device, neatly separable and distinct from us. It is far more productive to view Information Technology as practice.
Citizen trust and confidence in the public institution and notions of the public good are, in many ways, the bottom line for the public sector.

The Unstoppable Changing of the Electricity Guard

By on December 20th, 2017 in Commentary, Environment, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

Twenty-five years ago we didn’t know that solar energy, including modular photovoltaic (PV) plants ranging in size from 1 kW to hundreds of megawatts, along with increasingly larger, electronically-aided wind generators (up to 8-MW offshore units), would become in just 25 years the cornerstones of a revolution in power production that is drastically changing the face and fate of power systems.