Category: Editorial & Opinion

Capitalizing on AI’s Potential to Help Tackle the Climate Crisis

By on August 29th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

As we work to decouple carbon emissions and economic growth on the path to net zero emissions — so-called “clean growth” — we must also meaningfully deliver sustainable, inclusive growth with emerging technologies.

Redefining and Renewing Humanism in the Digital Age

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

With more than 50% of the global population living in non-democratic states, and keeping in mind the disturbing trend to authoritarianism of populist leaders in supposedly democratic countries, it is easy to think of dystopian scenarios about the destructive potentials of digitalization and AI for the future of freedom, privacy, and human rights. But AI and digital innovations could also be enablers of a Renewed Humanism in the Digital Age.

Estimating Carbon Emissions of Artificial Intelligence

By on August 11th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

While many of us hear about the latest and greatest breakthrough in AI technology, what we hear less about is its environmental impact. In fact, much of AI’s recent progress has required ever-increasing amounts of data and computing power. We believe that tracking and communicating the environmental impact of ML should be a key part of the research and development process.

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.

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.

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.

Congestion, Safety, Economic, and Environmental Challenges of Vehicle Automation in Transport Systems

By on June 18th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The role of driverless cars in future transport systems remains debatable, in terms of their potential to replace other transport modes or have a novel, unique, and complementary functionality.

Smart Cities through Smart Regulation

By on April 26th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Smart Cities demand new strategies and forms of control. The traditional model of public regulation is challenged by a renewed relationship between technology, government, and society. We highlight the difficulties and possible solutions for regulation in the context of a Smart City, provided by the largest city in Brazil: São Paulo.