Category: Editorial & Opinion

Against Modern Indentured Servitude (“I’m Spartacus”)

By on July 12th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The term “modern indentured servitude” did not originate with this workshop, but we hope that this special issue has highlighted many of the different shapes and processes it can take, some more insidious than others. We would like to think that, if each paper could talk, they would get up one after the other and say, “No, I’m Spartacus.” In these dark times, each of us needs the courage to be Spartacus.

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 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.

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.”

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.

Co-Designing the Future With Public Interest Technology

By on October 6th, 2021 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

PIT acknowledges that technological potential can be harnessed to satisfy the needs of civil society. In other words, technology can be seen as a public good that can benefit all, through an open democratic system of governance, with open data initiatives, open technologies, and open systems/ecosystems designed for the collective good, as defined by respective communities that will be utilizing them.

The Need for Public Interest Technology

By on September 7th, 2021 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Systems can be designed using methodologies like value-sensitive design, and operationalized, to produce socio-technical solutions to support or complement policies that address environmental sustainability, social justice, or public health. Such systems are then deployed in order to promote the public interest or enable users to act (individually and at scale) in a way that is in the public interest toward individual and communal empowerment.

Covid-19 in Conversations

By on August 21st, 2021 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The fiercest public health crisis in a century has elicited cooperative courage and sacrifice across the globe. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic is producing severe social, economic, political, and ethical divides, within and between nations. It is reshaping how we engage with each other and how we see the world around us. It urges us to think more deeply on many challenging issues—some of which can perhaps offer opportunities if we handle them well. The transcripts that follow speak to the potency and promise of dialogue. They record two in a continuing series of “COVID-19 In Conversations” hosted by Oxford Prospects and Global Development Institute.

Vaccines, Public Health, and the Law

By on July 21st, 2021 in Articles, Editorial & Opinion, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology

Disease prevention due to successful vaccination is a double-edged sword as it can give the illusion that mass vaccination is no longer warranted. Antivaccination movements are not completely absent throughout history, but for example, most recently, parents have been declining childhood vaccines at alarming levels [2, S9]. Safety concerns and misinformation seem to be at the forefront of these movements.

AI vs “AI”: Synthetic Minds or Speech Acts

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

Just as the “autonomous” in lethal autonomous weapons allows the military to dissemble over responsibility for their effects, there are civilian companies leveraging “AI” to exert control without responsibility.

And so we arrive at “trustworthy AI” because, of course, we are building systems that people should trust and if they don’t it’s their fault, so how can we make them do that, right? Or, we’ve built this amazing “AI” system that can drive your car for you but don’t blame us when it crashes because you should have been paying attention. Or, we built it, sure, but then it learned stuff and it’s not under our control anymore—the world is a complex place.

From Artificial Intelligence Bias to Inequality in the Time of COVID-19

By on June 8th, 2021 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing global inequalities. Whether at the local, national, or international scale, the gap between the privileged and the vulnerable is growing wider, resulting in a broad increase in inequality across all dimensions of society. The disease has strained health systems, social support programs, and the economy as a whole, drawing an ever-widening distinction between those with access to treatment, services, and job opportunities and those without.

Toward a More Equal World: The Human Rights Approach to Extending the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

By on April 29th, 2021 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

There is huge potential for artificial intelligence (AI) to bring massive benefits to under-served populations, advancing equal access to public services such as health, education, social assistance, or public transportation, AI can also drive inequality, concentrating wealth, resources, and decision-making power in the hands of a few countries, companies, or citizens. Artificial intelligence for equity (AI4Eq) calls upon academics, AI developers, civil society, and government policy-makers to work collaboratively toward a technological transformation that increases the benefits to society, reduces inequality, and aims to leave no one behind.

Artificial Intelligence for a Fair, Just, and Equitable World

By on April 21st, 2021 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

From the 1970s onward, we started to dream of the leisure society in which, thanks to technological progress and consequent increase in productivity, working hours would be minimized and we would all live in abundance. We all could devote our time almost exclusively to personal relationships, contact with nature, sciences, the arts, playful activities, and so on. Today, this utopia seems more unattainable than it did then. Since the 21st century, we have seen inequalities increasingly accentuated: of the increase in wealth in the United States between 2006 and 2018, adjusted for inflation and population growth, more than 87% went to the richest 10% of the population, and the poorest 50% lost wealth .

Governing in Bad Faith: Suppressing Democracy in Pretense of “Saving Democracy”

By on April 19th, 2021 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Understanding the societal trajectory induced by AI, and anticipating its directions so that we might apply it for achieving equity, is a sociological, ethical, legal, cultural, generational, educational, and political problem.