The public’s faith in science and technology has never been higher. Computer “apps” that explore things such as the frequency of, and point of origin of, COVID-related Google search terms, and Twitter posts, are being used to trace the progress of the virus and to predict the sites of further outbreaks. The United States has been roiled by the death, at the hands of the police, of George Floyd. Floyd’s killing was captured by an app that has been circulating throughout the globe that has acquired the near iconic power of the crucifixion. With the majority of the American people equipped to make audio–visual recording of police brutality and post them on social media, we expect that crimes such as this will certainly diminish.
Open technology communities are loosely organized, volunteer, online groups, focused on development and distribution of open or free software and hardware. “Hacking Diversity:The Politics of Inclusion in Open Technology Cultures” is a study of the efforts of open technology communities to “hack” the issues around the lack of diversity that pervades not only their volunteer communities, but also their related disciplines at large.
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.
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 .
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.
In 2020, our flagship ISTAS conference and the cosponsored conferences were huge successes, with record attendance, partly because going virtual allowed wider participation.
We can perhaps accept Weil’s starting premise of obligations as fundamental concepts, based on which we can also reasonably accept her assertion that “obligations … all stem, without exception, from the vital needs of the human being.”
Examining how face recognition software is used to identify and sort citizenship within mechanisms like the Biometric Air Exit (BAE) is immensely important; alongside this, the process of how “citizen” and “noncitizen” is defined, as data points within larger mechanisms like the BAE, need to be made transparent.
Public Interest Technology (PIT) is defined as “technology practitioners who focus on social justice, the common good, and/or the public… Read More
Damon Krukowski’s Ways of Hearing does for digital sound what Berger’s Ways of Seeing did for the reproduced image. He wants us to question what we hear, as well as what we’re no longer hearing, in the era of digital audio.
Albright’s book focuses on a group of Americans who live a life of digital hyper-connectivity. Mostly under age 50, this would include what are called Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979), Millennials (born between 1980 and 1999), and their offspring — some, as we have seen, still infants.
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.
In 2021, Terri Bookman will become SSIT Administrator, and Heather Hilton, IEEE Publications Staff, will be Editorial/Production Associate for T&S Magazine
An anonymous donor will match any donation to SSIT up to a total of $5K donated before the end of the year. This matching gift would result in a total of $15K to SSIT.
Technological determinism is a myth; there are always underlying economic motivations for emergence of new technologies. The idea that technology leads development is not necessarily true, for example, con-sider AI. It has been a topic of inter-est to researchers for decades, but only recently has the funding caught up, matching the motivation and enabling the development of AI-ori-ented technologies to really take off.
It is “seeing” that is most compelling when analyzing the relationship between architecture and race, especially, for example, when reexamined in literary works such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Adrienne Brown, a professor who specializes in American and African American cultural production at the University of Chicago, takes her readers on a journey that recounts seeing racial characteristics in the early period of American skyscraper construction.
RFID, even though it underlies electronic toll collection and other systems we interact with every day and is poised to become practically ubiquitous, is far less conspicuous. Jordan Firth’s A Billion Little Pieces aims to bring RFID into the foreground, giving readers a sense of what the technology is, how it is being and could be used, and how concerned we should be about its implications, especially those regarding privacy.
*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.
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 . 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.
The issue of air pollution is a “wicked problem” — complicated by incomplete knowledge, both within the scientific community and among various stakeholders.