In June 2013 Presidents Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama signed a historic agreement to begin cooperation on cybersecurity. The mutual understanding developed through previous work in 2011 was to define critical terminology for a cyber conflict. I was part of the U.S. team that held the Russia-U.S. Bilateral discussions on cybersecurity. The aim was to build collaborative relationships between many nations in defining a common vocabulary so that mistakes would not be made because of misinterpretations of a certain word. It took us months just to agree on 20 terms
If we had a system in the United States where 50% of the time was dedicated to a single academic program for everyone, and the other 50% to social development, society would reap the benefits.
It was a wonderful experience for me to live all of these events and realize later how everything is really connected. Where will new generations of kids get their “social skills” developed, considering that most of their social relations and interactions happen virtually through their phones or computers while avoiding in-person interactions?
When you actively participate in an area in which you are “passion-driven,” others notice, and opportunities will open for you. For young people, I suggest
find your passion, volunteer, and get involved.
The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) has had many volunteers step into leadership positions for purposefully limited terms over the past half-century. We address the challenges and opportunities of our day and then move on, unlike some world leaders who cannot bear to fade away.
This Anniversary Year provides a reason to reflect on the fact that many members have been involved with the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) throughout their full professional careers.
Where do historical debates take us? Their political and economic contexts are similar to ours, and even the list of technological issues is familiar. Many decades later, institutions still feel shaky, economies remain inequitable, geopolitics are increasingly multipolar, and societies are riven by technological change.
SSIT members have a history of getting into “good trouble” as they encourage IEEE toward more humanistic stances on ethics, transparency, sustainability, and global equity.
IEEE SSIT might better fit the dictionary’s secondary definition of community, by having a sense of fellowship because we share common goals. If so, what are those goals?
Critical thinking is a mainstream part of some educational traditions, but is it universally valued? Only some truths have an objective basis and many others depend on the eye of the beholder. No real society values everyone equally.
Unintended consequences of technological development matter in practice and thus are not just of academic interest. SSIT would do well to spark constructive and practical discussion about managing unintended consequences.
In 2020, our flagship ISTAS conference and the cosponsored conferences were huge successes, with record attendance, partly because going virtual allowed wider participation.
The IEEE SSIT Technology and Society (T&S) Magazine has been published for decades. The SSIT Board of Governors is very… Read More
As new SSIT President, I congratulate the three people who were elected to the Member-at-Large positions on the SSIT Board of Governors for three-year terms beginning in 2019.
The level of state surveillance practiced in the supposedly illiberal regimes prior to fall of the Berlin Wall is now routinely accepted, from the widespread use of CCTV to online tracking and data recording. Therefore, instead of labeling a display of genuine concern as “paranoia,” perhaps a lack of genuine concerns should instead be stigmatized by a “disease” or a “disorder”: complacentosis, complyaphilia, complicivitis, ignorrhea.
The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology has a proud tradition of addressing some of the most challenging issues of the day. IEEE SSIT has served this role within IEEE due to our diversity of perspectives and breadth and depth of knowledge and insight.
This month I will briefly discuss the work of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, which I have the honor to chair this year.
SSIT Pillar 4 is dedicated to Societal Impact of Technology. Pillar 4 focuses on highlighting and supporting the development of technologies that incorporate the principles of safety, security, and privacy by design.
As an IEEE technical Society whose focus on all aspects of societal implications of technology complements the technical activities of all other IEEE Societies, SSIT members have a proud history of contributions to sustainable development and humanitarian technology. We have long focused on addressing ethical implications, interdependencies, context, and socio-cultural norms that are essential to avoid unintended and unanticipated consequences. One of our core strengths as a community has been our collaborative, partnership-based approach.
While societal change often takes place over extended periods of time, at key times in the history of human society, innovation can be accelerated by a combination of necessity and serendipity. We are currently experiencing such an accelerated transition.