Category: Ethics

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.

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 Intelligence Factor: Technology and the Missing Link

By on June 20th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

One can see the emergence of ever more efficient forms of intelligence as networked self-similar patterns that are embedded in the universe at its core, driven as they are by the sustained maximization of entropy as a causal force. As a maximizer of future freedom of action, the very existence of gravity can be viewed as a form of embedded, purposeful, goal-directed form of intelligence.

BOOK REVIEW: Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States

By on May 8th, 2022 in Book Reviews, Communication Technology, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

The book documents Limbaugh’s formative role in turning an old technology into an instrument of power that transformed the Republican Party and political discourse in the United States. The talk-radio host proved to be a success as both a propagandist and a ratings builder. Station owners were quick to join his syndicated network and to hire personalities who combined Limbaugh’s smooth delivery, ability to empathize with his audience, biting humor, and relentless attack on all things liberal—real or imagined. Profit mattered but winning the “culture war” counted for as much if not more than Rosenwald cares to consider.

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.

SSIT Board Issues Statement in Support of Ukrainian Refugees

By on March 9th, 2022 in Articles, Blog Posts, Ethics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

At their March 8, 2022, Board of Governors meeting, The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) unanimously passed a motion approving the following statement: “The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology actively supports any IEEE initiative that helps the Ukrainian refugees.”

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.”

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.

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.