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.
Smarter Homes for the Elderly: A Reality Check
By Stephen Cobb on February 27th, 2020 in Blog Posts, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
The primary driver for agetech investment appears to be growing fears around caring for aging populations. But initiatives tend to skate over some of the inherent challenges.
Deepfake Videos and DDoS Attacks (Deliberate Denial of Satire)
By Jeremy Pitt 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.
Review: Films from the Future
By Katina Michael on January 28th, 2020 in Book Reviews, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Somehow at the heart of sci-fi is returning power to the people who almost always regain control before things get completely out of hand. But we learn that our freedom comes at a cost. The reassuring aspect of Maynard’s work is that justice prevails, despite the ominous lurking of some technological beast that is waiting to be unleashed.
Tuning Networks for Prosocial Behavior
By Sun Sun Lim on January 17th, 2020 in Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Social media have been seen to accelerate the spread of negative content such as disinformation and hate speech, often unleashing a reckless herd mentality within networks, further aggravated by malicious entities using bots for amplification. So far, the response to this emerging global crisis has centered around social media platform companies making reactive moves
Being Human in the Days/Daze of Big Data
By Jeremy Pitt 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.
If Technology Is a Parasite Masquerading as a Symbiont — Are We the Host?
By Jeff Robbins on October 29th, 2019 in Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Parents have no idea that lurking behind their kids’ screens and phones are a multitude of psychologists, neuroscientists, and social science experts, who use their knowledge of psychological vulnerabilities to devise products that capture kids’ attention for the sake of industry profit.
Secrets and Lies
By Karl Stephan on October 17th, 2019 in Book Reviews, Case Studies, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Holmes’s idea of inventing a cheap, small, fast, reliable blood-testing system to creatively destroy most of the world’s existing infrastructure for blood tests ran into big problems early on. But with her chutzpah, persuasiveness, and eventually with the help of outright obfuscations and lies, Holmes kept Theranos going until a Wall Street Journal investigative reporter named John Carreyrou responded to a lead by a health-care blogger that something fishy was going on.
Brain Implants: Hype or Hope
By Tom Harris on August 16th, 2019 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Video & Podcasts, Videos
Katina Michael, Director of the Center for Engineering, Policy and Society at Arizona State University speaks at TEDxASU 2019 about… Read More
The Uber “unicorn” stock crash: Cheat-code culture hits the wall at last, maybe
By cia romano on May 16th, 2019 in Blog Posts, Ethics, Societal Impact
While “Ubering” was acquiring cachet as a verb and as a routine rite of passage for millennials (the heaviest users of the service), the company was besieged by problems. Some came squarely on the back of a general lack of ethics, or care for consequences.
Efficiency Versus Creativity as Organizing Principles of Socio-Technical Systems
By Ada Diaconescu on April 10th, 2019 in Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
What sense of worth and dignity can a person have when their daily activities are confined within systemic contraptions where personal input, originality, and initiative are either undesirable, or quantified as targets to be maximized?
Technology for Governance, Politics, and Democracy
By Tom Kane and Nick Novellil on March 16th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Innovative Information and Communication Technologies play an important role in e-governance and digital democracy. There is unprecedented opportunity for community collective choice, whereby citizens who are affected by a set of governing rules can help to select policy options and rank spending priorities.
Facts, Policies, and Values– The Democratic Triad
By Jeremy Pitt on March 15th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Politics required dialogue, deliberation, negotiation, and compromise. But now there is a dispute over the facts themselves.
Call for Papers
By Kristina Milanovic on February 20th, 2019 in Ethics, Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Call for Papers – Special Issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine – Human Computer Interaction: Regulation and Ethics of Digital Technology
Assessing Artificial Intelligence for Humanity
By Andrzej Nowak on February 1st, 2019 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
Will AI be our biggest ever advance — or the biggest threat? The real danger of AI lies not in sudden apocalypse, but in the gradual degradation and disappearance of what make human experience and existence meaningful.
Odorveillance and the Ethics of Robotic Olfaction
By Emily Stark on January 25th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Robotics, Social Implications of Technology
Given the current lack of regulation, there is nothing in principle to stop unscrupulous organizations from deploying surreptitious robotic olfaction.
Virtual Reality: Ethical Challenges and Dangers
By Ben Kenwright on January 14th, 2019 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
As VR has hit the mainstream, much debate has arisen over its ethical complexities. Traditional moral responsibilities do not always translate to the digital world. One aspect we argue is essential to ethical responsibility for virtual reality is that VR solutions must integrate ethical analysis into the design process, and practice dissemination of best practices.
Complacency is the New Normal
By Jeremy Pitt on December 6th, 2018 in Ethics, Magazine Articles, President's Message, Privacy & Security, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
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.
Philip Koopman Receives IEEE Carl Barus Award
By terribookman on November 29th, 2018 in Case Studies, Ethics, News and Notes, Social Implications of Technology
Dr. Philip Koopman of Carnegie Mellon University received the IEEE SSIT Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest on November 13, 2018, in Washington, DC.
IEEE and Sustainable Development
By Paul Cunningham on October 26th, 2018 in Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, President's Message, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact
This month I will briefly discuss the work of the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee, which I have the honor to chair this year.