Category: Human Impacts

Book Review: Their Own Devices

By on January 15th, 2021 in Book Reviews, Environment, Ethics, Health & Medical, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

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.

Thinking about Racism in Engineering Education in New Ways

By on January 10th, 2021 in Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

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.

For Richer, for Poorer – The Digital Economy

By on December 27th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Ethics, Human Impacts, Interview, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

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.

A Billion Little Pieces

By on November 21st, 2020 in Book Reviews, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

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.

Algorithms and Ethical Diversity

By on November 11th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

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 [2]. 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.

Creating a U.S. National Journalism Foundation

By on October 4th, 2020 in Commentary, Communication Technology, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

It is time to move beyond handwringing and nostalgia over our vanished American journalism past. While market forces will sustain some forms of serious reportage, evidence is mounting that creators of journalism in the public interest can’t innovate their way out of a deepening technological crisis.

The BigTech-Academia-Parliamentary Complex and Techno-Feudalism

By on September 24th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

With techno-feudalism, what is paid and permitted in a digital space is decided by asymmetric power, not mutual consent. Political approval for funding priorities, education programs and regulation all favor Big Tech.

The Five Words Shaping Humanity’s Ultimate Sustainability

By on September 23rd, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Will We Make Our Numbers? The year 2020 has a majority of the planet asking the simple question: “How do we stay alive? Competition is not working for the long-term sustainability of human and environmental well-being.

Capitalizing on AI’s Potential to Help Tackle the Climate Crisis

By on August 29th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

As we work to decouple carbon emissions and economic growth on the path to net zero emissions — so-called “clean growth” — we must also meaningfully deliver sustainable, inclusive growth with emerging technologies.

Redefining and Renewing Humanism in the Digital Age

By on August 19th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

With more than 50% of the global population living in non-democratic states, and keeping in mind the disturbing trend to authoritarianism of populist leaders in supposedly democratic countries, it is easy to think of dystopian scenarios about the destructive potentials of digitalization and AI for the future of freedom, privacy, and human rights. But AI and digital innovations could also be enablers of a Renewed Humanism in the Digital Age.

Leveraging Digital Disruptions for a Climate-Safe and Equitable World: The Dˆ2S Agenda

By on July 13th, 2020 in Commentary, Environment, Ethics, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

In 2019, millions of young people took to the streets demanding “systems change not climate change.” Their call echoes the words of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report, which stated that “Limiting global warming to 1.5 °C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”

Sustainability in the Digital Age

By on July 6th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Disruptions can have positive as well as negative impacts on natural and human systems. Among the most fundamental disruptions to global society over the last century is the rise of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital technologies. These digital technologies have created new opportunities to understand and manage global systemic risks.

Smart Home Security: How Safe is Your Data?

By on May 25th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Privacy & Security, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Security threats to smart devices are not just from hacking, but also from a lack of control over data access. The separation of security from convenience makes it difficult for the average user to determine how secure a smart device is.