Category: Societal Impact

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.

Starts Thursday November 12 – IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society 2020 (ISTAS ’20)

By on November 11th, 2020 in Blog Posts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

*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.

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.

It’s Time to Rethink Levels of Automation for Self-Driving Vehicles

By on October 18th, 2020 in Editorial & Opinion, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

One of the major ways in which the development of self-driving cars has been discussed — the levels of automation drawn up by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) — is misleading. A typology originally developed to provide some engineering clarity now benefits technology developers far more than it serves the public interest.

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.

Estimating Carbon Emissions of Artificial Intelligence

By on August 11th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

While many of us hear about the latest and greatest breakthrough in AI technology, what we hear less about is its environmental impact. In fact, much of AI’s recent progress has required ever-increasing amounts of data and computing power. We believe that tracking and communicating the environmental impact of ML should be a key part of the research and development process.

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.

The Montreal Statement on Sustainability in the Digital Age

By on June 25th, 2020 in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Commentary, Environment, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Two major forces are shaping the future of human civilization: anthropogenic climate change and the digital revolution. The changing climate is driving systemic shifts that threaten to destabilize the health and wellbeing of humankind and the natural systems on which they depend.

Does the Truth Matter?

By on May 27th, 2020 in Blog Posts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

If only we knew more about the world that we live in. If only we understood that all things are interconnected. If only we could learn to value ethics above rank profiteering. We would make better decisions for ourselves and for our society. We would make good moral decisions. But we now know that access to factual knowledge does not necessarily improve the world. We are living that reality today.

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.