Category: Societal Impact

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: Why Trust Science?

By on June 10th, 2022 in Articles, Book Reviews, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

Oreskes’ answer to the question “Why Trust Science” is that science is trustworthy to the extent that the social process by which scientists vet research findings and reach (or fail to reach) a consensus about them is open to a diverse community of scientists with ample opportunity to make objections and critiques and have that feedback taken seriously.

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.

ISTAS 2022: IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society 2022

By on April 5th, 2022 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact, SSIT Announcements

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.

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 Ethics, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact, SSIT Announcements

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.”

Ideas on Optimizing the Future Soft Law Governance of AI

By on February 5th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Editorial & Opinion, Human Impacts, Magazine Articles, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact

This special issue published in cooperation with IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society (December 2021) is dedicated to examining the governance of artificial intelligence (AI) through soft law. These programs are characterized by the creation of substantive expectations that are not directly enforced by government.

How to Design a Digital World Where Children Can Thrive

By on January 20th, 2022 in Articles, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Human Impacts, Social Implications of Technology, Societal Impact, SSIT Announcements

IEEE 2089™-2021, Standard for an Age-Appropriate Digital Services Framework Based on the 5Rights Principles for Children is the first in a family of standards that establishes a set of processes that helps enable organizations to make their services age-appropriate.

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.