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Disruptive or defective? Towards ethical tech innovation

Disruptive or defective? Towards ethical tech innovation

Technology has a profound effect on humankind. But the exponential progress resulted in negative societal impact—from data breaches, promoting inequality to rampant harassment. Tech is incredibly susceptible to bias and manipulation, which has led us astray from humanity towards profitability and exclusion. Disruption cast a shade on responsibility for our creations.

In this talk, you will see examples of algorithmic bias, learn how to understand the impact of exclusionary decision-making and implement actionable strategies to combat it. Come and learn about the pitfalls of disruption and how to design products, business models and cultures for ethical innovation.

Karolina Szczur

August 01, 2018

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  1. “We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served

    humanity. The increasing centralisation, has ended up producing a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.”
  2. Technology is a megaphone for harassment. Source: Twitter Has a

    Serious Harassment and Abuse Problem but Doesn’t Seem to Want to Cure It
  3. Technology treats personal data as currency. Source: Uber concealed massive

    hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers
  4. Technology fosters unfairness and exclusion. Source: Tech Leavers by Kapor

    Center 78% of employees report some form of unfair treatment. 1 out of 10 women are subject to unwanted sexual attention. Women of colour are twice as likely to experience stereotyping.
  5. “A dangerous form of magical thinking often accompanies new technological

    developments, a curious assurance that a revolution in our tools inevitably wipes the slate of the past clean.” Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality
  6. Algorithms create filter bubbles, preventing us from seeing disagreeable content.

    It’s harder to make informed choices as citizens. Source: Your filter bubble is destroying democracy
  7. • Respects and extends human rights • Serves and support

    democracy • Fights against the spread of misinformation • Encourages civic engagement Ethical technology:
  8. Tech-saturated world decreases our cognitive capacity and fosters anxiety, depression

    and stress. Source: The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World
  9. Technology should be a mindful, quiet companion to our lives

    rather than an overbearing disruptor, hijacking attention. Reference: Calm Tech and Centre for Humane Technology
  10. Ethical technology: • Requires minimum attention • Informs and create

    calm • Works in the background • Respects societal norms
  11. Data breaches might have catastrophic consequences; from identity theft to

    doxxing or swatting. Source: My Three Years in Identity Theft Hell
  12. Ethical technology: • Responds promptly to crisis • Eliminates single

    points of failure • Invests in cryptography and security • Protects the most vulnerable
  13. It’s humans who put artificial intelligence in place, and it’s

    humans who should take ownership for its systemic flaws.
  14. Ethical technology: • Is aware of diverse social and cultural

    norms • Creates policies for algorithmic accountability • Collaborates with lawmakers to advance regulations • Complies with national and international guidelines
  15. Data can be used to enhance user experience, but it

    can also be easily weaponised. Source: Facial recognition software is not ready for use by law enforcement
  16. Sensitive data should be easily modifiable, restricted, exported and deleted.

    Don’t collect it. Don’t store it. Don’t keep it. Source: Haunted by Data by Maciej Cegłowski
  17. Ethical technology: • Only collects data necessary for operation •

    Gives full control of data, including permanent 
 and swift deletion • Allows anonymity
  18. Lack of transparency increases the magnitude of harm and lowers

    accountability. Black boxes cannot be challenged.
  19. Ethical technology: • Responsibly discloses abuse of software • Establishes

    clear rules for reporting 
 and accountability • Has mission and value statements
  20. “Technologies and their design do not dictate racial ideologies; rather,

    they reflect the current climate.” Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression
  21. Ethical technology: • Is aware and combat unconscious bias •

    Tests for misuse and malice • Fights against harmful societal inequalities
  22. “When automated decision-making tools are not built to explicitly dismantle

    structural inequities, their speed and scale intensify them.” Virginia Eubanks, Automating Inequality
  23. Ethical technology: • Is inclusive of all people • Prioritises

    diverse teams and organisations • Prevents technological redlining
  24. “We demonstrated that the Web had failed instead of served

    humanity. The increasing centralisation, has ended up producing a large-scale emergent phenomenon which is anti-human.” Sir Tim Berners-Lee
  25. We all are responsible for what the Web has become

    today and will become tomorrow.
  26. The Web is ought to enhance our lives and fulfil

    our dreams, rather than crush hopes, magnify fears and deepen our divisions.
  27. Thank you Questions and feedback: in person or [email protected]. Slides: