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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. Disruptive or defective? Towards ethical tech innovation Presented by @fox

  2. Technology is redefining our world—its economics, culture, society and democracy.

  3. “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.”
  4. Technology negatively affects mental health. Source: Is social media bad

    for you? The evidence and the unknowns
  5. Technology is a megaphone for harassment. Source: Twitter Has a

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

    hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers
  7. 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.
  8. Humans are paying the price for (un)intended consequences of rapid

    advancement. We are facing a crisis.
  9. “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
  10. Ethical principles defend and systematise moral, righteous conduct.

  11. Human rights and democracy №1

  12. 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
  13. Tech ought to support and improve the civic processes on

    which democratic societies depend.
  14. • Respects and extends human rights • Serves and support

    democracy • Fights against the spread of misinformation • Encourages civic engagement Ethical technology:
  15. Well-being №2

  16. Tech-saturated world decreases our cognitive capacity and fosters anxiety, depression

    and stress. Source: The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World
  17. 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
  18. Ethical technology: • Requires minimum attention • Informs and create

    calm • Works in the background • Respects societal norms
  19. Security and safety №3

  20. Data breaches might have catastrophic consequences; from identity theft to

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

    points of failure • Invests in cryptography and security • Protects the most vulnerable
  22. Responsibility and accountability №4

  23. It’s humans who put artificial intelligence in place, and it’s

    humans who should take ownership for its systemic flaws.
  24. Source: Able, Allowed, Should: Navigating Modern Tech Ethics by Margaret

    Gould Stewart
  25. 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
  26. Data protection and privacy №5

  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. Ethical technology: • Only collects data necessary for operation •

    Gives full control of data, including permanent 
 and swift deletion • Allows anonymity
  30. Transparency №6

  31. Lack of transparency increases the magnitude of harm and lowers

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

    clear rules for reporting 
 and accountability • Has mission and value statements
  33. Misuse and bias awareness №7

  34. None
  35. Algorithms are thoughtless. Software doesn’t learn. We teach it. Source:

    How Machines Learn to Be Racist
  36. “Technologies and their design do not dictate racial ideologies; rather,

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

    Tests for misuse and malice • Fights against harmful societal inequalities
  38. Diversity and inclusion №8

  39. Diverse teams are more creative, performant and welcoming. Source: Why

    Diverse Teams Are Smarter
  40. Technological redlining, reinforcing oppressive social relationships and enacting racial profiling,

    cannot exist in the ethical world.
  41. “When automated decision-making tools are not built to explicitly dismantle

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

    diverse teams and organisations • Prevents technological redlining
  43. Tools and resources

  44. Recommended reading

  45. None
  46. Canvases, workshops and applications Source: How to practice ethical design?

  47. Manifestos and pledges Source: Ethical Design Manifesto by ind.ie

  48. “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
  49. The shift towards more humane technology is happening, but it

    needs your help.
  50. We all are responsible for what the Web has become

    today and will become tomorrow.
  51. “Should we build this?” has to become the ethical foundation

    for our work.
  52. The Web is ought to enhance our lives and fulfil

    our dreams, rather than crush hopes, magnify fears and deepen our divisions.
  53. Let’s build a more welcoming Web, together.

  54. Thank you Questions and feedback: in person or hi@thefox.is. Slides: