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Ethics and sustainability for techies

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The challenges of the Digital Age creates a sea of opportunities for technologists. Developing software transforms the economic, political, cultural, and social reality of countries.

On the one hand, a larger part of the population does not know the downside of IT, which does not decrease our great responsibility. On the other hand, technologists do not always know how to make ethical decisions in day-to-day systems development. There is also a long discussion about the role of technology in the sustainability of the planet: after all, when IT is good or bad?

This lecture is an introduction to ethics and sustainability aimed at technologists who want to learn how to position themselves as professionals in the face of so many challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

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Ethics and sustainability for techies

  1. 1. Campus Party, Brasília 16/Jun/2017 ETHICS AND SUSTAINABILITY FOR TECHIES Prof. Dr. Claudia Melo, UnB @claudia_melo www.claudiamelo.org
  2. 2. 2 I’m Claudia Melo Curious Learner Professor, University of Brasília (UnB) Technologist since 1997 I have worked as [CTO, Agile Coach, Programmer, Coordinator, Project Manager, Consultant] Activist v0.1, Advisory Board Member at Mulheres na Tecnologia WHO AM I?
  3. 3. 3 www.paragkhanna.com/home/2016/4/19/7-maps-that-will-make-you-optimistic-about-the-future THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
  4. 4. 4 COMPLEXITY + SCALE
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. 6 http://imgur.com/zXuVYA7
  7. 7. 7 Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs UN Bruntland commission
  8. 8. 8 Ethics covers the following dilemmas: how to live a good life; our rights and responsibilities; the language of right and wrong; moral decisions - what is good and bad? http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/intro_1.shtml
  9. 9. 9 https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld
  10. 10. 10 PreparingforAction.The2030AgendaforSustainableDevelopment 1 billion people hungry 2 billion people affected by hidden hunger but World produces enough food to feed everyone!
  11. 11. 11 PreparingforAction.The2030AgendaforSustainableDevelopment >50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas it concentrates 70-80% of economic activity Cities, particularly in HIGH INCOME countries, are high CONSUMERS of energy, water and high PRODUCERS of waste and GHG emissions.
  12. 12. 12 DESAWorkingPaperNo.141March2015 Towardsintegrationatlast?Thesustainabledevelopmentgoalsasanetworkoftargets DepartmentofEconomic&SocialAffairsDavidLeBlanc
  13. 13. 13 ROLE TECHNOLOGIST
  14. 14. 14 TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONISM Silicon Valley helping us to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges by offering us new apps for our smartphones.
  15. 15. 15 Is technology neutral?
  16. 16. 16 Society shapes technology Technology shapes society
  17. 17. 17 technology does not exist by chance, therefore it must have a purpose, a mission to humanity […] the mission of technology is to give freedom to the human being, ridding it of internal or external forces restrictive of its capabilities. Setzer, W (2014) https://www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer/technol-mission.html
  18. 18. 18 personal awareness, social and global consciousness. assessing the impact of technology (benefits or harms ) if it reduces the consciousness of other people. https://www.ime.usp.br/~vwsetzer/technol-mission.html
  19. 19. 19 Consciousness implies awareness: subjective, phenomenal experience of internal and external worlds. sense of self, feelings, choice, control of voluntary behaviour, memory, thought, language, and (e.g., when we close our eyes, or meditate) internally generated images and geometric patterns. Stuart Hameroff, Roger Penrose, Consciousness in the universe, Physics of Life Reviews, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2014, Pages 39-78, ISSN 1571-0645
  20. 20. 20 SOME DANGEROUS THINKING •GAMIFICATION REGULATING INDIVIDUALS (THAT HOLD LESS POWER). •BIG DATA AND PATTERN MATCHING SOLVING OUR PROBLEMS THROUGH INTRUSIVE MEASUREMENT OF OUR BEHAVIOUR, RATHER THAN US UNDERSTANDING THE FORCES THAT SHAPE OUR BEHAVIOURS. •CROWDSOURCING MIGHT UNDERMINE OUR BELIEF IN THE VALUE OF EXPERTISE. Easterbrook, Steve (2014). From computational thinking to systems thinking: A conceptual toolkit for sustainability computing. The 2nd International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S'14), Stockholm, Sweden, Aug 24-27, 2014
  21. 21. 21 the Web is biased: Data, Algorithms, Activity, Self- selection. Data and Algorithmic Bias in the Web Ricardo Baeza-Yates California, Catalonia, Chile Web Science 2016, Hannover, Germany, May 2016 http://www.websci16.org/sites/websci16/files/keynotes/keynote_baeza-yates.pdf
  22. 22. 22 • people from low-socioeconomic areas may have a hard time participating in the sharing economy as consumers or producers; • discrimination; • evading taxes and regulations that help to maintain cities' infrastructure; • platform providers will become employers in effect, but without any of the responsibilities to their workers (GIG economy). • distribution of increased income and welfare are likely to be uneven. JOHN BINDER “Does the Sharing Economy Do Any Good?” Dillahunt, Tawanna, et al. Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Companion, Pages 197-200, 2016. Koen Frenken, Juliet Schor, Putting the sharing economy into perspective, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Volume 23, June 2017, Pages 3-10, ISSN 2210-4224
  23. 23. 23 Many societal issues are better thought of as dilemmas: we should respond intelligently, rather than as problems that we can solve “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning”, Rittel and Webber, 1973
  24. 24. 24 www.paragkhanna.com/home/2016/4/19/7-maps-that-will-make-you-optimistic-about-the-future Digital revolution Software is a key component of solutions for 21st Century “wicked”, complex, and unpredictable problems. Wicked problems: difficult to define; never entirely solved (improvements can always be made); solutions generate unintended consequences.
  25. 25. 25 www.paragkhanna.com/home/2016/4/19/7-maps-that-will-make-you-optimistic-about-the-future Digital revolution Software is a key component of solutions for 21st Century “wicked”, complex, and unpredictable problems. Wicked problems: difficult to define; never entirely solved (improvements can always be made); solutions generate unintended consequences. Challenge for technologists i) understand the ethical choices and related unintended consequences that the solutions for the 21st century might generate; ii) investigate and co-design solutions with other stakeholders to ensure better solutions for all.
  26. 26. 26 CYBERETHICS DEFINITION AND SOME INITIATIVES https://on.acm.org/c/Code-2018 "Computers are essenZally a malleable, universally applicable tool, so the potenZal applicaZons for human acEon and consequent ethical issues are novel and almost limitless” “Study of moral, legal, and social issues involving cybertechnology” “[…] formulaEon and jusEficaEon of policies for the ethical use of such technology"
  27. 27. ClaudiaMeloandThiagoSousa.2017.Reflectionsoncyberethicseducationformillennial softwareengineers.InProc.ofthe1stInternationalWorkshoponSoftwareEngineering CurriculaforMillennials(SECM'17).IEEEPress,Piscataway,NJ,USA,40-46
  28. 28. 28https://ethics.acm.org/ Section 1 (overall) - General moral principles Principle 1.1 - Contribute to society Principle 1.2 - Avoid harm Principle 1.3 - Honesty Principle 1.4 - Nondiscrimination Principle 1.5 - Respect for creators Principle 1.6 - Privacy Principle 1.7 - Confidentiality ACM Code 2018 Project Section 2 (overall) - Professional responsibilities Principle 2.1 - Quality Principle 2.2 - Competence Principle 2.3 - Law Principle 2.4 - Professional review Principle 2.5 - Thoroughness Principle 2.6 - Responsibility Principle 2.7 - Public understanding Principle 2.8 - Avoid unauthorized access
  29. 29. 29 https://ethics.acm.org/ ACM Code 2018 Project Section 4 (overall) - Compliance Principle 4.1 - Uphold and promote the Code Principle 4.2 - Violation of Code incompatible with ACM membership Misc - Proposals for new principles, other changes not included in other categories Section 3 (overall) - Professional leadership principles Principle 3.1 - Promote public good Principle 3.2 - Promote social responsibility Principle 3.3 - Promote quality of life Principle 3.4 - Promote responsible use Principle 3.5 - Respect dignity of users Principle 3.6 - Promote learning and development Principle 3.7 - Responsibility for infrastructure
  30. 30. 30 EXAMPLES OF CYBERTECH CONTROVERSIES Innovation is a result of the combination and evolution of complementary technologies. CYBERTECHNOLOGIES CONTROVERSIAL PRACTICES/FEATURES, FROM A MORAL PERSPECTIVE Data Science Discoveries in data mining, propensity and group privacy. Cloud CompuPng Consumer privacy, reliability of services, data ownership, and technology neutrality. Algorithms Misguided evidence leading to bias; Unfair outcomes leading to discriminaPon, transformaPon effects leading to challenges for autonomy, and traceability leading to moral responsibility. Digital Business Models Intellectual property rights, economic market impact and customer relaPonship. Internet; IoT; Mobile; Social Individual privacy preferences, access controls, emergent social convenPons and infrastructures for government surveillance. SoSware and Society; Cyberlaw Cryptocurrency, net neutrality, proprietary code and content and freedom of speech. Secure SoSware Engineering Purposeful human errors injecPon, soSware piracy and soSware development for espionage, extorPon, vandalism and theS. ArPficial Intelligence; RoboPcs Machine learning, bias in natural language processing and robots as sexual partners, caregivers, and servants. Claudia de O. Melo and Thiago C. de Sousa. 2017. Reflections on cyberethics education for millennial software engineers. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Software Engineering Curricula for Millennials (SECM '17). IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 40-46
  31. 31. 31
  32. 32. 32 CONCRETE example: logic of abundance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSPNRu4ZPvE
  33. 33. 33Ernst Götsch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSPNRu4ZPvE
  34. 34. 34 Keywords ICT4D: Information and Communication Technology for Development ICT4S: Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. 36 Do you want to join us to think ICT4Sustainability and Ethics?
  37. 37. 37 QUESTIONS? THANK YOU! @claudia_melo claudiamelo.org claudiam@unb.br

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