Ethics and social innovation
Ethics is a branch of philosophy asking what is right and what is wrong with some characteristics:
- It changes over time,
Example: voting rights for women, the answer to this question changed in little over 100 years.
- Ethics is also a collective process because, in some sense, we all agree that women should vote. When we scale this to the individual, we have morals. The morals is an instantiation of the ethics on an individual level.
- The evolution of technology also rises new ethical debates and creates new social contexts.
- Ethics helps us express value judgements.
Ethics is a field that needs to be considered from a business perspective because customers judge companies and brands based on their own ethics.
Ethics in Innovation and ICT 📹13:28
The realm of ICT creates a third realm of problems such as information, intellectual property and others. People don’t realise how much power information entails.
- Cybercrimes are about stealing rights and information. We shift from ethics on goods and action to ethics with regard to information.
- Not every people have access to infomation
- Hard to quantify and qualify information
- Companies can hold and own my personal data. One possible solution is not using data from messaging, for example, but use metadata. Another answer is cutting access to companies but give it to governmental agencies.
- Copyright infrigement in the digital era. The regulation of copyrights is still an open debate.
- A clasical ethical problem is the self-driving car, are they allowed to drive on public streets? What decisions are made when facing an accident?
- Internet access should be a human right
- Governement censorship to digital content
What makes an innovation good? Addressing ethicals problems has they come.
Some of the points risen were:
- A machine is not bad or good, the human that operates it gives it the attribute
- Technology is created with a good or bad motivation, it’s ever hardly neutral
- Technology has a design intent embedded in it, but the user can misunderstand or change the expected behaviour
- Technological unemployment - what will happen to the majority of workers when technology becomes so efficient?
We should part from defining what is actually being emotional:
- Experiencing irrational behaviour
- Experiencing uncounscious and uncontrolled reaction to stimuli
Some answers to this questions were:
- If I can make a synthethic brain functionally equal to a biological brain, then machines can experience emotions
- Since the machines cannot have something uncontrolled they cannot experince emotion
- The programmer can add uncertainty to machines
The idea is that each object has a function which reflects the designer’s intent for it. If there are no designer’s intent there’s no meaningful object. It is the mismatch between how the designer sees the object and the user that creates the ethical problems.
Having a class between two different mental models happens because there is a time till which the philosophical basis go to ISOs. There is a pipeline Philosophy → Politics → Policy → Standard → Product design that requires time for an idea to flow through.
Trust the machine - do we have a choice? 📹01:03:03
- We can prove what is the behaviour of a machine before using it.
- If we add human supervisor to the behaviour of a machine, then human supervisor becomes the bottleneck of machines actions because they are capable of much more than humans.
- We don’t need to trust the most complex systems, we can just use them.
- If a machine is a black-box, it can also be a system of black-boxs, creating some sort of Russian doll of black boxes that will increase its depth as the time passes. How deep do we need to go into the system to trust it?
What can we do about this? Accept that it’s going to change with time and we need to be ready to adapt. Policymaking.
Policy is a set of rules that describe how a behaviour/process should be done. It is different from an algorithm because it doesn’t define instructions and sequences but guidelines.
Politics is about formalising the ethical context we are in. It is a process that enables a dialog within society. Politics defines what policies you create and how you implement it.
Social Innovation is about changing a common sense that is shared with society. One example can public transportation, it moved the power from the few and gave access to everyone, despite of their social and economic status. For example, after Facebook, it is OK (and considered safe) to share your real identity information over the internet while this wasn’t true 2 decades ago. Universal Basic Income can also be one, because the basic Maslow’s pyramid needs will be met. Digitalisation is also a new one because it gives a voice for everyone who has access to the internet.
There are 3 types of views for how we can view social innovation:
- Narrow view is the perspective of social innovation that tries to change the common sense in a positive way but addressing small part of the population. An example can Bill Gates foundation by providing clear water to communities. Crowdfunding. Social assistance. Building accessible infrastructures.
- Societal challenges are challenges that affect everybody. Some examples can be: vaccination, climate change, colonisation of other planets, access to technology. Online learning addresses the societal challenge of learning. Nuclear fusion addresses the problem of energy needs.
- Systemic transformation can be seen as view of empowerment. Voting rights. Universal Basic Income. Emancipation. Awareness campaigns.
CSR is the policy of companies (mandatory or not) made to become more socially active.
Example: Once per year a marathon is organized to raise money to build schools or to improve socially relevant infrastrustures