The adoption of technology in key social systems and infrastructures is transforming society. People’s relationships are increasingly mediated by dynamic and learning interfaces which influence their decisions both in the private and public sphere. Looking for a holiday, booking a doctor appointment or the best commuting to home amongst others are all actions facilitated by an algorithm that learns and develops “knowledge” about individuals. To acquire knowledge and use it to direct and influence people’s decisions is something that raises fundamental ethical questions.
This workshop would like to tackle this complex territory by inviting any researchers from the whole techne network to participate in a series of group activities aimed at developing, and designing, ethical principles and values through cross-discipline collaboration.
The workshop will be reflecting on a particular case study, which looks at information as contemporary public service. The groups will be asked to think, develop and design values and principles that a 21st century information public service should follow when interacting with the public. Anna McGovern from the the BBC's Editor for Recommendations, Matthew Eltringham from BBC Editorial Policy and David Watson from the University of Oxford’s Digital Ethics Lab will be introducing the topic and outline what are the ethical dilemmas that the groups should take in consideration when developing values and principles. The activities will be introducing methods to work with complex problems and ethical dilemmas based on performance, dialogue and collaboration.
Through facilitated activities cross-discipline groups of researchers will be collaborating, discussing and acting the ethical issues and dilemmas related to the case study. This will expose the groups to the complexity of 21st century ethics. Researchers will experience the decision-making process that generates ethics issues and the role (and responsibility) played by key players.
Learning outcomes include:
(1) training on peer-to-peer dialogue to develop collegial strategies to complex problems and ethical challenges; (2) learning an ethics culture that impacts the decision-making process and engages key players;
(3) develop an approach to practice that acknowledges the impact of personal responsibilities in designing/delivering/managing socio-techno infrastructures.
The workshop will be opening with an introduction by Anna McGovern and Matthew Eltringham on the current ethical challenges BBC is facing in delivering a contemporary public service through digital platforms. David Watson will follow with an overview on the ethical challenges in the digital world. Following this the researchers will be working on facilitated activities in cross-disciplines groups. These will require to map the ethical challenges and develop values and principles that an information public service should provide through digital platforms to tackle these. What are the design recommendations that foster adoptions of these principles from any of the parties involved - ie users, journalists, editorial boards, designers, etc? How can a public service be customisable and maintain impartiality, diversity and criticality? Who should be responsible of ensuring these values are adopted and applied?
We welcome any disciplines, skills and expertise across the techne network.