(Image above is from “Ethical OS” referenced below.)
There is SO MUCH going on in spaces associated with tech ethics and related ethical guidelines (or lack thereof) with regard to a host of futures issues. Among all of the urgent concerns calling from the future – few are as important as more actively advancing our sense of ethics about the choices we are making (and that are being made for us) in our lives and world.
I thought I’d just pull from my own growing list of readings/resources and see what they look like all together. I urge you to cruise through and explore with gusto, those places and/or titles that attract your attention. This is a list that is ever growing/changing and not intended to be exhaustive. Note of warning: This isn’t a “quick read” kind of list…each of these resources is complex. But I’ve found the time spent surveying these worth it in stretching my thinking and helping me build a better ethics foundation, as well as prepare to write more on futures topics. As always, I’m building my own library for my own study – just sharing so that other interested folks can jump in!
Of course social work is not absent in dialogue about ethics and tech, but I would also suggest we are not done evolving and keeping up with all the rapidly changing dynamics in the tech ecosystem. This is not a project that is probably ever done.
Social work has well-known ethics scholars who have wrestled with and guided our profession regarding tech ethics for some time. And we also have emerging ideas and voices entering the dialogue as well, exploring how technology is changing social work practice, how to guide our profession towards meaningful use of technology, how mental health and related social work practice areas are considering and evolving ethically, and how to build ongoing learning collaboratives to continue to grow our ethical capacity intentionally. A few more resources round out an overview (just a sample) of social work thinking on tech ethics from recent years.
My perspective is generally: Let’s learn faster shall we? Ethics study can accelerate our readiness and increase our positive impact in the future – though it won’t remove the degree of ethics challenges we are and will continue to face. This list is a way for us to stretch and consider some ideas “just outside” of our typical practice/scholarly spaces.
Note: If you haven’t heard of it yet, the term “design ethics” is emerging quickly and worth a look. These resources are included at the end of this overview.
UNESCO’s page for Science, Technology and Ethics
Omidyar/Institute for the Future’s Ethical Operating System (Ethical OS) (and a little article about how/why it was developed here).
Open Data Institute’s Data Ethics Canvas Toolkit
Future Ethics – the book everyone in tech should be reading now (2018) . Note: Here’s an online lecture by this author Cennyd Bowles.
Gender, race and power in AI (2019)
Futures, power and privilege (2019)
Rethinking medical ethics (2019)
The Future of Work
Entire issue of journal “Ethics and Behavior” dedicated to the ethics of assistive technologies. (2019)
Note: I have not had a lot of success finding strong critiques of the assistive technology world. Seems there is a lot of “pro” literature, but little in the way of constructive critique…(see last entry for a good one I found). If you are a reader who is knowledgeable in this area, I’d love/appreciate suggestions.
AI and the future of ethics (2017)
Smart Cities Ethics
The ethics of smart cities (2019)
Citizenship, justice and the right to a smart city (2018)
How to Design with Ethics (2019)