Ethics in Computing


Playlists: 'SHA2017' videos starting here / audio / related events

Developments in the last few years have shown that computing can no longer be considered neutral or without morals. Most kinds of programs or services have some hidden or implicit morals in them. Especially when things are published at the Internet scale, you see clashes in what is considered morally acceptable.

There have been several examples of this in the past few years: Facebook and its emotional contagion study where they tried to influence emotions of their users without telling them. Or academic researchers trying to measure censorship by tricking users into attempting to load censored webpages. There are many more of these examples.

Fortunately many academic researchers have realised that this is happening and are calling for action: more ethics education in computer and data science. This is more easily said than done however, but things are moving in the right direction.

This talk will discuss some recent cases to explain how computing and ethics are related. I will also describe developments in the academic and professional field on how to deal with these issues.