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  1. Information Ethics An Introduction Rafael Capurro Distinguished Researcher in Information Ethics, School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA http://www.capurro.de/luxemburg.ppt

  2. Content • Introduction • The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • Information Ethics • Conclusion R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  3. Introduction • Since the second half of the last century computer scientists, such as Norbert Wiener and Joseph Weizenbaum, called public’s attention to the ethical challenges immanent in computer technology that can be compared in their societal relevance to the ambivalent promises of nuclear energy. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  4. Wiener / Weizenbaum R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  5. Introduction • In the beginning the discussion was focused on the moral responsibility of computer professionals. • But for scientists like Wiener and Weizenbaum the impact of computer technology was understood to be something that concerned society as a whole. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  6. Introduction • Half a century after Wiener’s seminal work the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) developed the vision R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  7. Introduction • “[…] to build a people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, enabling individuals, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  8. Introduction • in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life, premised on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and respecting fully and upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” (WSIS 2003) R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  9. Introduction • The WSIS also proposed a political agenda, namely “[…] to harness the potential of information and communication technology to promote the development goals of the Millennium Declaration, namely the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger; achievement of universal primary education; promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; reduction of child mortality; R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  10. Introduction • improvement of maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability; and development of global partnerships for development for the attainment of a more peaceful, just and prosperous world.” (WSIS 2003) R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  11. Introduction R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  12. Introduction • I define digital ethics or information ethics in a narrower sense as dealing with the impact of digital ICT on society and the environment at large as well as with ethical questions dealing with the Internet, digital information and communication media (digital media ethics) in particular. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  13. Introduction • Information ethics in a broader sense deals with information and communication including but not limited to the digital media. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  14. Introduction • This presentation addresses some ethical issues regarding the impact of digital ICT on society and the environment. • In the second part I briefly discuss issues such as privacy, information overload, internet addiction, digital divide, surveillance and robotics particularly from an intercultural perspective. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  15. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • Beyond the moral individual responsibility of politicians, bankers and managers, there is a systemic issue that has to do with the digitalization of financial and economic communication and information. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  16. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • Digital capitalism was and is still able to bypass national and international law, control and monitoring institutions and mechanisms as well as codes of practice and good governance leading to a global crisis of trust not only within the system but with regard to the system itself. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  17. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • Academic research in digital ethics should become a core mandatory issue of economics and business studies. Similarly to the already well established bioethics committees, ethical issues of ICT should be addressed taking as a model for instance the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  18. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  19. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • ICT has a deep impact on politics leading to a transformation of 20th century broadcast mass media based democracy, or mediocracy, on the basis of new kinds of digital-mediated interactive participation. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  20. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • New interactive media weaken the hierarchical one-to-many structure of traditional global mass-media, giving individuals, groups, and whole societies the capacity to become senders and not “just” receivers of messages. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  21. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • We live in message societies. I call the science dealing with messages and messengers angeletics (from Greek: angelía / angelos = message / messenger). R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  22. Iran Protest Photos, June 15, 2009Source: http://www.pdnpulse.com/2009/06/iran-protest-photos-key-to-twitter-coverage.html R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  23. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • The Internet has become a local and global basic social communication infrastructure. Freedom of access should be considered a fundamental ethical principle similar to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  24. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • The third issue I would like to highlight concerns the impact of the materialities of ICT on nature and natural resources. Electronic waste has become major issue of information ethics. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  25. 06 January 2007Source: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/photosvideos/photos/electronic-waste-in-guangdong-4664?mode=send R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  26. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • It deals with the disposal and recycling of all kinds of ICT devices that already today have devastating consequences on humans and the environment particularly when exported to Third World countries. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  27. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  28. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • I advocate for the expansion of the human rights discourse to include the rights of non-human life and nature. The present ecological crisis is a clear sign that we have to change our lives in order to become not masters but stewards of natural environment. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  29. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  30. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • Issues of sustainability and global justice should be urgently addressed together with the opportunities offered by the same media to promote better shelter, less hunger and combat diseases. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  31. The Global Impact of ICT on Society and the Environment • In other words, I advocate for the expansion of the human rights discourse to include the rights of non-human life and nature. The present ecological crisis is a clear sign that we have to change our lives in order to become not masters but stewards of natural environment. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  32. Information Ethics • Main topics of information ethics are intellectual property, privacy, security, information overload, digital divide, gender discrimination, surveillance and censorship • New/forthcoming issues: ambient intelligence, cloud computing, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, bionics, robotics, human enhancement, intercultural information ethics, ICT and the city R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  33. Mass Media • New interactive media weaken the hierarchical one-to-many structure of traditional global mass-media, giving individuals, groups, and whole societies the capacity to become senders and not “just” receivers of messages. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  34. Information Ethics • One important challenge is the question about how human cultures can flourish in a global digital environment while avoiding uniformity or isolation. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  35. Information Ethics • The Internet has become a local and global basic social communication infrastructure. Freedom of access should be considered a fundamental ethical principle similar to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  36. Information Ethics • A free Internet can foster peace and democracy but it can also be used for manipulation and control. For this reason I assess a necessity to strive for a future internet governance regime on the basis of intercultural deliberation, democratic values and human rights R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  37. Information Ethics R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  38. Information Ethics • ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP are pleased to invite you to the WSIS Forum 2010 scheduled to be held from 10 to 14 of May 2010 at the ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. This event builds upon the tradition of annual WSIS May meetings, and its new format is the result of open consultations with all WSIS Stakeholders. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  39. Information Ethics • Research networks on Information Ethics are flourishing in • Africa : African Network for Information Ethics (ANIE) • and Latin America: Red Latinoamericana de Ética de la Información (RELEI) R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  40. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  41. Information Ethics R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  42. Information Ethics • Recent advances in robotics show a wide range of applications in everyday lives beyond their industrial and military applications. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  43. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  44. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  45. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  46. Information Ethics • An intercultural ethical dialogue – beyond the question of a code of ethics to become part of robots making out of them “moral machines” – on human-robot interaction is still in its infancy. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  47. Wallach & Allen on Moral Machines http://moralmachines.blogspot.com/ (Oxford Univ. Press 2009) R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  48. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  49. Information Ethics • Robots are mirrors of ourselves. What concepts of sociality are conceptualized and instantiated by robotics? R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010

  50. Information Ethics • An intercultural ethical dialogue – beyond the question of a code of ethics to become part of robots making out of them “moral machines” – on human-robot interaction is still in its infancy. R. Capurro, Univ. Luxemburg 2010