ETHICOMP 2015

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This week I’ve been down in Leicester for Ethicomp 2015, the 20th Anniversary of the conference started back in 1995 by Simon Rogerson and Terry Bynum. It was a very friendly community with some great talks. The keynotes were very interesting, with presentations from Lynne Markus on “Computer Ethics in the Organisation: Pitfalls and Prospects for Corporate Data Responsibility”; Robin Wilton on “Trust, Ethics and Autonomy” and Sarah Spiekermann on “Ethical IT Innovation – A Value Based Systems Design Approach”. The breadth of topics over the three days was wide, looking at many philosophical and practical questions around design of emerging technologies, responsible research and innovation, robot ethics, big data, brain computer interfaces, augmented reality and even a paper on the ethics of human-chicken relationships in video games. The proceedings are available from the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort (who hosted and organised the event this year) but also will be on the ACM Digital Library at some point too.  It was very nice to catch up with researchers Professor Andrew Adams, Professor Kyoshi Murata and Prof Ana Maria Lara Palma from the Centre of Business Information Ethics at Meiji University in Tokyo where I spent a few months as a visiting researcher last summer. They ran a track at the conference presenting international work done on attitudes of young people towards privacy, and in particular on the impact of Snowden’s Revelations. The breadth of countries involved in this project made for some very interesting cross cultural comparisons (they had carried out the questionnaire and interviews in Japan, Taiwan, China, Sweden, New Zealand, Spain, Germany and Mexico). There is also a nice special edition of the Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the Conference.

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