News. An new EU-funded project, Virt-EU, will analyze and map the ethical practices of developers within the IoT space. The goal is to understand how ethics is enacted today, generate a new framework for privacy, ethical and social impact assessment and – most importantly – develop tools to support ethical reflection and self-assessment from the very beginning of the development process in IoT Technologies.
“Who is reponsible for all the connected devices to behave ethically within Internet of Things,” asked the project’s leader, associate professor Irina Shklovski from ITU at the project opening. “Today there is no playbook for this.”
It is such a playbook that the new project will develop over the next few years. Danish ITU will lead the project with partners being London School of Economics, UK’s Open Rights Group, Swedish Uppsala University, Italian Politechnico di Torino and Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID).
Annelise Berner from CIID showed some interesting example of working with ethics in design, especially this one, Ethical Autonomous Vehicles showing on a video the unpredictability of real-life situations that involve the complexities of moral and ethical reasoning complicate this assumption. All Berners examples are collected here.
The new project is very much in line with the work DataEthics.eu is doing. DataEthics’ first “privacy as innovation” network meeting (www.privacyasinnovation.org) in Denmark was held at ITU in 2014. DataEthics.eu has in 2016 published the book DataEthics – The New Competitive Advantage, and the EU-funded project leader, Irina Shklovski is on the same line; “I believe there is a huge potential in designing tech which in its core is ethical. If the technology is both innovative, of high quality and treat data ethically, you really have a competitive advantage.”
DataEthics.eu will push some of the best practises that the new EU project develops and continue on shared ground to develop a data ethical business approach providing in particular EU companies a competitive edge.
As point of departure the 138 pages first draft guide for how tech can achieve ethical AI design which the highly recognized association for the Advancement of Technology IEEE has developed with experts worldwide, including DataEthics.eu, will be a good source for this new project. Several new standards projects within this initiative are in process.