Future Ethics with Cennydd Bowles at SustainableUX


Cennydd Bowles just released a book called Future Ethics, in which he "transforms modern ethical theory into practical advice for designers, product managers, and software engineers." This transcript from one of his recent talks is excellent all the way through, and well worth your time.

It’s a mistake to separate technical capabilities from human capabilities. These things act together. They become interwoven, hybridized actors. Things change what people can do and how they do it. It is true to an extent that old sage that guns don’t kill people; people do. But a gunman, the hybrid actor of a human and a technology coming together, sure as hell can.
So we have to abandon this belief that the things we build are just neutral tools. We have to recognize therefore that we can’t wash our hands of the social, ethical and political consequences of our work. This can be a tough sell to some. Technology and algorithms and then the bedrock of it all, data, are often seen as clean, objective, neutral things.


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