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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Silicon Valley Writes a Playbook to Help Avert Ethical Disasters

Arielle Pardes
www.wired.com
Originally posted August 7, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

The first section outlines 14 near-future scenarios, based on contemporary anxieties in the tech world that could threaten companies in the future. What happens, for example, if a company like Facebook purchases a major bank and becomes a social credit provider? What happens if facial-recognition technology becomes a mainstream tool, spawning a new category of apps that integrates the tech into activities like dating and shopping? Teams are encouraged to talk through each scenario, connect them back to the platforms or products they're developing, and discuss strategies to prepare for these possible futures.

Each of these scenarios came from contemporary "signals" identified by the Institute of the Future—the rise of "deep fakes," tools for "predictive justice," and growing concerns about technology addiction.

"We collect things like this that spark our imagination and then we look for patterns, relationships. Then we interview people who are making these technologies, and we start to develop our own theories about where the risks will emerge," says Jane McGonigal, the director of game research at the Institute of the Future and the research lead for the Ethical OS. "The ethical dilemmas are around issues further out than just the next release or next growth cycle, so we felt helping companies develop the imagination and foresight to think a decade out would allow more ethical action today."

The info is here.
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