This article introduces the special issue “Technology Ethics in Action: Critical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”. In response to recent controversies about the harms of digital technology, discourses and practices of “tech ethics” have proliferated across the tech industry, academia, civil society, and government. Yet despite the seeming promise of ethics, tech ethics in practice suffers from several significant limitations: tech ethics is vague and toothless, has a myopic focus on individual engineers and technology design, and is subsumed into corporate logics and incentives. These limitations suggest that tech ethics enables corporate “ethics-washing”: embracing the language of ethics to defuse criticism and resist government regulation, without committing to ethical behavior. Given these dynamics, I describe tech ethics as a terrain of contestation where the central debate is not whether ethics is desirable, but what “ethics” entails and who gets to define it. Current approaches to tech ethics are poised to enable technologists and technology companies to label themselves as “ethical” without substantively altering their practices. Thus, those striving for structural improvements in digital technologies must be mindful of the gap between ethics as a mode of normative inquiry and ethics as a practical endeavor. In order to better evaluate the opportunities and limits of tech ethics, I propose a sociotechnical approach that analyzes tech ethics in light of who defines it and what impacts it generates in practice.
GOVERNMENTS LEADERSHIP CAPABILITY EXECUTING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION. Governments are reacting to devastating Pandemic effects investing heavily in many strategic areas, like Infrastructure, welfare, health and accelerating the way toward the digital economy.
Humanities allow us to place the complexity, contradictions, and changes that take place within us and around us instead of arguing with ourselves when someone or something confronts us with our limits or those of a value production model.
When socioeconomic indicators fall into the ranks, the humanities are placed back in the drawer, sacrificing them for a new model that generates profit from mass production.
History repeats itself and at this moment we are asking for help from the humanities, in a decade or two we will forget and then remember again when the next global imbalance will occur.
Year 2022, welcome to the era of digital humanism.