IEEE SSIT Newsletter – April 2017

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In this issue: Committees-Introductions and Volunteer Opportunities, Imminent Deadlines for Journal and Conference Call for Papers, Remembering Virginia Mary Edgertonannouncements header

Message from the President


Six SSIT Committees have now started work on preparing Position Statements, which will be used to focus implementation of SSIT activities in the 65 countries where we currently have members. I would like to acknowledge those volunteers who have agreed to take responsibility for the effectiveness and impact of the following committees:

  • Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Technology (Satish Babu, Region 10)
  • Ethics, Human Values and Technology (Keith Miller, Region 5)
  • Societal Impact of Technology (Tamara Bonaci, Region 6)
  • Protecting the Planet – Sustainable Technology (Mike Cardinale, Region 3)
  • Young Professionals and Students (Almedin Kavaz, Region 8)
  • Women in Engineering (Ramalatha Marimuthu, Region 10)

Call for Volunteers
We still need more student, young professional, member, senior member, fellow and life member volunteers to ensure strong global representation for:

  • Sustainable development and humanitarian technology
  • Ethics, human values and technology
  • Societal impact of technology
  • Universal access to technology
  • Protecting the planet – sustainable technology
  • Young Professionals and students
  • Women in Engineering

We are also looking for nominations to chair the SSIT Pillar on Universal Access to Technology.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at pcunningham@ieee.org, Subject: SSIT 5 Pillars “your pillar of interest.” You can help me point you in the right direction by briefly describing your previous activities and track record in this field, your location (city, chapter, section), two sub-committees of interest, and some insight into the contribution you believe you can make. A responsible volunteer will follow up with you.


Submission Deadlines
In this month’s newsletter, there are a number of imminent submission deadlines that you may find of interest, including:

  • IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference in San Jose, CA, USA, 19-22 October 2017. Call for Papers deadline 23 April 2017
  • IEEE SusTech 2017 in Phoenix, AZ, USA, 12-14 November 2017. Call for Papers deadline 28 April 2017
  • IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society in Sydney, Australia, 9-11 August 2017. Call for Papers deadline 30 April 2017
  • March 2018 Joint Special Issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. Call for Submissions deadline 1 May 2017

Membership Reminder
Please encourage respected peers (including Students and Young Professionals) to join SSIT and consider volunteering. Now is a perfect time for them to join with half-year membership rates (US$16.50 or US$2 for Student members). This is a fabulous opportunity to join our vibrant, growing, global community!

If there is no SSIT Chapter or SSIT Student Chapter near you, let us know if you would like support to establish a new Chapter.

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We are pleased to continue our series of introductions to members of the volunteer leadership team whose hard work makes SSIT a successful organization with wide-ranging influence that extends throughout the IEEE’s global, multi-disciplinary community.

John Impagliazzo is an IEEE Fellow and Life Member, a director on the IEEE Foundation, and a member of the Long Island Section of Region 1, hailing from Fort Salonga, New York (USA). He has served SSIT since 2013 in roles focused on constitution and bylaws issues, and is our current chair of publications. His current interests include engineering and computing curricula and accreditation, computing history and ethics, and the effects of emerging technologies on society.


Carlos E. Jimenez-Gomez, an IEEE Senior member in the Schenectady Section of Region 1, is based in Niskayuna, New York (USA). He has been an SSIT volunteer since 2014, and is both an IEEE SSIT Distinguished Lecturer and co-founder of the joint IEEE Cyber Ethics and Cyber Peace initiative, which started in 2015. His interests extend to all five of SSIT’s central pillars, and his work focuses on digital government as well as modernization of justice within our “information society,” and championing the importance of openness and transparency in government. To learn more about his interests, visit his website.


Luis Kun, IEEE Fellow and Life member in NoVA, Washington (the National Capital Area Section of Region 2) lives in Vienna, VA, USA, and has volunteered with the SSIT since 2005. He has held numerous leadership roles with the organization, including several years on the Board of Governors, stints as chair of membership and conferences, and-his current title-Distinguished Lecturer and Chair. In 2016, he was a panelist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation (OECD) ministerial meeting, where he was also a Hackathon judge, and he has served as Life Sciences Technical Committee (LSTC) representative from 2016 through to the present. Like Jimenez-Gomez, his interests encompass the SSIT’s 5 Pillars, and his work has extended beyond the SSIT to broader IEEE engagement as a member of the IEEE Technical Activities Board and Publications/Editorial boards.

We encourage all SSIT members to submit your details to our volunteer directory.

Joint Special Issue-Call for Papers

Remember that the submission deadline for the March 2018 Joint Special Issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine is fast approaching!

Due dates for authors are as follows:
1 May 2017: Submission deadline
1 August 2017: First decision communicated to authors
20 November 2017: Final acceptance decision communicated to authors
10 December 2017: Final manuscripts uploaded by authors

Additional information about each call for papers is available at the links below below. For further inquiries, please email Katina Michael at: katina@uow.edu.au.


#1: Robotics and Social Implications in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine


Guest Editors: Ramona Pringle (Ryerson University), Diana Bowman (Arizona State University), Meg Leta Jones (Georgetown University), and Katina Michael (University of Wollongong)

Visit the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine submission portal.


#2: Socio-ethical Approaches to Robotics Development in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine


Guest Editors: Noel Sharkey (University of Sheffield), Aimee van Wynsberghe (University of Twente), John C. Havens (The Global Initiative for Ethical Concerns in the Design of Autonomous Systems), and Katina Michael (University of Wollongong).

Visit The IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine submission portal.


General Call for Papers: IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine
Dr. Katina Michael, senior editor of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, invites contributions to the publication’s Socio-economic Impacts section. For more information, visit the CE Magazine webpage or contact Katina at katina@uow.edu.au.


Publish your Ethical Dilemma in the SSIT and Life Members Committee (LMC) Newsletter As we mentioned last month, the SSIT and LMC have approved an initiative to publish brief articles (300-500 words) detailing society members’ experiences grappling with ethical dilemmas in professional contexts. Beginning in June 2017, contributions of this sort will be published simultaneously in both newsletters after authors work with the editors of the two publications. If you have a story to tell, please contact the SSIT newsletter editor, Dr. Heather Love at Heather.Love@usd.edu.

The following upcoming conferences should be of interest to many SSIT members:

IST-Africa Week 2017
30 May -2 June 2017, Windhoek, Namibia

Hosted by the government of Namibia through the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, and technically co-sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), IEEE Region 8 and IEEE South Africa Section, IST-Africa Week 2017 is the twelfth in an annual series of Ministerial level Technology Research and Innovation Conferences focused on Sustainable Development and International Research Cooperation.

IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together cross-disciplinary stakeholders from the public, private, education and research, societal sectors with end-user communities focused on ICT and STI Research and Innovation and their contribution to sustainable development.

IST-Africa is cooperating with IEEE to organise the first IEEE Experts in Technology and Policy (ETAP) Forum on Internet Governance, Cybersecurity and Privacy to take place in Africa as the pre-conference event on Tuesday 30 May.

The IST-Africa Week 2017 Advance Program featuring over 190 presentations from 35 countries can be downloaded at their website

Follow IST-Africa on Twitter to get regular updates.

For further information, please email Secretariat@IST-Africa.org.


IEEE 2017 International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS 2017)
From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions

9-11 August 2017, Sydney, Australia


The ISTAS 2017 conference in Sydney has been scheduled to coincide with the annual IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (IEEE POCO) event from 7-9 August 2017, and the biennial IEEE Sections Congress from 11-13 August 2017.

The theme for ISTAS 2017 is “From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions,” and is designed to focus on how we can identify a good technological idea and transition it into a practical solution that delivers real benefits to society. It will bring together scientists, engineers, technologists and scholars from multiple disciplines to hold a dialogue on many technological and societal issues, and collaborate on the co-creation of ideas to develop and utilize innovative solutions to address them.

The main conference will be supported by several workshops and special sessions, including the 17th Workshop on Social Implications of National Security, hosted by Prof. Katina Michael (University of Wollongong), as well as a Doctoral Mentoring Workshop for PhD Students, hosted by the University of New South Wales.

Key Dates:

  • Submission deadline for paper abstracts: 30 April 2017
  • Notification of acceptance: 8 May 2017
  • Final manuscript submission deadline: 5 June 2017

For additional information, including the complete conference announcement, calls for papers, and information for authors, please visit the ISTAS 2017 website. General inquiries should be addressed to the ISTAS 2017 General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.


IEEE Global Humanitarian Conference (GHTC)
19-22 October 2017, San Jose, CA, USA

GHTC focuses on innovation, deployment and adaptation of technology for humanitarian goals and sustainable development. The conference invites presenters to showcase innovation and progress in technology and methodology addressing the socio-cultural and socio-economic needs of vulnerable and resource-constrained end-user communities in developing and developed countries, as well as confronting the challenges of both natural and man-made disasters.

Key focus areas that are particularly relevant include (but are not limited to):

  • Poverty alleviation
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Quality education
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Connectivity and communication
  • Humanitarian challenges and opportunities
  • Disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery
  • Other United Nations sustainable development goals

For more information, visit our website.


5th IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability – Engineering and the Environment (SusTech 2017)
12-14 November 2017, Phoenix, AZ, USA

SusTech 2017 is sponsored by the IEEE Oregon Section, IEEE Region 6, IEEE Phoenix Section and IEEE-USA. SSIT is a technical co-sponsor long term supporter of the SusTech conference series and host of the Social Implications/Quality of Life Track.

For further details, please visit the conference website. Sign up for the conference newsletter and watch for the Call for Papers to be issued soon.


3rd IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology (ETHICS 2017)
12-14 November 2017, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


The theme for IEEE ETHICS 2017 is Ethical Innovations in AI/AS. Financial co-sponsors for the conference include SSIT, IEEE-USA, IEEE Standards Association and the Southeastern Michigan Section (SEM). Technical co-sponsors include the TA/TechEthics Initiative.

For further information, please contact the General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.


Virginia Mary Edgerton
27 May 1933 – 28 February 2017
Submitted by Walter L. Elden

On 28 February 2017, IEEE Mmmber Virginia Mary Edgerton passed away in a nursing home in Sweden. Virginia was the first IEEE Member and woman to request and receive ethical support from the then brand new Member Conduct Committee (MCC) in 1978. The MCC issued its report in June 1978 supporting her actions. She was also the second recipient of the IEEE SSIT Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest.

I never met Virginia Edgerton personally but I did play a part in her getting IEEE support for her ethics conflict with a former employer in New York City. One day in 1977, about the time I, Dr. Stephen H. Unger and others on the IEEE-USA Activities Board Ethics Task Force (USAB), developed the USAB procedures to discipline members and provide them ethical support, I received a telephone call from Virginia Edgerton asking for IEEE ethical support of her actions taken in a police dispatch system she was working on, which led to her being terminated for elevating her concerns above her unsympathetic Supervisor. I referred her to Steve Unger, who took it from there, as the story is told next.

The following is the summary report published by the then IEEE Committee on the Social Implication of Technology (CSIT), in its 1978 #22 issue of its CSIT Newsletter:

Reports on IEEE’S First Ethics Case

The two reports in this issue of Technology and Society are outgrowths of a case involving Ms. Virginia Edgerton, a senior information scientist with the Circle Project of the New York City Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, who was discharged after raising questions concering the efficacy of a computerized police emergency dispatch system-first to her supervisor and finally to the members of the Circle Committee. Ms. Edgerton contacted CSIT in June 1977, requesting assistance. At that time no formal mechanism existed within IEEE for evaluation potential ethics cases.

After a subcommittee of CSIT’s Working Group Ethics and Employment Pracices (chaired by Stephan Unger) completed its investigation of the case reported on here. IEEE instituted formal procedures for handling such situations. These were placed under the jurisdiction of the Member Conduct Committee (MCC). When the CSIT report was presented to the Executive Committee of the IEEE Board of Directors 21 May 1978, that body referred the matter to the MCC for consideration under the new procedures. Both the report and the complete file on which it was based, were then turned over to the MCC.

That group, chaired by James Fairman, reviewed the file, obtained a notarized statement from Ms. Edgerton, the individual seeking support, and then drafted its own report. Following the precedent set by the CSIT subcommittee, this draft was sent to the managers involved for their comments, and was subsequently presented to the IEEE Executive Committee with the recommendation that both the MCC and CSIT reports be published and that certain other steps be taken in support of Ms. Edgerton.

The Executive Committee then directed General Manager Richard Emberson to seek the opinion of IEEE’s attorney, James Wiener, concerning the legal aspects of publication. After discussion and some correspondence involving Dr. Emberson, Mr. Wiener, Mr. Fairman and Dr. Under, a consensus was reached that full publication was appropriate. This view was conveyed to the Executive Committee which, at its October meeting, approved such publication.

An article summarizing the Edgerton case appeared in the December 1978 issue of The Institute. Both committee reports are reprinted in their entirety here.

Subsequent to this, the new IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), awarded Virginia the second Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest. Below is the photograph of Dr. Stephen H. Unger presenting Virginia Edgerton her Barus Award.

On a more personal side of Virginia, here is a first-hand account by Robert Osband, of the interaction he had with Virginia in the 1970s when both resided in the New York Area.

“I am very saddened to learn of the death of my old friend Virginia Edgerton.

She was a customer in the mid 1970s when I worked at The Computer Store of New York on 39th St near 6th Ave. When I moved across town to The Computer Mart on 30th St and Madison, she found me there, and became a “regular” in the Books section of the shop. We became friends and would occasionally chat over a beer at a little “British pub” near her apartment house on Park Ave South. On 17 December 1978, we stopped for coffee at a restaurant called “Kitty Hawk” in Manhattan we happened to be passing on the 75th Anniversary of the Wright Brother’s First Flight.

Virginia’s odyssey with the whistle blowing she did took years to get her recognition, but I was happy that she asked me to accompany her when she got her award from the IEEE, and naturally, I was very proud of her for receiving it.

One day, she came into the Computer Mart and pleaded with me to take over a class she was giving as an Adjunct Instructor at Baruch College on “Introduction to Teleprocessing.” She needed to find someone to take over the class before the school would let her out of her contract so she could take a job in Ohio. I agreed, and taught the class for a couple of years, but that was the last contact I had with Virginia. I’m sorry I have no further information to help you with, though I now recall a conversation we had that she had also attend the “Convocation on Communications honoring the 100th anniversary of the Telephone” at MIT in 1976. I was living in Cambridge, MA at the time with a group of science fiction fans, and was a bit of a “phone freak” even then. The highlight of that event was getting to meet Arthur C. Clark the science fiction author who had first calculated the Geostationary Orbit published in Wireless World magazine in 1945. When Clark remarked in his speech at that time that an “Infomaniac” was someone who needed to be where the information was anytime he could get there, it was all I could do to keep my seat, and NOT jump up and yell, “That’s Right! That’s why I’m here!” I always think of that whenever I attend a trade show exhibit hall.

Over the years I’ve wondered why Virginia was there, and never had the chance to ask if maybe she was the daughter of THAT Edgerton of MIT which would have gained her admittance. At the commemorative banquet dinner put on by AT&T, a book was placed on every seat, “The Telephone” by John Brooks which was a history of the device’s invention. Virginia claimed she left hers behind after the dinner, and I had picked one up that was left behind after I came out from the back of the room after the talk to look around. Years later, as a call center agent for Store.Palm.Com I got a call from a John Brooks who needed an accessory for his Palm Pilot. I asked if he was the author of “The Telephone,” and sure enough, he was! A pleasant conversation ensued, and his order got Extra Special service!”

This feature was compiled by Walter L. Elden, P.E. (Ret), IEEE and SSIT Life Senior member.

Stay Up-to-Date with IEEE SSIT Happenings

Visit the SSIT Blog for news items and the latest Society updates.


Newsletter Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit a news item, SSIT-related update, volunteer opportunity, Call For Papers, award notice, or idea for a “Feature Article” for a future issue of the SSIT newsletter, please contact the editor Dr. Heather Love at Heather.Love@usd.edu. Submissions for the May 2017 newsletter are due 24 April 2017.

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IEEE SSIT Newsletter – March 2017

SIT Newsletter header
march
In this issue: New Student Branch, Volunteer Opportunities and Introductions, Ethical Dilemma Publication Opportunity, CFPs, Conferences, IEEE Foundation Grant for Smart Agriculture in India, the Promise of Predictive Fictionannouncements header

New Student Branch in Region 7


We are delighted to announce that a new Student Branch of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology has been formed at the Universidade de Brasilia, which is located in the Centro-Norte Brasil Section. We wish you the very best with your activities going forward – we know you will work together to make a positive difference in your community!


Membership Reminder
Please encourage respected peers (including Students and Young Professionals) to join SSIT and consider volunteering.

SSIT Student Membership for the remainder of 2017 is only US$2. Be sure to reach out to people who can take advantage of this fabulous opportunity to join our vibrant, growing, global community!

If there is no SSIT Chapter or SSIT Student Chapter near you, let us know if you would like support to establish a new Chapter.


Opportunity to Publish your Ethical Dilemma

The SSIT Board of Governors is pleased to announce that the following motion to facilitate the multi-platform publication and discussion of ethical dilemmas has passed.

The joint Life Members Committee (LMC) – Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) ad hoc committee proposes the following motion.

WHEREAS:

  • Experiences of IEEE Life Members would be of interest to other IEEE members that could be reported as stories in the IEEE SSIT Newsletter and the IEEE Life Members Newsletter under its existing category of “Tales from the Vault” column as descriptions of events in their careers.
  • Stories that posed “ethical dilemma” could continue to be submitted to the IEEE Life Members Newsletter but they could be separated from the other stories under “Tales from the Vault” because they are of interest in their own right.
  • Articles on “ethical dilemma” could be published under a new column in the IEEE Life Members Newsletter as well as the SSIT Newsletter
  • Both SSIT and LMC newsletter editors could place similar/identical calls for participation in each of their respective newsletters.
  • Articles received should be brief – between 300 and 500 words – just as the other articles in the newsletters.
  • Authors of articles shall avoid mention of names of any colleagues, products, or organizations that might be affected negatively by the articles, just as by any other articles.
  • The newsletter editor receiving the initial submission could copyedit the submission, including removal of names of individuals, products, or companies should that occur.
  • Articles received by one newsletter could be shared with the other newsletter.
  • Articles could receive dual publication exposure. That is, both SSIT and LMC newsletters could publish the same article.
  • The cost to each organization for undertaking this joint endeavor is estimated to be zero.

THEREFORE:
It is moved that the LMC and the SSIT Board of Governors approve the reporting of life experience ethical dilemma as indicated above and that such a column commence in June, 2017 of the IEEE Life Members Newsletter and the SSIT Newsletter.

We invite members to submit accounts of their experiences grappling with ethical dilemmas to SSIT newsletter editor, Dr. Heather Love at Heather.Love@usd.edu.

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SSIT’s Five Pillars
We have already appointed a number of students, young professionals and members who responded to the Call for Volunteers last month to relevant subcommittees.

We are still looking for Students, Young Professionals, Members, Senior Members, Fellows and Life Member volunteers from all Regions to serve on the Young Professional and Student Subcommittee and Women in Engineering Subcommittee, as well as the thematic subcommittees focused around SSIT’s 5 Pillars:

  1. Sustainable development & humanitarian technology
  2. Ethics, human values and technology
  3. Universal access to technology
  4. Societal impact of technology
  5. Protecting the planet-sustainable technology

Over the coming months, we will introduce the SSIT subcommittee chairs, who will share with you what we aim to achieve going forward. They need your assistance in operationalizing SSIT activities in your Section and Region.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact SSIT president Paul Cunningham at pcunningham@ieee.org, with the subject: SSIT 5 Pillars – “your pillar of interest.” Please help him point you in the right direction by briefly describing your previous activities and track record in this field, your location (city, Chapter, Section), two subcommittees of interest, and some insight into the contribution you believe you can make. A responsible volunteer will follow up with you.


Symbiotic Autonomous Systems Initiative
This year, the IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC) is launching a new initiative, Symbiotic Autonomous Systems, and SSIT has been invited to be part of this project.

This particular area of technology has been selected as an area of focus due to:

  • its promises in the coming years
  • the potential to leverage the know-how and activities going on in several of our Societies
  • the fact that its connections with other FDC initiatives provides a solid foundation

SSIT is now looking for suitable volunteers to be part of our engagement with this initiative. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity to get involved, please contact Dr. Greg Adamson at g.adamson@ieee.org, by 20 March 2017.

Additional background information is available at the following links:

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Over the next few months, we will introduce you to members of the volunteer leadership team whose hard work makes SSIT a successful organization with wide-ranging impact that extends throughout IEEE’s global, multi-disciplinary community.

Bozenna Pasik-Duncan is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas, USA. She has been a volunteer with SSIT since 2013, when she began her role as Liaison Representative for the IEEE Control Systems Society, and she has served on the Board of Governors since 2016. She has held numerous IEEE positions, in areas ranging from technical, geographical, and educational activities (she currently works on attracting high school students to control education) to conferences and publications. Her areas of interest include the SSIT’s 5 Pillars of humanitarian development, sustainability, technology access, ethics, and the impact of emerging technology. As Chair of the IEEE WIE Committee, one of her goals is to increase the visibility of women in control.


Dr. Priya Mishra, an IEEE Senior Member in the Bangalore, India Section of Region 10, has also been an SSIT volunteer since 2013. He was a founding member of the IEEE SSIT ES joint Bangalore chapter, and has conducted more than 15 events since its inception in 2013 (including the creation of a student chapter). He has served the IEEE on conference committees and with educational activities, and he is invested in SSIT’s Pillars of sustainability and the impact of emerging technology.


Terri Bookman lives in Princeton, NJ, USA, and has been the Managing Editor of SSIT’s IEEE Technology and Society Magazine since 1990. Like Prof. Pasik-Duncan, she is interested in all five of the SSIT Pillars. You can learn more about her professional specialties at http://www.terribookman.com/.

We invite you to submit your details to our volunteer directory by completing the form on our website.

Joint Special Issue-Call for Papers

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine are pleased to announce a Joint Special Issue for March 2018.

Due dates for authors are as follows:
1 May 2017: Submission deadline
1 August 2017: First decision communicated to authors
20 November 2017: Final acceptance decision communicated to authors
10 December 2017: Final manuscripts uploaded by authors

Additional information about each call for papers is available below. For further inquiries, please email Katina Michael at: katina@uow.edu.au.


#1: Robotics and Social Implications in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (M-T&S).


Guest Editors: Ramona Pringle (Ryerson University), Diana Bowman (Arizona State University), Meg Leta Jones (Georgetown University), and Katina Michael (University of Wollongong)

Robots have been used in a variety of applications, everything from healthcare to automation. Robots for repetitive actions exude accuracy and specificity. Robots don’t get tired, although they do require maintenance, they can be on 24×7, although stoppages in process flows can happen frequently due to a variety of external factors. It is a fallacy that robots don’t require human inputs and can literally run on their own without much human intervention. And yet, there is a fear surrounding the application of robots mostly swelled by sensational media reports and the science fiction genre. Anthropomorphic robots have also caused a great deal of concern for consumer advocate groups who take the singularity concept very seriously.

It is the job of technologists to dispel myths about robotics, and to raise awareness and in so doing robot literacy, the reachable limits of artificial intelligence imbued into robots, and the positive benefits that can be gained by future developments in the field. This special will focus on the hopes of robot application in non-traditional areas and the plausible intended and unintended consequences of such a trajectory.

Engineers in sensor development, artificial consciousness, components assemblage, visual and aesthetic artistry are encouraged to engage with colleagues from across disciplines – philosophers, sociologists and anthropologists, humanities scholars, experts in English and creative writing, journalists and communications specialists – to engage in this call. Multidisciplinary teams of researchers are requested to submit papers addressing pressing socio-ethical issues in order to provide inputs on how to build more robust robotics that will address citizen issues. For example:

  • How can self-driving cars make more ethical decisions?
  • How can co-working with robots becoming an acceptable practice to humans?
  • How might there be more fluent interactions between humans and robots?
  • Can drones have privacy-by-design incorporated into their controls?

This issue calls for technical strategic-level and high-level design papers that have a social science feel to them, and are written for a general audience. The issue encourages researchers to ponder the socio-ethical implications stemming from their developments, and how they might be discussed in the general public.

Visit the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine submission portal.


#2: Socio-ethical Approaches to Robotics Development in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine


Guest Editors: Noel Sharkey (University of Sheffield), Aimee van Wynsberghe (University of Twente), John C. Havens (The Global Initiative for Ethical Concerns in the Design of Autonomous Systems), and Katina Michael (University of Wollongong)

Converging approaches adopted by engineers, computer scientists and software developers have brought together niche skillsets in robotics for the purposes of a complete product, prototype or application. Some robotics developments have been met with criticism, especially those of an anthropomorphic nature or in a collaborative task with humans. Due to the emerging role of robotics in our society and economy, there is an increasing need to engage social scientists and more broadly humanities scholars in the field. In this manner we can furthermore ensure that robots are developed and implemented considering the socio-ethical implications that they raise.

This call for papers supposes that more recently, projects have brought on board personnel with a multidisciplinary background to ask those all important questions about “what if” or “what might be” at a time that the initial idea generation is occurring to achieve a human-centered design. The ability to draw these approaches into the “design” process means that areas of concern to the general public are addressed. These might include issues surrounding consumer privacy, citizen security, individual trust, acceptance, control, safety, fear of job loss and more.

In introducing participatory practices into the design process, preliminary results can be reached to inform the developers of the way in which they should consider a particular course of action. This is not to halt the freedom of the designer, but rather to consider the value-laden responsibility that designers have in creating things for the good of humankind, independent of their application.

This call seeks to include novel research results demonstrated on working systems that incorporate in a multidisciplinary approach technological solutions which respond to socio-ethical issues. Ideally this IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine paper is complemented by a paper submitted in parallel to IEEE Technology and Society Magazine that investigates the application from a socio-ethical viewpoint.

Visit The IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine submission portal.


General Call for Papers: IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine
Dr. Katina Michael, senior editor of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, invites contributions to the publication’s Socio-economic Impacts section. For more information, visit the Magazine webpage or contact Katina at katina@uow.edu.au.


Brave Conversations 2017 Web Science Conference
10-11 April 2017, Australian National University, Acton, ACT, Australia

As the Brave Conversations website explains, this event is “a challenging two day conference bringing the global conversation about the changing relationship between humans and technology to Australia” and “a space where participants need to be brave, to say the things that they know need to be said, and be prepared to apply intellectual rigour to challenging ideas that might take us to uncomfortable places.”

For more information, visit the website.


IST-Africa Week 2017
31 May-2 June 2017, Windhoek, Namibia

Hosted by the government of Namibia through the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, and technically co-sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), IEEE Region 8 and IEEE South Africa Section, IST-Africa Week 2017 is the twelfth in an annual series of ministerial-level technology research and innovation conferences focused on sustainable development.

IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together cross-disciplinary stakeholders from the public, private, education and research, societal sectors with end-user communities focused on ICT and STI Research and Innovation and their contribution to sustainable development.

The Advance Program for IST-Africa Week 2017 features 190 presenters from 35 countries. A number of plenary speakers including the Minister of Education have already confirmed their participation.

Early Bird Registration is now open. A limited number of oral presentation slots are available for practitioners to share experiences, please contact us if this is of interest.

Core thematic areas for IST-Africa 2017 include:

  • mHealth, eHealth and health information systems
  • Technology-enhanced learning and eskills
  • mAgriculture/eAgriculture and environmental sustainability
  • eInfrastructures and National Research and Education Networks (NREN)
  • Next generation computing: big data, cloud computing, future internet, Internet of Things
  • eGovernment-services to citizens and business
  • Content technologies: languages; digital preservation
  • Cyber security, privacy and trust
  • Collaborative open innovation and ICT-enabled entrepreneurship (including social entrepreneurship)
  • Sustainable development including ICT4D
  • Societal implications of technology

For more information, please visit the website.

Follow IST-Africa on Twitter to get regular updates.

For further information, please email Secretariat@IST-Africa.org.


IEEE 2017 International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS 2017)
From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions

9-11 August 2017, Sydney, Australia


The SSIT Board of Governors is pleased to announce that ISTAS 2017 will be held in Sydney, Australia. The date and location of ISTAS 2017 have been chosen to coincide with the annual IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (IEEE POCO) event, which will be held in Sydney from 7-9 August, and the IEEE Sections Congress, which will be held in Sydney 11-13 August 2017.

The theme for ISTAS 2017 is “From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions,” and is designed to focus on how we can identify a good technological idea and transition it into a practical solution that delivers real benefits to society. It will bring together scientists, engineers, technologists and scholars from multiple disciplines to hold a dialogue on many technological and societal issues, and collaborate on the co-creation of ideas to develop and utilize innovative solutions to address them.

The main conference will be supported by several workshops and special sessions, including the 17th Workshop on Social Implications of National Security, hosted by Prof. Katina Michael (University of Wollongong), as well as a Doctoral Mentoring Workshop for PhD Students, hosted by the University of New South Wales.

Key Dates:

  • 31 March-Submission deadline for paper abstracts
  • 14 April-Notification of acceptance
  • 26 May 2017-Final manuscript submission deadline

Call for Papers
The ISTAS 2017 program structure provides for six keynote speakers, 72 oral and paper presentations, and 12 panels across three parallel tracks.

Paper proposals are solicited for oral presentations from industry, government and academia (including students) covering relevant research, technologies, methodologies, tools and case studies relevant to the conference theme and tracks. Papers on policy implications are also welcome. Full papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings. Papers accepted in the conference proceedings and presented during the conference will be submitted for inclusion in IEEE Xplore.

ISTAS 2017 Tracks:

  • Smart materials, smart buildings and smart cities
  • Climate, environment and sustainable technologies
  • Communications, security and privacy
  • Artificial intelligence and autonomous systems
  • eHealth, age care and assisted living
  • Internet of things and consumer electronics
  • Digital senses, virtual reality and augmentation
  • Web science and big data
  • Green ICT
  • Defense technologies for public good
  • Humanitarian and emergency management
  • Ethics, law and policy

For details including information for authors, please visit the conference website. General inquiries should be addressed to the ISTAS 2017 General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.


IEEE Global Humanitarian Conference (GHTC)
19-22 October 2017 in San Jose, CA, USA

GHTC focuses on innovation, deployment and adaptation of technology for humanitarian goals and sustainable development. The conference invites presenters to showcase innovation and progress in technology and methodology addressing the socio-cultural and socio-economic needs of vulnerable and resource-constrained end-user communities in developing and developed countries, as well as confronting the challenges of both natural and man-made disasters. SSIT is a financial co-sponsor of GHTC.

Key focus areas that are particularly relevant include (but are not limited to):

  • Poverty alleviation
  • Healthcare
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Quality education
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Connectivity and communication
  • Humanitarian challenges and opportunities
  • Disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery
  • Other United Nations sustainable development goals

The Call for Papers is now available online. Please note the following deadlines:

  • 7 April-Submission of paper and session abstracts
  • 2 June-Submission of final draft paper
  • 21 July-Submission of accepted final papers

For more information, visit our website.


2017 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability – Engineering and the Environment (SusTech 2017)

The 5th IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability – Engineering and the Environment (SusTech 2017) will be held 12-14 November 2017 in Phoenix, AZ, USA.

SusTech 2017 is sponsored by the IEEE Oregon Section, IEEE Region 6, IEEE Phoenix Section and IEEE-USA. SSIT is a technical co-sponsor long term supporter of the SusTech conference series and host of the Social Implications/Quality of Life Track.

For further details, please visit the conference website. Sign up for the conference newsletter and watch for the Call for Papers to be issued soon.


IEEE ETHICS 2017
The 3rd IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology (ETHICS 2017) will be held 12-14 November 2017 in Ann Arbor, MI, USA with the theme Ethical Innovations in AI/AS.

Financial co-sponsors include SSIT, IEEE-USA, IEEE Standards Association and the Southeastern Michigan Section. Technical co-sponsors include the TA/TechEthics Initiative.

For further information, please contact the General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.

IEEE Foundation Grants US$18,000 for developing Smart Agriculture Platform in India

The SSIT congratulates Dr. Ramalatha Marimuthu, one of ICT 2017 Board of Governors, who has received an US$18,263 grant to develop an Information Communication Platform for introducing Smart Agriculture in the Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu, India.

Coimbatore is earmarked as one of the places to be developed into a smart city in India, so this project marks an auspicious start to the broader aim of enhancing the facilities in ways that are necessary to achieving this goal. Though information systems on agriculture are available in India, the technology lacks popularity among the farmers. Therefore, the Indian Government (as part of its larger project of valorizing and modernizing agriculture) seeks to create awareness among farmers at the grass root level. IEEE is taking the first step to create this awareness by connecting the ICT with farmers.

This is a social immersion project which will encompass three disciplines: data mining, IoT and agriculture. Utilising technology to provide solutions and methods to equate the supply and demand and guide production decisions is the key objective. The project addresses smart village development using geomapping based land identification, smart farming technology or smart agriculture. It includes ICT solutions for determining the fertility of the soil, predicting yields, identifying best farming practices to increase yield with less resources and so on. The project will raise awareness among the educated farmers about the technology of smart farming and marketing using informed decision making process.

A small area called Keeranatham village in Coimbatore North Taluk is the first to be identified for this project. By conducting a survey to assess the details of the village, farm lands will be identified along with the status of the farming (whether live or not). This information will be compared with the data available in the Agricultural University while augmenting the data with other details like ground water level and rain fall during the decade and the yield per year, if available.

The outcome of the project is to create an easy-to-access tool for farmers who want to engage in an informed decision making process. In simple words, if a farmer in one of the villages in Coimbatore district would like to know what crop will be suitable for his land, or any other advice regarding the yield or marketing, it will be available on his mobile without his need to run around.

Collaborating with the agricultural universities and Government, a website will be created which will provide information on the workshops, contacts, themes of the workshops and information to the researchers on the ongoing activities of the group. Awareness Workshops will be conducted for the farmers to educate them on the ICT solutions and enhance the network.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year and the website and the mobile app will serve as a model for other regions. The dire situation regarding the farmers in Tamil Nadu has been reported in media often enough. This has led the team to create a portal to help the small scale farmers in one district which can be scaled to the other districts.


Predictive Fiction

A recent anthology of “climate fiction,” Loosed Upon the World, projects climate change forward some years into dystopian scenarios. The editor, John Joseph Adams, asserts “Fiction is a powerful tool, perhaps [we can] humanize and illuminate the issue in ways that aren’t as easy to with only science and cold equations.” I have been an advocate of near-term science fiction, which I refer to as predictive fiction, as a tool to explore the “what if” scenarios that may result from technology, hopefully allowing us to avoid the negative impacts. Unfortunately this particular anthology is dealing with a current trajectory that is more an exploration of “when, what then?” But some of the basic issues that we technologists face enter the spotlight, albeit one we may not like. In the forward, Paolo Bacigalupi has a painful message for us techies (many of whom fall into his category of “Techno-optimists”): “Engineers don’t grow up thinking about building a healthy soil eco-system, or trying to restore some estuary to turn people into better long-term planners, or better educated and informed citizens, or creating better civic societies.” I don’t fully agree with Paolo-it is more accurate to state that “engineers don’t get paid to” and perhaps “the project requirements do not address” And occasionally, we have technologists that resist the corporate momentum and try to get their employer to “do the right thing.” SSIT seeks to honor such courage with the “Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest” (nominations always welcomed).

But back to the future, I mean the fiction. Paolo also observes “imaginative literature is mythic. The kinds of stories we build, the way we encourage people to live into those myths and dream the future – those stories have power. Once we build this myth that the rocket-ship and the techno-fix is the solve for all our plights and problems, that’s when we get ourselves in danger. It’s the one fantasy that almost certainly guarantees our eventual self-destruction.”

I suspect we need a good dose of reality, perhaps in the guise of predictive fiction.
-Jim Isaak

Stay Up-to-Date with IEEE SSIT Happenings

Visit the SSIT Blog for news items and the latest Society updates.


Newsletter Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit a news item, SSIT-related update, volunteer opportunity, Call For Papers, award notice, or idea for a “Feature Article” for a future issue of the SSIT newsletter, please contact the editor Dr. Heather Love at Heather.Love@usd.edu. Submissions for the April 2017 newsletter are due 24 March 2017.


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IEEE SSIT Newsletter – February 2017

SIT Newsletter header
month
In this issue: Call for volunteers to support and promote SSIT’s Five Pillars, SSIT volunteer introductions, joint special issue Call for Papers from IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, upcoming conferences, ethics and Green ICT updates

announcements header

Paul Cunningham

Message from the President

SSIT’s 45th Anniversary
During 2017, SSIT celebrates its 45th Anniversary as one of the fastest growing IEEE Societies. I welcome your ideas and suggestions for how to celebrate this milestone at Chapter level around the world, as well as through IEEE ISTAS 2017 and Sections Congress in Sydney in August.

SSIT’s Five Pillars – Call for Volunteers
SSIT activities going forward (including our Distinguished Lecturers Program) will now be focused around SSIT’s Five Pillars:

  • Sustainable development and humanitarian technology
  • Ethics, human values and technology
  • Technology benefits for all
  • Future societal impact of technology advances
  • Protecting the planet – sustainable technology

We are currently seeking volunteers to join sub-committees that will be responsible for operationalizing SSIT activities for each of these pillars. Please contact Paul Cunningham at pcunningham@ieee.org with the subject: SSIT Five Pillars – “your pillar of interest” with a little background about your previous activities and track record in this field, your location, and the contribution you believe you can make. A responsible volunteer for your pillar of particular interest will follow up with you.

Please encourage respected peers, including students and young professionals, to also join SSIT and to consider volunteering. If there is no SSIT Chapter or SSIT Student Chapter near you, let us know if you would like support to establish a new Chapter!

2017 SSIT Student membership is only US$4
Please remind peers, friends and family members who can take advantage of this fabulous opportunity to join a vibrant, growing, global community that is truly demonstrating leadership in supporting operationalization of the IEEE tagline, “Advancing Technology for Humanity.”

Paul M Cunningham, 2017-2018 IEEE SSIT President, is President and CEO with IIMC (Ireland), Founder and Coordinator of IST-Africa and Visiting Senior Fellow, Wrexham Glyndwr University.

volunteers header

Over the next few months, we look forward to introducing you to members of the volunteer leadership team whose hard work makes SSIT a successful organization with wide-ranging impact that extends throughout the IEEE’s global, multi-disciplinary community.

Laura Edelson hails from Brooklyn, NY, USA, and has been an active SSIT volunteer since 2011. She began as liaison for Women in Engineering, and went on to serve as SSIT President from 2013-2014. More recently, Edelson was a member of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, and she has chaired the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee since 2016.


SSIT’s current Blog Master Jim Isaak is a resident of Bedford, NH, USA. He is a past IEEE Director, has been active in SSIT since 2003, and has served in numerous roles on a variety of IEEE Societies. His work overlaps with the SSIT’s Pillars focused on sustainability, ethics, and impact of emerging technology, and he is also interested in privacy, predictive (science) fiction, and policy.


Kimball Williams is based in Dearborn, MI, USA, and has been volunteering with SSIT since 2001. In addition to his work with the IEEE (where, like Jim, he has served as a Director), Kimball lectures on engineering ethics each year to local university graduating classes. When it comes to SSIT’s Five pillars, he is particularly invested in both ethics and the impact of emerging technology.

We invite you to submit your details to our volunteer directory.


Joint Special Issue-Call for Papers

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine and IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine are pleased to announce a Joint Special Issue for March 2018.

Due dates for authors are as follows:
1 May 2017: Submission deadline
1 August 2017: First decision communicated to authors
20 November 2017: Final acceptance decision communicated to authors
10 December 2017: Final manuscripts uploaded by authors

Additional information about each call for papers is available below. For further inquiries, please email Katina Michael at: katina@uow.edu.au.


#1: Robotics and Social Implications in IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (M-T&S).


Guest Editors: Ramona Pringle (Ryerson University), Diana Bowman (Arizona State University), Meg Leta Jones (Georgetown University), and Katina Michael (University of Wollongong)

Robots have been used in a variety of applications, everything from healthcare to automation. Robots for repetitive actions exude accuracy and specificity. Robots don’t get tired, although they do require maintenance, they can be on 24×7, although stoppages in process flows can happen frequently due to a variety of external factors. It is a fallacy that robots don’t require human inputs and can literally run on their own without much human intervention. And yet, there is a fear surrounding the application of robots mostly swelled by sensational media reports and the science fiction genre. Anthropomorphic robots have also caused a great deal of concern for consumer advocate groups who take the singularity concept very seriously.

It is the job of technologists to dispel myths about robotics, and to raise awareness and in so doing robot literacy, the reachable limits of artificial intelligence imbued into robots, and the positive benefits that can be gained by future developments in the field. This special will focus on the hopes of robot application in non-traditional areas and the plausible intended and unintended consequences of such a trajectory.

Engineers in sensor development, artificial consciousness, components assemblage, visual and aesthetic artistry are encouraged to engage with colleagues from across disciplines- philosophers, sociologists and anthropologists, humanities scholars, experts in English and creative writing, journalists and communications specialists- to engage in this call. Multidisciplinary teams of researchers are requested to submit papers addressing pressing socio-ethical issues in order to provide inputs on how to build more robust robotics that will address citizen issues. For example:

  • How can self-driving cars make more ethical decisions?
  • How can co-working with robots becoming an acceptable practice to humans?
  • How might there be more fluent interactions between humans and robots?
  • Can drones have privacy-by-design incorporated into their controls?

This issue calls for technical strategic-level and high-level design papers that have a social science feel to them, and are written for a general audience. The issue encourages researchers to ponder on the socio-ethical implications stemming from their developments, and how they might be discussed in the general public.

Visit the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine submission portal.


#2: Socio-ethical Approaches to Robotics Development in IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine


Guest Editors: Noel Sharkey (University of Sheffield), Aimee van Wynsberghe (University of Twente), John C. Havens (The Global Initiative for Ethical Concerns in the Design of Autonomous Systems), and Katina Michael (University of Wollongong).

Converging approaches adopted by engineers, computer scientists and software developers have brought together niche skillsets in robotics for the purposes of a complete product, prototype or application. Some robotics developments have been met with criticism, especially those of an anthropomorphic nature or in a collaborative task with humans. Due to the emerging role of robotics in our society and economy, there is an increasing need to engage social scientists and more broadly humanities scholars in the field. In this manner we can furthermore ensure that robots are developed and implemented considering the socio-ethical implications that they raise.

This call for papers, supposes that more recently, projects have brought on board personnel with a multidisciplinary background to ask those all important questions about “what if” or “what might be” at a time that the initial idea generation is occurring to achieve a human-centered design. The ability to draw these approaches into the “design” process, means that areas of concern to the general public are addresses. These might include issues surrounding consumer privacy, citizen security, individual trust, acceptance, control, safety, fear of job loss and more.

In introducing participatory practices into the design process, preliminary results can be reached to inform the developers of the way in which they should consider a particular course of action. This is not to halt the freedom of the designer, but rather to consider the value-laden responsibility that designers have in creating things for the good of humankind, independent of their application.

This call seeks to include novel research results demonstrated on working systems that incorporate in a multidisciplinary approach technological solutions which respond to socio-ethical issues. Ideally this RAM paper is complemented by a paper submitted in parallel to T&SM that investigates the application from a socio-ethical viewpoint.

Visit The IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine submission portal.

The following upcoming conferences will be of interest to SSIT members:

IST-Africa Week 2017
8-11 May 2017, Windhoek, Namibia

Hosted by the government of Namibia through the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, and technically co-sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), IEEE Region 8 and IEEE South Africa Section, IST-Africa Week 2017 is the twelfth in an annual series of ministerial-level technology research and innovation conferences.

Core thematic areas for IST-Africa 2017 include:

  • mHealth, eHealth and health information systems
  • Technology-enhanced learning and eskills
  • mAgriculture/eAgriculture and environmental sustainability
  • eInfrastructures and National Research and Education Networks (NREN)
  • Next generation computing: big data, cloud computing, future internet, Internet of Things
  • eGovernment-services to citizens and business
  • Content technologies: languages; digital preservation
  • Cyber security, privacy and trust
  • Collaborative open innovation and ICT-enabled entrepreneurship (including social entrepreneurship)
  • Sustainable development including ICT4D
  • Societal implications of technology

For more information, please visit our website.

Follow IST-Africa on Twitter to get regular updates.

For further information, please email Secretariat@IST-Africa.org.


IEEE 2017 International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS 2017)
From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions

9-11 August 2017, Sydney, Australia


The SSIT Board of Governors is pleased to announce that ISTAS 2017 will be held in Sydney, Australia. The date and location of ISTAS 2017 have been chosen to coincide with the annual IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (IEEE POCO) event, which will be held in Sydney from 7-9 August, and the biennial IEEE Sections Congress, which will also be held in Sydney 11-13 August 2017.

The theme for ISTAS 2017 is “From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions,” and is designed to focus on how we can identify a good technological idea and transition it into a practical solution that delivers real benefits to society. It will bring together scientists, engineers, technologists and scholars from multiple disciplines to hold a dialogue on many technological and societal issues, and collaborate on the co-creation of ideas to develop and utilize innovative solutions to address them.

The main conference will be supported by several workshops and special sessions, including the 17th Workshop on Social Implications of National Security, hosted by Prof. Katina Michael (University of Wollongong), as well as a Doctoral Mentoring Workshop for PhD Students, hosted by the University of New South Wales.

Key Dates:

  • 28 February 2017-Submission deadline for paper abstracts
  • 13 March 2017-Notification of acceptance
  • 15 May 2017-Final manuscript submission deadline

Call for Papers
The ISTAS 2017 program structure provides for six keynote speakers, 72 oral and paper presentations, and 12 panels across three parallel tracks.

Paper proposals are solicited for oral presentations from industry, government and academia (including students) covering relevant research, technologies, methodologies, tools and case studies relevant to the conference theme and tracks. Papers on policy implications are also welcome. Full papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings. Papers accepted in the conference proceedings and presented during the conference will be submitted for inclusion in IEEE Xplore.

ISTAS 2017 Tracks:

  • Smart materials, smart buildings and smart cities
  • Climate, environment and sustainable technologies
  • Communications, security and privacy
  • Artificial intelligence and autonomous systems
  • e-Health, age care and assisted living
  • Internet of things and consumer electronics
  • Digital senses, virtual reality and augmentation
  • Web science and big data
  • Green ICT
  • Defense technologies for public good
  • Humanitarian and emergency management
  • Ethics, law and policy

For details including information for authors, please visit the conference website. General inquiries should be addressed to the ISTAS 2017 General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.


2017 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability – Engineering and the Environment (SusTech 2017)

The 5th IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability – Engineering and the Environment (SusTech 2017) will be held 12-14 November 2017 in Phoenix, AZ, USA

SusTech 2017 is sponsored by the IEEE Oregon Section, IEEE Region 6, IEEE Phoenix Section and IEEE-USA. SSIT is a technical co-sponsor long term supporter of the SusTech conference series and host of the Social Implications/Quality of Life Track.

For further details, please visit the conference website. Sign up for the conference newsletter and watch for the Call for Papers to be issued soon.


IEEE ETHICS 2017
The 3rd IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology (ETHICS 2017) will be held 12-14 November 2017 in Ann Arbor, MI, USA with the theme Ethical Innovations in AI/AS.

Financial co-sponsors include SSIT, IEEE-USA, IEEE Standards Association and the Southeastern Michigan Section. Technical co-sponsors include the TA/TechEthics Initiative.

For further information, please contact the General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.

Ethics Update from Dr. Greg Adamson

IEEE Board of Directors sets ethics as a priority in 2017
IEEE has had a Code of Ethics for more than 100 years. Throughout its 45 year history, SSIT has devoted significant effort to giving that code real meaning for practicing technologists. On occasion that was a challenge. In recent years, however, we have seen a significant growth in the public’s understanding of the need for ethical approaches, both our professional activities and in the way we create and build new technologies.

Today ethics is receiving more attention by technologists than ever before. Reasons include:

  • The financial impact of deliberate unethical activity, particularly Volkswagen’s (VW) US$15bn fine and reparations after evidence of falsification in code, and a recent FBI arrest of a VW executive.
  • The impact of accidental unethical activity, particularly the US$44bn fines and repa rations for BP following Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • A rise of ethical considerations in autonomous design, including cars and weapons.
  • The White House October 2016 report on AI, with a focus on ethics.
  • A call on IEEE and other professional organizations (ACM, AAAI) from a White House sponsored workshop to review or create Codes of Ethics reflecting the advent of AI.

Today there are more than two dozen initiatives, activities or events run by IEEE that include a significant ethics component. These include the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems. The IEEE Standards Association has established the P7000 standard series on the inclusion of ethical considerations in design. The Technical Activities Board (which includes SSIT) has established an Ad Hoc Committee on Design for Ethics to meet the need to incorporate ethical considerations in technology design, something relevant across the Technical Societies and Councils. SSIT supports several ethics initiatives including the IEEE Ethics conference.

To coordinate this range of activities the IEEE Board of Directors has created the IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on IEEE Ethics Programs. This will focus on creating a roadmap for linking all the various activities as a part of making IEEE a global focus for ethics in technology.

If you are interested in getting involved in any of these activities, contact Greg Adamson at g.adamson@ieee.org.


Green ICT Community Update

Green ICT Brings Benefits to Society Information and communications technology (ICT) is a crucial driver of sustainable development, with the potential to reconcile socioeconomic benefits with positive environmental impacts throughout various ICT application sectors, while also improving the energy efficiency, carbon footprint and technology life cycle of ICT itself.

The “Greening through ICT” (GtICT) Summit is being launched in Paris, France 25 May 2017, in parallel with the IEEE International Conference on Communications ICC’17: Bridging People, Communities, and Cultures, 21-25 May 2017. The Summit’s objective will be to identify key technological, commercial and public policy challenges that must be overcome to achieve sustainability in our increasingly connected world.

As such, the event will stimulate a multidisciplinary discussion and bring together the research community, ICT practitioners, equipment, technology and vertical application providers, the ICT standardization community, as well as public policy influencers and decision makers. Interactive sessions are planned to foster exchanges between these stakeholder communities.

The mission of the IEEE Green ICT initiative is to develop a holistic approach to sustainability by incorporating green metrics in various IEEE technical domains. In addition to this new event, the initiative has resulted in the creation of new publications, training activities and standards working groups on the Green ICT theme.

Stay Up-to-Date with IEEE SSIT Happenings

Visit the SSIT Blog for news items and the latest Society updates.


Newsletter Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit a news item, SSIT-related update, volunteer opportunity, Call For Papers, award notice, or idea for a “Feature Article” for a future issue of the SSIT newsletter, please contact the editor Dr. Heather Love at Heather.Love@usd.edu.

Submissions for the March 2017 newsletter are due 24 February 2017.

IEEE SSIT Newsletter – January 2017

SIT Newsletter header
month
In this issue: SSIT Board of Governors election results, awards and publications notices, and conference reminders.announcements header

Happy New Year!

2016 was an exciting year for IEEE SSIT, with especially impressive membership growth stats. In fact, the November IEEE Membership Report confirmed that SSIT maintains its status as the IEEE Society with the fastest membership growth rate. Its 5.3% growth is more than seven times higher than the overall IEEE (which comes in at 0.7%).

The Board of Governors looks forward to continuing recruitment efforts in 2017!


SSIT Board of Governors Election Results

The results are in, so please join us in welcoming the following three newly elected members to the SSIT Board of Governors:

Michael Cardinale Ramalatha Marimuthu Howard Wolfman

The Board of Governors would like to warmly acknowledge the contributions of John Impagliazzo, Ken Foster and Brad Kjell, whose terms as BoG members ended in 2016. In addition, the BoG would like to extend a special thanks to Laura Edelson and Greg Adamson for their dedication and contribution to SSIT. Laura has now completed her term as Past President, the role Greg will take over this year.

Several key SSIT leadership roles are changing hands in 2017, so stay tuned for additional updates about and introductions to the new roster in upcoming newsletters.

New issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

The December 2016 issue of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine is now available! Be sure to check out the special section on the “Unintended Consequences of Technology.” This is the second of two “installments” focused on “The Paradox of Technological Potential.” Part one of this subject is in the September/October 2016 issue of IEEE Potentials.


Prof. Pradeep Kumar Ray has been recognized as a Shanghai 1000 Talent Plan “Distinguished Professor.” He is one of four long-term international professors at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) to receive this award.

Congratulations!

The following upcoming conferences will be of interest to SSIT members:

IST-Africa Week 2017
8-11 May 2017, Windhoek, Namibia

Hosted by the government of Namibia through the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology, supported by the European Commission and African Union Commission, and technically co-sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), IEEE Region 8 and IEEE South Africa Section, IST-Africa Week 2017 is the twelfth in an annual series of ministerial level technology research and innovation conferences.

Core thematic areas for IST-Africa 2017 include:

  • mHealth, eHealth and health information systems
  • Technology-enhanced learning and eskills
  • mAgriculture/eAgriculture and environmental sustainability
  • eInfrastructures and National Research and Education Networks (NREN)
  • Next generation computing: big data, cloud computing, future internet, Internet of Things
  • eGovernment-services to citizens and business
  • Content technologies: languages; digital preservation
  • Cyber security, privacy and trust
  • Collaborative open innovation and ICT-enabled entrepreneurship (including social entrepreneurship)
  • Sustainable development including ICT4D
  • Societal implications of technology

For more information, please visit our website.

Follow IST-Africa on Twitter to get regular updates.

For further information, please email Secretariat@IST-Africa.org.


IEEE 2017 International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS 2017)
From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions

9-11 August, 2017, Sydney, Australia


The SSIT Board of Governors is pleased to announce that ISTAS 2017 will be held in Sydney, Australia. The date and location of ISTAS 2017 has been chosen to coincide with the annual IEEE Panel of Conference Organizers (IEEE POCO) event, which will be held in Sydney from 7-9 August, and the biennial IEEE Sections Congress, which will also be held in Sydney 11-13 August, 2017.

The theme for ISTAS 2017 is “From Good Ideas to Practical Solutions”, and is designed to focus on how we can identify a good technological idea and transition it into a practical solution that delivers real benefits to society. It will bring together scientists, engineers, technologists and scholars from multiple disciplines to hold a dialogue on many technological and societal issues, and collaborate on the co-creation of ideas to develop and utilize innovative solutions to address them.

Call for Papers
The ISTAS 2017 program structure provides for six keynote speakers, 72 oral and paper presentations, and 12 panels across three parallel tracks.

Paper proposals are solicited for oral presentations from industry, government and academia (including students) covering relevant research, technologies, methodologies, tools and case studies relevant to the conference theme and tracks. Papers on policy implications are also welcome. Full papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings. Papers accepted in the conference proceedings and presented during the conference will be submitted for inclusion in IEEE Xplore.

ISTAS 2017 Tracks:

  • Smart materials, smart buildings and smart cities
  • Climate, environment and sustainable technologies
  • Communications, security and privacy
  • Artificial intelligence and autonomous systems
  • e-Health, age care and assisted living
  • Internet of things and consumer electronics
  • Digital senses, virtual reality and augmentation
  • Web science and big data
  • Green ICT
  • Defense technologies for public good
  • Humanitarian and emergency management
  • Ethics, law and policy

Key Dates:

28 February 2017 – Submission deadline for paper abstracts
13 March 2017 – Notification of acceptance
15 May 2017 – Final manuscript submission deadline

For details including information for authors, please visit the conference website. General inquiries should be addressed to the ISTAS 2017 General Chair, Philip Hall at philip.hall@ieee.org.

SSIT complements the thematic focus of all other IEEE Societies and Technical Councils and is making a clear contribution in a variety of educational and policy contexts aligned with SSIT priority areas. SSIT would like to recruit volunteers to help scale and lead activities in the following areas:

  • Global development and humanitarian technology
  • Ethics, human values and technology
  • Technology benefits for all
  • Future societal impact of technology advances
  • Protecting the planet – sustainable technology

SSIT has also been invited to contribute to the work of two TAB Adhoc Committees during 2017:

    • 2017 IEEE TAB Ad-hoc Committee on Dig Once
      This Adhoc will focus on how IEEE can participate in and augment this policy initiative to couple the addition of broadband infrastructure with existing infrastructure improvements. This may include aspects such as technology (best practices), education (informing governments and utilities) and more. Previous relevant experience and/or civil engineering background are desirable.
  • 2017 IEEE TAB Adhoc Committee on North and South Poles
    The main focus of this adhoc Committee is to seek in which ways IEEE can efficiently contribute to the different ongoing and planned initiatives to study and address the changes that the North and South poles are experiencing from the environmental, communications, transportation, educational and outreach points of view.

If you believe you or a respected colleague can make a substantial contribution in any of these areas, please contact Paul Cunningham, 2017 SSIT President, at pcunningham@ieee.org by 31 January 2017, describing the contribution the nominee can make and provide a short supporting CV highlighting previous relevant experience.

Stay Up-to-Date with IEEE SSIT Happenings

Visit the SSIT Blog for news items and the latest Society updates.


Newsletter Submission Guidelines

If you would like to submit a news item, SSIT-related update, volunteer opportunity, Call For Papers, award notice, or idea for a “Feature Article” for a future issue of the SSIT newsletter, please contact the editor Dr. Heather Love at Heather.Love@usd.edu.

Submissions for the February 2017 newsletter are due 26 January 2017.

ISTAS ’15 Dublin – Irish President Michael Higgins Delivers Opening Address

President_Higgins_151111_02491

SSIT was honored with an opening address from Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, at the 2015 IEEE-SSIT International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS ‘15) on November 11 in Dublin, Ireland. It is the first time a head of state has addressed an ISTAS event. Full coverage of the conference will appear in the January 2016 SSIT e-newsletter and on line at ieeessit.org. The President’s remarks will be published in the March 2016 issue of T&S Magazine. A Special Issue on ISTAS ‘15 will appear in the September 2016 issue of T&S, and will be guest edited by ISTAS ‘15 conference chair, Paul Cunningham.

 

Volume 12. Issue 1.Winter 2014

Editor: Deepak Mathur
Message from the President IEEE SSIT

This past year, 2013, was a busy year for me, and for SSIT. Some of this activity was highly visible. Our SSIT Facebook group hosted a contest to help design a new Society logo. We held one of the biggest ISTAS conferences ever in Toronto, and we approved three new SSIT chapters.

A great deal of activity wasn’t visible – it was preparation for activities to come in 2014 and beyond. This year, in addition to ISTAS being held as the IEEE Ethics 2014 conference, SSIT is co-sponsoring four other conferences all around the world. These, and other activities to come, are only possible because of the hard work behind the scenes by many SSIT volunteers. This year I have constantly been amazed at what our volunteers can do – people with other full time commitments who make time for SSIT because they believe, as I do, in our mission.

So the question now is, with the wind at our backs, where do we go from here? That’s a question we can only answer together. I’m looking forward to another great year of planning conferences, special events, and of course, Technology and Society Magazine. Do you have a great idea too? Contact us! You can find us at ieeessit.org, or by searching for IEEE SSIT on Facebook.

Laura Jacob

2013 Board of Governors Meeting

Board of Governors meeting was held at room no. 107 Stamford, CT at the University of Connecticut Stamford branch campus Saturday 20 July, 2013 10:00am – 3:00pm. The meeting was presided over by President Laura Jacob. The complete minutes of the meeting will be soon available at http://chortle.ccsu.edu/BOG/BOGindex.html , please visit this URL to find minutes of earlier BoG meetings also.

The SSIT Board of Governors (BoG) also met on 26 October, 2013, at 508 Skirkanich Hall, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. The minutes of these meeting will be publically available after final approval at the next SSIT BoG meeting.

Conferences

ICDP 2013

5th International Conference on Imaging for Crime Prevention and Detection was held at Kingston University’s Penrhyn Road Campus, London, UK on 16-17 December 2013.

The Conference aimed to create an important networking forum in which participants can discuss the present and future of image-based technologies for crime detection and prevention.

For details, please visit: http:dipersec.king.ac.uk/icdp2013

Internet of Things (IOT)

The IEEE World Forum on Internet of Things 2014 will be held at the Seoul Olympic Parktel Hotel in Seoul, Korea on 6-8 March 2014.

This flagship conference will feature a comprehensive technical program including numerous sessions, tutorials, and an industrial exhibition. The program will feature prominent keynote speakers and vendor exhibits.

The theme of WF-IoT is to investigate how progress in technologies and applications of IoT can be nurtured and cultivated for the benefit of society.

Important dates:

15 January 2014: Papers – Camera-ready Submissions Due
22 January 2014: Author Registration Deadline
31 January 2014: Final Tutorial Material Due
6 February 2014: Participant Panel Call for Presentations Deadline
7 February 2014: Early Registration Due

For details, please visit: http://sites.ieee.org/wf-iot/

SIPC ’14

The Third IEEE International Workshop on the Social Implications of Pervasive Computing for Sustainable Living (SIPC ’14) being organized in conjunction with the Twelfth IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications – PerCom 2014 (http//www.percom.org/).

The conference will be held at Budapest, Hungary on 24-28 March 2014.

The workshop aims to discuss the social implications of pervasive technology used to support or facilitate a number of multi-disciplinary areas for sustainable living.

Potential workshop attendees are invited to submit papers of up to 6 pages that address at least one relevant social implication of pervasive computing and discuss how researchers can influence the direction of development. The papers will be peer-reviewed by at least two members of the program committee, and chosen according to their relevance to the scope of the workshop, the quality and originality of the submission, and their ability to stimulate and balance discussions.

The organizers will try to consider as many submissions as possible to help assemble a large community of researchers interested in the social challenges of pervasive computing. Papers will be included and indexed in the IEEE digital libraries (Xplore), showing their affiliation with IEEE PerCom.

For details, please visit:http://www.sipc2014.blogspot.com

ISTAS’14/ETHICS2014

2014 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) and 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology, Ethics’2014 will be held on May 23-24, 2014 at Chicago Marriott O’Hare, Chicago, IL, USA. The theme is ‘Ethics – A Challenge to the Scientific and Engineering Community’.

ISTAS `14 and the IEEE Ethics 2014 Symposium aim to respond to the needs and aspirations of a rising global professional community and to promote highest standards of ethical conduct among its members.

For details, please visit thesite at:
http://sites.ieee.org/ethics-conference

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century creating a real buzz
With just under six months to go until the inaugural IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century, 24-26 June 2014, we are starting to get some pretty special responses:

A short video about the conference received 130 view in its first three days on YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFFg1ihv-Oo

IEEE Fellow Prof Iven Mareels, Dean of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, has provided an excellent video on the importance of Wiener’s work today, especially to neural engineering, which should be posted by the time this newsletter is released. 18 people have already put their names down to attend from Melbourne, Australia.

Our five keynotes are reminiscent of the breadth of the Macy Conferences that were so important to developing Wiener’s ideas: a sociologist, a cryptographer, a cultural anthropologist, an aeronautical engineer, and a specialist in fuzzy logic, all renowned in their fields. Details athttp://21stcenturywiener.org/

The web site has now gathered a huge amount of information, and is a “must see”.

One early paper proposal looks at cybernetics and Ezra Pound, and promises to describe the link between Wiener and poetry, hinted by his friendship with TS Eliot

Dozens of volunteers are working on making this a very special conference.

Norbert Wiener epitomizes the themes of SSIT, which is one reason that we are sponsoring the conference, along with the Boston Section, Control System Society, and Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, plus eight other technical sponsors.

Greg Adamson, SSIT Vice-President

SSIT Report – Australia Wide

•           ISTAS 2012 IEEE International Conference onTechnology and Society in Asia 2012:http://www.technologyandsocietyinasia.org/– While this conference occurred in 2012, there was still further work to be completed post conference. SSIT held conference wrap up discussion in early 2012 and made notes of any lessons learnt. In addition, members from SSIT organised a special issue in the Technology and Society Magazine based on publications from the conference (Issue 3 Fall 2013) http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/mostRecentIssue.jsp?punumber=44.
•           ISTAS 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society:http://veillance.me/focused on themes of smart and wearable technologies, was held June 27-29, 2013, in Toronto, Canada. Held at the University of Toronto campus, this year’s ISTAS was one of the best-attended SSIT conferences ever. Organizers were Steve Mann, General Chair, and Katina Michael (from SSIT Australia), Program Chair.
•           Norbert Weiner in the 21st Century 2014: http://21stcenturywiener.org/ – Norbert Wiener made contributions across several disciplines during his lifetime. Many of these were immediately relevant, and influenced theories and production during his day. Others were long-term, and only in recent years has it been possible to test their relevance. For example, Wiener’s most cited work published 75 years ago in October is on Polynomial Chaos Expansion. This has gained popularity in the past decade, due to the growing capacity of modern computers to implement his approach.2013 was consumed by many of the Australia SSIT committee, several of whom are playing leading roles in conference planning. The conference continues to gain momentum with a fantastic conference sitehttp://21stcenturywiener.org/, and regular social networking updates https://www.facebook.com/21stCenturyWiener
SAF05 Workshop
•           SSIT Australia was invited to hold a workshop providing input into an Australian Government policy report, Securing Australia’s Future, section 5: “New Technologies and their role in our security, culture, democratic, social and economic systems”.SSIT participated via a roundtable on the 3rd of August, chaired by Dr Greg Adamson for SSIT and NITCA head Prof Rob Evans for the project. Attendees were Assoc. Prof Katina Michael, Technology & Society editor; Dr Lyria Bennett Moses, UNSW (Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre); Dr Martin Gibbs, UMelb CIS; Dr Michael Arnold, UMelb History and Philosophy of Science; Adj Prof Phillip Hall, UWA (technology and climate variability); Adj Prof Marcus Wigan, UMelb (transport policy); Mary Hawkins, former ANZ Head of Technology Sustainability; Rick Noble, NGO IT services specialist; Sophie McKenzie, Deakin (games usage); Paul Siemers, Melbourne Water (technology infrastructure); Dr Greg Adamson, Vice-President IEEE SSIT; ReihanaMohideen, University of Melbourne; Jana Paripovich, media specialist; Dr Jan Newmarch, software specialist; John Lewis, KPMG; Prof Rob Evans, UMelb, SAF05 Expert Working Group Chair; Dr ChelleNicRaghnaill, SAF05 Principle Researcher; Dana Sanchez, SAF05 Project Manager;            Rebecca Skinner, ACOLA Project Manager. Details about the SAF report can be found at http://technologyforaustralia.org/
Technical Meetings
Victoria
•           Joint talk between IEEE CS and SSIT – Dr AndreOboler and Dr Lito P Cruz presented at Deakin on “The Problem with Big Data”. Friday the 5th of April at 1pm. Event pipelined between the two Deakin campuses.
•           SSIT Technical session in Melbourne on Thursday 1st of Aug 2013.Phil Hall presented on “Water Quality Management: The Case for Real Time Monitoring & Reporting”. Held at University of Melbourne.
•           SSIT Technical Workshop in Melbourne on Thursday the 5th of December on “3D Printing: Social and Cultural Trajectories”. This event organised by Angela Daly is sponsored by Swinburne University with the support of IEEE SSIT and occurred from 8:30am – 5:00pm at Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus.
NSW
•           SSIT Technical session in Sydney on Monday the 2nd of September, presented by Greg Adamson. The topic was: ‘Reintroducing Norbert Wiener, inventor of cybernetics’. Great attendance with many names added to the SSIT mailing list, and thanks to KPMG for providing the venue.
Communications
•           The ‘Social Interface’ blog continues, thanks to the work of Sarah Lux and Lyria Bennett-Moses – http://www.thesocialinterface.com
•           NSW– Dinner on 22nd of June 2013 for Sydney Volunteers
•           Annual end of year dinner – Planned for Melbourne in Dec 2013

Sophie McKenzie, Secretary, SSIT Australia

Activities on Social Implications of Technology by IEEE Córdoba Subsection
“Any technology that has existed, exists or will exist, has some impact over the social field, both in comfort, health, education, environment, behavior, habits or communications, to list a few. The study and discussion of this influence over society is not unique a technologists field, but involves varied disciplines, from sociology to law, psychology and medicine, philosophy and information science, and of course all technologies”.

Summary – Organized by IEEE Córdoba Subsection, on Wednesday 20th, November, was carried out the first activity related to the Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), with the objective of show to all community activities related to this Society, and open a chapter in Argentina Section at the short term.

The activity, panel format, had the participation of five members of the SSIT as speakers, and more than 30 attendees, including people linked to the Social Sciences and other areas not related to engineering. The event also attended Eng. Roberto Terzariol, Dean of the Faculty of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences – National University of Cordoba (FCEFyN – UNC), Argentina.

From a long time ago was in IEEE Córdoba Subsection, and particularly the at the idea of Eng. Ricardo Taborda (past president of IEEE Argentina Section), the intention of organizing activities that go beyond the engineering field, linking and relating to other branches unrelated the hard sciences. For these reason emerged the idea to perform some activity that links other areas, and the Society on Social Implications of Technology, transverse all careers and professions, it was a good opportunity to do it.

Thus, not only was performing an activity of general interest, but also was promoting the creation of a SSIT Chapter at IEEE Argentina Section, which is already launch to be created.

ACTIVITY DEVELOPED

At this case, the activity consisted of five lectures and a panel with five volunteers of IEEE Córdoba Subsection, all members of IEEE and the SSIT.

The first activity was carried out by Eng. Ricardo Taborda, the main organizer of the activity. In his dissertation, Eng Taborda explained briefly about the SSIT Society and what is the idea of opening a Chapter of this Society in Argentina Section, as well as its advantages and future goals.

After that, there was time for a small intervention of Eng. Roberto Terzariol, Dean of FCEFyN – UNC, who highlighted the value of such events at the University, and its benefits to society.

The second lecture, titled “Has connection between recycling of WEEE, the environment and the digital gap?”, was given by Eng. Laura Reyna, who explained about WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) and some activities that are underway in Cordoba aimed at solve this problem.

The following lecture was given by Eng. Diego Beltramone, who in his dissertation on “Rehabilitation Engineering: providing accessibility for all” showed some problems that arise in society to people with certain types of disabilities, and some actions that are being implemented to solve them, as well as some activities that are being developed at the University aimed at solving these problems.

The fourth lecture, led by Eng. Ronald Del Aguila, called “In case of medical emergency,  technology help us or complicated us? The case of ground ambulance” focused on show to attendees about safety that should have ambulances and standards that should be met to avoid accidents such as occurred in 2006 .

The fifth and final lecture, titled “Technology and Society”, was conducted by Eng. Susana Drudi, and was focused on the proposition of the conceptions of technology and the implications they have on the actions of technologists, decision makers and users.

PANEL

To close the activity, a panel with five speakers was carried out, where speakers discussed with the audience over the issues raised in the lectures, as well as the audience was invited to propose activities to pursue in the future. It is very important to highlight the variety of public attendees at the event, allowing to project a lot activities for next year, trying very different topics, but very interesting.

Please contact Eng. Ricardo Taborda to know more about activities related to SSIT of Argentina Section.

Ricardo Taborda, SSIT Chapter Organizer,  rtaborda@ieee.org
Augusto José Herrera, IEEE Córdoba Subsection President, augustojh@ieee.org

SSIT Chapter in Kerala Section

The Society for Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) chapter of IEEE Kerala Section was formally launched with an inaugural function arranged at Hotel S.P. Grand Days, Thiruvananthapuram on 7 December 2013. The event witnessed a large gathering, including guests from Bombay and Hyderabad Sections, SSIT members of Kerala Section, Executive Committee members of the section and subsections, and Sister Professional Society members. The event included a strategy session by SSIT members followed by the formal meeting, which included a Panel discussion on the topic “The Society-Technology Interface: Emerging Challenges for Humanity”.

Mr. Satish Babu, Interim Chair SSIT Kerala Section Chapter presented a brief overview of the activities of SSIT. He emphasized on the appropriateness of SSIT in sensitizing engineers and educating the public to address issues from an ethical perspective.

Mr. Srinivasan Ravindran, Chair, IEEE, Kerala Section highlighted the significance of increased awareness on Ethics Education in society so as to make the user community vigilant in discerning between the positive and negative aspects of technology.

Mr Anthony Lobo delivered a talk on the topic “Technology and Society”. He opined that any technological innovation should consider and analyze the three aspects namely ‘Intent’,’ Implications’ and ‘Impact’ of the technology on all the stakeholders. Mr Lobo is an active volunteer of IEEE and works with Tata Consultancy Services.

Dr. Atul Negi made a presentation on the topic “Ubiquitous Imaging: Societal Boon or Bane?” Dr. Negi spoke about the evolution and recent advances in electronic surveillance products and underlying technologies and mentioned their merits and demerits, evaluated on the basis of personal and mass surveillance. Dr Negi is Chair of IEEE Hyderabad Section.

Mr Amarnath Raja and Mr. J Muraleemohan Lal, former Chairs of IEEE Kerala Section also presented their views on relevance of SSIT in present scenario.

A panel discussion was also organized on the theme “The Society-Technology Interface: Emerging Challenges for Humanity”. . The panelists included Dr. Atul Negi, Mr. Anthony Lobo, Ms. Sarada Jayakrishnan, Coordinator, IEEE WIE, Kerala Section and Mr. Ranjit R Nair, Chair, IEEE GOLD, Kerala Section. The session was moderated by Mr Amarnath Raja. Mr. Anthony Lobo made the critical observed that sustainability needs to be defined and understood in the broader perspective for any advent on technological innovation. Dr. Atul Negi observed that rationality should be brought in with proper design principles that should govern technology implementation. Ms. Sarada Jayakrishnan expressed the view that system should be able to inculcate a sense of discrimination for decision making among the general public, learnt through proper awareness on the rules and regulations enforced. Mr. Ranjit R Nair noted that given the rate and order at which innovations take birth and perish in the technology space, it will be impractical to aim for very long term solutions and encouraged promoting the course of ‘demonstrative anthropology’ among the young professionals to adapt themselves better to changing scenarios.

(Inputs from Mr Satish Babu)

Global Forum welcomes new era of open innovation

Innovation in information and communication technologies drives global economic development

Network World – Trieste, Italy — The historic industrial port city of Trieste hosted the 22nd Global Forum conference last week, where the focus was on innovation in information and communication technologies as catalysts for economic and community development. Invitation-only delegates this year came from 36 countries and international organizations such as the European Commission and the U.S. government, augmented by delegates from corporations and global government agencies.

Prosperous and picturesque, Trieste has long been a center of science and culture, frequented by writers such as Mark Twain and Rainer Maria Rilke. The 19th century explorer Richard Burton wrote The Arabian Nights here and it’s also the place where James Joyce produced his novels Ulysses and Dubliners. Global Forum often forecasts world trends in the information and communication industries and Trieste was chosen to highlight the transforming strategies of the information economy.

The Chair of Global Forum’s 2013 Innovation panel, Bror Salmelin, of the European Union’s Directorate General CONNECT organization, outlined the differences between the old days of corporate-government research being the dominant model, to a new era of user-centric innovation, open innovation, systemic innovation and experimental mash-ups.

“Sustainable innovation is full of disruptions,” he said. “Science-based linear innovation is not mainstream anymore. Success probability and success speed are critical.”

During a question-and-answer session, Finland native Salmelin was asked about the future of the once-leading mobile device company Nokia. He noted that before it got into telephony, Nokia was a manufacturer of rubber boots and paper products. The company will have to innovate once again to meet the challenges of the new era it’s entered, he said. He is confident that Nokia will rise to the challenges, but it will be a different Nokia than it is today.
Enrico Fiore, CEO of Truyoins Ventures (a neologism based on the slogan “Trust Your Instincts” he said), said the essence of innovating in the global environment is to follow the slogan (originated by an Italian fashion company) “No Fear.”

Innovation requires the ability to be fault-tolerant, to see yourself making mistakes and learning fast from them; improve and move on. Fiore said this is why corporate managers often are unable to be innovative, because they fear making mistakes. Fiore advised: “Listen. Try. Act. Remember.”

A change this new era requires is for governments to stop protecting status-quo businesses, said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, which sponsors the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Shapiro said, “Innovation is a belief system. It’s not just Silicon Valley. It’s regional. It relies on risk-taking and investment. It benefits from diversity, culture and reward systems. It is enhanced by a higher mission, goals, measurements and passion. It needs leaders/doers.”

Professor Yoshio Tanaka of Tokyo University offered some technology design suggestions. He said it is difficult to sell hardware by differentiation. What is required is service design with value-added. For example, two key drivers of satisfaction in the modern era are: to be stress-free by having less responsibility for outcomes, and to belong to a community. Technology can be built to deliver on both these drivers of user satisfaction.

“Open data is the raw material for innovation,” said Ann-Marie Fineman of VINNOVA, Sweden’s government agency for innovation systems. “Collaboration is key,” she said, and recommended Hackathons and Make-athons, which they have sponsored as “coworking spaces.”

Regional development

Regional development was emphasized. No longer are separate nation-states driving innovation, but regional partnerships, and innovative city states. One of the most intriguing approaches is “Danubio,” a trans-national approach linking the countries and regions of the Danube River drainage, which crosses most of southern Europe.

This is an approach forecast by the American nature writer Gary Snyder. Observing that many political borders are based on abstract surveyor’s boundaries like the Mason-Dixon line, or historical precedent based on wars and treaties, Snyder recommends building identity based on the naturally-occurring river basins worldwide. Such identity anchors the population in the natural environment it’s in, and in fact begins to reinforce what was most often the historic movement of peoples, trade and information until the industrial era.

Taking such an approach, new configurations emerge. Antoine-Tristan Mocilnikar, a French government ministerial “Delegate to the Mediterranean,” says the south and western parts of that region have 290 million people, almost the population of the United States. There is a 100% rate of mobile adoption, along with 100 million people sharing Internet access. The region has 50 million Facebook accounts already.

Global Forum 2013 was led by Dr. Sylviane Toporkoff, president of Global Forum, and a founding partner of sponsor ITEMS International. The next Global Forum will be held in fall 2014, at a European venue to be announced early next year.

Jay Gillette

Gillette is professor of information and communication sciences at Ball State University, director of its Human Factors Institute, and a senior research fellow and officer at the Digital Policy Institute.

A simple plan to limit global warming

Let us assume that there were a worldwide outbreak of the plague and all the governments did were to hand out aspirin to its citizens: “It does not solve the problem but it is something we can easily afford doing”. Most of us would not be happy with this response. Yet, it is exactly the kind of approach we seem to prefer when dealing with global warming. Whatever actions the governments are discussing, we all know that it is too little too late: the annual emissions of CO2 are still increasing globally, even though they need to drop significantly.

The reason for this is simple. Fossil fuel is still abundant and therefore quite cheap. According to the International Energy Agency (World Energy Outlook 2012), the energy source of the future is coal unless significant political measures are taken to change this.

This is all very worrying. If we assume that the climate scientists are right – and there is absolutely no reason to assume otherwise – our reliance on fossil fuel will lead to a hotter climate and rising sea levels, with a huge impact on our society. Arguably, we are already seeing the first consequences with extreme weather phenomena, increasing food prices, and a large number of climate refugees.

On the other hand, fossil fuel is only cheap because we choose to ignore the external costs related to pollution and CO2 emissions. As long as it is possible to dump CO2 into the atmosphere for free, it will always be difficult for other sources of energy to compete. This is very frustrating to engineers, as many of technical solutions for improving fuel efficiency and generating renewable energy are be available. The currently suffer from the problem of being slightly more expensive than the carbon-based alternatives. If energy from fossil fuel were more expensive than renewable energy, no company in the world would voluntarily burn coal.

The purpose of GISEco (Global Initiative for a Sustainable Econoly) is to improve the energy efficiency of the world economy through the introduction of Global Sustainability Fee (GSF) in the simplest possible manner:
1.         All producers of fossil fuel pay a fee proportional to the amount they produce (in carbon or CO2 equivalent) to a global fund.
2.         The money from this fund is distributed evenly among the world’s nations according to the size of their populations.

The system would be easy to set up and administer and would ensure a level playing field. Industrialized countries would have an incentive to reduce their dependence on carbon-based fuel while simultaneously providing poorer countries the necessary resources to deal with the consequences of global warming.

How radical is this idea? Actually, the world’s nations agreed to accomplish exactly what we propose already in1992. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to be stabilized and for richer nations to support the poorer ones in coping with the effects of climate change. Unfortunately, the parties agreed only on what to do and not how to do it. With GISEco, we propose a simple and effective plan to remedy this omission. The idea is not perfect but it is a lot better than doing nothing. With such a plan on the negotiating table, no politician should be able to claim that the problem of global warming is too complex to be solved. The solution is actually quite simple and we all know it.

We have been discussing the problem of global warming for 50 years now. The time has come to focus on solutions. GISEco was started to promote the idea of a Global Sustainability Fee with the aim of putting it on the agenda at the next UN Climate Change Conference. Please join our effort by spreading the word.

http://www.giseco.org
www.facebook.com/giseco.

Henrik Nordborg

IEEE-SSIT on LinkedIn:

IEEE-SSIT is on LinkedIn! Interesting SSIT discussions on the LinkedIn site are on-going and currently there are more than 1200+ SSIT members connected to the LinkedIn site.

It is easy to join our LinkedIn Community – for more information, go to http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=1790357&trk=anet_ug_hm

Come and join the online interactions!

IEEE-SSIT on Facebook:

A place to discuss the Social Implications of Technology! See something technology related that poses an ethical dilemma or has unintended consequences? The SSIT Group on Facebook has 4600+ members at http://www.facebook.com/groups/324644704262132

IEEE SSIT Logo Contest was successfully hosted on the Facebook.

Come and join the online interactions!

2013 SSIT Logo Design Contest Yields Major Facebook Impact
Our logo design contest generated a number of impressive results, including an increase in our Facebook group from 200 to 4500 members (and still growing).

We also obtained some really neat designs that we are currently highlighting on our Blog page (http://socialimplicationsoftech.wordpress.com/ ).

So here’s the list of winners, their logos where applicable, and our congratulations and thanks to all who participated.

The “Best in Class” submission, selected by the SSIT panel of judges was submitted by Hiran Venugopalan of  Kerala, India.

I’m presenting variants created to combine the submission with acknowledgements in banners for the SSIT Blog page. You can see that Hiran’s submission complements the IEEE logo and colors and can be used as a symbol, or with text in various ways. Hiran is a web designer and entrepreneur, see http://hiran.in/about for more insight.

The second major award was not actually for a logo. We also ran a Facebook “Like” contest, and folks had to join our Facebook group to “like” a submission.  If you think about this, it is not a measure of the logo itself, but of the influence and reach of the submitters and their friends.  Satya Tazi  of Ajmer, India won this contest, attracting over 450 ‘like’ votes.  It is interesting to note that the total number of like votes (a bit over 1000) did not come near the total number of new group members.

We also made a special award to Harish Chennamsetty,  Karlskrona, Sweden. . Harish created a Youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRatryUtl2s ) describing his submission, as well as a web page (http://p4u.in/ ). Harish obtained the second largest number of “likes”, is a regular contributor to the Facebook group, and  (2012/13) web designer for the IEEE BTH Student Branch (http://sites.ieee.org/sb-bth/ ) In addition to a “Neat Idea” he also raised the bar for future contests with incorporation of Youtube and related materials.

In addition to the banner format, Harish also included smaller logo formats and black and white format.

A number of the submissions were not quite the right format for a “logo” but make really neat banner presentations.

Our participants here span from Africa to Malaysia.

One last Neat Idea was submitted by Piyush Bang, but I’ve not yet received his “ok” to use it as part of our banner presentations . The SSIT Board of Governors will be considering what changes, if any, to make to our current Logo. One of our lessons learned is we should have “entered” the current logo so some feedback and comparison could have been obtained from this process.

Jim Isaak, Logo Contest ad hoc chair

NEW FELLOWS DIRECTORY

New to the Fellow Web Site is the redesigned Fellows Directory. It is the most comprehensive online search and networking tool available to members.  If you need to complete an IEEE Fellow Nomination, gather information for a region, section, or society, it’s now easy to accomplish.

The information in the directory can be accessed by six categories: alphabetical by last name, year elevated, gender, IEEE region, IEEE society, and deceased. Within these categories, members can search, sort, or run a filter. For example, a report can be compiled on all Fellows within a specific region elevated in a particular year. The directory allows members to view the profiles of Fellows plus the ability to network with the Fellows.  If you are not an IEEE member, you will have limited access to certain information.

Check it out today.  The directory works on handheld devices and computers.  To access the directory, go to www.ieee.org/fellows, then click the Fellow Directory icon.

Rosann Marosy

APPLAUDING 50 YEARS OF FELLOWS

In 2014, IEEE will mark its 50th Fellow Class. It represents decades of honoring IEEE Fellows whose extraordinary accomplishments have changed the world.

The IEEE grade of Fellow was born in 1964 out of the merge of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE).  The emphasis on the elevation was and still is reserved for select IEEE members who have contributed importantly to the advancement of engineering, science, and technology, bringing the realization of significant value to society.

Only one-tenth of one percent of the total voting membership can be elevated in any one year.  Over the last fifty years, IEEE has elevated roughly 10,000 members to this honor.  This is a very small percentage compared to the total membership.  Unquestionably, Fellows are the crown jewels of the organization.  One can only imagine what the next fifty years will bring, and the new technology that will be developed, discovered, or taught, and what new IEEE Fellows will be recognized for their achievements.

Throughout the year, various celebrations will take place to honor those who have achieved this distinction.  If you know an IEEE Fellow, congratulate him/her again for receiving this honor.  You can recognize them personally, or you can acknowledge them publicly at region meetings, society meetings, section meetings, and/or conferences.
Rosann Marosy

 

2013 IEEE-SSIT Board of Governors: 

President: Laura Jacob; laura.jacob@gmail.com
Vice-President: Greg Adamson; g.adamson@ieee.org
Secretary: Lew Terman; l.terman@ieee.org
Treasurer: Kenneth R. Foster; kfoster@seas.upenn.edu
Past President: Gerald Engel; gengel64@aol.com

Elected Members-at-Large:  (3 year terms, last year date)
2013     Greg Adamson, Joe R Herkert, Bradley P Kjell
2014     Emily Anesta, Jim Isaak, Laura Jacob
2015     Elya Joffe, Deepak Mathur, Lew Terman

Online Resources:

  • SSIT Website

http://www.ieeessit.org/

  • How to Join SSIT

http://ieeessit.org//about.asp?Level2ItemID=2

  • IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

http://ieeessit.org/technology_and_society/

  • Conferences

ISTAS: the annual International Symposium on Technology and Society
http://www.ieeessit.org/conferences.asp?Level2ItemID=18

  • IEEE SSIT blog

http://socialimplicationsoftech.wordpress.com/

  • SSIT Chapters

Australia:
http://ssit.ieeevic.org/ 
Switzerland:
http://www.teeschmid.ch/ieeessit/ 
Toronto: (joint with other ieee society chapters)
http://toronto.ieee.ca/chapters/humanenv.htm 
Japan:
http://www.ieee-jp.org/japancouncil/chapter/SIT-30/sit_e.htm 
Boston:
http://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/ssit/

Next issue of SSIT newsletter (Spring 2014) will be published and emailed in the month of May 2014. SSIT brings 3 issues of SSIT newsletter in a year – Winter Issue in January, Spring issue in May and Fall issue in September every year.

SSIT invites news, articles, reports etc. for the next issue of the newsletter.

Please offer your comments, suggestions and feedback to make SSIT newsletter more effective and informative. All communication related to SSIT newsletter may please be sent to the newsletter editor: Deepak Mathur at deepakmathur@ieee.org