Technology for Jobs for Technologists …

Employment is a key aspect of society, and using technology to help folks connect with jobs is an appropriate consideration for SSIT.  It is also an area where IEEE is now developing tools for IEEE members and employers. — IEEE is creating web site, IEEEExpo.org, to serve as a virtual “job fair”.  This is targeted at helping IEEE members and student members to connect with jobs that relate to their skills and interests.    What makes this different from a classical “job board” is the introduction of real time interaction opportunities with employers (ergo the Job Fair analogy) ….

While you can sign up and build a profile at any time via the link above, there will be real time events on Jan. 20, April 20, June 15 and Sept. 21st where participants can connect with employers.   Companies wishing to participate can go to : http://www.ieeeexpo.org/#!companies/mxfq6 to register to participate on the employer side.

Why is IEEE a particularly great opportunity for career development?

  • Our focus is on providing professionals with ongoing education (local seminars, publications, webinars, conferences, etc.)
  • Our members demonstrate by their engagement a commitment to ongoing education, and continuing to develop their knowledge.
  • Our engaged members (participants and leaders of events, publications, etc.) are acquiring essential applicable soft-skills in terms of team activities, leadership, communications and exposure to new ideas.
  • It is not surprising that IEEE publications are the most cited in U.S. patent applications.  Engineers and Technologists innovate — IEEE is the worlds largest technical professional society — our members are, appropriately, the most sought after potential employees on earth.

 

T&S Magazine September 2015 Contents

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Volume 34, Number 3, September 2015

4 President’s Message
Coping with Machines
Greg Adamson
Book Reviews
5 Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Mission
7 Alan Turing: The Enigma
10 Editorial
Resistance is Not Futile, nil desperandum
MG Michael and Katina Michael
13 Letter to the Editor
Technology and Change
Kevin Hu
14 Opinion
Privacy Nightmare: When Baby Monitors Go Bad
Katherine Albrecht and Liz Mcintyre
15 From the Editor’s Desk
Robots Don’t Pray
Eugenio Guglielmelli
17 Leading Edge
Unmanned Aircraft: The Rising Risk of Hostile Takeover
Donna A. Dulo
20 Opinion
Automatic Tyranny, Re-Theism, and the Rise of the Reals
Sand Sheff
23 Creating “The Norbert Wiener Media Project”
J. Mitchell Johnson
25 Interview
A Conversation with Lazar Puhalo
88 Last Word
Technological Expeditions and Cognitive Indolence
Christine Perakslis

SPECIAL ISSUE: Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century

33_ Guest Editorial
Philip Hall, Heather A. Love and Shiro Uesugi
35_ Norbert Wiener: Odd Man Ahead
Mary Catherine Bateson
37_ The Next Macy Conference: A New Interdisciplinary Synthesis
Andrew Pickering
39_ Ubiquitous Surveillance and Security
Bruce Schneier
41_ Reintroducing Wiener: Channeling Norbert in the 21st Century
Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman
44_ Securing the Exocortex*
Tamara Bonaci, Jeffrey Herron, Charles Matlack, and Howard Jay Chizeck
52_ Wiener’s Prefiguring of a Cybernetic Design Theory*
Thomas Fischer
60_ Norbert Wiener and the Counter-Tradition to the Dream of Mastery
D. Hill
64_ Down the Rabbit Hole*
Laura Moorhead

Features

74_ Opening Pandora’s 3D Printed Box
Phillip Olla
81_ Application Areas of Additive Manufacturing
N.J.R. Venekamp and H.Th. Le Fever

*Refereed article.

T&S Magazine June 2015 Contents

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Volume 34, Number 2, June 2015

3 ISTAS 2015 – Dublin
4 President’s Message
Deterministic and Statistical Worlds
Greg Adamson
5 Editorial
Mental Health, Implantables, and Side Effects
Katina Michael
8 Book Reviews
Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future
Stealing Cars: Technology & Society from the Model T to the Gran Torino
13 Leading Edge
“Ich liebe Dich UBER alles in der Welt” (I love you more than anything else in the world)
Sally Applin
Opinion
16 Tools for the Vision Impaired
Molly Hartman
18 Learning from Delusions
Brian Martin
21 Commentary
Nanoelectronics Research Gaps and Recommendations*
Kosmas Galatsis, Paolo Gargini, Toshiro Hiramoto, Dirk Beernaert, Roger DeKeersmaecker, Joachim Pelka, and Lothar Pfitzner
80 Last Word
Father’s Day Algorithms or Malgorithms?
Christine Perakslis

SPECIAL ISSUE—Ethics 2014/ISTAS 2014

31_ Guest Editorial
Keith Miller and Joe Herkert
32_ App Stores for the Brain: Privacy and Security in Brain-Computer Interfaces*
Tamara Bonaci, Ryan Calo, and Howard Jay Chizeck
40_ The Internet Census 2012 Dataset: An Ethical Examination*
David Dittrich, Katherine Carpenter, and Manish Karir
47_ Technology as Moral Proxy: Autonomy and Paternalism by Design*
Jason Millar
56_ Teaching Engineering Ethics: A Phenomenological Approach*
Valorie Troesch
64_ Informed Consent for Deep Brain Stimulation: Increasing Transparency for Psychiatric Neurosurgery Patients*
Andrew Koivuniemi
71_ Robotic Prosthetics: Moving Beyond Technical Performance*
N. Jarrassé, M. Maestrutti, G. Morel, and A. Roby-Brami

*Refereed Articles

 

Romanian Pre-U Students Address Social Concerns

A guest blog post on behalf of the SSIT Romanian Chapter Chair, Prof. Mihai Micea, provided by As.univ.dr.ing. Alin-Adrian Anton, Secretary of the Romanian IEEE Chapter of the Society on the Social Implications of Technology

On June 2 2015 a SSIT meeting took place in Timisoara, Romania,
where several ITC projects have been presented by children from K-12.
The presenting children have been selected as the winners of the
competition organized by Coolest Projects Timisoara  – in preparation of
their final presentation which took place on June 13 in Dublin, Ireland 

The best presentations also received the “Runners Up” mention at Heros 2015, Dublin.

  • “Krieg in der Natur” is a strategy game developed in Scratch where you can raise armies, made by junior Dragos Ciocloda under the supervision of Vlad Isac.
  • “Interjobs” is a web platform aiming to connect the freelancers, students, talented kids in IT and the IT companies, developed by juniors Alexandru Pop, Samfirescu Stefan, Licaret Raul, Trif Iulian and Theodor Stoica, mentored by Alex Iatan.
  • Other presentations include websites, games, an interactive assistant and playful robots.

CoderDojo https://coderdojo.com/ is a free programming and IT training club which organizes lectures with support from StartupHub. Many of our students participate as mentors during the lectures, with 100 – 150 children
attending on a weekly basis.

The Romanian SSIT Chapter Commission for the assessment of the projects has been formed by local SSIT members as well as by guests from the local private ITC sector:

Horatiu Moldovan (president Lasting System)
Horia Damian (Director research SphinxIT)
Diana Andone (Director eLearning Center, Politehnica University of Timisoara)
Oana Boncalo (lecturer, Polytechncic University of Timisoara)
Cosmin Cernazanu (lecturer, Polytechnic University of Timisoara)
Ciprian Chirila (lecturer, Polytechnic University of Timisoara))

The Commission has made recommendations to the participants with regard to the improvement of the impact of their presentations and regarding the commercial assessment of ideas presented.

The event was organized with the help of StartupHub Timisoara  and CoderDojo Timisoara

The event has been covered in the online media, with presentations
available from:

http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605750733414264832
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605747301236240384
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605744886105665536
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605742889184960512
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605739260919091200
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605737614642192384
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605735116074283009
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605732888609497088
http://twitter.com/diando70/status/605730518760628224

As.univ.dr.ing. Alin-Adrian Anton
Secretary of the Romanian IEEE Chapter of the Society on the Social Implications of Technology
“Politehnica” University of Timisoara
Department of Computer and Software Engineering
2nd Vasile Parvan Ave., 300223 Timisoara, Timis, Romania

T&S Magazine Winter 2014 Contents

T&S Winter 2014 cover low res

VOL. 33, NO. 4, WINTER 2014

DEPARTMENTS
4 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
Dear SSIT Members…
Laura Jacob

5 EDITORIAL
Enslaved
Katina Michael

9 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Enslavement by Technology? Reflections on the IQ2 Debate on Big Ideas

11 OPINION
Are we Enslaved by Technology?
Michael Eldred

12 LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Excessive Conference Fees

13 BOOK REVIEWS
Lonely Ideas: Can Russia Compete?
Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World
User Unfriendly

21 OPINION
Remotely Piloted Airborne Vehicles
Philip Hall

22 COMMENTARY
Recommendations for Future Development of Artificial Agents
Deborah G. Johnson and Merel Noorman

29 COMMENTARY
Channeling Digital Convergence in Education for Societal Benefit
Arturo Serrano-Santoyo and Mayer R. Cabrera-Flores

32 TRENDS
Influential Engineers: Where Do They Come From and Where Do They Go?
J. Panaretos and C.C. Malesios

35 LEADING EDGE
Videoconferencing for Civil Commitment: Preserving Dignity
Muaid Ithman, Ganesh Gopalakrishna, Bruce Harry, and Deepti Bahl

37 COMMENTARY
Snowden’s Lessons for Whistleblowers
Brian Martin

39 OPINION
How and Why to Keep the NSA Out of Your Private Stuff – Even If You’ve “Got Nothing to Hide”
Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre

42 LEADING EDGE
Using Data to Combat Human Rights Abuses
Felicity Gerry

 FEATURES

44 Leaning on the Ethical Crutch: A Critique of Codes of Ethics*
Jathan Sadowski

48 User Understanding of Privacy in Emerging Mobile Markets*
Cormac Callanan and Borka Jerman-Blazic

57 Questioning Professional Autonomy in Qualitative Inquiry*
R. Varma

65 Cell Phone Use While Driving: Risk Implications for Organizations*
S. Yang and R. Parry

73 Building Trust in the Human—Internet of Things Relationship*
Ioannis Kounelis, Gianmarco Baldini, Ricardo Neisse, Gary Steri, Mariachiara Tallacchini, and Ângela Guimarães Pereira

*Refereed articles.

Cover Image: ISTOCK.

Who’s flying this drone?

Looking out for humankind as intelligent technologies take charge

Guest Blog post by Jeanne Dietsch, Founder, Sapiens Plurum.

Until recently, I was an unmitigated technophile. Back in 1980, just after the first Apple PC was introduced, I tried to write a thesis on “The Future of the Computer as a Mass Medium.” My Master’s committee unanimously declared that such a thing would never occur. Two tech start-ups later, I was jeered onstage by London telecom executives because I predicted that Internet commerce would grow by 1000% over the next 5 years. And indeed I was wrong… on the low side.

More and more futurists now find themselves on the conservative side of reality. Consider these startling examples of actuality exceeding expectation: 1) Researchers stunned their compatriots by “solving” Texas Hold’em Poker, including probabilistic reasoning and bluffing strategies. Software cued with nothing but the rules of the game and monetary loss aversion became unbeatable by playing more hands of poker during two years than all humankind throughout the history of the game. Michael Bowling and colleagues now expect to optimize any constrained process with a clear outcome in the same massively parallel manner. 2) Researchers at the University of Washington can now play videogames telepathically. Using off-the-shelf tech, a videogame viewer controls a viewless player’s hand just by thinking about it. And Washington insiders hint US DoD has been performing similar studies for some time. 3) Nanobots will actually be tested this year to find and destroy cancerous cells and repair damaged ones. Projections that such minute machines would collaborate to keep us alive “forever” previously lay in the distant mists.

Since I sold our intelligent robotics start-up in 2010, I have been studying the accelerating evolution of technology. The tectonic tremors building up alarm not only me, but physicist Stephen Hawking, inventor Elon Musk, MIT professor Max Tegmark and thousands of others who signed Max’s open letter Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence. And it is not just AI, but its combination with other radical advances that portends vast, almost unimaginable change… and benefits. The question, as always, is: benefits for whom? Who’s driving this drone and where is it headed?

We know that military, political and economic gain will set its course unless someone creates a vision with loftier goals. Our challenge, then, is how to intervene to keep humankind, and human kindness, in the pilot’s seat, and piloting software. This is the reason I started Sapiens Plurum (the wisdom of many). Sapiens Plurum advocates for the interests of humankind in a world of increasingly powerful technology. The strategy behind Sapiens Plurum and Sapiens Plurum News assumes that any top-down policy consensus will be too little, too late, and largely unenforceable. By instead working to educate the general public, in particular, the young, we hope to create a demand-side force that will create bottom-up norms for humane and human-enhancing technologies. Hence, our priorities are to:

  1. Help people understand the potential impact of rising technologies on their lives
  2. Encourage people to choose technologies that put them in control to improve our lives
  3. Advocate for technologies that benefit humankind rather than exploit them

Can you help us by disseminating awareness at your organization or joining ours? We are seeking volunteer regional leaders and board members at SapiensPlurum.org.

About the Author: Jeanne Dietsch was founder and CEO of MobileRobots Inc. She served on the IEEE Industrial Activities Board of RAS 2007-2011 and wrote a column for IEEE Robotics & Automation magazine 2009-2012. She is a Harvard graduate in sci-tech policy, a group-thinking facilitator and founder of Sapiens Plurum, an advocacy organization looking out for the interests of humankind.

Diversity– the key to the 21st century

Recently Intel announced that it was not just investing in expanding the diversity of it’s work force, but also that executive compensation would be tied to success here.  My own research based on social capital (see concepts of Robert Putnam) development indicates that diversity is a key to innovation, so Intel’s emphasis makes sense.

But, diversity is a two way street. Each individual can expand their personal “diversity index” (I just created that term for this discussion) by expanding their range of contacts, classes, readings, etc.)  The 21st century will be dominated by multidisciplinary requirements — and technology fields will often be a key component here.  There are very few aspects of society that are not influenced (if not dominated) by computer technology.  Another entire area of interactions is emerging in health care, biology, genomics and evolution.

Productive employees, citizens and innovators will cultivate their awareness in these diverse areas so they can be effective at contributing to, or critiquing the challenges we will face.  I anticipate employers (at least enlightened ones) will recognize and seek individuals with this diversity.

The Wall St. Journal, 11 Nov 2013, argues that focusing too much in college can backfire — students (parents, advisers – and even committees creating new majors or certificates) can be lured by last years job market and end up with limited (or non-existent) opportunities. Part of this is the inability to predict the future job market, but another key aspect is the reality that the exciting growth careers ten years from now do not exist today.

This is a opportunity for every professional (technologist or not).  IEEE has a key strength here with the diversity of fields it addresses.  You can participate in (some) IEEE meetings where folks in the room are experts in intelligent vehicles, solar power, medical technology, software engineering, sensors, etc, etc, etc. If you take the time to build your network to include these folks your potential diversity expands dramatically.  Other IEEE meetings will span every part of the globe, and some will span in both dimensions (Sections Congress for example).

There are paths outside of IEEE as well, and folks who take the time to develop these experiences, contacts, and understandings will bring critically needed insight to the table wherever they work.

 

Amazon vs Hachette – Tech Consolidation Impact on Emerging Authors

The dispute between Amazon and book publisher Hachette reached a settlement in November.  The Authors United group formed by a number of top selling authors, including Steven King, sent a letter to the Amazon Board of Directors expressing their concern with “sanctions” directed at Hachette authors including “refusing pre-orders, delaying shipping, reducing discounting, and using pop-up windows to cover authors’ pages and redirect buyers to non-Hachette books“.  This group has not yet resolved their concerns about the impact of this applied technology. There are financial and career implications from the loss of Amazon as a channel for sales, even for the months of this dispute.  These include reduced sales for proven best selling authors, and for first-time authors, reduced sales can be the end of their career.

The Bangor Daily News indicates this group is pressuring the Federal government and exploring a law suit to address some of these damages.

A key question is the monopolistic potential of having a single major channel for selling a class of products.  Amazon is reported in this article as being the source of 41% of new book sales in the U.S. And is reported by some best selling authors as having “disappeared” them — with searches for their names on Amazon yielding no results.

Data Mining makes it possible to associate authors with publishers, and manipulate their visibility via online sales channels.  There are legal and ethical issues here that span beyond the immediate “Hatchet”: case.  Apple is continuing its e-book anti-trust battle claiming a “David vs Goliath” position where Amazon holds 90%+ of e-book sales.

Both Apple and Amazon hold significant control over critical channels that authors (books, software, etc) need to both sell their products, but also to even become visible to the to potential readers/users/consumers. Both are for-profit companies that apply their market power and technology to maximize their profits (which is what capitalism and stock holders expect.)  The creative individuals producing indi or even traditional channel creations who might be expected to benefit from the global access of the Internet can get trampled when these mammoth’s charge towards their goals.

Is the Internet creating new opportunities, or consolidating to create concentrated bastions of power?  (Or both?)   Oddly this comes around to parallel issues with “net neutrality” and how the entertainment industry is relating to Internet channels — perhaps there is a broader set of principles involved.

 

Ethics and Responsibility in Technology-for-Good: A Human-Centered Approach

A guest blog entry, author: Jim Fruchterman, CEO, Benetech
[Note: we welcome guest blog entries, send in your proposals via our input form — I knew of Jim’s socially oriented entrepreneurial work from his presentation at the 2011 Sections Congress.]

Our networked world has advanced to a point where information technology is touching all aspects of society. The cost of prototyping and deploying new technology tools is now extremely low and data has the potential to accelerate social progress in areas ranging from poverty to human rights, education, health, and the environment. However, we have yet to come to grips with what is ethical and what the laws should be in relation to rapidly changing technologies.
At Benetech, we regularly grapple with questions related to this issue. For instance, we ask, how can we harness the power of technology for positive social impact; and how can we mitigate the risks to privacy and civil rights posed by the age of big data?
As engineers who want to do the right thing, we follow four general guidelines: first, when it comes to data and technology in the social sector, apply a human-centered approach; second, treat the people you want to help with respect; third, when working to protect vulnerable communities, follow the “do no harm” maxim; and finally, bridge communities and establish partnerships-for-good.
Let me explain further.

1. Context matters

Building technology solutions for the social sector isn’t purely an armchair exercise, based on the thrill of empowering people in principle. We first understand those we aspire to help and the real-world conditions in which they live and operate. We must also put our technology innovations into the users’ hands, see what actually works, and adapt as necessary. This iterative method helps us focus on building products that are responsive to real needs.

2. Treat users as customers, not recipients of charity

People in challenging situations must invest their time and limited resources to improve their lives. Our role as technologists is to provide the tools that empower them to do so. Treating them as customers, rather than objects of charity, promotes their sense of ownership and self-agency as they use the tools that we develop to achieve their own goals.

3. When it comes to data, rights, and privacy, first do no harm

Vulnerable groups served by social justice organizations-such as victims of human rights abuse, refugees, LGBT individuals, or survivors of gender-based violence-deserve the same kind of respect for their sensitive information as citizens of wealthy countries expect for theirs. Having long supported human rights activists, we know the importance of confidentiality when working with victims and witnesses. For instance, Benetech’s Human Rights Program is focused on helping human rights practitioners, activists, and journalists uphold their commitments to protect and do no harm to the communities they serve. Our strong cryptography technology, Martus-a free, open source, secure information management tool-makes it easier for groups working with vulnerable populations keep the sensitive information they collect confidential.

4. Community and partnership are paramount

Technology only goes so far in creating social progress, but a galvanized community of partners and supporters who work together toward a greater good can generate lasting impact. Case in point: our accessible online library, Bookshare. Bookshare is the result of joint efforts of our partners in the education, technology, publishing, student, parent, and volunteer communities. Our technical tools by themselves don’t make change: it is these communities using our tools that create social good. As toolmakers, our ultimate impact is measured by what other people build with our tools.

In a world where the benefits of technology are still often limited to reaching the richest 1% or 5% of society, we are trilled to see a growing movement of engineers motivated to help humanity. As technologists with a focus on creating social good, we need to keep in mind principles of safety and ethics. While the context and the users may vary in each case, the principles of human-centered design and treating others as we would like to be treated remain the same. If we can keep these principles in mind, we can turn good ideas into proven solutions with lasting impact.

Jim Fruchterman is the Founder and CEO of Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit technology company that develops software applications for users in the social sector. He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his work as a pioneering social entrepreneur, including the MacArthur Fellowship, Caltech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and the Migel Medal from the American Foundation for the Blind.

 

Too Close for Comfort? Detecting your presence.

A group of authors in the August 2014 issue of IEEE Computer outline some pros, cons and examples of proximity sensing technology that initiates advertising, action and may report your presence to some data collection process. The article is called The Dark Patterns of Proxemic Sensing.

There are simple examples which most folks have encountered: the faucet that turns on when you put your hands near it, followed by the automated hand dryer or paper towel dispenser.  This paper Identifies some current examples that many of us may not have encountered: the mirror that presents advertising, a wall of virtual “paparazzi” that flash cameras at you accompanied by cheering sounds, and urinals that incorporate video gaming. Some of these systems are networked, even connected to the internet.  Some interact anonymously, others are at least capable of face or other forms of recognition.

The article identifies eight “dark” aspects of this proximity interaction:

  1. Captive Audience – there is a concern of unexpected/undesired interactions in situations where the individual must go for other reasons.
  2. Attention Grabbing – detection and interaction allows these systems to distract the target individual.  Which may be problematic, or just annoying.
  3. Bait and Switch – initiating interaction with an attractive first impression, then switching to a quite different agenda.
  4. Making personal information public — for example, displaying or announcing your name upon recognition.
  5. We never forget – tracking an individual from one encounter to the next, even spanning locations for networked systems.
  6. Disguised data collection – providing (personalized) data back to some central aggregation.
  7. Unintended relationships – is that person next to you related in some way — oh, there she is again next to you at a different venue…
  8. Milk factor – forcing a person to go through a specific interaction (move to a location, provide information …) to obtain the promised service.

Most of these are traditional marketing/advertising concepts, now made more powerful by automation and ubiquitous networked systems.  The specific emerging technologies are one potentially  disturbing area of social impact.  A second is the more general observation that the activities we consider innocuous or even desirable historically may become more problematic with automation and de-personalization.  The store clerk might know you by name, but do you feel the same way when the cash register or the automatic door knows you?

Issues in this area area also discussed in the Summer 2014 issue of Technology and Society – Omnipresent Cameras and Personal Safety Devices being relevant articles in that issue.