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Track: Tech Ethics: The Intersection of Human Welfare & STEM

Location: St James, 4th flr.

Day of week:

What does it mean to be ethical in software? Hear how the discussion is evolving and what is being said in ethics today.

Track Host: Anne Currie

Chief Strategist @containersoluti (Container Solutions)

Anne Currie has been in the tech industry for over 20 years working on everything from Microsoft Back Office Servers in the 90's to international online lingerie in the 00's to cutting edge devops and the impact of orchestrated containers in the 10's. Anne has co-founded tech startups in the productivity, retail and devops spaces. She currently works in London for Container Solutions.

Track Host: Gareth Rushgrove

Product Manager @Docker

Gareth Rushgrove is a product manager at Docker. He works remotely from Cambridge, UK, helping to build interesting tools for people to better manage infrastructure and applications. Previously he worked for the UK Government Digital Service focused on infrastructure, operations and information security. When not working he can be found writing the Devops Weekly newsletter or hacking on software in new-fangled programming languages.

10:35am - 11:25am

Why Should We Care About Technology Ethics?

Ethics is a rising buzzword in the technology sector. Users, developers, innovators, and the general public are increasingly concerned about the impact that technologies are having on society. Companies like Facebook and Google are facing internal and external pushback against their business and development decisions, particularly when it comes to privacy and data protection. Governments are slowly coming around to enacting policy to curb excesses of the technology industry.  How can companies and developers ensure that their technologies are beneficial to society, and socially acceptable? How can companies avoid a future of lawsuits and degradation of trust?


This presentation will look at some of these issues from the perspective of the recently updated Association of Computing Machinery's Code of Ethics and Professional Practice, and place it within a "responsible innovation" framework that asks technical innovators to anticipate the impact of their technologies, reflect on the ethical issues, engage with diverse stakeholders, and act to ensure issues that arise are mitigated or avoided.

Catherine Flick, Member of ACM Committee on Professional Ethics and One of the Primary Contributors to the ACM Code of Ethics

11:50am - 12:40pm

Creating a Trusted Narrative for Data Driven Technology

There is a lot of hype and promise surrounding AI based technology within health and care, but how do we ensure that what we develop, or commission is ethically developed, applicable to a range of users and importantly how do we create the narrative amidst this hype, to ensure that everyone including the workforce is brought along leaving no one behind.

Indra Joshi, Digital Health & AI Clinical Lead for @NHSEngland

1:40pm - 2:30pm

Ethos(s): Enabling Community and Culture

The legitimacy of open source as a software development model is undeniable.  Where companies once feared, they now consume, and even contribute; where viability as a business model was once questioned, there now are venture capital firms, profitability, initial public offerings, and acquisitions.   


Open source is no longer simply the domain of hackers and hobbyists: we, as users, contributors, maintainers, and cat herders, are all part of the open source ecosystem, frequently by way of our employment and career paths, not our spare time.  The broader open source community’s long-standing ethical principles and practices — “free as in freedom,” “with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow” — have brought open source a long way from its roots. 


In a world where open source projects, and the communities behind them, are inextricably tied to either the operation or the revenue generation of our employers — how can we, as contributors, maintainers, and nurturers of those projects, balance our employer’s interests without sacrificing the culture, ethical principles, and practices that are known to enable successful communities?  How do we illustrate to the business that community can be a force multiplier — which is a good thing — but that there are lines not to be crossed?   


This session examines the ethical principles and practices of open source community architecture that empower contributor influence and participation, drawn from both real-world examples and research. It also provides guidance to consumers and creators of open source software, for-profit or otherwise, on how to influence a community’s culture and success, as well as how to influence corporate involvement towards good, and not evil.

Robyn Bergeron, Principal Community Architect for @Ansible, @RedHat

2:55pm - 3:45pm

Effective Ethics for Busy People

Ethics are increasingly being discussed in the World of technology. As a means of discovering more about the relationship between the two domains, Kingsley founded and ran Good Tech Conference in Brighton in November 2018. This presentation gives the story that conference, the findings uncovered from it, and some concrete tips and techniques for attendees to evolve to work and live in a more ethical ways. If you have ever wanted to learn a little more about tech ethics and how to make an impact minimal available time and energy, then this is the talk for you.

Kingsley Davies, Partner @underscoreio & Director D-Limitd

4:10pm - 5:00pm

Designing an Ethical Chatbot

The tips and tricks I use when designing a chatbot to ensure it remains an ethical product and family friendly without being corrupted by trolls and abusive users.

Steve Worswick, 4 Time Winner of Loebner Prize (Most lifelike AI) & Senior Artificial Intelligence Designer @pandorabots

Preliminary tracks

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