About to start hearing the final pitches for the 2020 Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility Online Hackathon.


We just had the closing comments. My advice for the future was simple: We must adopt basic ethical criteria for how we judge technology projects for the social good. And we can start with a fundamental maxim borrowed from the field of medicine:

“First, do no harm.”

@aral I've come to the conclusion (that you've probably reached way earlier than me) that “Technology is neutral” already is quite a lot of propaganda used to justify unethical behaviour in most cases anyway.

@K0nrad @aral I don't think technology is neutral. Technology / algorithms are made by people. And people have agendas -- whether good or bad.

@K0nrad @aral *assuming Morpheus' voice* Welcome to the real world!

@aral I appreciate the stance but I'm rather pessimistic about its viability. With humans, harm is easily defined, causing pain, damage, death etc. But with technology there's so many examples of people arguing (in good faith!) that what some perceive as harm is not harm at all. The whole post-privacy movement for example.

I can think of similar problems in medicine, like the development of the lobotomy, but I think technology lends itself even more to this kind of ignorance 🥺

@aral that being said, if you have any notes on how this came to be in medicine and what "the community" could learn from it, I'm all ears!

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