(infosthetics @ Pervasive 2007 Conference) some quick notes from Adam Greenfield's keynote talk. Adam is instructor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program & well known from his book Everyware about the social & ethical implications of ubiquitous computing, acclaimed as "groundbreaking" & "elegant" by sci-fi writer Bruce Sterling. some general observations, including 5 ethical guidelines for the design of ubiquitous systems, after the break.
see also David Rose (CEO Ambient Devices) keynote talk yesterday.
[link: speedbird.wordpress.com & v-2.org & wikipedia.org|see also we-make-money-not-art.com]
"everyware":stands for an emergent, post-PC paradigm (embedded, wireless, imperceptible, multiple, post-GUI) computation, versus the more technical terms of "pervasive" or "ubiquitous" computing.
some information processing applications on the scale of the body for facilitating new tasks: e.g. iPod phone, Nike+ accelerometer, Visa's pay-pass touchless payment. an emergent "internet of things", biometric monitors, embedded sensor grids are interacting with people as well as each other. pervasive computing is redefining acceptance of surveillance towards the "colonization of everyday life".
subtle interventions by technology should facilitate "information processing dissolving in behavior", as people viraly adapt their behavior to new opportunities. adoption of new technology appears to be unproblematic, for instanc the RFID-based Octopus payment system in Hong Kong. designers of the PC-era never had to consider issues of inadvertency (a user meant to do something else), unknowningness (user not aware of the presence or capabilities of an ubiqutous system) & unwillingness (user does not want to be exposed to surveillance). danger of misleading or false inferences made out of machine readings.
5 ethical guidelines:
(1) all ubiquitous systems should default to harmlessness.
(2) ubiquitous systems should be self-disclosing (e.g. be clearly perceptible, "seamlesness" must be an optional mode of operation). proposal of 5 different graphical icons to disclose capabilities of an object (see first image above the post).
(3) be conservative of face, so that ubiquitous systems do not unnecessarily embarrass, humiliate or shame their users.
(4) ubiquitous systems should be conservative of time, not introduce undue complications into ordinary operations.
(5) ubiquitous systems should be deniable, offer users the ability to opt out, always & at any point.