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Social Context of Computing


... Education Government Social sectors Workplace The Digital Divide Information haves and ... engineering Gender and Cybertechnology Access Issues In ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Social Context of Computing

Social Context of Computing
  • CSCI102 - Systems
  • ITCS905 - Systems
  • MCS9102 - Systems

Social Issues
  • How does cybertechnology effect
  • Socio-demographic groups
  • Social class
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Social and political institutions
  • Education
  • Government
  • Social sectors
  • Workplace

The Digital Divide
  • Information haves and have-nots
  • Perceived gap between those with and without
    access to information tools and the ability to
    use them
  • Divide between nations
  • Divide within nations

The Digital Divide
  • Global Digital Divide
  • 6 of the world population is online
  • 68 of these in Nth.America Europe
  • 2 billion people live without electricity
  • net access in developing countries is subject to
    low bandwidth, slow access, and prohibitive
  • Literacy is low in many countries
  • Most material on the net is in English
  • Former US VP, Al Gore and the GII initiative for
    universal access
  • No real result

The Digital Divide
  • Digital Divide in the USA
  • Universal Service vs. Universal Access
  • Universal service concept applied to telephony,
    now to internet access
  • Public Education and the Analog Divide
  • Access is not only divided on income but on
    educational levels
  • Monahan Analog divide refers to inequalities
    that predated the digital technological
    revolution but continued through

The Digital Divide
  • Digital Divide as an Ethical Issue
  • People denied access to cyber tech are denied
    access to resources vital for their well-being?
  • Access to knowledge is limited
  • Ability to participate in politics and receive
    important info is restricted
  • Economic prospects severely limited
  • Do we have a moral obligation to bridge the
    digital divide?

Cybertechnology and the Disabled
  • Tim Berners-Lee, director of W3C
  • the power of the web is in its universality.
    Access by everyone regardless of disability is an
    essential aspect
  • Disability as a social-construct
  • Perception of obligation
  • Telstra and teletypewriters
  • HREOC 1995 discrimination finding

Race and Cybertechnology
  • In USA
  • 51 of homes have ? 1 computer
  • 41.5 of homes have net access
  • 86.3 of households earning gt US75kpa have
  • 12.7 earning lt 15kpa have access
  • Internet usage by Racial/Ethnic Group in US

Whites Asian-Americans African-Americans Hispanics
46.1 56.8 23.5 23.1
Race and Cybertechnology
  • Technology, Race Public Policy
  • Studies show web-site developers see little
    benefit in developing content for minorities
  • Since (for example) African-Americans make up a
    small user percentage, there is little incentive
    for non-African-Americans to develop material
    targeted for that audience

Race and Cybertechnology
  • Rhetoric Racism
  • Exclusion built-in to public policy
  • Thoughtlessnesseffect of highways running
    through low-income and minority areas
  • Blatant racismcivic design for social

Gender and Cybertechnology
  • Access Issues
  • In most societies, women are certainly not
    actively denied access to cybertechnology but
    still make up a small and shrinking percentage of
    industry professionals
  • Early education socialization?
  • As with racial minorities, lower number of
    representatives in the owners and creators
    lower representation in content and access

Gender and Cybertechnology
  • Gender Bias and Educational Software
  • Studies showed that learning programmes designed
    for cybertechnology matched to a male-stereotype
  • Gender Bias and Educational Software
  • Most interactive software favours male-physiology
  • Females better at colour differentiation
  • Males better at depth perception and movement
  • Due to physical differences in eyes

Employment and Work
  • Job Displacement Automation
  • Cybertechnology has created or displaced jobs?
  • Lost in some sectors
  • Created in others
  • Linked to automation

Employment and Work
  • Robotics Expert Systems
  • Robots capable of multiple tasks
  • Low cost
  • High productivity
  • Expert systems
  • A primitive form of AI
  • Replacement for experience?
  • Mobile Agents
  • Commercial agents online auctions
  • Intelligent reactive planners

Employment and Work
  • Virtual Organisations Remote Work
  • Telecommuting
  • Office automation
  • Anywhere connectivity PAN leads to
  • Virtual organisations
  • Virtual teams
  • Virtual corporations
  • virtual work ? )

Employment and Work
  • Telecommuting may assist the disabled
  • Or result in new forms of discrimination
  • Restricted to hidden off-site tasks
  • Removed from the work society

Quality of Work Life
  • Health and Safety Issues
  • VDU radiation
  • RSI
  • Typists-neck
  • Stress

Quality of Work Life
  • Employee Stress, Workplace Surveillance and
    Computer Monitoring
  • The invisible supervisor
  • Keystroke capture
  • PC anywhere
  • Email monitoring
  • Phone logs
  • Video surveillance

Employee Autonomy and Privacy
  • Proposal 1 (Marx Sherizen 1991)An Ethics for
    Employee Monitoring
  • Job related data collection only
  • Employers provide advanced notice mechanisms
    for appeal
  • Verification of machine-collected data prior to
    it being used for employee evaluation
  • Employee access to the data on themselves
  • Monetary redress for violation of rights or
    negative reporting through machine error
  • statute of limitations on data collected

Employee Autonomy and Privacy
  • Proposal 2 (Introna 2001)An Alternative
  • Employees dont fear surveillance as such, but
    the choices their bosses may make based on the
    data collected
  • Asymmetry of power, where employer holds all the
    power a concern for workplace justice
  • Total privacy -gt employee fraud
  • Total transparency -gt loss of worth, trust
  • Need a framework that distributes privacy and
  • This is a complex ethical issue

CSCI102 Week 2(a)
  • Thank you to Bob Brown who prepared the material
    for this lecture.
  • Main Reference
  • Herman T. Tavani. Ethics Technology ethical
    issues in an Age of Information and Communication
    Technology. Hoboken, NJ John Wiley, 2004.
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