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Identifying the Ethics of Emerging Information and Communication Technologies: An Essay on Issues, Concepts and Method

Identifying the Ethics of Emerging Information and Communication Technologies: An Essay on Issues, Concepts and Method
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Author(s): Bernd Carsten Stahl (De Montfort University, UK), Richard Heersmink (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands), Philippe Goujon (Laboratory for Ethical Governance of Information Technology ,Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium), Catherine Flick (Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium), Jeroen van den Hoven (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands), Kutoma Wakunuma (De Montfort University, UK), Veikko Ikonen (VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland), Finland) and Michael Rader (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
Copyright: 2010
Volume: 1
Issue: 4
Pages: 19
Source title: International Journal of Technoethics (IJT)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Steven Umbrello (Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, University of Turin, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/jte.2010100102

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Abstract

Ethical issues of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are important because they can have significant effects on human liberty, happiness, and people’s ability to lead a good life. They are also of functional interest because they can determine whether technologies are used and whether their positive potential can unfold. For these reasons, policy makers are interested in finding out what these issues are and how they can be addressed. The best way of creating ICT policy that is sensitive to ethical issues pertain to being proactive in addressing such issues at an early stage of the technology life cycle. The present paper uses this position as a starting point and discusses how knowledge of ethical aspects of emerging ICTs can be gained. It develops a methodology that goes beyond established futures methodologies to cater for the difficult nature of ethical issues. The authors outline how the description of emerging ICTs can be used for an ethical analysis.

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