Session: Responsible Tech in an Era of Hostile Tech
The reach of technology is extending into more and more sensitive and complex arenas, from credit decisions and medical diagnoses to sentencing — to name just a few. In addition, there continues to be little discussion around what boundaries should exist to protect individuals and organizations, although legislation and regulation is increasing coming into play. While technologists don’t have an analogue to the Hippocratic oath, we still need to consider what responsibilities we have to those who use the technology that we build, as well as those who are invisible during the design process. We will discuss approaches to help technologies examine their product and technology choices to be more inclusive, aware of bias, transparent and to mitigate negative inadvertent consequences.
- Technologists need to know how to identify unintended consequences of their tech choices and how to mitigate the risks or amplify the opportunities those consequences present.
- We have a playbook outlining different approaches to identifying these consequences.
- Team diversity helps a lot in simplifying the process, but it's insufficient.
Dr. Rebecca Parsons is Thoughtworks' CTO. She has more years of experience than she’d like to admit in technology and large-scale software development. She recently co-authored the book Building Evolutionary Architectures with colleagues Neal Ford and Pat Kua.
Before ThoughtWorks she worked as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Central Florida, after completing a Director's Post Doctoral Fellowship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her interests include parallel and distributed computation, programming languages, domain specific languages, evolutionary architecture, genetic algorithms, and computational science.
Rebecca received a BS in Computer Science and Economics from Bradley University, and both an MS and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University.