It’s hard to underestimate the impact of technology in our lives. Thanks to the technological breakthroughs of the past couple of decades, we’re connecting and collaborating seamlessly across the globe, there’s a revolution underway in healthcare, and we can access materials, products, and services from anywhere at the click of a button.
The trouble with tech
With digital technologies evolving at warp speed, we are increasingly dependent on tech companies being able and willing to design ethical solutions. Many technologies run on a highway of free data, we as users have more or less consciously handed over. However, ethics still seem to be the blinking “road work ahead”-sign that companies overlook, as they speed along. The spread of misinformation, political manipulation, state surveillance, and a growing addiction to digital gadgets and services are just some of the examples of technology taking the wrong turns.
A digital design challenge
The shape and function of digital solutions are ultimately a design challenge. Artificial intelligence is designed by human intelligence – including human bias and other limitations. Used the right way, design is a creative process centering around human needs and perspectives. As such, it presents a number of ways to develop more responsible digital products and services. At DDC, we work to find new ways of aligning ethics with design, and human needs with financial goals. One example is our Digital Ethics Compass, a toolkit to help companies explore and discuss ethical dilemmas at the earliest stages of the innovation process.
Ethics shouldn’t be a roadblock along the route to financial success. It should be a competitive advantage to the benefit of both businesses, users, and society.
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