Monday, June 16, 2014

Review of the PICT book!!!

This is the first review I've seen of my book, Emerging Pervasive Information and Communication Technologies (PICT): Ethical Challenges, Opportunities and Safeguards. It is mostly positive, but also challenges some aspects of the book.

My favorite part is the last paragraph:
In sum, this collection of essays is accessible and inviting. While the authors sometime uncover more questions than they answer, I take this to be a virtue of a collaborative work on emerging technology. The book would be suitable as an advanced undergraduate or graduate text, and is interesting for its variety of approaches as well as the many examples of PICT that are described herein.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Call for Abstracts - Digital Ethics

Received via e-mail today - Ken

Call for Abstracts 

4th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics 

The Center for Digital Ethics & Policy at Loyola University Chicago ( will be holding its 4th Annual International Symposium on Digital Ethics on Nov 7th, 2014.

We are looking for papers on digital ethics. Topics might include privacy, anonymity, grieving, free speech, intellectual property, hacking, scamming, surveillance, information mining, transparency, digital citizenship, and/or the ethical use of digital technologies in journalism, advertising and public relations.

Paper abstracts should propose original research and be between 500 and 1,000 words in length (not including references).

Authors invited to present papers will be eligible for up to $400 in travel funds to be able to attend the Chicago symposium. The author(s) of the Top Student Paper will be eligible for up to $1,000 in travel funds.

Abstracts are due by midnight CST on April 15th, 2014, should follow APA or MLA.

Authors of top papers will have the opportunity to have their work published in Proceedings from the 4th Annual Symposium on Digital Ethics.

Send your submission in a MS Word document attachment to, and please write Digital Ethics Symposium submission in the subject line. Please send questions to the same email address.

Heartbleed and the National Academies Press

I found this amusing and wanted to share. - Ken

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What is Pervasive ICT?

I wrote this description of PICT for the 3 (!) events in which I participated at the 2014 annual meeting of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. - Ken

Pervasive information and communication technology (PICT) is similar to ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp), pervasive computing, everyware, and ambient intelligence (AmI); it includes many different concrete artifacts, including sensors, tablets, and smartphones. Three characteristics distinguish PICT:
  • It is, or could be, anywhere and everywhere – buildings, billboards, floors, restrooms, purses, pockets, coffee makers, pacemakers, eyeglasses, and the kitchen sink. 
  • It detects, collects, organizes, acts upon, and transmits information, often wirelessly on the Internet. 
  • Its presence and operation is often undetected by casual users, whether hidden physically (e.g., computer chips embedded in automobiles) or functionally. Functional invisibility occurs when a function or use of the technology is not announced (e.g., tracking online behavior), announced in a cryptic fashion (as in most terms of use), or becomes ambient through a process of familiarization, such as when smartphones become as ordinary as wallets and Facebook becomes a way of life. 
Ethical challenges posed by PICT are new and emerging, as are the technologies themselves. Our panels will be exercises in anticipatory ethics – “ethical analysis aimed at influencing the development of new technologies.”[1]

[1] Johnson, Deborah G. 2010. The role of ethics in science and engineering. Trends in Biotechnology 28(12): 589–590.

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director