Ethics for People Who Work in Tech, Marc Steen’s first book, was published in October 2023. Marc’s approach to the design and application of technologies, including algorithms and AI, comes from the perspective of what makes a just society, and this discussion covers the territory of his book: ethics and responsibility, privacy and IoT, and methods for “doing ethics,” including human-centred design, value sensitive design, and responsible innovation.
As a senior research scientist at the research and innovation organisation TNO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek), Marc Steen draws on experience with highly specialised multi-partner projects such as the TRANSCEND project (citizen-centred security) and AI-MAPS (in search of ethical AI)— and, as currently engaged, ELSA Lab Defence, which aims to integrate Ethical, Legal, and Societal Aspects (ELSA) in the development and application of AI systems in the domain of justice and safety, e.g., by promoting transdisciplinary innovation and societal engagement/citizen involvement.
Ethics for People Who Work in Tech is the resource that a growing chorus of professionals and practitioners have been asking for: a staggeringly clear, accessible, richly comprehensive and engaging guide to understanding how ethics meets practice for those who build, use or deploy technology in their work. Yet the book remains deeply engaged with and respectful of the diverse traditions and theories in which humans have sought ethical knowledge. Filled with compelling examples, scenarios, case studies and exercises for ethical learning and reflection by individual professionals and teams, this book brings ethics down from the ivory tower of theory and abstraction, and into the project or design space where it can do its work in the world.
—Shannon Vallor, Baillie Gifford Professor in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence, The University of Edinburgh
This book is for people who work in the tech industry—computer and data scientists, software developers and engineers, designers, and people in business, marketing or management roles. It is also for people who are involved in the procurement and deployment of advanced applications, algorithms, and AI systems, and in policy making. Together, they create the digital products, services, and systems that shape our societies and daily lives. The book’s aim is to empower people to take responsibility, to ‘upgrade’ their skills for ethical reflection, inquiry, and deliberation. It introduces ethics in an accessible manner with practical examples, outlines of different ethical traditions, and practice-oriented methods.