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Computer aided ethical IT systems design
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Human-Computer Interaction.
2010 (English)In: ETHICOMP 2010: The "backwards, forwards, and sideways" changes of ICT / [ed] Arias-Oliva, M., Bynum, T. W., Rogerson, S. and Torres-Coronas, T., Tarragona, Spain: Universitat Rovira i Virgili , 2010, 332-340 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose with EthXpert is to help an analyst or decision maker to understand how different design solutions affect the interests of each involved stakeholder. To support this understanding, the analysis is made explicit by iterating a procedure comprising three main steps. The first step is to create an overview by drawing a stakeholder network, i.e. a map over the relations between all stakeholders. Second the impact of each stakeholder’s interests on other stakeholders are analyzed and noted. Finally the considerations for each interest are used as foundation for making assumptions about how the stakeholders are affected by different design solutions. Not only does this process help people to scrutinize, structure and get overview of an ethical problem. The resulting document can also be used as vindication of the choices that are made. Various ethical support systems have targeted the concern of identifying relevant information in different ways. EthXpert has been applied on the design of different IT systems with very positive results. With help from EthXpert the test groups were able to extend previous analyses through identifying additional stakeholders and interests. The procedure also gave insight in how the interests of different stakeholders were interrelated. Some of the test groups especially appreciated the collaboration feature of EthXpert. An ethical analysis often brings up many big and small issues to consider and it is therefore efficient if a group can cooperate in solving the problems. Thus the tool also works as a means to gather several perspectives on a problem. Through the explicit process, the designer acquires both a better overview of the complexity of a problem and a conception of how the involved stakeholders affect and are affected by different solutions. Almost all of the test subjects were of the opinion that the systematic procedure of EthXpert is purposeful for acquiring higher ethical problem-solving and decision-making skills by offering a holistic overview over ethical aspects in the design of IT systems. Although critical remarks about the usability of the interface, many also became aware of shortages in a prior analysis made without the tool. This indicates that a computerized tool that guides the investigation of stakeholders’ interests, and supports structuring and overview over information, is helpful for designing more ethical IT systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tarragona, Spain: Universitat Rovira i Virgili , 2010. 332-340 p.
Keyword [en]
computer, information, communication, technology, ethics, ethical competence, skill, decision support, usability
Keyword [sv]
informationsteknologi, kommunikationsteknologi, etik, moral, etisk kompetens, problemlösning, beslutstöd, dator, datoretik, expertsystem, användbarhet
National Category
Computer and Information Science Computer Science Philosophy Psychology
Research subject
Human-Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-123030ISBN: 978-84-693-0611-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-123030DiVA: diva2:311665
The 11th ETHICOMP International conference on the Social and Ethical Impacts of Information and Communication Technology
Available from: 2010-04-22 Created: 2010-04-22 Last updated: 2010-06-05Bibliographically approved

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