Ethical assessment of new technologies: a meta-methodology

Harris, Ian, Jennings, Richard C., Pullinger, David, Rogerson, Simon and Duquenoy, Penny (2011) Ethical assessment of new technologies: a meta-methodology. Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society, 9 (1) . pp. 49-64. ISSN 1477-996X [Article] (doi:10.1108/14779961111123223)

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to set out a structured meta-methodology, named DIODE, for the ethical assessment of new and emerging technologies. DIODE has been designed by a mixture of academics, governmental people and commercial practitioners. It is designed to help diverse organisations and individuals conduct ethical assessments of new and emerging technologies.

Design/methodology/approach - framework discussion paper was developed for consultation to ensure that DIODE addresses fundamental ethical concerns, has appropriate and manageable scope and is comprehensive in its ethical compass. The resulting DIODE meta-methodology uses flowcharts and templates, encompassing the use of diverse tools and techniques.

Findings - There are two different angles for the ethical assessment of new technologies; a strategic/abstract angle and a project/application specific angle. DIODE includes two channels to accommodate this distinction. Early stage testing yielded positive feedback and mostly favourable comment. Additional guidance materials are being developed in response to the feedback.

Practical implications - Without training and guidance, it is difficult for technologists to take ethical concerns into account during the development and deployment of new technologies. DIODE can provide that training and guidance through a practical meta-methodology which should help ICT professionals, policy makers and academics.

Originality/valueThere is very little structured methodology material available on the ethical assessment of new technologies. The depth and sophistication contained in DIODE is therefore believed to be unique. DIODE provides practical help while remaining rooted in the philosophical and theoretical concepts of ethics.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science > Aspects of Law and Ethics Related to Technology group
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 7717
Notes on copyright: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (please insert the web address here). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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Depositing User: Mrs Sue Black
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2011 11:13
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 00:55

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