The Moral-IT Deck: A Tool for Ethics by Design

The Moral-IT Deck: A Tool for Ethics by Design

This open seminar hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s CDCS Digital Social Science Cluster, Dr Lachlan Urquhart introduces the Moral-IT deck, a toolkit built to support designers’ reflection on ethical issues when creating new technologies.

Awareness of technologists’ responsibilities is growing as it no longer becomes sustainable to focus purely on building functioning systems, but instead they need to consider the wider social, ethical and legal implications of their work.

The toolkit uses physical ideation cards, a design tool popular in human computer interaction research. The cards prompt engagement with digital ethics concepts by posing questions about requirements from law, privacy, security and ethics frameworks in a more accessible, visually appealing card-based form.

In this talk, Lachlan Urquhart will describe a user-friendly impact assessment board that has been developed. It poses questions about risks (including ranking their severity), considering the likelihood of occurrence, mapping out appropriate safeguards, and formulating strategies for implementing the safeguards. Lachlan will also discuss our empirical evaluation of the toolkit through a series of workshops using focus groups and questionnaires, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of a card-based approach, findings from data analysed, and lessons for building ethics into design. What does the use of such cards could tell us about cards as a tool, the technologies under discussion, and the nature of the ethics of emerging technology?

Dr Lachlan Urquhart is a Lecturer in Technology Law at the University of Edinburgh and Visiting Researcher at Horizon, University of Nottingham. He has a multidisciplinary background in computer science (PhD) and law (LL.B; LL.M). His main research interests are in human computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, data protection and cybersecurity. He has won over £2m in grants from funding bodies including from EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC, Universitas 21, Impact Accelerator Funds, and Research Priority Funds.

Chaired by James Stewart, lecturer and research fellow at the University of Edinburgh in the Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation.

First broadcast on Wednesday 28 October, 2020.

 Click here to view The Moral IT Deck directly on Media Hopper Create



Header Image: Screenshot from the open lecture