Technologists are amoral/unethical: what can be done?

10–12th May 2017 at thestudio

A 90 minute Workshop by:

Andy Longshaw

Coop Digital

John Nolan


Slides from session

The slides used for this session are available to download from here.

About this Workshop

The effect of social-media echo chambers on elections; the potentially illegal targeting of specific content at racial groups; digital printing of guns; implementing legal but questionable surveillance on behalf of a government - the consequences of the work of everyday, non-hacking technologists has never been more noticeable as a force within society. But it is a force that is arguably wielded without moral or ethical consideration.

The objective of this session is to examine why digital technology is generally practiced as an amoral/unethical occupation and then to ask participants to propose practical things we could do to address our behaviours.

The session will include group work and discussion of the ethical concerns about particular uses of technology.

About the Speakers

Andy Longshaw

Andy is a pragmatic software developer who has - unfortunately - recently ended up in roles like development manager. He has worked for many companies, from a large multi-national through to a 4-person start-up - but he is getting to the age where he is beginning to forget half of them.

He has been very fortunate that some thoughtful and intelligent people have spent their time helping him to learn some really useful and interesting stuff, so he tries to give some of that back when he can.


John Nolan

John Nolan is a world-class technologist and entrepreneur who was once described as "the guy who changes the cutting-edge into the bleeding-edge by applying it".

With a career that encompasses roles from CTO to consultant, across industries from finance and engineering to marketing and advertising, from start-ups to FTSE100s, John has taken a pragmatic approach to creating recognisable value through effective technology - whether that's hardware, software or people and practice. Recognised by institutions from the Royal Society and the ACM through to the Patent Office, John has led innovations in all areas of technology from how we program to how we understand the world through data.


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