ViC at Not-Equal Summer School

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ViC was excited to join the first Not-Equal summer school,  which took place in Swansea from the 27-30th August 2019 and explored the intersections between Algorithmic Social Justice and Digital Security through a programme of talks, workshops and panel sessions. ViC hosted a session on ‘Values-First and Responsible Computing‘, abstract below:


The software industry, computing research, and wider society have yet to fully grasp the potentially devastating consequences of unleashing, at scale, software that has been built without putting societal concerns and people’s lives first. This is even more critical with the emergence of new trends, especially with AI, where software is already making autonomous decisions, e.g. in the financial sector. Following an increasing number of high-profile software scandals and malpractices (e.g. the VW deceit software, FB/Cambridge Analytica illicit personal data harvesting, and Boeing 373 Max anti-stall software disasters), calls have been made for radical changes in business models and tough policies to strongly regulate against pervasive software industry malpractices. Although much needed, laws and regulations can be broken or circumvented. What cannot be so easily broken is a values-informed, diverse, and well-connected community of computing practice; one that understands what human values are, what social responsibility means, and the way that values and responsibility are written into code.  This talk will share research approaches, tools, findings, and future directions from on-going work at Lancaster University.

Measuring Human Values in Software Production

When & Where

Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, SIAM-IMA  Early Career Researcher Conference, LIverpool, 3-5 April 2019


Human values, such as prestige, social justice, and financial success, influence software production decision-making processes. While their subjectivity makes some values difficult to measure, their impact on software -and of software on society -motivates my research. This talk makes the case for the study of human values in software production and offers two key principles in order to advance this research agenda. Firstly, the significance of values as distinguished from, though connected to, ethics; and secondly, the need for clear theoretical to values study. It then introduces a selection of tools and techniques that have been designed in accordance with these two principles and used with computing professionals from research, education, and industry. It concludes with discussion around lessons learnt, ongoing challenges, and future directions.

Delivered By MAF @ViC