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Fostering Inclusivity: Unveiling the Role of Responsible Technology

Updated: Apr 30


The rapid evolution of technology has unquestionably yielded numerous advantages; however, it also grapples with persistent challenges, and among these challenges, one that is particularly relevant today is discrimination. From biased algorithms to exclusionary designs, it's clear that the tech world also has issues that can sometimes lead to inequality. This realization is becoming increasingly central to our understanding of the modern world, and it underscores the urgency of addressing these challenges head-on.


In order to do so, we must turn our attention to the adoption of #responsibletechnology. In fact, this adoption becomes pivotal in fostering an environment of inclusivity within the tech industry and beyond. As we navigate through this era where technology wields an immense and ever-growing influence over our lives, the commitment to responsible practices becomes not just a choice but a fundamental necessity.


Navigating Bias with Responsible Technology


Responsible technology, a rapidly emerging concept in the field of technology and digital innovation, applies ethical principles in all stages including the design, development, and deployment of digital solutions. This approach places a strong emphasis on transparency, fairness, and accountability, all of which are critical in today's fast-paced digital era. It seeks to address societal concerns that have risen in the wake of widespread digital adoption, such as bias, privacy breaches, and accessibility issues, with the ultimate goal of fostering an equitable and inclusive digital environment for all users.


Responsible technology, therefore, extends its considerations beyond the immediate functionality of the solutions, thinking deeply about the impact of these innovations on diverse communities. This includes vulnerable people with less advantage who may be disproportionately affected by these developments. However, it's important to note that improperly designed technologies or AI models, such as Chatbots, can inadvertently exacerbate societal biases if they are not carefully monitored and managed. This underlines the increasing need for responsible AI solutions, which not only identify but actively rectify biases through continuous monitoring, feedback loops, and iterative improvements.


Responsible AI and Value-Based Engineering


Filling responsible technology with meaning and making it actionable is a challenge. Standard organizations like IEEE and ISO are championing the responsible development, monitoring, and application of technology through their work in standard development.


The standard ISO/IEC/IEEE 24748-8000, widely referred to as the IEEE 7000 , is the blueprint for Value-Based Engineering. Engineering works need to extend far beyond mere functional considerations. This approach integrates ethical dimensions throughout the entirety of the product lifecycle. It's an approach that explores human values affected by technology right from the design phase and throughout the development process.


IEEE CertifAIEd™  provides a framework for assessment on a product level through different criteria suites. The Algorithmic Bias Suite gives valuable guidance on the most important considerations to avoid those biases when designing technology. Obtaining the IEEE CertifAIEd™ badge helps businesses demonstrate their commitment to ethical AI practices and serves as an orientation to customers.


Designing technology with ethics in mind can help align the values fostered by a system with society's ethical and moral values. It is a robust framework that helps organizations to take a strong stand against discrimination and actively promotes inclusivity. This holistic approach ensures that technology can be equitable and fair. It is an approach to building technology that serves everyone, regardless of their background or personal circumstances, and in turn, contributes to creating a more inclusive society.


Conclusion


As technology continues to evolve, it brings about both substantial benefits and persistent challenges, particularly related to discrimination. The urgent need to address these challenges is evident, leading to the very practical question of how #responsibletechnology can actually be implemented in a systematic way. IEEE 7000, implemented through Value-based Engineering (VBE), as well as assessment schemes such as IEEE CertifAIEd™ will play a crucial role by supporting organizations to make Responsible Engineering a reality.

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