7. Value Sensitive Design

Welcome to the final lecture set of the MOOC on Responsible Innovation. Because this is the final set, we will try to end this course on a proactive note. What can YOU do going forward to contribute to Responsible Innovation?

Since the beginning, we have been discussing the need for responsible innovation in an age when our technological prowess has the capability to radically alter the dynamics of our interactions with the technology, with the environment and of course with one another. We took critical looks at values, responsibilities, institutions, innovation (and development) and risk & safety.

Now the natural question moving forward would be, if we were to design a technology from scratch, how could we design it in a way that it preserves the values we hold dear? Can we, for example, avoid the Collingridge Dilemma? How can we systematically codify these values and translate them into design requirements? These questions, and more, will be answered in this week’s lectures, where we will be discussing Value Sensitive Design (VSD).

We will briefly cover the origins of VSD, and advantages of this approach. Then we will cover a framework for implementing VSD in practice, namely using the Values Hierarchy matrix. The Values Hierarchy Matrix explicitly operationalises Values, Norms and Design Criteria (from top to bottom, in that order).

VSD can be both a top-down or bottom-up process. We can define core values and then operationalise them into design requirements, or we can try to understand what values existing design requirements preserve or achieve.

  • 1. Introduction to Value Sensitive Design
  • 2. Applying Value Sensitive Design
  • 3. Case Study: Autonomous Weapons

Readings are provided in the Readings section.

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