Over the next two decades, connected products will demand an unprecedented amount of user trust. Technologists and designers will ask the public for yet more of their attention, more of their data, more of their lives. AIs will know users’ deepest secrets. Co-operating devices will automate security and safety. Autonomous vehicles will even make life-or-death decisions for passengers. But ours is an industry still unwilling to grapple with the ethical, social, and political angles of this future. We mistakenly believe that technology is neutral; that mere objects cannot have moral relevance. And so we make embarrassing blunders—racist chatbots, manipulative research, privacy violations—that undermine trust and harm those we should help. This is a dangerous trajectory. We urgently need a deeper ethical dialogue about emerging technology, and interaction design’s role within it.
Expert: Cennydd Bowles
Cennydd Bowles is an interaction designer and writer based in Brighton, UK. For us, his closing plenary was a key highlight of the 2011 IA Summit. And to be clear, there were lots of talented, impressive people there who gave simply awesome talks.
He has nearly a decade of experience advising clients including WWF, Samsung, ITV, The Open University and Gumtree on the benefits of customer-focused design. He speaks at design and user experience conferences across the globe and co-founded the UX London conference.
Cennydd writes for his popular blog and influential design publications, and is co-author of the book Undercover User Experience Design which he wrote with James Box. His second book, Designing the Wider Web, will be published this summer.