Recent years have seen rapidly increasing interest in the ethical implications of ICT - Information and Communication Technology - and the triangular relationship between technology, ethics and law. Within this framework, presence technologies pose specific issues. For instance, the tools we use to create a sense of presence and convey presence information can provide other users with details we would prefer to remain private (e.g. information about our social network); they can be used as tools for occult persuasion, data mining or overt abuse; the information they transmit can have negative impacts on our psychological well-being; the data they collect can be used for surveillance and control. Technologies that create an effective sense of “being there” could alienate users from reality dulling their normal moral responses. These risks lead to a series of theoretical and practical questions. Do actions believed to be merely “virtual” have real psychological effects and real ethical implications, e.g. uninhibited actions against virtual agents? If presence technologies blur the "traditional" boundaries between the virtual and the real, what are ethical and philosophical theories should we apply to the identification of problems and the search for solutions.
The workshop will provide an opportunity to analyze these issues with the help of experts, basing the discussion on concrete “cases” that have arisen in Presence research or during the deployment of Presence technologies. Researchers and practitioners wishing to submit cases for discussion during the workshop are invited to submit an extended abstract of about 1000 words, describing a specific case and the way in which it addressed. Preference will be given to papers describing novel issues and/or novel solutions.
Abstracts should be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with '”submission to ethics workshop”' in the subject field. All abstracts should include the author's full contact information. Selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper for publication in a special issue of Psychnology Journal.
Registration to the workshop: http://www.presence2008.org/index.php?page=parallel-event-ethics-in-presence-technologies
Submission Deadline: July 30th
Notification of acceptance: August 30th