Padua - Human Technology Lab - October 16, 2008


Richard Walker (PASION Project , Italy )

Antonella de Angeli ( Manchester University)

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE (Definition in Progress)

Antonella de Angeli ( Manchester University , UK )
Eric Mayer (Oxford Internet Institute, UK )
Ralph Schroeder (Oxford Internet Institute, UK )
Luciano Gamberini (HTLab, University of Padova , Italy )
Sean Zdenek ( Texas Tech University , USA )
Bernd Carsten Stahl (De Montford University , UK )
Sheryl Brahnam ( Missouri State University , USA )
Luciano Floridi (Univ. of Hertfordshire & Oxford , UK )
Erik Parens (The Hastings Center , USA )
Charles Ess ( Drury University , USA )
Januarius Jingwa Asongu ( University of Phoenix , USA )
Judy Illes ( University of British Columbia , Canada )
James G. Anderson ( Purdue University West Lafayette , IN - USA )
Kenneth Goodman ( Miami , FL - USA )
Nadia Berthouze (University College London, UK)
Kathleen Keeling (University of Manchester, UK)


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.

Submission procedure

Abstracts should be mailed to 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:


Submission Deadline: July 30th
Notification of acceptance: August 30th

Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale 'V. Benussi'