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Design of Socio-Technical Systems for the Digital Transformation

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Sep 15

Date and time: 15 September 2020, 3 pm
Speaker: Jeremy Pitt, Imperial College London
Title: The Design of Socio-Technical Systems for the Digital Transformation

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Abstract: The transition to the Digital Society envisaged by the Digital Transformation involves the increasing use of digital tools and technologies in the reconfiguration of business processes, organisational structures, and commercial transactions, and the recasting of social processes, physical infrastructure and relational interactions. In this context, there is a challenge to engineer value-sensitive, self-organising socio-technical systems, i.e. systems of interacting human and computational intelligences, which have to self-determine their own rules of social order, with supra-functional requirements to satisfy, or at least satisfice, qualitative human values. In this talk, we propose to complement the methodology of value-sensitive design with a number of design principles for a core set of critical human values: sustainability, sociability, justice, legitimate governance, and prosocial incentives. We argue that these design principles provide the foundations for specifying algorithms that produce and support digital communities fit for digital citizens, regardless of whether these algorithms are implemented in carbon or silicon, or both.

Bio: Jeremy Pitt is Professor of Intelligent and Self-Organising Systems in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London, where until recently he was Deputy Head of the Intelligent Systems & Networks Group. His research interests focus on developing formal models of social processes using computational logic, and their application in self-organising multi-agent systems, for example fair and sustainable common-pool resource management, computational justice and democracy. He also has strong interests in human-computer interaction, socio-technical systems, and the social impact of technology; with regard to the latter he has edited two books, This Pervasive Day (IC Press, 2012) and The Computer After Me (IC Press, 2014). He has been an investigator on more than 30 national and European research projects and has published more than 200 articles in journals and conferences. He is a Fellow of the BCS, and a Fellow of the IET, and is Editor in Chief of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.

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