How Not to Regret the Things You Will Build


I was recently stunned by learning something about Pierre Omidyar, the founder of EBay, and his Omidyar Network. His philanthropic work supports equitable economy, promotes responsible technology that improves lives, expands human capability, and makes visible emergent issues that will shape our future. His is an incredible vision and worth supporting in any possible way. On the heels of this, I came across this fabulous guide that addresses anticipating the future impact of today’s technology, or as Pierre Omidyar says, “how not to regret the things you will build.” The URL is https://ethicalOS.org Ethical OS is a toolkit to help technologists anticipate the long-term social impact and unexpected uses of the technology they create today by identifying 8 risk zones:

  1. Trust, Disinformation, Propaganda
  2. Addiction and Dopamine Economy
  3. Economic and Asset Inequality
  4. Machine Ethics and Algorithmic Biases
  5. Surveillance State
  6. Data Control and Monetization
  7. Implicit Trust and User Understanding
  8. Hateful and Critical Actors
You can choose the technology, product, and/or feature you are working on and identify questions in each risk zone that are most relevant to you and the technology you’ve chosen in order to start investigating and mitigating these risks.

According to Ethical OS: “With these questions, you can start conversations within your company or team to correct or mitigate these risks. You can build the checklist into your product design requirements, distribute your top questions to your board and advisors to get their input, post the questions around your office where they can help keep these ethical issues top of mind, collect resources and seek out experts around your top risk areas to inform your strategy and design, and revisit the checklist whenever you’re starting development or planning to scale a new product or service.”

This idea is brilliant and the tools are very well structured and articulated. This is a great resource to use with every technology, product, or feature that you create to help shape a better and more sustainable world.

Personal Projects

Code Integrity

An assessment tool for an ethical and sustainable code that determines if a project complies with ethical and sustainable practices.

CodeIntegrity.org will launch in June 22, 2020. Please stay tuned for more information.

eUtopian

The idea behind eUtopian.org is to create a community of critical thinkers and dreamer software developers concerned about our future, and to create a space to envision together how to solve the major challenges of humanity and earth, prioritizing people over technology. Ideas will turn into sustainable projects for the benefit of our societies and the developers involved.

eUtopian.org will launch in September 20, 2020. Please stay tuned for more information.