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CS 492 Social Implications of Computing

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time table

Table of Contents

Week 1

Neil Postman: Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change

  1. trade-offs exist
    • computer users neglect to share liabilities
    • automobiles poison the air and degrade the landscape
    • culture pays a price for technology
  2. advantages and disadvantages are not distributed equally
    • Who benefits and is harmed from the development of new technology
  3. behind each technology is a philosophy
  4. technology has ecological large change and is not an additive
  5. technology becomes so embedded it is looked upon as a nature
    • requires human awareness

Some Thoughts About the Social Implications of Accessible Computing

Thanks ChatGPT:

The authors argue that accessible computing, which refers to the ability of individuals to access and use computers easily, can have far-reaching implications for social change. They discuss how accessible computing can promote increased efficiency and productivity, greater accessibility to information, and enhanced communication between people. However, they also raise concerns about the potential negative effects of computing on privacy, personal relationships, and employment. The authors conclude that accessible computing has the potential to both improve and challenge existing social structures, and that it is important to carefully consider the social implications of this technology as it continues to evolve.

  1. Privacy: The authors argue that accessible computing could lead to a loss of privacy. They note that as more information becomes available online, it becomes easier for individuals and organizations to collect data on people without their knowledge or consent. This could have serious consequences for personal privacy and civil liberties.
  2. Social isolation: The authors suggest that accessible computing could contribute to social isolation, as people become increasingly reliant on digital communication and interaction at the expense of face-to-face interaction. They note that this could have negative consequences for mental health and social well-being.
  3. Employment: The authors note that accessible computing could lead to job displacement and unemployment, particularly in industries that rely on manual labor or routine tasks. They suggest that this could exacerbate existing social and economic inequalities.
  4. Digital divide: The authors argue that accessible computing could widen the gap between those who have access to technology and those who do not, creating a digital divide that could have serious social and economic consequences.

Human Values and the Future of Technology: A Declaration of Empowerment

  • argues for a more human-centric approach for designing and implementing technology
  • principles:
    • Respect for human rights: Technology should be designed and implemented in a way that upholds human rights, including privacy, freedom of expression, and access to information.
    • Transparency: The design and operation of technology should be transparent, so that users understand how it works and how it affects their lives.
    • Accessibility: Technology should be accessible to all people, regardless of their age, ability, or socioeconomic status.
      • Disagree: children should not have access to some sites, it deprives them of their innocence and takes advantage of their lack of consciousness as well as their lack of foresight and lack of hardened morals
    • Accountability: Those who design and operate technology should be accountable for its impact on society, and there should be mechanisms in place to ensure that they are held responsible.
    • User-centered design: Technology should be designed with the needs and perspectives of users in mind, to ensure that it serves their goals and priorities.
    • Sustainability: Technology should be designed and operated in a way that minimizes its impact on the environment and promotes sustainable development.

No More Phones and Other Tech Predictions for the Next Decade

  • smartphones will become obsolete and replaced by wearable devices, such as smart glasses or watches. Additionally, it predicts that voice assistants will become more prevalent and advanced
  • AI and ML will become more pervasive
    • AI being integrated into various aspects of our lives such as healthcare, education, and transportation
    • 5G adoption -> autonomous vehicles and augmented reality experiences.
    • biotechnology, including gene editing and personalized medicine.

Unintended consequences

  • in inventing new technologies, scientists and engineers often focus on the potential benefits and may not consider the possible negative consequences
  • automobile, which brought benefits like faster transportation but also had negative consequences such as increased pollution and traffic accidents.
  • internet: cyberbullying, fake news, and online harassment.
  • unintended consequences can be found via: ongoing research and development, as well as greater collaboration between scientists, policymakers, and the public.

A Future Where Everything Becomes a Computer Is as Creepy as You Feared

  • The article argues that while the convenience and efficiency of the IoT are appealing, the technology also poses significant risks to privacy and security.
  • growing risk of hackers gaining access to personal information and even taking control of devices.
  • The article also discusses how the constant collection of data by IoT devices poses a threat to privacy. Companies can collect and analyze data from these devices to learn more about consumers’ habits and preferences, which could be used for targeted advertising or even sold to third parties without consumers’ knowledge or consent.
  • be cautious and take steps to protect our privacy and security
  • consumers being informed about the risks and taking measures such as using strong passwords and being selective about the devices they connect to the internet.

A declaration of the dependence of cyberspace

  • co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • Verifiability and trust are only two requirements from a currency (bitcoin). Other requirements, which are intimately related, are value and supply
  • Apparently 2% depreciation of the currency is good for economic growth (not cited by anyone who pushes 2%)
    • the idea that apolitical money will replace political money is “delusional”
  • basically a statist

Week 2

Trust, authenticity, and discursive power in cyberspace

There exist challenges of verifying authenticity in an environment characterized by anonymity, pseudonyms, and digital manipulation are explored, shedding light on the potential for deception and manipulation.

Week 3

‘Terrifying’: How a single line of computer code put thousands of innocent Turks in jail

  • Bylock

every time I read these articles, I have to go down the rabbit hole.


Team A

  • S

Team B

  • identity theft & data breaches

    • UID is worse than status quo
    • False sense of security
    • Humans are the worst link for cyber security
  • new procedures and policies, or $5B and the budget is $60B per year already

  • Facebook 2019 data breach

  • “Canada does not have the technology to build this”

  • single point of failure

  • political implications What if Universal IDs were not an identity thing, but a physical thing, and we had offline hashing and encryption comparison?

  • Roger’s network going down

  • Prime target for hackers

RPE Misinformation

  • misinformation can turn into violence

  • would art work be considered misinformation? A person shared a meme about voting by texting

  • this is already a criminal offense with regards to elections, should the laws be rolled out by industry or activity rather than a blanket rule for everything?

  • now we are using AI to detect misinformation? Would’nt that be misinforception

  • how would you go about implementing misinformation literacy education when people including us have not been forced to take a class on misinformation as well as the millions of people who are already working in the workplace.

    • classrooms is okay
  • community notes are good however I usually see them on viral posts but not on tweets posted by popular users which don’t go viral

Week 7

Ethics and Ethics Workshop

Chat GPT

Meet Unstable Diffusion, the group trying to monetize AI porn generators

Deepfake porn could be a growing problem amid AI race

Microsoft Says New A.I. Shows Signs of Human Reasoning

Week 8

Computer-Mediated Communication

Cellphones and Texting have Blown Up the Dating Culture

  • safety because don’t have to be face-to-face
  • less intimidating because not real time communication
  • texting makes rooms for games and shows no commitment unless explicitly stated

Can Blogs Revolutionize Progressive Politics?

  • lots of buzzwords from this 2006 article: netroots
    • online grassroots constituency
    • wow RSS feeds are mentioned
  • and are two different blog pages
  • fact checking all the way back in 2006 but yet it took over a decade for insane fact checking

Video Games

Video Game Addiction Symptoms, Causes and Effects

  • 6 to 15 percent of all gamers exhibit signs that could be characterized as addiction

Is Internet Addiction a Real Thing?

  • Both behavioral and substance addictions are characterized by an inability to control how often or how intensely you engage in an activity
  • some genetic basis
  • brain’s reward circuitry
  • substantial overlap (substance abuse and gambling)

Not just a video game: the obsessive world of gaming and its young stars

When Steve and Angelika Crisp confiscated his console during Thanksgiving weekend, the teen threatened to run away from home — and did on Monday Oct. 13, 2008. His body was found three weeks later in a forest, with the cause of death determined to have been a blow to the chest likely caused by falling from a tree.

  • 15-year-old
  • Many kids are playing M-rated games
  • Can turn into a profession
    • If kids can skip classes for professional sports, why not professional e-sports?

Week 9

Gender Balance


Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower

Week 12

E-Voting, 3D Printing, Big Data

United States Case Study on E-Voting

Margin is in the hundreds, but millions of votes were lost due to technical malfunctions.

France has remote internet voting

Can vote remotely through the internet. I like this methodology since you cna set a bounty of $1 million which will deter black hat hackers. Such amount of money deters crimes, rewards security, and can ensure that more Canadians can vote. Voting would take less than 5 minutes, could be done through phones, and would be as secure as logging into your bank account or CRA account. SIN plus 2FA.

Untraceable 3D-printed ‘ghost guns’ on the rise in Canada

  • ghost gun
  • untraceable
  • used in crimes
  • 3D printed illegal parts, buy non-illegal part
  • silencers

Cryptocurrencies and Ransomware


  • Won’t face restrictions to withdraw money
  • Can send unlimited money internationally with paying extra fees
  • Transfers are instant or are finalized within 30 minutes


  • Criminals can use it for financing
  • Users might not be able to store it properly
    • solved by crypto-banks that are insured similar to how fiat banks are insured
  • Price volatility
    • Cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be bought to make it big
    • Rather buy for the purpose of using it as currency in the present or future
  • Technical jargon