Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to set out a structured meta‐methodology, named DIODE, for the ethical assessment of new and emerging technologies. DIODE has been designed by a mixture of academics, governmental people and commercial practitioners. It is designed to help diverse organisations and individuals conduct ethical assessments of new and emerging technologies. Design/methodology/approach – A framework discussion paper was developed for consultation to ensure that DIODE addresses fundamental ethical concerns, has appropriate and manageable scope and is comprehensive in its ethical compass. The resulting DIODE meta‐methodology uses flowcharts and templates, encompassing the use of diverse tools and techniques. Findings – There are two different angles for the ethical assessment of new technologies; a strategic/abstract angle and a project/application specific angle. DIODE includes two channels to accommodate this distinction. Early stage testing yielded positive feedback and mostly favourable comment. Additional guidance materials are being developed in response to the feedback. Practical implications – Without training and guidance, it is difficult for technologists to take ethical concerns into account during the development and deployment of new technologies. DIODE can provide that training and guidance through a practical meta‐methodology which should help ICT professionals, policy makers and academics. Originality/value – There is very little structured methodology material available on the ethical assessment of new technologies. The depth and sophistication contained in DIODE is therefore believed to be unique. DIODE provides practical help while remaining rooted in the philosophical and theoretical concepts of ethics.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2011
Keywords: Ethics; Information technology; Assessment
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