HCC13 A great success

Poznan Old Market Square
Summary Panel









13th Human Choice and Computers Conference declared a success at IFIP General Assembly

The conference organisers were warmly congratulated for their part in making a success of HCC13, and its part in the overall success of the World Computer Congress in Poznan, Poland, at the General Assembly of IFIP held in the days following the conference and congress.

Plans are already afoot for HCC14 and interested parties should keep their eye on www.ifiptc9.org for news and forthcoming announcements in the coming weeks and months.

First and Second Looks

Professor Charles Ess, co-chair of the conference, generously provided the text supporting his introduction to the conference, on the morning of Wednesday 19th, and his summary, on the morning of Friday 21st September.

We present this text below, unedited, both for the benefit of the authors and attendees of the conference, and as a guide and encourage to interested parties who may be thinking of acquiring the Proceedings:

First Looks – HCC 13

(NB: all references without a date are to conference papers included in the Proceedings)

From wandering in the wilderness

after 30+ years of efforts to spur dialogue between philosophers, ethicists, humanists, social scientists // computer scientists, software engineers …

Not to mention: women… (cf. Van Herck & Fiscarellion the absence of women in computer conferences …)

(e.g., “Computational turn” àthe first Computing and Philosophy (CAP) conference in 1986)

à“fall of the wall”– Software engineers become virtue ethicists (Zevenbergen et al 2015; Spiekermann 2016 …)


Here a completely new urgency, not just for philosophers or ethicists, but for all researchers and in general for all of us emerges: how can we develop a new stage of ethics, an ethics that will drive our behavior and inform our decisions when the consequences of our acts are so distant in the future (Patrignani & Kavathatzopoulos 192)


“computer ethics have to become a tool to steer computing innovation constructively in a responsible way, and not simply a tool to compensate or fill a policy gap. This is a form of responsible innovation that places human beings, society, sustainability, the environment and planet as essential.” (Patrignani and Whitehouse, cited in Junge and van der Velden, 197)


we have to take into account potential negative effects on the individual, social, and societal level before products are launched. That is, we have to put more effort into the design phase. Design methods that focus on human values seem especially promising in that regard. (Bednar & Spiekermann, 223)

to a feast:

history of computational devices, software design

Nadia Ambrosetti, Matteo Cantamesse (Italy); Ian Pyle (UK); Arthur Tatnall (Australia)

[and we can add: Lady Ada, Babbage … Leibniz … the Antikythera Mechanism …

– justice, equity, and ONGOING digital / cultural / social … divides: ICT4D & Improvement of ICTs

Sam Takavarasha, Liezel Cilliers, Willie Chinyamurindi – ICT access disparities(South Africa, New Zealand)

Sonja Hyrynsalmi, Minna Rantanen, Sami Hrynsalmi – Finnish software businesses on labour shortage and its potential impacts (Finland): RESOURCE problem in Finland?

Joey Jansen Van Vuuren, Louise Leenen – cybersecurity: RESOURCE PROBLEM in South Africa (South Africa)

Riana Steyn, Carina de Villiers, Hossana Twinomurinzi – ICT skills enhancement(South Africa)

Judy van Biljon, Filistea Naude (South Africa) – LIMITED INTER-INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION …

Parakum Pathirana, Conrad Dias, Thisan Samarasinghe, Shanmugarajah Sinnathamby (Sri Lanka) – design for a A Digital Merchant Platform – one that could improve ways of providing credit to the poor

Jesús Sánchez Gómez, Ana Zornoza Abad, Virginia Orengo Castellá, Vicente Peñarroja Cabañero, and Petros Chamakiotis – team-building competencies?It’s not enough to be agreeable …(Spain, UK)

Tobias Nyström, Moyen Mustaquim – inclusive / sustainable HCIdesign(Sweden)

Maja van der Velden – doughnut economics and the Anthropocene (Netherlands / Norway)

Norberto Patrignani, Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos – sustainability, slow tech … (Italy, Sweden)

Ines Junge and Maja van der Velden – obsolescence, instrumentalism, and technological determinism (Norway): pessimism for Slow Tech and sustainability?

The (young) users are getting smarter?  Growing skepticism towards mobile devices, social media, etc.  Kathrin Bednar, Sarah Spiekermann (Austria)

Along with: virtue ethics / care ethics / deontology / utilitarianism / phronesis / aporia …)

– legal / regulatory

– design –

value-sensitive design (Friedman – Nyström & Mustaquim);

doughnut economics,etc. (van der Velden);

slow tech(Whitehouse – Patrignani & Kavathatzopoulos)

participatory design– Sisse Finken, Christina Mörtberg and Pirjo Elovaara

– feminism / feminist technoscience

Johanna Sefyrin, Pirjo Elovaara, and Christina Mörtberg– gender equality in Sweden?

Sytze Van Herck and Antonio Maria Fiscarelli – “mind the gap” in computer science conferences(Luxemburg)

Hilde G. Corneliussen, Clem Herman, and Radhika Gajjala (Norway / UK / US)  – how the feminist gaze makes a difference

Sisse Finken, Christina Mörtberg and Pirjo Elovaara (Denmark / Sweden) – feminist technoscience and participatory design


Olli I. Heimo, Minna M. Rantanen, and Kai K. Kimppa (Finland) – school information systems.  (NB: advantages of the analogue! 277)

Ethics, ethics, ethics – and law, regulatory policy, etc.

Kiyoshi Murata, Yohko Orito and Miha Takubo (Japan): the establishment of the right to be translucent and the notion of co-ownership of digital objects are proposed.

àrelational selves / inclusive notions of property / group privacy / distributed responsibility …

Honesty no longer a virtue?

Iourdanos Kavathatzopoulos and Ryoko Asai (Sweden): Socrates, Aristotle, phronesis, aporia … oh my!

Wessel Reijers, Kevin Koidl, David Lewis, Harshvardhan J. Pandit, and Bert Gordijn (Ireland) – the Ethics Canvas  //

Taro Komukai, Aimi Ozaki (Japan): aim to improve cross-border data investigations, with due consideration of human rights and international law, by analyzing current international discussions in this field.

Kaori Ishii (Japan): the legal issuespertaining to data portabilityfrom the perspectives of both personal data protectionand antitrust laws

(4) when it comes to establishing a data portability scheme from an antitrust perspective, data portability should be obliged depending on the kinds of platform. … an antitrust regulatory scheme can be imple/mented. While this right does not overcome the monopoly owned by digital giants, it is expected to foster sound data flow using existing data platforms. (363f.)

Philosophical / conceptual:

Vassilis Galanos (Sweden):

… intelligence, according to shared cognition approaches can be viewed as a phenomenon taking place in the context of a given ecology and not as an organism’s intrinsic property. No organism can be imagined without a context, and therefore, intelligence is not owned by individuals but happens only within interaction.(380) àrelational selves / inclusive property / group privacy / distributed responsibility …

à  AI does not exist as in relation to a natural intelligence or in relation to nonintelligent entities. By this double, apparently simple, lesson learned from a reexamination of AI’s characteristics, a number of questions are raised concerning the co-production of morality in meshed human/robotic societies, as well as a tentative agenda for future empirical investigations. (367)

Minna Rantanen, Jani Koskinen (Finland): Personal Health Records (PHR)  – need for a definition

Miranda Kajtazi, Darek Haftor (Sweden): A theory of information inadequacy – yes!

… each pattern of information inadequacy identifiedmight be used to direct new and innovative diagnostic and re-design teamsthat focus on information management and on more careful planning of information flows that are present and important in dramatic situations that happen in everyday basis.(410)

[– STS / philosophy of technology – Latour, Ihde, Verbeek àMark Coeckelbergh,New Romantic Cyborgs: Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine (The MIT Press, 2017)

During / after the feast …

“culture” still makes a difference – and is still largely ignored …



Spiekermann, Sarah. Ethical IT Innovation: A Value-Based System Design Approach. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2016.

Zevenbergen, B., Mittelstadt, B., Véliz, C., Detweiler, C., Cath, C., Savulescu, J., & Whittaker, M. (2015). Philosophy meets Internet engineering: Ethics in networked systems research. (GTC workshop outcomes paper). Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.  Retrieved from

Second looks –

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

Philosophical hybrids …

Don Gotterbarn’s address

Move from the presumption of «ethics as rules» to be followed (or not)

àEthics as situated / context-oriented / process oriented – precisely for the reasons he adduced …

// Association of Internet Researchers development of Internet Research Ethics 3.0 (1.0 – 2002; 2.0, 2012): dialogicalapproach that centers on the ethical intuitions / experiences / insights of practitioners first – then analytical / philosophical efforts to use ethical frameworks to help clarify basic definitions, norms, problems, approaches, possible resolutions(not “solutions”).

Vassilis Galanos, conceptual deconstruction àAI does not exist (as we ordinarily think of it)

One word: ROMP!

Iordanis Kavathatzopoulos, Ryoko Asai

Asked precisely the right philosophical questionsabout “sustainability”: àone contribution of philosophy is help (sometimes) with more precise definitions – as illustrated by Miranda Kajtazi andDarek Haftor on Information / overload / lack / inadequacy

(Cf. wonderful reminders of philosophers as “horseflies” who irritate the otherwise contented animal of the individual and the state to reflecton their conscience, meaning, etc.

— at the risk of becoming electric fish who can paralyze us …)

BUT: do we have time for this vis-à-vis the urgency to “save the boat”?

Maja van der Velden, Haraway// Norberto Patrignani & Diane Whitehouse – “Slow Tech”:

Slow down – perhaps different / better solutions can be found

// Coeckelberg / Heidegger: shift from technological / instrumental / modernist frameworks of technology as mastery and control: every problem thus can be “solved”

à“epistemological humility” – we can’t know / control everything … postures of alsowaiting with hope (vs. drowning in despair)

Example: “Responsible Research and Innovation” calls … from one person’s encounter with Hannah Arendt …

Norberto: “philosophical engineers” – e.g., Don Gotterbarn + “the fall of the wall”:

because of the relationship between powerand ethics:

greater duty to protect the more vulnerable ßà

àthose with more powerhave greater obligationsto exercise power with care and responsibility:

… virtue ethics should be applied to Internet research and engineering – where the technical persons must fulfil the character traits of the ‘virtuous agent’ … (Zevenbergen et al 2015)

How to do this?

Methodological reconsiderations –

Judith Simon (2015) takes up the work of Karen Barad and Lucy Suchman to articulate a fundamental epistemological complementaritybetween natural science and ethics.

“distributed epistemological responsibility”that is at the same time irreducibly ethical.

As a result, those in sciences and disciplines once thought to be “value-neutral” and/or thoroughly divorced from ethics per se, must recognize and take on board in their work their ethicalresponsibilities — first of all, as knowers whose knowledge practices thereby shape and inflect the knowledges we produce.As Simon goes on to point out, “knowledge always implies responsibility,” meaning first of all that the “issues of ethics and politics of such knowledge- and reality-creating processes [are] indispensable”(2015, p.153)

Additional strongly recommended resources:

Mark Coeckelbergh. 2017. New Romantic Cyborgs: Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine. (The MIT Press)

Theoretical richness and diversity … striking concrete examples of how to change people’s understandings, approaches, etc.

Ethics – the Ethics Canvas (dialogical, process-oriented ethics again …)

Cf: “Data Ethics Decision Aid” (DEDA), Utrecht Data School,


GenderHilde G. Corneliussen, Clem Herman, Radhika Gajjala

Radihka’sapproaches help students see the role of gender and other power-structures in the design and implementation of ICTs

// Johanna Sefyrin, Christina Mörtberg, Pirjo Elovaara – Feminist Technoscience in Swedish higher education …

Christina Mörtberg’s example of “things that are going on in the interactions” … Women realizing that they have power in otherwise male-dominated contexts / structures …

Framing is everything …

Humans can be protected when entangled within a social network / system:

Information theory presumes the human as an individual / “hyperindividual”

àfoundational – culturally shaped – assumptions regarding human nature / selfhood – individual vs. relational, etc.

Consider basic metaphors: // mission statement of Weizenbaum Institute

Johanna Sefyrin: “closely knitted relations”

David Kreps: “quilt”


“networks,” “networked society” etc. ànetworks?  In social science, from early (Norwegian) study of fishing village: a fisherman’s net catalyzed the researcher’s understanding of how to understand and analyze social relationships

Priority on relationality


individuals / nodes only secondarily connected together in a network (e.g., “networked individualism,” “hyperindividualism,” etc.)?

Critical middle ground / both-and:

relational autonomies– both individuals and inextricably interconnected with one another. (Also interwoven with ethics of care: Tappolet 2014; Westlund 2014))

Andrea Veltman and Mark Piper invoke the central aims of virtue ethics, asserting that “autonomy is one primary good among others that a person needs to live a good life or to achieve human flourishing” (2014, 2). In particular, Veltman (2014) explicitly conjoins virtue ethics with a Kantian deontological account of autonomy that grounds respect for persons as a primary value.

More pictures: Newgrange – a 5000 year-old chamber “grave”: a four-generation project, designed to mark the winter solstice and the beginning of the return of sun, light, and new life in the spring.

My point is that while the urgency of the environmental crises cannot be overstated – the planet is burning – at the same time, we may be advised to take the long view as well: recognizing that it will be generations before the environmental / political / economic / social / political / … conditions can be reversed / transformed / overcome sufficiently to make the planet habitable and commodious for all of us throughout the ecosphere.  This is no reason not to do our best and utmost as quickly as we can. It is a reason to consider that we will likely not be able to do everything necessary within our lifetime. Rather than despair, I hope that we can evolve the multi-generational commitments that seem necessary to resolve the crises.  If the stone-age clans of Newgrange can do it – perhaps we can find the personal / social / political / economic … resources needed as well for structuring an equally long-term commitment?

Newgrange – Everything you Need to Know



Simon, J. (2015). Distributed epistemic responsibility in a hyperconnected era. In L. Floridi (Ed.), The onlife manifesto: being human in a hyperconnected era(pp. 145-159). London: Springer Open.

Tappolet, Christine. “Emotions, Reasons and Autonomy.”  In Autonomy, Oppression and Gender, edited by Andrea Veltman and Mark Piper, 163-180. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Veltman, Andrea and Piper, Mark. “Introduction”. In Autonomy, Oppression and Gender, edited by Andrea Veltman and Mark Piper, 1-11. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Westlund, Andrea. “Autonomy and Self-Care.” In Autonomy, Oppression and Gender, edited by Andrea Veltman and Mark Piper, 181-198. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Veltman, Andrea. “Autonomy and Oppression at Work.” In Autonomy, Oppression and Gender, edited by Andrea Veltman and Mark Piper, 280-300. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Zevenbergen, B. (2016). Networked systems ethics. Ethics in networked systems research: Ethical, legal and policy reasoning for Internet Engineering. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Retrieved from http://networkedsystemsethics.net/

Zevenbergen, B., Mittelstadt, B., Véliz, C., Detweiler, C., Cath, C., Savulescu, J., & Whittaker, M. (2015). Philosophy meets Internet engineering: Ethics in networked systems research. (GTC workshop outcomes paper). Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.  Retrieved from




















2nd Call for Papers published

The 2nd Call for Papers is now out and being distributed to interested parties and mailing lists.  The Programme Committee for this conference is now quite extensive and there is a growing excitement.

We look forward to receiving all your papers in January, and to seeing you all in Poznan in September 2018!

Submission website open

The submissions website, on Springer’s Online Conference Service (OCS), is now open!  Deadline for abstracts and full papers will be 15th January 2018.  See the Submissions page for more details.

Call For Papers published

First Call for Papers for HCC13
First Call for Papers for HCC13

The first call for papers for HCC13 has been published and distribution begins to academics and practitioners within and beyond the IFIP community.  This is a very exciting moment for the seventeen programme and track chairs who have been working since the beginning of January on creating this Call.

We look forward to welcoming you to Poznan, Poland, in September 2018!

Programme Chairs

David Kreps (Chair HCC12 and WG9.5), Kai Kimppa (Chair HCC11 and Vice-Chair WG9.2.2), Louise Leenen (Chair WG9.10) and guest Charles Ess will co-Chair the programme for HCC13.

Call for papers due in May 2017.