Introduction: The Impact, Benefits, and Hazards of PICT
This chapter opens with an extended definition and description of pervasive information and communication technology (PICT) as a sociotechnical system – in brief, an intertwined system of social practices and the technologies that make the social practices possible which in turn spur technological revision and innovation that simultaneously modify or transform social practices in a never-ending spiral. It then describes the following ten chapters. Chapter 2 presents and analyzes three case studies of actual recent events that highlight key aspects of PICT. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 tackle surveillance from three different angles, but together provide a primer on the ethical issues involved. Chapters 3, 6, and 7 focus on health care, an area of significant growth for PICT. Chapter 8 considers a particular type of PICT – augmented reality – and reveals its far-from-obvious ramifications. Chapter 9 provides a different kind of case study as a social scientist describes her experience working with technologists developing PICT with the goal (successfully achieved) of making ethics a design goal. Chapters 10 and 11 focus more narrowly on ethical guidance for PICT.
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