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Unlocking the Black Box of Wearable Intelligence: Ethical Considerations and Social Impact

Publication Type: 
Refereed Conference Meeting Proceeding
Computational intelligence is making its way into a variety of popular consumer products, including wearable physio-logical monitors such as activity trackers and sleep trackers. Such products are very convenient for the user, but this convenience is the result of a trade-off that has ethical implications, since in almost all cases it denies the user access to their own raw data underlying the easy-to-understand analyses that the products generate for them. One problem with this is that the user is not made aware of the uncertainty of the conclusions or analyses drawn from the data; another is that it is difficult for the user to reuse their data in other contexts such as to combine data from multiple sources. Even if the user did have full control of their own data, this would only solve part of the problem, because most people do not have the special skills required to analyze such data. This overall problem could be solved through collaboration between the data owner and a data analysis expert, though this again introduces further problems, notably that of preserving the data owner’s privacy. In this paper we analyze the aforementioned issues pertaining to the ethics of wearable intelligence, propose possible approaches to handling them, and discuss the potential social impact of the technology if the issues can be successfully overcome.
Conference Name: 
2019 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Date: 
Conference Location: 
New Zealand
Research Group: 
Dublin City University (DCU)
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