July 2019
 
 
Message from the Editor
 
 
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter
 
 
Dear SSIT Members,

Highlights of this month’s newsletter include:
  • an important reminder about the fast-approaching nominations deadline (31 July) for openings on the SSIT Board of Governors (BoG);
  • a report from SSIT Standards Committee representatives Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech and Sara Jordan about why our organization is involved in this initiative, and
  • an introduction to the BoG’s Division 1 Representative, Rakesh Kumar.
Read on for more details, and also to check out the latest award, engagement, publication, and conference opportunities.

As always, I invite submissions from all SSIT members for inclusion in future newsletters. To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, CFP, award notice, or other article, please contact me at Heather.Love@uwaterloo.ca. Submissions for the August 2019 newsletter are due by 26 July 2019.
 
 
SSIT Announcements
 
 
Nominations to SSIT Leadership Roles: Due Soon
 
 
IEEE-SSIT seeks nominations for active volunteers to take up the following positions, which are directly involved in setting up and carrying out the Society’s goals, directions, and activities. You still have a few days to submit your nomination before the 31 July deadline!

SSIT Board of Governors (BoG) Member-at-Large (2020-2022)
A three-year term as a voting member of the BoG. Meetings via telecon are held monthly. BoG members are involved in SSIT activities (e.g., committees, conferences, publications, chapters, website, etc.) and are directly involved in setting the directions of SSIT. BoG members may be reelected for no more than two consecutive terms. Three positions become open each year.

SSIT President-Elect (2020-2024)
A five-year leadership opportunity that progresses through the roles of President-Elect, President, and Past President of the SSIT. The elected individual will play a leadership role in SSIT activities and directions. The overall commitment includes:
  • One year (2020) as President-Elect of SSIT to become familiar with the Society’s operation, start on long-range plans, and ramp up for the next two years as President;
  • Two years (2021-2022) as President of SSIT to lead the Society by: chairing BoG meetings, attending three IEEE TAB meetings at the IEEE Board of Directors series each year (financial support is available for travel to these meetings), setting directions for the Society, and implementing changes and long-range plans;
  • Two years (2023-2024) as Past President of SSIT to continue to influence SSIT directions and plans, and to serve as chair of the SSIT Nominations and Appointments Committee.
Note that nominees for President-Elect must have been a voting member of the BoG for at least one year in the past six years.

The Society is looking for but not requiring prior experience in IEEE activities, and/or background in economics, marketing, conference planning, finances, chapter development, membership development, and web updating activities. Self-nominations are welcome, and we invite all SSIT members willing to serve the Society in a leadership position to put their names forward.

If you are interested in nominating yourself or another SSIT member, please submit a one-page synopsis of the nominee’s experience with emphasis on their strong points to the Nominations Chair, Paul Cunningham, at paul@iimg.com. Please include your IEEE Membership Number and contact information. Nominations are due by 31 July 2019.
 
 
 
 
Why is SSIT involved in Standards Making?
Submitted by Dr. Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech and Dr. Sara Jordan
SSIT Standards Committee

 
 
Discussions of the societal implications of technology fill the pages of important magazines and blogs like Fast Company and Wired. Widely-read and highly-cited pieces point to the needs that engineers, developers, designers, and programmers have for practical advice on how to think through and measure the social implications of the technologies that they are creating and managing.

In developing and manufacturing any technology, engineers, technical developers, and managers use technical codes and standards. Standards are everywhere. They are frequently created by international organizations or professional industry associations. For example, the International Standards Organization (ISO) publishes quality management system standards (ISO 9001) and environmental management standards (ISO 14001). The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) develops codes and standards on mechanical systems from elevators, escalators, boilers and pressures vessels, to piping and plumbing systems. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) create codes and standards on model building codes. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) creates many of the standards used in designing and manufacturing automobiles and other transportation vehicles. Compliance to standards indicates conformance to recommended industrial practices. It allows customers and other interested parties to trust the quality and technical performance of the product, service, or process that they are using.

IEEE has been involved in standards making since 1890 when standards were first recommended for self-induction. IEEE now has almost 1300 active standards and another 600 currently under development. While IEEE has been a significant player in the development of technical standards for over a century, they have only recently begun to bring together experts necessary to draft standards that are socially mindful and ethically informed. Since 2016, the Society for the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) has collaborated with IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) to create projects and working groups designed to develop standards which are as rigorously designed as those from IEEE’s purely technical sides but that are conscious of the broader implications of emerging technologies. Following the same procedures as required of all standards making in IEEE, the SSIT-Standards Committee (SSIT-SC) has formed four standards working groups to develop standards within the P7000 series. Closely associated with the Global Initiative for Ethically Aligned Design of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, the P7000 series brings the process of standards development to bear on issues pressing for consideration by experts in technology and its social implications.

The term “standard” holds many connotations, and it is often used haphazardly in general discussions of technology. For IEEE, a standard is a consensus-based document that outlines the expectations for performance of a product or process. For the SSIT-SC specifically, the consensus-based standards development process includes dealing with ethically contentious technologies (such as emulated empathy or facial recognition), as well as assisting in the recognition and incorporation of the ethical or social implications that may reasonably emerge from the processes of design, development, demonstration, deployment, or decommissioning of a product. There may be many issues to consider, but the goal of the standards development process is to provide practical recommendations and guidelines for engineers, technical developers, designers, and manufacturers throughout the world.

Note: See https://standards.ieee.org/develop/index.html for more details about the standards making process at IEEE.
 
 
 
 
Introducing your Board of Governors (BoG)
 
 
In our soon-to-be-complete series of short introductions to the current slate of SSIT BoG members, this month we present Division 1 Representative, Rakesh Kumar.

As noted in previous newsletters, we hope that these vignettes will help you get to know a bit more about the group’s varied (and impressive!) areas of expertise and backgrounds, the specific goals that different individuals have for their time on the SSIT BoG, and the more general aspirations they each have for the future of the SSIT.

We encourage you to contact BoG members whose interests and areas of expertise overlap with your own, and we hope that these introductions can serve as a starting point for building camaraderie and connections within SSIT as a whole.
 
 
 
 
kumar_rakesh Rakesh Kumar, PhD, IEEE Life Fellow

I am a semiconductor industry veteran, an entrepreneur, and an educator. I am the founder and CEO of two start-up companies: TCX Technology Connexions and ei2. TCX focuses on entrepreneurial training, education, and consulting services in business, management, and technology related activities. In addition, I educate and mentor potential entrepreneurs at UC San Diego. I teach a very popular course that provides experiential education, encouragement, and coaching in entrepreneurship to engineers in both technical and humanitarian applications.

During my 45-year career in the semiconductor industry, I have been the VP&GM of Cadence Design’s worldwide Silicon Technology Services business unit, and I have held various technical and management positions at Unisys and Motorola. I also authored the book Fabless Semiconductor Implementation (McGraw Hill, 2008).

I am an IEEE Life Fellow, and I was inducted into the IEEE TAB Hall of Honor in 2018. Currently I serve on the Board of Governors of the IEEE-HKN (Eta Kappa Nu) honor society. In the past, I have been President of the Solid-State Circuits Society (2012-13) and Vice Program Chair for the 2017 Sections Congress. In addition, I led a 2014 TAB committee to help develop SSIT’s strategy and direction. I hold PhD (1974), MS (1971) and BS (1969) degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester, and an Executive MBA (1989) from UC San Diego.

I believe that technologists need to work more diligently to address social and ethical implications, and that SSIT needs to play a leadership role in helping guide this effort. Feel free to contact me at rakesh@tcxinc.com.
 
 
 
 
Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences
 
 
SSIT is a sponsor of IEEE conferences in the field of technology and society. As a reminder, we are currently seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences in their cities.

IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
ISTAS is the flagship conference of SSIT, addressing issues across the range of SSIT interests. Information about the most recent ISTAS conference is available here.
Expressions of interest are welcome for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), with satellite activities in India 2014, 2016, 2018. Additional information about these events is available here and updates will soon be available regarding the 2020 21CW conference in Chennai, India.
Expressions of interest are welcome for 2022.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events, or if you would like further information, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair Paul Cunningham at pcunningham@ieee.org.
 
 
 
 
Call for Nominations: IEEE SSIT Awards
 
 
IEEE SSIT has three major awards, all of which are open for nominations at this time.

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest is open to anyone, or group, who performs an important public service, possibly at the risk of career or reputation. This includes anyone, whether or not in the engineering profession, or a member of IEEE. Further information on recipients can be found here.

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award is for SSIT volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding service for the benefit of SSIT. More information on this award can be found here.

The SSIT Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility is given to an individual or team for exceptional contribution, or outstanding career contribution in the field of the social implications of technology. Further information can be found here.

To nominate an individual, submit information to Michael Cardinale (cardinal@ieee.org). Include the individual’s contact information – name, address, phone, email, professional history (year, organization and position), and the proposed citation in 25 words or less. The nominator must also submit their own contact information.
 
 
 
 
Call for New SSIT Chapters

As a reminder, our website shows that several IEEE Regions are looking for motivated individuals to spearhead new SSIT Chapters.

If you are an SSIT member who is not currently affiliated with a specific Chapter of the organization, please consider starting one in your area!

 
 
 
 
 
It only takes 12 members to form a Chapter, and by taking the lead, you can help mobilize the people around you engage in discussions about technology’s role in society and tackle the challenges involved in advancing technology for humanity.

Petitions for IEEE Society and Technical Council Chapters and Joint Chapters can be submitted online, and questions about SSIT Chapter formation can be directed to SSIT Chapters Chair Ramalatha Marimuthu at SSITchapters@ieee.org.
 
 
 
 
Publications
 
 
IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society Submission Portal open soon!
Submitted by Katina Michael
 
 
 
 
In March 2020, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society will launch. The ManuscriptCentral submissions portal is set to open within about a month, and founding editor-in-chief, Professor Katina Michael, will be accepting submissions for the multidisciplinary peer reviewed Transactions of original research. Regular papers are expected to be up to 10 pages, short papers up to six pages, and brief papers up to two pages, using the IEEE Transactions template.

Submissions must address a socio-technical research area with empirical results. Regular papers should make both a theoretical and practical contribution to knowledge; short papers should publish empirical results; and brief papers may act as a position statement of original research drawing on peer reviewed research outcomes.

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other enquiries please email katina.michael@asu.edu.

More information about the approved IEEE Transactions can be found on this website.
 
 
 
 
Publish your Ethical Dilemma
 
 
If you have an experience that involved navigating an ethical dilemma as part of your professional life, we invite you to consider sharing it with your colleagues through the SSIT or Life Member Committee (LMC) newsletters.

A joint SSIT/LMC committee will vet all initial submissions, and authors will work with the editors of the two publications to finalize their submissions. Accepted Ethical Dilemma articles will be published simultaneously in the June and December issues of both newsletters.

Article submissions must be between 300 and 500 words in Microsoft Word format. IEEE Legal Department requires that all articles be fully sanitized to protect the privacy of people and organizations.

Read an example of a previously published ethical dilemma, John Impagliazzo's story, which is the "Featured Article" at the end of our June 2017 newsletter.

Submit manuscripts to Rosann Marosy at r.marosy@ieee.org.
 
 
 
 
Conferences
 
 
IEEE Africon 2019
Accra, Ghana | 25-27 September 2019


The bi-annual IEEE Region 8 flagship conference in Africa, IEEE AFRICON takes place this year at the GIMPA Executive Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana. IEEE AFRICON is financial co-sponsored by IEEE Ghana Section, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) and IEEE Region 8.

We are inviting SSIT and other IEEE members to volunteer to provide constructive, actionable feedback on papers as a member of the Technical Program Committee. Please contact Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.
 
 
 
 
 
 
International Conference on Computing, Power and Communication Technologies (GUCON 2019)
New Delhi, India | 27-28 September 2019


GUCON 2019 is being organized by Galgotias University, India and will take place 27-28 September 2019. The University is based in Greater Noida (NCR New Delhi, India), has an enrollment of over 19,000 students across more than 100 Undergraduate and Post Graduate programs, is devoted to excellence in teaching, research and innovation, and to develop leaders who'll make a difference to the world.

GUCON 2019 is a non-profit conference and it will provide an opportunity to the practicing engineers, academicians and researchers to meet in a forum to discuss various issues and its future direction in the field of electrical, computer and electronics engineering and technologies. The conference aims to put together the experts from the relevant areas to disseminate their knowledge and experience for the relevant future research scope. The conference is technically sponsored by various societies and Institutes. There are multiple tracks in the conference covering almost all areas of Electronics, Computer and Electrical Engineering:
  • TRACK A: Data Mining and Big Data Analysis
  • TRACK B: Communication Technologies
  • TRACK C: Cloud Computing and Computer Networks
  • TRACK D: Power Electronics and Control Engineering
  • TRACK E: Power and Energy Systems
  • TRACK F: Machines and renewable energy
  • TRACK G: Electronics devices, circuits and systems
  • TRACK H: Signal processing
  • TRACK I: Bioinformatics, multimedia and machine learning
  • TRACK J: Robotics and artificial intelligence
  • TRACK K: Language technologies and information retrieval
Confirmed keynote speakers include:
  • Prof. N. R. Pal, President, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, USA
  • Prof. Joydeep Mitra, Michigan State University, USA
  • Prof. Marcin Paprzycki, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • Dr. Daleep Mohla, IEEE Industry Applications Society, USA
  • Mr. Deepak Mathur, Director-Elect, IEEE Region 10
  • Prof. Vincenzo Piuri, University of Milan, Italy
  • Prof Valentina E Balas, Romania
  • Prof. L. C. Jain, Australia and Many World Leaders
Email Address: gucon2019@gmail.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
9th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Seattle, WA, USA | 17-20 October 2019


The 9th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference takes place in DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport. Financial Co-Sponsors are IEEE Region 6, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, and IEEE Seattle Section.

Papers are invited for focus areas, including but not limited to: Agriculture and Food Security (SDG2); Good Health and Well Being (SDG3); Quality Education (SDG4); Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG6); Affordable & Clean Energy; Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery; Communication/Connectivity in Support of Development.

We are inviting SSIT and other IEEE members to volunteer to provide constructive, actionable feedback on papers as a member of the Technical Program Committee. Please contact Prof. Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.
 
 
 
 
 
 
EPIC 2019 - Agency
Providence, RI, USA | 9-12 November 2019


Registration is open for EPIC2019. EPIC is the leading international conference on ethnography in business. Our attendees are a diverse group of practitioners and scholars from every industry and fields such as the social sciences, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and design.

Our theme this year is Agency:
What does it mean to have agency in an increasingly automated world? Businesses are investing in "intelligent" technologies that promise to take humans "out of the loop." But human agency is not disappearing-it’s evolving, and humanistic perspectives are more essential than ever. EPIC2019 will explore how our models of behavior and culture shape spaces of opportunity and risk for diverse people and organizations. We invite ethnographers and technologists of all backgrounds to advance the value of our work through the prism of agency.

Be part of the community.

 
 
 
 
 
 
2019 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS 2019)
School of Engineering, Tufts University (Medford, MA Campus) 
25-16 November 2019 

SSIT’s flagship conference, the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS 2019) is hosted this year by the School of Engineering, Tufts University on its Medford, MA Campus. The event will take place on 15 - 16 November 2019.

The Call for Papers (due 31 July 2019) is now available on the conference website.

Confirmed Technical Co-Sponsors include IEEE-USA, IEEE Region 1, IEEE Boston Section, IEEE Standards Association, IEEE Technology & Engineering Management Society (TEMS), and IEEE Reliability Society.

Speakers confirmed to date include:
  • Gil Cooke, Chair, IEEE Boston Section (Welcome Address)
  • Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Engineering Education, School of Engineering, Tufts University (Welcome Address)
  • Tom Coughlin, President IEEE-USA (Keynote)
  • Babak Dastgheib-Beheshti, Region 1 Director (Keynote)
  • Carole D. Graas, President, IEEE Reliability Society (Plenary Panellist)
  • John Havens, IEEE Standards Association (Plenary Panellist)
  • Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech, Chair, IEEE SSIT Standards Committee (Plenary Panellist)
  • Xinghuo Yu, President, IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (Plenary Panellist)
We invite proposals for papers, parallel discussion panels and participatory workshops focused on the relationship between technology, policy, and social issues ranging from economic and ethical to socio-cultural and environmental topics.

Priority will be given to submissions addressing one or more of SSIT’s Five Pillars (Sustainable Development, Ethics/Human Values, Universal Access, Societal Impacts, Protecting the Planet) and Intersections between the Social Implications of Technology and:
  • Sustainable Development (including ICT4D) and Multi-Stakeholder Co-Design
  • Net-Neutrality
  • GEOValue, Climate, Environment, and Sustainable Technologies
  • Ethical Standards, Autonomous Vehicles, and Artificial Intelligence
  • Ethical Use of Big Data, Blockchain, Human Genome Editing, IoT, Neurotechnology, and Open Data
  • Current Challenges in Technology Policy
  • Balancing National Security Interests with Personal Privacy
IEEE Members, particularly from IEEE Boston Section, R1 and Division VI Societies, are invited to join the Technical Program Committee (where your responsibilities will include providing constructive, actionable feedback on papers) and promote the Call for Papers. Please contact Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Information and Communication Technology for African Development 2019 (ICT4AD'19)
Yaounde, Cameroon
 | 26-28 November 2019 
Call for Papers: 31 July

The 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for African Development (ICT4AD’19) is organized in Yaounde, Cameroon by ANTIC (National Agency for Information and Communication Technology) – IST-Africa Partner for Cameroon, and African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT) and Financial Co-Sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

Papers are invited on all aspects of ICT for Development, including but not limited to: Theoretical Aspects in Information System; Cultural Issues of ICT in Africa; Social Issues of ICT in Africa; ICT for Digital Transformation; ICT for Education; Applied ICT projects

We are inviting SSIT and other IEEE members to volunteer to provide constructive, actionable feedback on papers as a member of the Technical Program Committee. Please contact Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.