Meaningful human control over smart home systems: A value sensitive design approach

Steven Umbrello*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The last decade has witnessed the mass distribution and adoption of smart home systems and devices powered by artificial intelligence systems ranging from household appliances like fridges and toasters to more background systems such as air and water quality controllers. The pervasiveness of these sociotechnical systems makes analyzing their ethical implications necessary during the design phases of these devices to ensure not only sociotechnical resilience, but to design them for human values in mind and thus preserve meaningful human control over them. This paper engages in a conceptual investigation of how meaningful human control over smart home devices can be attained through design. The value sensitive design (VSD) approach is proposed as a way of attaining this level of control. In the proposed framework, values are identified and defined, stakeholder groups are investigated and brought into the design process and the technical constraints of the technologies in question are considered. The paper concludes with some initial examples that illustrate a more adoptable way forward for both ethicists and engineers of smart home devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-65
Number of pages26
JournalHumana Mente
Volume13
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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