All watched over by machines of loving grace: Some ethical guidelines for user experience in ubiquitous-computing settings (28 Oct 2004)
Imagine the feeling of being stuck in voice-mail limbo, or fighting unwanted auto-formatting in a word processing program, or trying to quickly silence an unexpectedly ringing phone by touch, amid the hissing of fellow moviegoers - except all the time, and everywhere, and in the most intimate circumstances of our lives. Levels of discomfort we accept as routine (even, despite everything we know, inevitable!) in the reasonably delimited scenarios presented by our other artifacts will have redoubled impact in a ubicomp world.
Even if for this reason alone, we must ensure that this class of products and services is designed better, with more sensitivity and compassion, than others in the past.
It is, however, the impact of ubicomp on civil liberty that I am most concerned with. While the quality of ubiquitous interaction is more squarely within the typical ambit of our professional concerns, it is the civic sphere where our input and perspective is most critical and can be leveraged to secure the most enduring and important gains.
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