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  1. Ethics as embodied by technology practitioners resists simple definition—particularly as it relates to the interplay of identity, organizational, and professional complexity. In this paper we use the linguistic notion of languaging as an analytic lens to describe how technology and design practitioners negotiate their conception of ethics as they reflect upon their everyday work. We engaged twelve practitioners in individual co-creation workshops, encouraging them to reflect on their ethical role in their everyday work through a series of generative and evaluative activities. We analyzed these data to identify how each practitioner reasoned about ethics through language and artifacts, finding that practitioners used a range of rhetorical tropes to describe their ethical commitments and beliefs in ways that were complex and sometimes contradictory. Across three cases, we describe how ethics was negotiated through language across three key zones of ecological emergence: the practitioner’s “core” beliefs about ethics, internal and external ecological elements that shaped or mediated these core beliefs, and the ultimate boundaries they reported refusing to cross. Building on these findings, we describe how the languaging of ethics reveals opportunities to definitionally and practically engage with ethics in technology ethics research, practice, and education. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 6, 2025
  2. Ethical engagement is central to the practice of design, impacting stakeholders across and beyond technology organizations as well as producing downstream social and environmental impacts. Scholars have previously described the ecologically-mediated nature of ethics in practice as a manifestation of “ethical design complexity;” however, the means of addressing this complexity is under-explored. In this provocation, we build on three years of prior empirical work on ethics and design practice to propose three ways of “wrangling” ethical design complexity: 1) articulating and interrogating complexity through constructed ethical dilemmas; 2) identifying potentially binding constraints through ethical tensions; and 3) describing and traversing naturalistically-defined ethical situations. We leverage these three approaches to provoke further scholarship and ethically-engaged design work. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 10, 2024
  3. Numerous methods and tools have been proposed to motivate or support ethical awareness in design practice. However, many existing resources are not easily discoverable by practitioners, and are often framed using language that is not accessible or resonant with everyday practice. In this paper, we present three complementary strands of work with the goal of increasing the ability of design and technology practitioners to locate and activate methods to support ethically-focused work practices. We first constructed a set of empirically-supported “intentions” to frame practitioners’ selection of relevant ethics-focused methods based on interviews with practitioners from a range of technology and design professions. We then leveraged these intentions in the design and iterative evaluation of a website that supports practitioners in identifying opportunities for ethics-focused action. Building on these findings, we propose a set of design considerations to evaluate the practice resonance of resources in supporting ethics-focused practice, laying the groundwork for increased ecological resonance of ethics-focused methods and method selection tools. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 10, 2024
  4. Technology ethics is increasingly at the forefront of human-computer interaction scholarship, with increasing visibility not only to end users of technology, but also regulators, technology practitioners, and platforms. The notion of “dark patterns” has emerged as one common framing of technology manipulation, describing instances where psychological or perceptual tricks are used to decrease user agency and autonomy. In this panel, we have assembled a group of highly diverse early-career scholars that have built a transdisciplinary approach to scholarship on dark patterns, engaging with a range of socio-technical approaches and perspectives. Panelists will discuss their methodological approaches, key research questions to be considered in this emerging area of scholarship, and necessary connections between and among disciplinary perspectives to engage with the diverse constituencies that frame the creation, use, and impacts of dark patterns. 
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  5. In an era of ubiquitous digital interfaces and systems, technology and design practitioners must address a range of ethical dilemmas surrounding the use of persuasive design techniques and how to balance shareholder and end-user needs [2], [5]. Similarly, the increasing user concerns about unethical products and services [1] is paralleling a rise in regulatory interests in enforcing ethical design and engineering practices among technology practitioners, surfacing a need for further support. Although various scholars have developed frameworks and methods to support practitioners in navigating these challenging contexts [3], [4], often, there is a lack of resonance between these generic methods and the situated ethical complexities facing the practitioner in their everyday work. In this project, we designed and implemented a three-hour cocreation workshop with designers, engineers, and technologists to support them to develop bespoke ethics-focused action plans that are resonant with the ethical challenges they face in their everyday practice. In developing the co-creation session, we sought to answer the following questions to empower practitioners: • How can we support practitioners in developing action plans to address ethical dilemmas in their everyday work? and • How can we empower designers to design more responsibly? Building on these questions as a guide, we employed Miro, a digital whiteboard platform, to develop the co-creation experience. The final c o-creation e xperience w as d esigned w ith the visual metaphor of a “house” with four floors and multiple rooms that allowed participants to complete different tasks per room, all aimed towards the overall goal of developing participants' own personalized action plan in an interactive and collaborative way. We invited participants to share their stories and ethical dilemmas to support their creation and iteration of a personal action plan that they could later use in their everyday work context. Across the six co-creation sessions we conducted, participants (n=26) gained a better understanding of the drivers for ethical action in the context of their everyday work and developed an action plan through the co-creation workshop that enabled them to constructively engage with ethical challenges in their professional context. At the end of the session, participants were provided the action plans they created to allow them to use it in their practice. Furthermore, the co-design workshops were designed such that practitioners could take them away (the house and session guide) and run them independently at their organization or another context to support their objectives. We describe the building and the activities conducted in each floor below and will provide a pictorial representation of the house with the different floors, rooms, and activities on the poster presentation. a) First floor-Welcome, Introduction, Reflection: The first floor of the virtual house was designed to allow participants to introduce themselves and to reflect on and discuss the ethical concerns they wished to resolve during the session. b) Second floor-Shopping for ethics-focused methods: The second floor of the virtual house was designed as a “shopping” space where participants selected from range of ethicsfocused building blocks that they wish to potentially adapt or incorporate into their own action plan. They were also allowed to introduce their own methods or tools. c) Third floor-DIY Workspace: The third floor was designed as a DIY workspace to allow the participants to work in small groups to develop their own bespoke action plan based on building blocks they have gathered from their shopping trip and by using any other components they wish. The goal here was to support participants in developing methods and action plans that were resonant with their situated ethical complexities. d) Fourth floor-Gallery Space: The fourth floor was designed as a gallery to allow participants to share and discuss their action plans with other participants and to identify how their action plans could impact their future practice or educational experiences. Participants were also provided an opportunity at this stage to reflect on their experience participating in the session and provide feedback on opportunities for future improvement. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 18, 2024
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    In conjunction with the increasing ubiquity of technology, computing educators have identified the need for pedagogical engagement with ethical awareness and moral reasoning. Typical approaches to incorporating ethics in computing curricula have focused primarily on abstract methods, principles, or paradigms of ethical reasoning, with relatively little focus on examining and developing students’ pragmatic awareness of ethics as grounded in their everyday work practices. In this paper, we identify and describe computing students’ negotiation of values as they engage in authentic design problems through a lab protocol study. We collected data from four groups of three students each, with each group including participants from either undergraduate User Experience Design students, Industrial Engineering students, or a mix of both. We used a thematic analysis approach to identify the roles that students took on to address the design prompt. Through our analysis, we found that the students took on a variety of “dark” roles that resulted in manipulation of the user and prioritization of stakeholder needs over user needs, with a focus either on building solutions or building rationale for design decisions. We found these roles to actively propagate through design discourses, impacting other designers in ways that frequently reinforced unethical decision making. Even when students were aware of ethical concerns based on their educational training, this awareness did not consistently result in ethically-sound decisions. These findings indicate the need for additional ethical supports to inform everyday computing practice, including means of actively identifying and balancing negative societal impacts of design decisions. The roles we have identified may productively support the development of pragmatically-focused ethical training in computing education, while adding more precision to future analysis of computing student discourses and outputs. 
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    HCI and STS researchers have previously described the ethical complexity of practice, drawing together aspects of organizational complexity, design knowledge, and ethical frameworks. Building on this work, we investigate the identity claims and beliefs that impact practitioners’ ability to recognize and act upon ethical concerns in a range of technology-focused disciplines. In this paper, we report results from an interview study with 12 practitioners, identifying and describing their identity claims related to ethical awareness and action. We conducted a critically-focused thematic analysis to identify eight distinct claims representing roles relating to learning, educating, following policies, feeling a sense of responsibility, being a member of a profession, a translator, an activist, and deliberative. Based on our findings, we demonstrate how the claims foreground building competence in relation to ethical practice. We highlight the dynamic interplay among these claims and point towards implications for identity work in socio-technical contexts. 
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