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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. Dark patterns are increasingly ubiquitous in digital services and regulation, describing instances where designers use deceptive, manipulative, or coercive tactics to encourage end users to make decisions that are not in their best interest. Research regarding dark patterns has also increased significantly over the past several years. In this systematic review, we evaluate literature (n=79) from 2014 to 2022 that has empirically described dark patterns in order to identify the presence, impact, or user experience of these patterns as they appear in digital systems. Based on our analysis, we identify key areas of current interest in evaluating dark patterns’ context, presence, and impact; describe common disciplinary perspectives and framing concepts; characterize dominant methodologies; and outline opportunities for further methodological support and scholarship to empower scholars, designers, and regulators. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 10, 2024
  4. The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems involves a significant level of judgment and decision making on the part of engineers and designers to ensure the safety, robustness, and ethical design of such systems. However, the kinds of judgments that practitioners employ while developing AI platforms are rarely foregrounded or examined to explore areas practitioners might need ethical support. In this short paper, we employ the concept of design judgment to foreground and examine the kinds of sensemaking software engineers use to inform their decisionmaking while developing AI systems. Relying on data generated from two exploratory observation studies of student software engineers, we connect the concept of fairness to the foregrounded judgments to implicate their potential algorithmic fairness impacts. Our findings surface some ways in which the design judgment of software engineers could adversely impact the downstream goal of ensuring fairness in AI systems. We discuss the implications of these findings in fostering positive innovation and enhancing fairness in AI systems, drawing attention to the need to provide ethical guidance, support, or intervention to practitioners as they engage in situated and contextual judgments while developing AI systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 18, 2024
  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