CivicTech Lab @FOSSASIA Summit 2022

April 8 - April 9, 2022

The CivicTech Lab was honored to be the community partner for Free and Open Source Software Asia (FOSSASIA) Summit 2022! Our lab director Prof Weiyu Zhang delivered a talk on “Civic Tech: An Asian Perspective” and organized two interdisciplinary and cross-ectoral panels.

Panel one: “When Open Science Meets Open Source"

The development of open science aligns with open source software and hardware in both philosophy and practice. By keeping open, engineers can share codes and scientists can share research design. There is a layer of ethical concern in keeping our works open – so that transparency is ensured. However, there are costs and challenges in keeping open. Open codes and data need storage spaces. Human labor is necessary to keep the open information in order. How to keep codes secure and how to protect research subjects’ privacy in such open practices need to be carefully thought through and painstakingly implemented.

This panel brough both scientists and FOSS practitioners into one virtual room, exchanging experience and inspiring each other to address common concerns.  The panelists discussed the principles and values behind open science, as well as the barriers and challenges associated with open science.

Watch the panel recording HERE! (starting from 2:40:00)

Panel two “Open Ethics

Transformative technology offers tremendous opportunities but raises ethical concerns and the potential for harm. Technologies such as AI have been found to be potentially harming fairness, accountability, transparency, ethics, and safety. Robotics introduces ethical challenges to the very basic definition of being human. Moreover, the organizations around developing such technologies need to build up their own ethics. Commercial entities have to take their social responsibility to develop tech4good. Government agencies have to make policies and regulations that confine the harm. Users have to reach the consensus about ethical usage of technology.

The FOSS community has a unique position in this global debate over tech ethics. Our panelists talked about the ethical challenges such as data privacy and sovereignty related to Cloud services, the root of ethical challenges being no clear agreement among people, and weaponization of robotics.  The open nature of FOSS requires licensing and monitoring of the usage of the FOSS technology.

Watch the panel recording HERE! (starting from 06:20:00)

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