Proceedings of The 6th World Conference on Social Sciences
Ethical Technological Assessment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT): Implications for Ethics and Social Science Education in Higher Education Institutions
Jabar, Melvin A.
This paper examines the knowledge, perceptions, and experiences about the ethics of artificial and Internet of Things among private and public college and universities Gen Z students in the Philippines. The basic aim of the paper is to describe the Gen Z Filipino students’ knowledge and experiences regarding the forms and ethics of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. Based on their perceptions and experiences, this paper presents recommendations to inform ethics education especially in the use of new technologies including artificial intelligence. The research project, which this paper is based on, had a total of four focus group discussions (FGDs). Two FGDs were conducted with male participants while another two FGDs were conducted with their female counterparts. A total of 28 college students participated in the discussions, 15 were male and 13 were female.
Results of the qualitative analysis reveal that the Gen Z participants worry about the potential threats and challenges of AI and IoT to humanity including privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity concerns. In addition, the ethical challenges associated with AI and IoT pertain to the risks these may pose not only to data privacy but also to security. The principal issue pertaining to data privacy, as perceived by FGD participants, is infringement of user privacy because the user’s personal information is “not handled properly” or not used for its intended purpose.
The students largely abhor privacy breaches in the form of data leaks, which they consider to be security threats. Users’ personal data including photos leaked to the public is perceived as dangerous because this may lead to identity theft. But the graver security threat comes with cyberattacks, such as the participants’ experiences with hacking and malware that corrupt the AI/IoT applications they use. The students recognized that AI can be harmful to the environment in the long run, since its waste products like plastics and microchips are not degradable. However, AI was also seen to be beneficial in environmental conservation. Due to efficiency, people no longer need to spend more on energy, something that is good for the environment.
Overall, the participants recognized well the contributions of AI and IoT to a wide variety of fields. To varying degrees, they tend to have optimistic views toward AI and IoT in terms of their benefits. They recognize the benefits of using AI and IoT in their day-to-day living, especially for online learning, but are keenly aware of the various pitfalls that come with such usage. Gen Z students suggests that people’s understanding of these technologies can be hastened through proper education and techno capacity-building. This implies that teaching ethics in HEIs need to tackle ethical issues of technology including AI and relate them to broader social, environmental, and economic issues.
keywords: Artificial intelligence, internet of things, ethics, Gen Z