The project is five year joint efforts across
the turn of the century, funded by the Japan
Society for the Promotion of Science, by the
researchers from Kyoto, Hiroshima and Chiba
Universities for the construction of
philosophically tenable thinking of ethical issues
in the ever increasing variety of uses of computer
and information technology and its impacts on
FINE99 Photo Feature
The International Workshop will be held on March 15 and 16. The Program is here.
The project aims at the following targets:
Information Ethics is one of the newest fields in the field of applied ethics, in the sense that applied ethics deals with and tries to resolve the conflicts between advances in technology and people's life in the modern society. The remarkable development of computer and network technology has given rise to so unprecedented and so diversified a set of ethical and moral problems that attempts at solving these problems undoubtedly will take philosophically focused and technologically well-informed intellectual efforts. The problems we are facing include the ethical status of "unauthorized" uses of computers and networks, the cultural and economic imbalance between groups with different historical, regional backgrounds in the globalized information infrastructure, the new dimensions of human rights like privacy and copyright in the digitized world, and the moral obligations and duties as professionals in information technology. The researchers working on the project are well aware of the urgency and imminence of the tasks and decided to collaborate.[BACK to the TOP]
In the first year, the organizational and administrative decisions are given due attention, thus the principal investigators discussing the method of data collection and organization and the methods of creating a milieu for mutual understanding.
Given the "borderless"-ness of the uses of information technology, the international collaboration and coordination is in order. Though augmented with network technology, face-to-face communication with over-sea researchers are to take place, with view to locating the primary concrete focuses of the project, in Princeton in September, London in December, and as a plenary forum, in Kyoto in March 1999.
Monthly meetings are to be held at each site to work on the theoretical and actual sides of the problems the project is tackling. The minutes and presentation materials go in the public domain soon after the meetings.
One or two college level introductory anthologies suitable for textbooks in classrooms are to be published, in Japanese, to describe the the state of the art in this newly rising ethical field.[BACK to the TOP]
In the second year, the project embarks on data collection and publicly accessible database at http:/www.fine.bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp.
Bimonthly newsletters is to start to provide materials for public discussion.
Monthly workshops at each site will continue.
Based on the data collection, "case books" will be published with the description and the analysis of actual cases with different backgrounds, as well as the overview of the current trends in information ethics.[BACK to the TOP]
The database will be maintained up to date, bimonthly newsletters circulated, and monthly meetings held, with a specific intention of presenting, in December 2000, a set of theoretical and practical proposals as an outcome of the research done on the project in the three years.
An international workshop will be held to discuss and review the proposals in March 2001.[BACK to the TOP]
In the forth year, attempts will be made to solicit interested people to respond to and comment on the proposals and discuss them in the public.
Publication of textbooks will be enhanced at college and other levels, have a national conference in cooperation with learned societies of ethics and information technology.[BACK to the TOP]
With the feedbacks from relevant sectors, the project will reconsider the proposals. Revisions and editions will be made to the final proposal, which includes theoretical demarcation of the field, definitions of the basic categories and terms, and an analytic framework for the contemporary and future cases.
For the purpose of reviewing and finalizing the project's proposal, a third conference will be held around December 2002.[BACK to the TOP]