Diversity, Ethics and Privacy

Contributing key researchers: 
Susanne Bødker (AU)
Mads Nielsen (KU)
Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard (SDU)
Irina Shklovski (KU)
Pernille Bjørn (KU)
Louise Barkhuus (ITU)

Louise Barkhuus
Associate Professor

IT University of Copenhagen
Computer Science Department
Rued Langgaardsvej 7
2300 Copenhagen S

E: barkhuus@itu.dk
T: +45 72 18 53 55


The pervasive digitalisation of society generates a range of issues with respect to diversity, ethics and privacy that need careful examination if we are to harvest the societal benefits that digitalisation may generate and to minimise its harms. The unprecedented scale reach and complexity of the impact of digital technologies create urgency for both researchers and industry stakeholders to ensure that they are acting responsibly.

Integrating a deep understanding of the needs and behaviours of diverse populations into research and innovation contributes to the production of goods and services that better suits the needs of the society and markets. Integration of a diversity dimension in research content and ethical studies of emerging technologies are hence important prerequisites for responsible innovation.

Recent academic and policy debates have focused on ideas of ethics and responsibility as determining factors in how we should approach design and development of future technologies, especially those reliant on AI systems. Although there is a proliferation of debates, practical applications rooted in cutting edge research and development of computing systems are missing.

The DIREC partners aim at increasing the diversity of research groups and developing ways to educate both practicing and future computer scientists in ethical and moral reasoning. This will help them to acknowledge and interrogate the decisions they make in their efforts to develop new technologies or to apply existing solutions to new contexts.

Objectives and Synergies

To increase the theoretical, empirical, and technological knowledge within
the area of diversity and ethics in computing, with particular emphasis on contemporary issues of gender, privacy, security and AI.

To develop effective methods for identifying potential genderrelated and ethical pitfalls and for developing roadmaps that can result in better, more diverse, ethical and trustworthy technologies and processes. Denmark is positioned to become a leader in this area as well as to produce a workforce that is capable of addressing these issues together with a high level of technical competency.

In addition to the already addressed synergies within the thematic areas of AI, data management and (cyber)security, the theme of diversity, ethics and privacy has synergies within and needs to be addressed in the other vertical themes as well. For instance, questions of how to respect diversity, ethics and privacy are naturally raised in the design of technologies for humancomputer interactions (HCI) and its subfield of computer supported cooperative work (CSCW).