Fiona Charles

Company: Quality Intelligence Inc.

Role in Company: Principal Consultant

Country: Canada

Speaker Biography

Fiona Charles is an independent consultant, specialising in the human side of software development and projects: teaching organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. She consults with clients on testing and test management, works as an Agile testing coach, and acts occasionally as a program-level test manager on difficult projects. She speaks and conducts workshops at international conferences and in-house for clients, has recorded many webinars, and published many articles in test-related publications. Fiona is co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett) of Speak Easy, a volunteer organisation designed to increase gender diversity at tech conferences and help new speakers find their voice. Contact Fiona via her website, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

Presentation Description

Technological advances have always trampled and rearranged the ground occupied by society. Each wave of Industrial Revolution has brought massive social disruptions and individual suffering as well as major benefits and social progress. Each has posed ethical challenges too, as people adjusted to new realities. Each had its nay-sayers and prophets of societal doom. 

We are now in the midst of change so rapid and profound that the ethical questions have fallen far behind the technological answers. Welcome to the ethical quagmire of the Fourth Industrial Revolution!  

Which microphones are listening inside your house and uploading your family’s conversations to unknown recipients? Do you know how many cameras are watching you? For whom? Who is profiting? Who should profit? What facial recognition apps are comparing you to which uploaded data and making decisions about you? 

Who can access your biometric data and your DNA? Who knows where you are at any given time? 

Beyond the privacy questions and issues of data ownership and potential misuse, AI brings enormous questions and quandaries about accountability and liability for the critical decisions we are increasingly empowering it to make.  

While robots can successfully operate on you with minimal blood loss and tissue damage, apps can deny or grant you a mortgage. And a combination of apps and robotics could bring an end to gainful employment for huge numbers of people. 

New technology always brings unintended consequences. We need to ask hard questions about the human cost/benefit ratio of the path we are on. 

Join Fiona as she tackles these difficult questions and unveils the truth behind the cost to our privacy with all these technological advancements.