The Tech Policy Lab engages in novel and high impact research on emerging technologies while providing guidance for creating wiser, more inclusive tech policy.
All too often, policy development for emerging technology neglects under-represented populations. In response to this challenge, the UW Tech Policy Lab developed the Diverse Voices method in 2015. The method uses short, targeted conversations about emerging technology with experiential experts from under-represented groups to provide feedback on draft tech policy documents. This process works to increase the likelihood that the language in the finalized tech policy document addresses the perspectives and circumstances of broader groups of people – ideally averting injustice and exclusion.
The Tech Policy Lab’s Global Summit initiative, which began in 2016, is a convening of approximately 20-30 thought leaders from around the world representing governance, policy, and technology. The Summit, held biennially, aims to frame and begin progress on pressing grand challenges for tech policy, providing opportunities for designers, ethicists, lawyers, policymakers, technologists, and others from around the world to collaborate on global and local issues.
In our tech policy breakdowns project, the Lab is leveraging our developing understanding of the commonalities in tech policy breakdowns to aid in the crafting of robust and appropriate regulations for emerging technologies. By identifying historical pitfalls and prospective points of failure, we seek to provide policymakers with tools and resources that lead to effective and relevant technology policy.
Augmented Reality (AR) presents novel or acute challenges for technologists and policymakers. Our work in AR is aimed at identifying some of the major legal and policy issues AR may present as a novel technology and provides conditional recommendations to help address those issues.
Modern DNA sequencing techniques can sequence hundreds of millions of DNA strands simultaneously. Computers are needed to process, analyze, and store the billions of DNA bases that can be sequenced from a single DNA sample. New and unexpected interactions may be possible at this boundary between electronic and biological systems.
Our work examines how emerging technology affects and operates within cities, and provides recommendations around the policy impacts of these technologies.
Our work examines how a wave of new connected devices are entering the home.
Our work examines security and privacy concerns that individuals face and provides recommendations to address these concerns.
New Research: Diverse Voices
New research with our Diverse Voices project, “Toward Inclusive Tech Policy Design: A Method for Underrepresented Voices to Strengthen Tech Policy Documents” published in Ethics and Information Technology, reports on two case studies demonstrating the Diverse Voices method: one with a white paper on augmented reality technology, and the other with a strategy document on automated driving vehicle technologies.More
New Research: Data Statements
Experts in information science and computational linguistics propose data statements as a design solution and professional practice for natural language processing technologists to help mitigate issues related to exclusion and bias in Data Statements for NLP: Towards Mitigating System Bias and Enabling Better Science. Read the full paper here. This paper was published in the Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics.More
New Research: Adversarial Machine Learning
Last fall, a team of researchers with the Lab’s Ivan Evtimov, Earlence Fernandes, and Co-Director Yoshi Kohno shared research on ArXiv showing that malicious alterations to real world objects could cause devices to “misread” the image. Now, the team of researchers presented two papers updating this research – one at Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) 2018 and another at the 12th USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT) 2018.More
New Research: What Pushes Back From Considering Materiality In IT?
An interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, information scientists, and planners explores the invisible environmental impacts of digital technologies in What Pushes Back from Considering Materiality in IT? Read the full essay here. This essay was presented at ACM LIMITS 2018.More