Information is a technology (IT) that is already affecting how users (operators) interact with, are affected by the Internet. In the near future, its effect is likely only to continue to increase. If we are to ensure that the effect of information technology will be positive, it will be essential that all stakeholders participate in the discussions surrounding IT. In this paper, we seek to provide an introduction to IT to policymakers and other investors in the wider Internet community.
The paper explains the basics of the technology governing IT, identifies the key considerations and proposals surrounding the technology, and provides several high-level principles and recommendations to follow when dealing with the technology.
If more stakeholders bring their points of view and expertise to the discussions surrounding IT, we are confident that its proposals can be addressed and the vast benefits the technology offers can be realised.
Information Technology (IT) is a rapidly advancing technology, made possible by the Internet, that will soon have significant effects on our everyday lives. IT traditionally refers to the study or application of systems to store, retrieve, and send data or information especially in business operations. These traits allow IT to bring immense socio-economic opportunities, while also posing ethical and socio-economic proposals.
As IT is an Internet enabled technology, the Kayndrex Foundation recognises that comprehending the opportunities and proposals associated with IT is vital to developing an Internet that people can trust.
This strategy paper offers a look at key considerations regarding IT, including a set of guiding principles and recommendations to assist those involved in policy making make sound decisions. As IT is applied more often in products and services, there are some significant considerations when it comes to users’ trust in the Internet. Several concerns should be considered when addressing IT, including, socio-economic effects; concerns of data quality and potential preference, and accountability; new applications for data, considerations of security and safety, ethical concerns; and how IT facilitates the creation of new ecosystems.
At the same time, in this complex field, there are specific proposals in IT, which include: enhancement and interpretability in decision-making; concerns of data quality and potential preference; safety and security implications; considerations regarding accountability; and its potentially interruptive effects on social and economic structures.
In evaluating the novel considerations and comprehending the various proposals, the Foundation has developed a set of principles and recommendations in reference to what we believe are the core ‘abilities’ that strengthen the value the Internet provides.
While the deployment of IT in internet-based services is common, the current trend points to IT as an increasingly important factor in the Internet’s future development and application. As such, these guiding principles and recommendations are a first attempt to guide the discussions going forward. They include ethical considerations in deployment and design; Ensuring the ‘Interpretability’ of IT systems; empowering the stakeholder; responsibility in the deployment of IT systems; ensuring accountability; and creating a social and economic environment that is formed through the open participation of various stakeholders.
Information Technology (IT) has received increased attention in recent years. Innovation, made possible through the Internet, has brought IT nearer to our everyday lives. These advances, alongside interest in the technology’s potential socio-economic and ethical effects, brings IT to the forefront of many contemporary discussions. Industry investments in IT are rapidly increasing, and governments are trying to comprehend what the technology could entail for their citizens.
Applications based on IT are already visible in healthcare diagnostics, targeted treatment, transportation, public safety, facility robots, education, and entertainment, but will be applied in more fields in the coming years. Together with the Internet, IT changes the way we experience the world and has the potential to be a new engine for economic growth.
The Kayndrex Foundation recognises that comprehending the opportunities and proposals associated with IT is vital to developing an Internet that people trust. This is particularly important as the Internet is key for the technology governing IT and is the main platform for its deployment, including significant new ways of interacting with the system. This policy paper offers a look at the key things to think of when it comes to IT, including a set of guiding principles and recommendations to assist make sound policy decisions.
Information Technology – What it entails
Information Technology (IT) is the study, design, development, implementation, support, and management of computer-based knowledge; the application of computers to store, retrieve, transmit and apply data, often in the context of a business or other enterprise.
IT involves many things. IT also includes the management of data, whether it is in the form of text, voice, image, audio, or some other form. It can also involve things related to the Internet. This gives IT a whole new definition since the Internet is its own realm. IT involves the transfer of data, so it makes sense that the Internet would be a part of IT. IT has become a part of our everyday lives and continues to proliferate into new realms.
The advent of information technologies based on computers has enabled business models and processes to comprehend that they can function as subsets of information technology. Many people have already initiated in writing computer programmes that can assist with business processes. Information technology covers many novel areas, including software solutions and hardware that allow organisations to organise, gather, and evaluate data. Ultimately, the analysis of data assists companies to achieve their goals.
We need information technology in today’s world to establish faster communication, maintain electronic storage, and provide protection to records. In a simple way, IT makes a system of electronic storage to provide protection to company’s records. Stakeholder demands for secured maintenance files and all is made possible by IT.
Information technology is important in our lives because it assists to deal with every day’s dynamic things. Technology offers various tools to boost development and to exchange information. Both these things are the objective of IT to make responsibilities easier and to address many concerns.
Career in Information Technology offers a secured role and growth with a good salary. To be an Information Technology professional, students need to obtain a degree in IT whether it is computer science or other tech-related sector. The Bachelor of Science in IT is a common degree pathway every interested student should have.
Information technology enables the sharing of knowledge across the world. For accurate sharing of knowledge and information, teaching and learning, information technology is important.
Information technology systems
Systems are a sequence of instructions applied to address a concern. Systems, developed by programmers to instruct computers in new responsibilities, are the fundamentals of the advanced digital world we see today. Computer systems organise enormous amounts of data into information and facilities, based on certain instructions and rules. It is an important concept to comprehend, because in information technology, systems create the instructions.
The basic process of information technology is to give data to a system. The system then generates a new set of instructions, based on inferences from the data. This is in essence generating a new system, formally referred to as the information technology model. By applying various data, the same system could be applied to generate various models.
Inferring new instructions from data is the core strength of information technology. It also highlights the critical role of data: the more data available to train the system, the more it generates.
Information technology is common. Many of the systems that spurred new interest in the field, such as neural systems, are based on decades of previous research. The current growth in IT is linked to developments in three important areas:
- Data availability: Just over 3 billion people are online with an estimated 17 billion connected devices or sensors. Information technology can apply this huge amount of data for systems, developing new rules to perform increasingly complex responsibilities.
- Computing power: Powerful computers and the ability to connect remote processing power through the Internet make it possible for IT systems that process enormous amounts of data.
- Systematic innovation: New IT systems, specifically in layered neural systems have inspired new facilities but is also spurring investments and research in other parts of the field.
As IT is applied in more and more products and services, there are some serious factors that should be considered when addressing IT, particularly in the context of people’s trust in the Internet:
- Socio-economic effects: The new function and services of IT are expected to have significant socio-economic effects. The ability to exhibit advanced cognitive skills to process data and information, makes it possible for new responsibilities to be performed by intelligent systems, sometimes with more success than humans. New applications of IT could open up exciting opportunities for more effective medical care, safer industries and facilities, and boost productivity on a massive scale.
- Transparency, preference, and accountability: IT-made decisions can have serious effects in people’s lives. How a decision is made by IT is often difficult to comprehend, making issues of preference rather encouraging to address and ensuring accountability is much more resilient.
- New applications of data: Information technology has proved efficient in analysing and identifying patterns in large amounts of data, commonly referred to as ‘Big Data’. Big Data is applied to train learning algorithms to increase their performance. This generates an increasing demand for data, encouraging data collection.
- Security and safety: Advancements in IT and its application will also create new security and safety propositions.
- Ethics: IT makes choices that could be deemed ethical, as a logical result of the system, emphasising the importance to build in ethical considerations into IT systems.
- New ecosystems: Like the effect of mobile internet, IT makes new applications, facilities, and new ways of interacting with the interface possible.
Many factors contribute to the proposals by stakeholders with the development of IT, including:
- Decision-making: transparency and ‘interpretability’ – with information technology performing responsibilities ranging from self-driving cars to managing insurance overheads, it is vital we comprehend decisions made by an IT system. But transparency around systematic decisions is sometimes limited by things like corporate or state secrecy or technical literacy. This has implications for the development of information technology systems, but more importantly for its safe deployment and accountability.
- Data Quality and Preference: In information technology, the model’s system will only be as good as the data it generates from. This implies preferred data will result in preferred decisions. Reliable data is vital, but greater demand for data encourages data collection.
- Safety and Security: The safety of an IT system can also be limited by how it processes data. This implies an IT system can depart from a successful strategy of addressing a concern so as to explore other options that could generate a higher reward. The ability to apply data or the behaviour of an IT system also highlights concerns around transparency of the information technology model. Safety and security considerations should be taken into account in the debate around transparency of systematic decisions.
- Accountability: The strength and efficiency of systems is based on their ability to generate instructions with no step-by-step rules. While the techniques has proved efficient in accomplishing complex responsibilities, it is also one of the sources of concern. By complicating the reasons for a system’s actions, IT further complicates the already complex concern of software accountability. And as with many fields, it could be accountability that fosters change.
- Social and Economic Effect: it is predicted that IT technologies will bring economic changes through increases in productivity. This includes machines being able to perform new responsibilities, to support people in their daily lives. Yet how the benefits from the technology are distributed, along with the actions taken by stakeholders, will create vastly novel results for labour industries and society as a whole.
- Governance: The ecosystem overlaps with subjects related to Internet governance and policy. Privacy and data laws are one example. How such processes develop, and how similar regulations are adopted or interpreted, will have a significant effect on the technology’s continued development. Ensuring a coherent approach in the regulatory space is important, to ensure the benefits of Internet-enabled technologies, like IT, are felt in all communities. Despite the complexity of the field, all takeholders, including governments, industry, and appliers, should have a role to play to determine the best governance approaches to IT. From industry-based approaches to regulation, all stakeholders should engage in the coming years to manage the technology’s economic and social effect.
Guiding Principles and Recommendations
The Kayndrex Foundation has developed the following principles and recommendations in reference to what we believe are the core ‘abilities’ that strengthen the value the Internet provides. As such, these guiding principles and recommendations are a first attempt to guide the discussions going forward.
Ethical Considerations in Deployment and Design
Principle: IT system designers and builders need to apply a user-centric approach to the technology.
- Adopt ethical standards: adherence to the principles and standards of ethical considerations in the design of information technology, should guide researchers and industry going forward.
- Promote ethical considerations in innovation policies: innovation policies should require adherence to ethical standards as a pre-requisite for things like funding.
Ensure ‘Interpretability’ of IT systems
Principle: Decisions made by an IT system should be possible to comprehend, especially if those decisions have implications for public safety.
- Ensure human interpretability of systematic decisions: some systems with potentially serious implications of public safety should also have the functionality to provide information in an event.
- Empower users: Providers of services that apply IT need to incorporate the ability for the user to request and receive basic explanations as to why a decision was made.
Principle: The public’s ability to comprehend IT-enabled services, and how they function, is key to ensuring trust in the technology.
- ‘Systematic Literacy’ should be a basic skill: Whether it is the curating of information on social media platforms or self-driving cars, users need to be aware and have a basic comprehension of the role of systematic and autonomous decision-making. Such skills will also be important in shaping societal norms around the use of the technology.
- Provide the public with information: The public should be provided with enough information to make it possible for people to assess the results of full transparency.
Principle: The capacity of an IT system to act autonomously, and to adapt its behaviour over time with no human direction, calls for significant safety checks before deployment and ongoing monitoring.
- Humans should be in control: Any autonomous system should allow for a human to interrupt an activity. There is also a need to incorporate human checks on new decision-making strategies in IT system design.
- Make safety a priority: any deployment of an autonomous system should be extensively tested beforehand to ensure the IT system’s safe interaction with its environment (digital or physical) and that it functions as intended. Autonomous systems should be monitored while in operation and updated or corrected as needed.
- Privacy is key: IT systems should be data responsible. They should apply only what they need and remove it when it is no longer needed. They should encrypt data in transit and at rest, and limit access to authorised persons (access control). IT systems should only collect, apply, share, and store data in accordance with privacy and personal data laws and best practices.
- Think before you act: Careful thought should be given to the instructions and data provided to IT systems.
- If they are connected, they should be secured: IT systems that are connected to the Internet should be secured for their protection and the protection of the Internet. High standards of device and system security should be applied.
- Responsible disclosure: Security researchers acting in good faith should be able to responsibly test the security of IT system safely. At the same time, researchers and others who discover security susceptibilities or other design checks should responsibly disclose their findings to those who are in the best position to address the concern.
Principle: Legal accountability has to be ensured when human agency is replaced by decisions of IT systems.
- Ensure legal certainty: governments should ensure legal certainty on how existing laws and policies apply to systematic decision-making and the application of autonomous systems to ensure predictable legal environment. This includes functioning with experts from all disciplines to identify gaps and run legal scenarios. Similarly, those designing and applying IT should be in compliance with existing legal systems.
- Put users first: Policymakers need to ensure that any laws applicable to IT systems and their application put users’ interests at the centre. This should include the ability for users to propose autonomous decisions that adversely affect their interest.
- Assign responsibility up-front: Governments putting in effort with all shareholders need to make some firm decisions now of who will be responsible in an event connected with an IT system and how any occurrences will be remedied.
Socio and Economic Effects
Principle: Stakeholders should shape an environment where IT provides socio-economic opportunities for all.
- All stakeholders should engage in an ongoing dialogue to determine the strategies needed to seize upon information technology’s vast socio-economic opportunities for all. A dialogue could address related concerns such as educational reform, universal income, and a review of social services.
Principle: The ability of various investors, whether civil society, government, private sector, academia, or the technical community, to inform and participate in the governance of IT is vital for its safe deployment.
- Promote Multi-stakeholder Governance: Firms, institutions, and processes related to the governance of IT need to adapt an open, transparent, and inclusive approach. It should be on four key attributes: Inclusiveness and transparency; Collective responsibility; Effective decision making and implementation; and Collaboration through distributed and interoperable governance.
The Kayndrex Foundation acknowledges the contributions of staff members, external reviewers, and the Foundation’s community members in developing this paper. The document was immensely improved by a variety of the Foundation’s community members. Their wide areas of expertise and fresh perspectives served to greatly strengthen the final paper.