Mah, K., & Hespanhol, L. (2017, November). Embodying altruism in interaction design: towards moralising HCI. In Proceedings of the 29th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (pp. 592-596).
As digital technologies permeate all aspects of our lives, their ethical and moral implications assume a central role in discussions among researchers across the fields of philosophy and design. Yet, there seems to be little consensus as to where the agency or responsibility lies in technological systems. In this paper, we argue that morality is a significant aspect of the design process, requiring deliberate attention and consideration in the design and development of new technologies and systems. We aim to address the issue of morality, starting from the perspective of altruism. In support of our argument, we present a theoretical analytical design schema – referred to as the Mediated Tendency Towards Altruism (MeTTA). The MeTTA classifies various aspects of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) systems. Trough this approach, we propose to evaluate the ‘altruistic tendency’ of a design solution, to gauge how HCI can materialise the conditions to embody altruism in design artefacts and posit that this approach could serve as a model for other moral perspectives. We conclude by discussing how the MeTTA design schema could be used as a basis for further inquiry towards understanding and taxonomy of a moral continuum in HCI.
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