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Living in a World of Smart Everyday Objects—Social, Economic, and Ethical Implications

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Visions of Pervasive Computing and ambient intelligence involve integrating tiny microelectronic processors and sensors into everyday objects in order to make them“smart.”Smart things can explore their environment, communicate with other smart things, and interact with humans, therefore helping users to cope with their tasks in new, intuitive ways. Although many concepts have already been tested out as prototypes in field trials, the repercussions of such extensive integration of computer technology into our everyday lives are difficult to predict. This article is a first attempt to classify the social, economic, and ethical implications of this development.

Keywords: Pervasive Computing; economy; ethical implications; privacy; social implications; technological risk; ubiquitous computing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Computer Science Institute for Pervasive Computing, ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Zurich, Switzerland

Publication date: 2004-10-01

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