.NET Rocks!

Morality of Software Development with Bill Buxton

Episode #1602 Thursday, November 29, 2018

Is there a morality to software development? Carl and Richard talk to Microsoft Principal Researcher Bill Buxton about his thoughts on what software can do and what our responsibility as software creators is. Bill talks about Melvin Kranzberg's Laws of Technology, starting with the idea that technology is neither good nor evil, nor is it neutral. Ultimately software is a tool, and people decide how that tool is going to be used. We shape tools, but tools ultimately shape us as well. It's always wise to check in on what your shape is. Lots of great thinking!


Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton is a Canadian computer scientist and designer. He is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research. He is known for being one of the pioneers in the human–computer interaction field. For over 40 years – as designer, musician, lecturer, writer, teacher, critic and researcher - Bill has been obsessed with the evolving human-technology dance. From the creative disciplines of music, his focus has evolved to the broader stage upon which this dance takes place. A practicing skeptimist, he is a devotee of Melvin Kranzberg’s first law: “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral. It will be some combination of the two.” Thus, he is driven by a pursuit of “informed design”, without which he believes the bias will most likely lean towards the bad rather than the good.


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