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Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence (The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology) Hardcover – January 24, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1402066610 ISBN-10: 1402066619 Edition: 2008th

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Product Details

  • Series: The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2008 edition (January 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402066619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402066610
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,598,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


From the reviews:

"The book provides an overview of the state of the art as it impacts the most important social, legal, economic, technological, and ethical implications of the technology with regard to identity, privacy, and security. … The book succeeds in collecting many facts, concepts, insights, and ideas on many issues crucial for the future development of ambient intelligence (ubiquitous computing). Reading it will be no waste of time for anyone involved in--or just interested in--this new paradigm." (P. Navrat, ACM Computing Reviews, January, 2009)

"It provides an elaborate overview on the different kinds of enabling technologies that can be considered AmI and a useful inventory of the visions of AmI as reflected in other projects (both EU sponsored, as American and Japanese projects), the different tools that can be developed in order to bring these vision into reality and the most important players worldwide. … provide a good starting point for ethicists who would like to take up this challenge." (Neelke Doorn, Science and Engineering Ethics, Vol. 15, 2009)

“In this book, 15 researchers from the European Union investigate the threats, risks, and safeguards of ambient intelligence (AmI), a synonym for what is referred to as ubiquitous or pervasive computing in the US or ubiquitous networking in Japan. It offers a framework for thinking about new technological developments and the regulative context that may need to be put into place. … It will raise your awareness of things that you can do by thinking globally, but acting in your local context.” (Goran Trajkovski, ACM Computing Reviews, October, 2010)

From the Back Cover

Copy the following link for free access to the first chapter of this title:

This book is a warning. It aims to warn policy-makers, industry, academia, civil society organisations, the media and the public about the threats and vulnerabilities facing our privacy, identity, trust, security and inclusion in the rapidly approaching world of ambient intelligence (AmI).

In the near future, every manufactured product – our clothes, money, appliances, the paint on our walls, the carpets on our floors, our cars, everything – will be embedded with intelligence, networks of tiny sensors and actuators, which some have termed "smart dust". The AmI world is not far off. We already have surveillance systems, biometrics, personal communicators, machine learning and more. AmI will provide personalised services – and know more about us – on a scale dwarfing anything hitherto available.

In the AmI vision, ubiquitous computing, communications and interfaces converge and adapt to the user. AmI promises greater user-friendliness in an environment capable of recognising and responding to the presence of different individuals in a seamless, unobtrusive and often invisible way. While most stakeholders paint the promise of AmI in sunny colours, there is a dark side to AmI.

This book aims to illustrate the threats and vulnerabilities by means of four "dark scenarios". The authors set out a structured methodology for analysing the four scenarios, and then identify safeguards to counter the foreseen threats and vulnerabilities. They make recommendations to policy-makers and other stakeholders about what they can do maximise the benefits from ambient intelligence and minimise the negative consequences.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you can imagine a world where every manufactured device can communicate with every other one, where all human activity and history is monitored and recorded, and where decision-making is primarily the task of computing machines rather than humans, then this would approximate the world of `ambient intelligence' that is the topic of this book. The title of course reveals a bias in the attitudes of the editors regarding the future development and deployment of this type of technology, but they still manage to give the reader a good overview of the relevant issues. As one of them stated in the forward to the book, its contents are a balance between technophilia and technophobia, but readers embedded in these extreme endpoints along with ones in between will be exposed to insightful commentary on many different scenarios that could arise in a world of ambient intelligence. The legal frameworks in which the contributors argue are mostly geared toward those found in the European union, but their examples could be adapted to those countries that have less central control.

As expected, issues of privacy dominate the discussions in the book, as do warnings on the "Orwellian" nature of ambient intelligence. But the contributors also discuss the ramifications that arise because of possible mistakes that could be made by the technology as it performs its everyday functions. The editors are aware that intelligence, whether human or otherwise, is not "full proof and incapable of error", and so there must be contingency plans in place that will be able to deal with these types of events. Too many mistakes in too short a time will cause many to reject this technology, either before or after its deployment.
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