A Global Resource
Edited by René von Schomberg and Jonathan Hankins
Chapter 24: Responsible innovation in ICT: challenges for industry
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) can raise specific questions and challenges depending on the field of research or technology in which it is to be implemented. We propose that RRI is best understood as a meta-responsibility that aims to shape and align existing and novel responsibilities in research and innovation. This chapter discusses the particular issues arising from applying RRI to information and communication technology (ICT). We identify five properties of ICT that render predictions and governance difficult: the speed of innovation and diffusion, ubiquity and pervasiveness, the difficult distinction between applied and fundamental research, its logical malleability and the problem of many hands. In order to accommodate these characteristics, we develop a framework for RRI in ICT based on the AREA framework and complement it with 4P: process, product, purpose and people. The chapter discusses the specific challenges that arise when RRI is to be implemented in industry. We report the findings of a Delphi study on RRI in industrial research and development of ICT for ageing. The findings clearly show that there is a place for RRI in industry but that it needs to be related to existing responsibilities in the research and development processes and broader corporate responsibilities. The chapter provides the starting point for practical interventions that allow the co-creation of specific implementation plans of RRI in concrete research and innovation activities.
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