Self-assessment tool for responsible tech

Komet has launched an English version of the guided self-assessment tool for responsible tech. The designers hope to support and inspire tech developers to be responsible, ethical and sustainable.

Anna Fridén and Charlotte Hall have developed the tool. In this interview we get an overview of the creation process of the web-based tool that helps tech developers to implement an ethical and sustainable way of working.

The tool can be compared to a digital workshop-leader.  It facilitates discussion and supports the users to conduct a self-assessment of a project, an idea or production. The tool provides exercises to stimulate reflection and exploratory questions to support the user throughout the entire process – from initial idea to final completed product or service.

– The tool is designed to provide questions facilitating users to find their own answers. We want to help highlighting what is important when it comes to a responsible development or use of different technologies, said Anna Fridén.

Charlotte Hall and Anna Fridén, the developers behind responsibletech.se. Photo: Emma Nilsson

Self-assessment in three steps

Exploratory questions regarding ethical aspects and sustainability are asked throughout the three steps of the tool to guide the user to see, reflect and act. For example, an assessment is made of how a wide range of stakeholders are affected by the tech development. The user is guided to explore if the tech development affects a stakeholder to the short or long term.

Dialogues and research have helped Komet to identify the need for support to take responsible actions. Feasibility studies during the development process showed that pilot users gained new insights after completing the self-assessment. This new knowledge was later incorporated in their daily work.

– By providing the right questions the pilot users became aware of perspectives that shifted their focus. Metaphorically, we give them a mirror to assess their own work, said Charlotte Hall.

A guided self-assessment takes about two hours to complete. All results can be downloaded as a PDF-file, including a hands-on action list.

Want to inspire

The tool is designed to assess tech, which in this case includes all technologies. We cannot list all of them but think of tech in a very broad sense. AI, biological life science, autonomous vehicles are a few examples.

– We want the tool to be an inspiration to tech developers, encouraging them to incorporate ethics and sustainability into their day- to-day work. Self-assessment, reflection and a new mindset is a gamechanger, said Anna Fridén.

The tool “responsible tech” is available here.