Earlier this year the UnBias team ran its first Ethical Hackathon. These are a new kind of event developed by members of the Human Centred Computing theme at Oxford. They works as a twist on the traditional hackathon; by building on principles of responsible innovation, our ethical hackathons are geared towards forefronting ethical issues alongside design ones in the completion of a task.
In the ethical hackathon teams work together to carry out a competitive design task. In addition to thinking about technical features of design they are required to address the social and ethical implications of the particular technology involved. They are challenged to identify novel and creative solutions that embed ethical considerations into their design. Teams are interdisciplinary so that they can share expertise and learn from each other in a fun environment. They are then assessed by a panel of experts who judge the technical quality of their work alongside how well they have worked together to identify and address ethical concerns.