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Call for Papers

Ethical Issues of Networked Toys

edited by Juliet Lodge, Daniel Nagel

Call for Papers for Vol. 27 (01/2018)

  • Deadline for extended abstracts: August 31, 2017
  • Notification of acceptance to authors: September 15, 2017
  • Deadline for full articles: November 30 2017
  • Deadline for revised articles: December 31, 2017
  • Publication: January 2018

Does technology change childhood in ways that are not yet fully understood? How might robo-toys affect the experience of childhood and shape online and off-line expectations?

Technology is ubiquitous: boundaries between the world we live in and the internet become more and more blurred thanks to networked objects. This does not even halt at areas that are traditionally con-sidered a secure place for self-development and testing oneself through careful interaction with a closed circle of peers and family: childhood.

Networked toys dominate the shelves in toy stores at a time when neither their real benefits nor their potentially latent dangers have been fully explored. Do hyper-connected toys transform the relation-ship between adults, the child and its environment? Do they shape their minds and predispose them to seek convenience and speedy responses rather than rely on their own autonomous capacities for critical thought?

Questions such as who really is in control arise, both of the toys - parents, third parties or even the toddlers themselves - and of data (including biometrics) that might be collected for unclear purposes and opaque destinations. For what specific or linkable purpose and above all where and to whom is data transmitted? What ethical considerations should be addressed?

Is there an actual benefit for the children themselves? Do hyper connected devices and robo-toys teach them how to handle technology or does it erode their capacity for autonomous reflection as speed and convenience are prioritised in their on-line and -off-line worlds? Do such toys presage fun-damental transformation of childhood and the imagined and physical worlds?

This special issue will explore the challenges, benefits and pitfalls of networked toys.

We welcome papers discussing the ethical complications including, but not limited to, these areas of inquiry:
  • Privacy, reputation, and the secrecy of personal information
  • Tensions between education and technology
  • Parenting the robo generation.
  • Ethical liability of manufacturers and data controllers

Papers on these and related issues are welcome.

Guest Editors:

Prof. Em. Dr. Dr. Juliet Lodge
University of Leeds, Member, Privacy Expert Group, Biometrics Institute (London), Senior analyst, Saher Ltd. Email: j.e.lodge@leeds.ac.uk

Dr. Daniel Nagel
Lawlinguists S.r.l., Via Alessandro Volta, 13, 20121 Milan, Italy Email: daniel.nagel@lawlinguists.com

For further information, especially on how to submit a paper, please refer to: Ethical Issues of Networked Toys - Call for Papers cfp-pdf-fulltext (30 KB) (right click and select "Save Target As")


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