Verizon: Principles for Ethical Design
2020
Company
Verizon
Exhibitions/Presentations
Verizon Design Summit
Team
CX Design
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About​​​​​​​
With digital innovation comes the threat of unintended negative impacts to individuals, society and the planet. Too often, smart systems amplify oppressive structures and perpetuate bias against historically marginalized communities.
It is the intent of this project to elevate human dignity and promote social justice in the organization's work, now and over time. 
The project started as an ongoing grassroots initiative from four events in and outside the company that helped us develop the Principles for Ethical Design:
1. Design at Verizon growing in reach and scale. How do we, as an organization, grow equitably and inclusively to build the world we want to see?
2. With growth comes risks, especially for technology innovation like Machine Learning. There are bad outcomes for society that we don't intend.
3. Verizon revisited its company purpose in October 2019 and the team saw an opportunity to reflect on that important shift in our work for the Verizon Assistant. 
4. The historical moment we're living in is bringing a renewed urgency to discussions of social injustice and equity work. As a company, organization and society, we need to ask ourselves hard questions and do the work to make things right. 
*This is a evolving project under a NDA. Please reach out if you have any questions.
Role
I led this project while starting to work for the Verizon Assistant and the assistant's digital personality - and started to see the the need to think about how Machine Learning and other technologies would impact the customer experiences across the company when not thinking about topics like Accountability, Trustworthiness or Usability. I have honest thoughts about principled thinking and ethical leadership within larger teams, where culture and day-to-day work are interlaced. 
My curiosity has helped me throw myself into learning and exploring a variety of topics for this project in which I got to lead the research on inclusive design, multi-modal accessibility and ethics practices - these topics expanded and allowed the team I and to create the principles and think of the different approaches of how to scale and expanding them onto workshoppable guidelines.
These are a couple of the Principles for Ethical Design
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1. Bias training is not enough. We must intentionally elevate diverse voices.
2. There’s no substitute for representation. If underinvested communities are left out, we haven’t completed our research.
3. Value the labor of living experts – don’t treat identity like a marketing segment.
1. We need to take accountability at every level for what we create, why and for whom.
2. Good intentions can have negative consequences. When we create in siloes, we risk the worst-case scenario.
3. Machines shouldn’t replace human jobs. When automation complements the work that people do, we can create better outcomes.
These are a few examples of the Commitments to action for each of the Principles for Ethical Design
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