INCORPORATING EUROPEAN FUNDAMENTAL VALUES INTO ICT FOR AGEING: A VITAL POLITICAL, ETHICAL , TECHNOLOGICAL, AND INDUSTRIAL CHALLENGE (VALUE-AGEING) is a 48 month Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways Action which aims to foster co-operation between non-commercial and commercial entities on a joint research project about the incorporation of Fundamental Values of the EU in Info-Communication Technology (ICT) for Ageing.
ICT gives individuals as well as societies the possibility to improve their lives and to free them from certain constraints. Technology alleviates the tyranny of human material constitution, its physical limitations, its spatiotemporal constraints, and its limited capacity to perform actions. This holds particularly true for ICT for ageing, provided that technology is respectful of values such as human dignity, autonomy, respect for privacy, family life, data protection and non-discrimination. Good technology is not just about making something better; it is about doing something different and consequently making people think differently. Fundamental values should be built into the design stage of ICT from the outset.
We need to understand both the way in which existing values is driving technology innovation, and how technology in its turn is changing people’s standards. Social scientists and ethicists should learn from technologists, and in their turn technologists should learn from scholars working on human values. Value issues must be addressed at the design stages because it is then, when instruments are “thought up”, that meanings and values are embedded in technology. This makes a project like VALUE-AGEING a vital instrument to incorporate fundamental EU principles in industrial strategies and technological awareness in policy setting.
The VALUE-AGEING partnership represents a unique multidisciplinary combination which will contribute towards educating a new generation of researchers in the field of ICT for ageing.