Department of Computer Science

Digital Ethics, Society and Policy

Engaging the societal impact of technologies through transdisciplinary inquiry and ethical practices
Digital ethics, symbolic illustration Matti Ahlgren

Digital Ethics, Society and Policy (Digital-ESP) brings together diverse researchers, scholars and practitioners engaging at the intersection of technology, social science and policy concerns in a societal context. From a Computer Science perspective this is a crucial area for critically interrogating the ethics and values embedded in technology, the interplay with society, and the role of policy-making to better understand and mediate positive or adverse impacts.

Increasingly, contemporary concerns with emerging technologies such as AI, surveillance, cybersecurity, robotics, drones and autonomous systems in society have been much debated. However, issues of gender and racial equity, Global South inclusion, political participation, democracy, protest, civic engagement, crisis, and sustainability in technological contexts, are also critical topics of emphasis for this area.

Digital-ESP is focused on understanding the societal impact of technologies in a transdisciplinary manner (i.e. drawing on research conducted at the intersection of different fields and engaging diverse stakeholders), while proposing critical guidance and policy interventions.

Johanna Ylipulli standing on a bridge

Designing sustainable societies through trust

A broad understanding of digital technologies is of utmost importance in the information era. How do we make sure that humans stay in the loop in a socially sustainable way as societies become ever more digitalised?

A small white and blue robot pictured on display at Aalto's monter at Slush

Will AI make us better humans? Why we must be cautious

It’s not news that digitalisation and AI are transforming how we live, work, consume and behave.

CRAI-CRIS research group

Participatory research to improve artificial intelligence based public sector services and empower citizens

Multidisciplinary research team invites citizens, civil servants and software developers to identify risks and potential of algorithmic services – and helps providers address upcoming EU regulations

Marko Nieminen vaakakuva

‘We managed to turn a major risk into a great opportunity’

To make sure the Fusion Grid project could continue, Marko Nieminen travelled to Namibia and drove 1,400 kilometres to transport necessary equipment to the village of Oniipa and make it to KLM’s final flight to Europe

Johanna Kaipio seisoo ulkona, taustalla ruskan värittämä pihlajapuu ja pensaita.

A 'lifelong interest in coding' is not a requirement for seeking a career in technology

Johanna Kaipio, Professor of Practice, ventured onto the path of technology as a result of an interest in psychology, mathematical subjects and medicine in upper secondary school. Now, as a researcher of health and social care information systems, Kaipio brings these elements together.



Teemu Leinonen

Teemu Leinonen

Professori (Associate professor)

Aditya Johri

Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information & Communications Technologies 2021-2022, Department of Computer Science, Aalto University

Riikka Koulu

Assistant Professor, Director, University of Helsinki Legal Tech Lab

Salla-Maaria Laaksonen

Adjunct Professor, University Researcher, Center for Consumer Society and Research, University of Helsinki

Aaro Tupasela

Research Fellow, Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki

Latest publications

Special issue on Urban AI: Understanding the Emerging Role of Artificial Intelligence in Smart Cities

Aale Luusua, Johanna Ylipulli, Marcus Foth, Alessandro Aurigi 2023 AI and Society

Urban AI: understanding the emerging role of artificial intelligence in smart cities

Aale Luusua, Johanna Ylipulli, Marcus Foth, Alessandro Aurigi 2022 AI and Society

An Approach to Computational Crisis Narrative Analysis

Henna Paakki, Nitin Sawhney, Faeze Ghorbanpour 2022

Devising Regulatory Sandboxes and Responsible Practices for Designing AI-based Services in the Finnish Public Sector

Nitin Sawhney, Ana Paula Gonzalez Torres 2022 International Workshop on AI Compliance Mechanism (WAICOM 2022), 35th International Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems (JURIX 2022), Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany

Language of Algorithms: Agency, Metaphors, and Deliberations in AI Discourses

Nitin Sawhney, Kaisla Kajava 2022 Handbook of Critical Studies of Artificial Intelligence

Age Against the Machine: A Call for Designing Ethical AI for and with Children

Sumita Sharma, Marianne Kinnula, Netta Iivari, Leena Ventä-Olkkonen, Heidi Hartikainen, Eva Durall, Tonja Molin-Juustila, Jussi Okkonen, Sirkku Kotilainen, Nitin Sawhney, Grace Eden, Charu Monga 2022

Studying the potentials and pitfalls of ICT tools designed for crisis communication & management

Minttu Tikka, Rahim Ahsanullah, Nitin Sawhney, Teemu Leinonen, Uttishta Varanasi 2022

Patient Experience from an eHealth Perspective: A Scoping Review of Approaches and Recent Trends

Johanna Viitanen, Paula Valkonen, Kaisa Savolainen, Nina Karisalmi, Sini Hölsä, Sari Kujala 2022 Yearbook of medical informatics
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database

Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT (external link)

Collaborative institute for research on information technology.

HIIT logo

Department of Computer Science is part of School of Science in Aalto University.

PML research gropu at department of computer science, photo Matti Ahlgren

Research areas

Research in the Department of Computer Science

Department of Computer Science
Illustration of a person holding virtual reality headset

Department of Computer Science

To foster future science and society.

Artistic depiction of a bright light in space / made by Ray Scipak

School of Science

Science for tomorrow’s technology, innovations and businesses

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