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Batya Friedman is a professor in the Information School and holds adjunct appointments in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. She codirects the Value Sensitive Design Lab and the UW Tech Policy Lab.
Dr. Friedman pioneered value sensitive design (VSD), an approach to account for human values in the design of technology. First developed in human-computer interaction, VSD has since been used in architecture, civil engineering, computational linguistics, computer security, energy, human-robotic interaction, information management, legal theory, moral philosophy, and transportation. Dr. Friedman has worked on technologies and values in a wide range of systems, from security for implantable medical devices to informed consent for cookies and web browsers, reputation in knowledge base systems, privacy in mobile technology, and equitable representation in large-scale computer simulation for land use and transportation planning.
To bring VSD into engineering and tech policy research and practice, she has developed practical methods and toolkits. Among these, Envisioning Cards help technologists consider stakeholders, values, time, and pervasive uptake in their technical work; Security Cards, with a focus on threat analysis, help to develop a security mindset; and Diverse Voices aims to create more inclusive tech policy. Her new book Value Sensitive Design: Shaping Technology with Moral Imagination will be published by MIT Press in early spring 2019.
Dr. Friedman is currently working on multilifespan design—generating design knowledge for envisioning and building information systems to support sociotechnical solutions as they unfold over longer periods of time, on the order of 50 or 100 years. Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal, which explores the design of information systems to support transitional justice and healing from cyclical violence and genocide, is a first project in this multilifespan design research program.
Among her honors, Dr. Friedman was selected as the University of Washington’s University Faculty Lecturer and received the ACM SIGCHI Social Impact Award in 2012. She is also a sculptor and mixed media artist. She received her BA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.