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EthicsofSoftwareEngineeringin

Robotics/AI
SupposeyouareaconsultingteamhiredtoinvestigatetheCaseoftheKillerRobertand
writeareport.Usethefivesectionsbelowtohelpyouanalyzemultiplefactorsrelevantin
safelycriticalsystems.
1. Whatwasdoneright?
o Productdeadlinemetandchiefsecuritycameforthwithinformation.
o Whatwasdonewrong?
o Mostthings.IfeelliketestingandImeanaguydiddie.
2. Isthereimportantinformationnotincludedinthissummaryofthecasethatyou
couldaskabout?
1. Ifeellikeitreallywasntinvestigatedverywell.
2. theinformationisntparticularlygood
3. Whywerethingshandledsopoorly
4. ismanagementreallythisunimportant?
2. Analyzetheresponsibilitiesofprofessionalsrelatedtotheethicalissuesofqualityof
life,useofpower,safety,propertyrights,privacy,andequity/accessrelatedtothe7
sociallevelsusingtheImpactCS(below),anapproachtoethicalanalysisdevisedbya
panelofethicists,computerscientists,andsocialscientists.

ResponsibilitiesofProfessionals

LevelsofSocial
Analysisfor

Individu
als

Ethical
issues
related
to:

Safety

Property
Privacy
Rights

Quality
ofLife

MainProgrammer

Stressful
work,
notreally
that
great.

Caused
Wrote
skull
apparentl crushin
nope
ypretty
g,so
poorcode not
good

nope

chicken
scratch
motion
formula

Physicist

Useof
Power

Didnt
explain
the
nope
formul
asto
progra

Equity
&
Access

testimo wrote
nywas the
given code.

nope

nope

mmer
causin
g
issues.

LevelsofSocial
Analysisfor

Commu
nities
and
Group

Not
great,
Powerto ashe
be
suffere
nope
crushed dfrom
byrobot being
really
dead

nope

useof
robot
consol
eand
the
manul
e

nope

testing

hired
full
to
access
investig
tocode
ate.

Victim

Recently
deceased
.Quality
ofdeath
isgood,
killedby
robots.

Tester

wanted
torise
through
ranks
andbe
manage
ment

wrote
fake
results,
butfor
good
reasons.

Really
unsafe,
asput
ahead
crushin nope
grobot
on
market
.

OutsideTester

Decent
togreat.

Lookinto
testing
procedure
s

Realiz
edthat
results
nope
were
falsifie
d.

Quality
ofLife

Useof
Power

ProjectManager

high
stress,
assumabl
yfrom
being
incompet
ant.

Programmers

really
stressed
as
environ

Property
Safety
Privacy
Rights

Equity
&
Access

Used
waterfall
method,
which
wasreal
bad

Notat
risk
himself
nope
butput
others
atrisk

nope

acess
to
most
stuff.

Didwhat
couldbe
donebut
really

Well
they
were
safe

pretty
much
none
for

access
tothe
code,
asthey

nope

mentwas
not
conduciv
eto
being
reasonab
le
thanks
manage
ment.

Organiza
tions

InhouseTesters

Users

Outsidetesters

PACKSTAT123company

ACM

thereis
onlyso
muchthat
canbe
done.

but
their
jobs
were
not.

wrote
fake
resultsso
thereis
that.

Poor
testing
leadto
non
unsafe
conditi
ons

robot
basicall
plus
yokay.
code

they
bought
Iassume
andused
okay.
the
product

not
really
safeas
no
none
malfun
ction
instruct
ions.

nope

could
usethe
robot

Iassume
goodas
theygot
totest
robots

not
trained
forthe nope
most
part

signed
some
papers

access
to
robot

pretty
stressed

They
testedthe
product
really
poorly

these
guys.

got
things
taken
from
them

usedtheir
ppowerto
have
proba rightsto
things
blynot some
no
stolen
tested software
from
them

Codeof
Ethics.

Basicall Not
ygotafter good,

nope

were
the
progra
mmers
.

only
access
to
what
they
owned,
which
iguess
was
stolen

not
no
particul access

Cultures

Schneiderman'sUIGoldenRules

IEEE

Programmers

Corporation

the
company
for
making
faulty
products

asa
man
died
pretty
much
from
their
mishan
dling
critica
l
situatio
ns
handle
nope
d
poorly
dueto
bad
menu

understo
odthat
the
interface
was
terrible

Blame
theuser
interface
designer

Codeof
Ethics

Hardw
are
regulat
ions
Powerto ensure
enforce
that
nope
regulation nothin
gwill
malfun
ction
there

Basically
used
stressed, powersof
as
doingthe
everyone bare
seemed minimum
tomeet
deadline

arly
interest
ed

Black
box
academ
testing
icpaper
was
written
done
here.

Private
inspecti
onsbut
open
about
other
things

access
to
nothin
g

Basicall
Cut
y
corners no
transpar
anda property
entin
manis rights
all
dead
regards

acces
to
basical
ly
everyt
hing
produc
ed

Stressed
basicall
powerof crap
owned
about
owned
y
enforcing testing
everyt
company
therobot invaded
unreasona leading
hing
inruins
everyon

ble
toa
deadlines death
LevelsofSocial
Analysisfor

Institutio
nal
Sectors

es
privacy

Quality
ofLife

Useof
Power

Safety

Property
Privacy
Rights

Equity
&
Access

President

once
again
stressed
ashis
company
wasin
shambles

The
power
was
abusedto
trytosave
the
company

Notan
issue,
about
the
money
forhim

owned
the
company
so
everythin
g

Hewas
theone
really
orchestr
ating
the
spying

owned
the
entire
compa
ny

Basical
lyblew
thelid
offof
the
compan
yby
releasin
g
informa
tion

Robot
access
mostly

pretty
private

access
toboth
the
robot
andthe
code

once
again
pretty
private

Probab
ly
access
to
most
things
that
hadto
do
with
the

Wasn
this
concer
n,
no
basical
lypaid
notto
care

ChiefSafetyOfficer

Ihope
theyhad
todrown
their
sorrows
in
alcohol

Usedhis
power
likea
coldwar
power,to
spyon
everyone

DivisionChief

stressed
about
work
justlike
everyone

once
again,
Forced
partial
faketests
respon no
andcut
sibility
corneres
forthat
death

ProjectManager

Really
underq
once
Powerof
ualifie
again
hiringand
dand
stressed, firing,to
no
terrible
butwho fire
forthe
isnt
people.
project
.

project

has
access
to
anythi
ng
related
tothe
case

DistrictAttorney

Powerto
help,as
Proababl was
ydecent. fundedby
the
president

not
reallya
thing no
forthe
DA

really
nothing
toadd
asjust
the
district
attorney

Powerof
Probably making
for
surelaws
maintain are
followed

should
be
enforci none
ng
laws

Whatev
no
erthey
direct
decide
access
isfair

well
globally
we
literally
haveall
the
peoplein
theworld
sovaried

basica
llydo
none
nothin
g

depend
no
son
direct
who
access
youask

Nations

Global

The
illuminati
runthe
world.,so
thereis
that.

3. WhatdegreeofblamedoyouassigntothesegroupsandwhatACMSoftware
EngineeringCodesofEthicsapply?
Software
Company

Why?
75%of Ithinkthatneglegencewithinthecompanywasreallythe RelatedPrinciple
blame issuehereasamandied.Itwasntlikeeverythingwasdone
IEEE1,3
toprotectthepeopleeither.

Individual
Workers
25%of
blame

Why?

RelatedPrinciple
IEEE1,3,7

Codewasmessedupandonanindividualscalepeople
probablyshouldhavestoppedtheshittybusinesspractices
sooner.Thatbeingsaiditwouldprobablybehardtoput
yourjobatrisk,butforethics,itisworthit

The
Victim
0%of
blame

Why?
Theygotcrushedanddied,whenusingapurportedlysafe RelatedPrinciple
robot

4. Whatchangesifanycouldthedevelopersmaketoreducethelikelihoodofmore
deaths?
o

Listsomeimportantactionsthatyoucanorshoulddotoensurethesafetyofthe
system.

Considerallaspectsofdevelopment,technicalissues,operatinginstructions,and
soon.

Notewhichcodeofethicstheactionsrelateto.

Action

Related
Principle
IEEE6
EIII6
7

Software
Probablyshouldhavehadcompetenttesters.
Hardware
Onceagaingetsomegoodtesting.
PhysicalSurroundingsnotimetotestandprobablycouldhavedonebettere
Probablycouldhavediredamuchbetterstaff.Competent
People,Groups,and
workerswouldhavebeencool.ButIfeellikethatshouldnt 3
Roles
havetobesaid
Procedures
Waterfallmethodisapparentlyforimbeciles
5
Followthelawsinplaceanddontstealfromother
Laws
9
companies.
DataandData
Wellprobablycouldhavecheckedandtested.
3
Structures
Problem/SolutionsStrategiesProductqualityismoreimportantthanreleaseddates.
fordisagreements,value
Dontshipproductsthatcankillpeople,especiallyifthe 1
conflicts,andsituational
testerswereimbeciles
constraints
Resources

SaraBaase.2008.TheGiftofFire:Social,Legal,andEthicalIssuesforComputingand
theInternet,3rd,Ed.Pearson/PrenticeHall.Page449.

OnlineEthicsCenter,NationalAcademyofEngineering.CaseoftheKillerRobot

SherriBraxtonandDarylB.Stone.ConsequencesofComputing:AFrameworkfor
Teaching.GeorgeWashingtonUniversity,SchoolofEngineeringandAppliedScience.

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