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CSI2911 Professional Practice in Computing Pratique professionnelle de l'informatique TOPIC A Introduction, History of Computing and Ethical Analysis Why this course? (1) Computing has a tremendous positive impact we want to enhance

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csi2911 professional practice in computing pratique professionnelle de l informatique

CSI2911Professional Practice in ComputingPratique professionnelle de l'informatique

TOPIC A

Introduction,

History of Computing and

Ethical Analysis

why this course 1
Why this course? (1)
  • Computing has a tremendous positive impact we want to enhance
    • Generating medical breakthroughs by analysing the genome and proteome
    • Improving energy efficiency
    • Making us all more productive at work and play
      • Automates uninteresting, repetitive tasks
    • Allowing us to communicate and access information in ways we never imagined
    • Giving us entertainment and fun
      • Games, movies, social networking

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why this course 2
Why this course? (2)
  • Computing can have a tremendous negative impact we want to avoid
    • Disasters and other societal problems can be caused by
      • Poor practice
        • Poor development techniques
        • Poor writing and communication
        • Poor technology
        • Breaches of privacy
        • Etc.
      • The actions of hackers and other criminals
      • Accidents on which we rely on computers
        • E.g. planes, trains, spaceships and automobiles crashing
        • Overdosing patients in a hospital

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outline of the course
Outline of the course
  • For the outline, see the syllabus on the web
  • Note that some sessions will be held in a different room in conjunction with ELG2911 and SEG2911
  • Many of the slides that appear are adapted from those supplied by the textbook author

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rapid pace of change
Rapid Pace of Change
  • 1940s: The first computer is built
  • 1956: First hard-disk drive weighed a ton and stored five megabytes
  • 1964: Attempts at having a computer act like a human
    • Eliza http://www.manifestation.com/neurotoys/eliza.php3
  • 1991: Space shuttle had a one-megahertz computer
  • Today: Pocket devices hold a terabyte (one trillion bytes) of data
  • Today: Automobiles have many 100-megahertz computers

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recent developments blogs
Recent Developments: Blogs
  • Blogs have established themselves in an unprecedented role
    • Now used as alternatives to mainstream news and for business public relations
    • Popular blogs have 100,000 to 500,000 readers per day and can peak at several million views per day

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recent developments video sharing
Recent Developments: Video Sharing
  • Rise of amateur videos on the web
    • YouTube dominates
    • But many videos on the web infringe copyrights owned by others

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recent developments converged pocket devices
Recent Developments:Converged pocket devices
  • Until recently you might need to carry separately:
    • Cell phone, GPS, calculator, iPod, dictionary, game console, first aid manual, camera, video camera, carpenters level, book
    • Now these and much, much more are all in one device
  • And coming soon it may have
    • FM radio, TV, environmental sensor, TV remote, satellite radio, credit/debit card substitute, garage door opener, language interpreter
  • But
    • Using these devices while driving is a problem
    • They can interfere with solitude, quiet and concentration
    • Cameras in cell phones present privacy issues

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new developments social networking
New Developments: Social networking
  • First online social networking site was www.classmates.com in 1995
  • Facebook was started at Harvard as an online version of student directories

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new developments collaboration
New Developments: Collaboration
  • Wikipedia, the online, collaborative encyclopedia
  • Open Directory Project (ODP)
  • Collaboration between scientists in different states or countries

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new developments artificial intelligence and robotics
New Developments:Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence can solve a number of expert, difficult tasks
    • Machine translation is becoming closer to reality
  • Robotic devices are often special-purpose devices, and may require AI to function
    • Can operate in space, in hazardous situations, or perform routine physically laborious tasks
  • Machine Learning and Data Mikning methods or algorithms enable adaptive systems
    • Can help us understand patterns in data, e.g. for weather and business forecasting, detecting security violations etc.

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new developments assisting the disabled
New Developments: Assisting the disabled
  • Restoration of abilities, productivity and independence
    • Screen readers and scanners for the blind
    • Speech recognition for the deaf
    • Prosthetics with motion sensors

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what other innovation is coming
What other innovation is coming?
  • Encrypted medical records on chips attached to medical bracelets or on your iPhone
  • Biological and computer sciences will combine new ways to insert devices into the body
    • Communicate directly with the brain
    • Control the world by thought
    • Monitor health constantly

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discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • What changes and new developments do you expect in the next 50 years?
  • How will life be different than it is today?

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but what problems do we need to deal with
But what problems do we need to deal with?
  • Criminals, terrorists and hostile governments also have the power of computing at their disposal
    • Combating these requires restrictions and inconveniences
  • Personal data can leak out, reducing privacy
  • Some people become less social due to interacting more and more with computers
  • Fire was a gift when our ancestors discovered it but it has also caused a lot of destruction

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ethics
Ethics
  • What is Ethics:
    • Study of what it means to “do the right thing”
    • Assumes people are rational and make free choices
    • Rules to follow in our interactions and our actions that affect others

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ethics cont
Ethics (cont.)
  • Ethical Views:
    • Deontological
      • Judging right or wrong based on whether one adheres to the rules
    • Utilitarianism /consequentialism
      • The greatest good for the greatest number of people
    • Natural rights
      • Some things are right regardless of what rules and laws are written down
  • No simple answers to many ethical questions
    • Do organizations (businesses) have ethics?

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ethics cont18
Ethics (cont.)
  • Important Distinctions:
  • Right, wrong and okay
  • Negative rights (liberties)
    • The right to act without interference
      • The right some people assert to do what you want with your property
      • Freedom of expression
  • Positive rights (claim-rights)
    • An obligation of some people to provide certain things for others
      • A doctor has an obligation to care for a sick patient
      • A computer scientist or engineer must take action if they know something is unsafe, will impact the environment, etc.

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ethics cont19
Ethics (cont.)
  • Important Distinctions (cont.):
  • Difference between wrong and harm
    • Wrong: May cause harm, but may not
    • Harm: Bad consequence actually occurs
  • Personal preference and ethics
    • Collective rights vs. individual rights
  • Law and Ethics

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discussion question
Discussion Question
  • Can you think of examples of
    • liberties (negative rights)
    • and claim-rights (positive rights)
    • that are at opposition to each other?

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what should guide ethical decision making
What should guide ethical decision making?
  • Seven levels
    • International treaties and agreements
    • Laws (statutes)
    • Regulations
    • Standards of good practice
    • Professional codes of ethics
    • Corporate policies
    • Community and personal values

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guidance for ethical decision making in the area of privacy
Guidance for ethical decision making in the area of privacy
  • Fair Information Practice Principles
  • Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: PIPEDA
  • Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act
  • CIPS Guidelines
  • CIPS Code of Ethics
  • University of Ottawa Policies
  • Common sense

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ethical judgment
Ethical Judgment
  • Is a kind of pattern recognition
    • It gets better with experience

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method for ethical analysis
Method for Ethical Analysis
  • Take a set of ethical points of view
    • Equality, justice, respect, self-respect (integrity)
    • Gather all ethically relevant facts regarding the situation and people involved
      • Actions, roles, relationships (e.g. conflicts of interest)
    • Identify key issues
      • Look for an existing policy or law that matches
      • Pay attention to precedents and people who might be sensitive to any given solution
      • If a solution found, apply it
        • But watch out for conflicting policies, laws, principles and points of view
    • Otherwise apply higher-level general principles and consult with others

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example ethical situation 1
Example ethical situation 1
  • You are developing software for the government that determines whether someone is eligible for a driver’s license
  • You think there is a problem in the law that will deny certain people licenses that is unfair in your opinion
    • E.g. old people when somebody has complained about their driving
  • You consider adjusting the software so that the public complaints do are ‘ignored’ by the software
  • What are the ethical implications?

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example ethical situation 2
Example ethical situation 2
  • You realize that the software a colleague developed has been over-billing customers.
  • If you reveal the problem and the company pays back the money, they company may go bankrupt and you may lose your job.
  • What do you do?

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example ethical situation 3
Example ethical situation 3
  • You discover a vulnerability in your company’s software that could lead hackers to break in and obtain or alter critical information causing great harm
  • You could just work with the company to fix it quietly and say nothing to others
  • But perhaps you should notify the users and customers so they can take steps to protect themselves in case hackers break in before the fix is made
    • But this might cause great harm to the company’s reputation

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example ethical situation 4
Example ethical situation 4
  • Your company wins a contract to develop a secret military technology that could have tremendous destructive capability
  • You personally believe that it would be better for the world if this technology did not exist
  • What do you do?

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example ethical situation 5
Example ethical situation 5
  • You discover a ‘back door’ that allows you unlimited access to all the private information in your company
  • You have suspicions that the CEO is embezzling funds
  • Do you use the back-door to investigate?
  • What other alternative courses of action could you consider?
  • What if instead, you suspect that a fired employee was fired unjustly, and you could use the back-door to find exonerating evidence?

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example ethical situation 6
Example ethical situation 6
  • You know your brother regularly makes videos of movies in the cinema and shares them using bit torrent software
  • As a computer professional what should you do?
  • Would it make any difference if your brother was selling the videos?

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example ethical situation 7
Example ethical situation 7
  • Your company has developed safety critical software that you believe may not have been adequately tested
  • You mention this to your manager, and he tells you “you are too inexperienced to make that judgment, the expert testers are confident the software is OK”
  • What do you do?

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example ethical situation 8
Example ethical situation 8
  • You are developing slot machine software for casinos
  • A psychologist has determined how to ‘improve’ the user interface to encourage people to spend more money (i.e. to gamble more)
  • You believe this will increase the occurrence of gambling addiction
  • What could you consider doing?
  • Would there be any difference if the same technique was to be used to encourage people to spend more money on an e-commerce site selling consumer products?

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example ethical situation 9
Example ethical situation 9
  • You are working on a software development project that is over budget and behind schedule
  • You feel fairly certain that the system will never work as expected due to poor requirements and design and that it would be better to start again
  • You feel fairly certain it would harm your career in the company if you made a ‘big deal’ about your opinions?
  • What are the ethical issues?

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example ethical situation 10
Example ethical situation 10
  • You know how to crack the encryption on cell phone calls and have the hardware and software available to do this.
  • Is there any ethical situation when you might consider it ‘right’ to use this knowledge
  • If you were asked by the police? A judge? A CSIS agent? James Bond?
  • If you knew it would save someone’s life? If you thought it would prevent some other crime?

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