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CSI2911 Professional Practice in Computing Pratique professionnelle de l'informatique

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  1. CSI2911Professional Practice in ComputingPratique professionnelle de l'informatique TOPIC A Introduction, History of Computing and Ethical Analysis

  2. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  3. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  4. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  5. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  6. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  7. Recent Developments: Video Sharing • Rise of amateur videos on the web • YouTube dominates • But many videos on the web infringe copyrights owned by others CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  8. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  9. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  10. New Developments: Collaboration • Wikipedia, the online, collaborative encyclopedia • Open Directory Project (ODP) • Collaboration between scientists in different states or countries CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  11. 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. CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  12. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  13. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  14. Discussion Questions • What changes and new developments do you expect in the next 50 years? • How will life be different than it is today? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  15. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  16. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  17. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  18. 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. CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  19. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  20. Discussion Question • Can you think of examples of • liberties (negative rights) • and claim-rights (positive rights) • that are at opposition to each other? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  21. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  22. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  23. Ethical Judgment • Is a kind of pattern recognition • It gets better with experience CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  24. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  25. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  26. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  27. 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 CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  28. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  29. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  30. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  31. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  32. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  33. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge

  34. 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? CSI2911 - Lethbridge