Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ethics in Computer Science

What is ethics?
Ethics to me is knowing the difference between wrong and right. It can also be a gut feeling telling you that yours or someone else's actions are wrong. In the computer science world ethics is "the procedures, values and practices that govern the process of consuming computing technology and its related disciplines without damaging or violating the moral values and beliefs of any individual, organization or entity."(Techcopedia).
 It is very important to keep your ethical integrity in the computer science field. There are many things that can go wrong in making software like not taking the proper procedures. Sometimes rushing a product and not testing it just because you need to reach your deadline. this can result to tremendous consequences. Here are just a few hypothetical consequences:
  • People losing money from there bank account because the online banking app software has bugs and it was not depositing the correct amount of money that was on your check.
  • A calculator not giving out the right results because of an error in the code in the software, so all your math homework is going to be wrong in results.

There are many ethical problems in the computer science field and they are increasing more and more each day as we rely more on our technology for our everyday use. Here are few ethically wrong issues in the computer science field:
  • Stealing other computer science colleagues codes or logarithms. It is unethical because it is like stealing someone else's idea(s).
  • Identity theft through the internet. This example can really make the victim's life very difficult. The culprit can destroy the victim's credit, can steal their money and can also impersonate themselves as the victim.
  • Ratting (Which is when someone takes over your computer functions and can access everything on it, even your built in camera). The ethics behind this issue is that your accessing confidential information like private photos, passwords, and invading peoples privacy. It is also pretty hard to know when someone breach your computer, unless you have a very good anti virus software.

Therac-25 Machine

They are many unethical things that can happen in the computer science field. One example is a software malfunction, when a Therac-25 Machine killed six people. A Therac-25 Machine is "a medical linear accelerator manufactured by AECL. A linear accelerator ("linac") is a particle accelerator, a device that increases the energy of electrically charged atomic particles. The charged particle are accelerated by the introduction of an electric field, producing beams of particles which are then focused by magnets. Linacs are used to treat cancer patients. A patient is exposed to beams of particles, or radiation, in doses designed to kill a malignancy."(Anne Marie Porrello). The software in the machine was update and an error occur, which resulted in the machine giving higher doses to the patients and killing them by over exposure to the radiation particles.The people who worked on the updated software had an ethical obligation to test the product thoroughly. Maybe if the people working on the project were more thorough in their procedure, they could have avoided this tragedy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi David. I think all the information you gave so far is very good, but I do see room for improvement.

    Therac-25 is a great example that illustrates the ethical responsibilities of computer scientists; however, I think you can connect the example back to ethics more strongly. Most of the paragraph discussing The Therac-25 malfunction is explaining the situation while there is only one sentence at the end about the ethics. A couple more sentences on relating the example to ethics in computer science will make the overall paragraph much stronger and more relevant to the assignment. Speaking of the paragraph's relevancy to the assignment, your topic sentence for the "Therac-25 paragraph" can also be improved. How can you make the topic sentence (first sentence of the paragraph containing the main idea) relate to the topic so that the reader knows exactly what your thought process is from the start? Does this first sentence mention anything about ethics?

    If you are looking to expand your blog overall, I also think you can give examples or discuss the ethics on some of the other ethical issues you mentioned, such as stealing code etc. I think the recent Equifax situation would be a great example for this assignment, but it's ultimately up to you whether or not you want to include it.

    Overall, keep up the good work :D