Ethics and the Information Revolution Terrell Ward Bynum

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Transcript Ethics and the Information Revolution Terrell Ward Bynum

Ethics and the Information
Terrell Ward Bynum
Page 13
Computer is a universal tool because it is logically
– Can be shaped and molded to perform nearly any task
Term: Information and Communication
Technology (ICT)
ICT now affects (in both good and bad ways)
community life, family life, human relationships,
education, freedom, democracy, and so on
Let’s talk about this – make a list of good and bad
for each of the above categories
Computer Ethics – Historical
Field of study founded by Norbert Wiener, MIT
professor in early 1940’s during WWII while
helping to develop an antiaircraft cannon capable
of shooting down warplanes
Read excerpt from his book on page 15 – don’t
say what year it was written until next slide….
In 1950 Wiener published, The Human Use of
Human Beings, established himself as founder of
Computer Ethics
Ahead of his time, his foundation for the field was
virtually ignored for decades.
More Wiener
Felt integration of computer technology into society would
constitute remaking of society, a second industrial
Would take decades of effort and would radically change
Workers must adjust to radical changes in the workplace –
read story p. 118 old book
Governments must establish new laws and regulations
Industry and businesses must create new policies and
Professional organizations must develop new codes of
conduct for their members
The 60’s
Donn Parker, SRI International, began to examine
unethical and illegal uses of computers by computer
Parker wrote: “It seemed that when people entered the
computer center they left their ethics at the door.”
Published Rules of Ethics in Information Processing in
CACM in 1968
Published a great deal and gave lectures re-launched the
field, a second founder of computer ethics
The 1970’s
Joseph Weizenbaum, MIT CS professor developed
– A crude imitation of a psychotherapist
– Joseph was shocked at others reactions
– Growing tendency among scientists and general public
to see humans as mere machines
» Why did this bother him? What are the ethical issues which
arise if a human is viewed more as a machine?
– He authored Computer Power and Human Reason, a
classic in Computer Ethics and is considered a key
person in the formative history of the area
– Show a crude imitation…..Frank
70’s Continued
Walter Maner (mid 70’s) at Old Dominion and
now Bowling Green State Univ began to user term
“Computer Ethics” to refer to that field of applied
professional ethics dealing with ethical problems
aggravated, transformed, or created by computer
Really focused on the teaching of the field, even
prepared a starter kit
Growth in number of social and ethical consequences of
information technology
Becoming public issues in U.S.
Deborah Johnson published her first text book in the field
– the defining textbook for more than a decade
Terrell Bynum began work in the field planning with
Maner conferences that led to publications, videos,
teaching materials in the field
More and more universities began to incorporate computer
ethics into their curricula as portions of courses or
complete courses
Developed Research Center on Computing & Society AT
Southern Connecticut State Univ
Development of the Centre for Computing and
Social Responsibility
More development of conferences
Feeling that there was a need for a “second
generation” of Computer Ethics developments
Defining and Redefining the Field of
Computer Ethics
Walter Maner – defined the discipline as one that
examines “ethical problems aggravated,
transformed, or created by computer technology.”
Some old ethical problems are made worse by
computers while others are wholly new because of
information technology
Defining – Deborah Johnson
Defines the field as: “one that studies the way in
which computers pose new versions of standard
moral problems and moral dilemmas, exacerbating
the old problems and forcing us to apply ordinary
moral norms in uncharted realms
She didn’t believe that computers created wholly
new moral problems
She felt computes gave a new twist to ethical
issues already known
Defining – James Moor
Defines computer ethics as a field concerned with
policy vacuums and conceptual muddles
A Key task of the field is to determine what we
should do in such cases, formulate policies to
guide our actions
He also describes the technology as revolutionary
because it is logically malleable
Describes the computer revolution occurring in
two phases – see pg. 19
Defining Terrell Ward Bynum
Elaborates on Moor so that Computer Ethics
identifies and analyzes the impacts of information
technology on social and human values like
health, wealth, work, opportunity, freedom,
democracy, knowledge, privacy, security, and selffulfillment, etc.
A broad view embracing technology assessment,
computer law, sociology of computing, etc.
Motivated by belief that IT will profoundly affect
everything that human beings hold dear – discuss!
Donald Gotterbarn
A different view – Computer Ethics should be
viewed as a branch of professional ethics which is
concerned primarily with standards of practice and
codes of conduct of computing professionals
Is a co-author of latest version of the ACM Code
of Ethics and Professional Conduct and is working
to establish licensing standards for SW Engineers
Who was listed earlier in this chapter as working
on the first ACM guides of professional conduct
What state licenses software engineers?
Sample Topics in Computer Ethics
Computers in the workplace
– Lost jobs, lost skills – human working robots, loss of human
– Physical ailments – health issues because of work with computing
Computer Security
– Viruses, privacy concerns, data integrity
– More to the point of logical security than physical security
– Consistency in service, controlling access to resources, unimpaired
– Computer crimes, hackers, etc.
Software Owernership
Copyrights, trade secrets, patents,
Intellectual property
Owernship of source code, object code, algorithm,
look and feel
Professional Responsibility
What types of professional relationships are there?
Client – professional
Professional – professional
Society – professional
Any others?
Conflicts of interest – try to avoid
Professional organizations have published codes
of conduct p 626 and p 633 in our text
Global Information Ethics
Because of networks the discussion and debate on
computer ethics issues will be global
Global laws, cyberbusiness, education will all be
discussed and debated
Global education - online learning goes
worldwide, the great universities will offer courses
– AASU already does
Information Rich and Information Poor countries
– How will cybertechnology impact these issues?
The Future of Computer Ethics
Pg. 25
Read selected portions and discuss in class if time
The end…