Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Software Engineering Ethics Myths

23 views

Published on

Every piece of software has an ethical dimension, but software engineers usually ignore it. This is due, at best, to common misconceptions about the relationship between ethics and technology – and at worst, to deliberate attempts to evade tough ethical issues that our own hands have produced. The purpose of this talk is therefore to argue that all software has an ethical dimension which is worthy of our attention.

Published in: Technology

Software Engineering Ethics Myths

  1. 1. MYTHS OF SOFTWARE ETHICS ARIEL ELKIN @ARIVOCALS
  2. 2. • Philosopher • iOS Developer • ACM Code of Ethics Panel Member, ETHICOMP 2018 ME
  3. 3. • Notion of software ethics needs clarity. • Scant awareness of the ethical dimension of software. • Scant regard for ethical issues in software. ISSUES
  4. 4. AGENDA 1. Scope 2. Myths 3. Advice 4. Q&A & Discussion
  5. 5. SCOPE
  6. 6. • Moral norm: a principle used to distinguish between good and bad behaviour. • “deceiving is bad” • “honouring contracts is good” • “harming the environment is bad” • Ethics: a set of moral norms. SCOPE
  7. 7. META-ETHICSETHICS PROFESSIONAL ETHICS SOFTWARE ETHICS SCOPE
  8. 8. MYTHS OF SOFTWARE ETHICS
  9. 9. — Kranzberg’s First Law of Technology TECHNOLOGY IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD, NOR IS IT NEUTRAL. ” “
  10. 10. TECHNOLOGY IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD, NOR IS IT NEUTRAL “By that I mean that technology's interaction with the social ecology is such that technical developments frequently have environmental, social, and human consequences that go far beyond the immediate purposes of the technical devices and practices themselves, and the same technology can have quite different results when introduced into different contexts or under different circumstances.“
  11. 11. TECHNOLOGY IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD, NOR IS IT NEUTRAL
  12. 12. we CAN judge the field of endeavour that the object is meant for DEBUNKING “TECHNOLOGY IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD, NOR IS IT NEUTRAL”
  13. 13. • The ethical dimension of software is in the project’s field of endeavour, not in its source code. • The software maker should assess whether the project’s field of endeavour is aligned with his/her ethics. DEBUNKING “TECHNOLOGY IS NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD, NOR IS IT NEUTRAL”
  14. 14. SOFTWARE ETHICS ARE NOT MY CONCERN ” “
  15. 15. STACKOVERFLOW ANNUAL DEVELOPER SURVEY 2018 DEBUNKING “SOFTWARE ETHICS ARE NOT MY CONCERN”
  16. 16. • Discussions about ethics of software development need the participation of software developers because they have unique in-depth knowledge of a software’s risks. DEBUNKING “SOFTWARE ETHICS ARE NOT MY CONCERN”
  17. 17. • Ethical enquiry generates empathy between you, your users, and colleagues. DEBUNKING “SOFTWARE ETHICS ARE NOT MY CONCERN”
  18. 18. • Group commitment to ethical behaviour is necessary for software development to be fully established as a profession. DEBUNKING “SOFTWARE ETHICS ARE NOT MY CONCERN”
  19. 19. DEBUNKING “SOFTWARE ETHICS ARE NOT MY CONCERN”
  20. 20. LAW == ETHICS ” “
  21. 21. ETHICS PROFESSIONAL ETHICS SOFTWARE ETHICS LAW DEBUNKING “LAW == ETHICS”
  22. 22. DEBUNKING “LAW == ETHICS”
  23. 23. DEBUNKING “LAW == ETHICS”
  24. 24. DEBUNKING “LAW == ETHICS”
  25. 25. DEBUNKING “LAW == ETHICS”
  26. 26. DEBUNKING “LAW == ETHICS” • There is a difference between what you have a right to do and what's right to do. • Technology progresses much faster than laws. • Laws vary by country, but software is the same across all computers.
  27. 27. ADVICE meta-ethical
  28. 28. • Don’t be indifferent. • Don’t outsource moral responsibility. • Don’t conflate ethics and law. ADVICE 😫
  29. 29. ADVICE • Clarify your own ethics. • Clarify your software’s field of endeavour. • Your software should be ethical by design (analogous to secure by design) • Build. Deploy. Test. Gather feedback. • Iterate. 😀
  30. 30. DEVELOP YOUR ETHICS
  31. 31. LEARN MORE code-is-law.org eff.org Everyday Ethics podcast fsf.org humanebydesign.com
  32. 32. THANK YOU
  33. 33. Q&A & DISCUSSION ARIEL ELKIN ARIELELKIN.GITHUB.IO @ARIVOCALS
  34. 34. SPARE
  35. 35. PARTICIPATE
  36. 36. SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS & ETHICS …Ethics?
  37. 37. SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS & ETHICS STACKOVERFLOW ANNUAL DEVELOPER SURVEY 2018 #2749
  38. 38. CURRENT LAWS AND CODES OF ETHICS ARE ADEQUATE ENOUGH CURRENT CODES OF ETHICS ARE ADEQUATE ENOUGH
  39. 39. ETHICAL PROBLEMS ARE EXCESSIVELY COMPLICATED ” “
  40. 40. ETHICAL PROBLEMS ARE EXCESSIVELY COMPLICATED • Ethics is about modelling and systematising abstract concepts 
 (…sounds familiar?) • The main difference between philosophy and computer science is that problems in computer science tend to have a solution.
  41. 41. • There is a difference between what you have a right to do and what's right to do: DEBUNKING LAWS ARE ADEQUATE ENOUGH

×