Motivation: Computers and networks have revolutionised our lives and continue to do so. This course explores the ethical issues implicated by this revolution.
Synopsis: The course will cover ethical aspects of the design, implementation and use of computer systems and software, current models of professional responsibility and legal liability, and practical skills for moral reasoning and responsible behaviour in computing.
Aim: to help students develop knowledge of, and insight into, ethical implications of computers in society and the professional responsibility of computer scientists.
Learning outcomes: By attending the course, the student will:
- Gain knowledge of the most fundamental discussions, theories and controversies in computer ethics through engaging with contemporary academic texts.
- Develop practical skills in ethical reasoning and deliberation appropriate for Masters level.
- Gain knowledge of professional codes of ethics with their implications in terms of responsibility and whistle-blowing.
Lecturers: dr. Kevin Macnish (UT)
Examination: One written exam at the end of the quartile, which counts 40% of the grade, and one group assignment (essay), which counts for the remaining 60%.
Course description: In addition to an introduction to ethical theories and critical thinking, the course covers ethical issues related to professional responsibility, privacy, security, cybercrime, the digital divide, intellectual property, regulation of commerce and speech, and value sensitive design. The course will emphasise the role of the engineers, and their ability to make ethically problematic decisions that directly influence the design of the computer system.