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Ethical Issues In Professional Practice

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Questions:

1.Analyse the philosophical ethics perspectives?
 
2.Moor believes that only an ethical approach that combines considerations of consequences of action with more traditional deontological considerations of duties, rights, and justice can provide us with a defensible ethical theory?
 
3.Compare and contrast the code of ethics of any two computing professional bodies, such as, IEEE Computer Society, Australian Computer Society etc.
 
 

Answers:

1. With the technological advancements, the business organizations are looking for different ways to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of the business organizations. The artificial intelligence is an innovative technique in which mundane and repetitive tasks are assigned to robots to increase the cost efficiency of the organization. However, the deployment of robots for the mundane tasks can create several ethical issues regarding their impact on humanity. Although deployment of robots for different jobs will increase the efficiency and reduce the expenditure of the organization, it will increase the instances of unemployment in the organization. Moreover, in the long-run, robots can also pose threat to humans or humanity. There are several socio-economic and legal concerns regarding the use of robots and technology in the business organizations (Chappell, 2017). The use of robots in business organizations cannot be justified by different moral theories. The moral theories are the frameworks which are used to explain whether a certain action is right or wrong. The moral theories are used to assist the people to justify whether an action is right or wrong (Hendrick & Wigens, 2004). It examines the morality of an action and examines the rightfulness or wrongness of an action. There are different theories formed to examine the morality of human actions; however, all these moral theories are interconnected.

Utilitarianism is an ethical theory which such course of actions should be taken which increases the positive effect and emphasizes the welfare of the society. It is a consequential moral theory and holds on to the fact that those actions are morally correct which produces the best outcome for the society. According to this theory, the use of robot in the business organization is unjustified as it increases the unemployment and the prosperity of the people (Inman, 2012). The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will only be beneficial for the business enterprises; therefore, robots should not be deployed in business enterprises. However, at present, the negative impact of the use of robots on the society is unknown. The people are skeptical that the use of robots will decrease the jobs for the humans. Although the robots will reduce the current jobs available for the humans, it is possible that the use of artificial intelligence might create new jobs for the people. These jobs can be related to the maintenance of the robots and their control in the workplace. Moreover, every new change is resisted and takes time to be accepted by the people. Therefore, the use of artificial intelligence is partially justified by the utilitarian philosophy.

 


The deontological perspective states that the moral justification of the act is dependent upon the act itself. According to this philosophical perspective, an act is considered right even if the consequences are bad for the public. According to this philosophy, the deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is morally correct action (Timmons, 2013). The development of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots is the latest technological development in the science and the companies should use them to reduce their expenditure and increase the productivity of the organization. When the companies are using Artificial Intelligence (AI), the instances of human error are also reduced which will increase the productivity of the organization. Moreover, there is always competition for the best candidature for a job profile. The emergence of the artificial intelligence will increase the competition for the jobs. Moreover, there will always be careers and occupation for the humans as the robot cannot replace them. Therefore, thee use of robot in the business enterprises is completely justified (Jacobs, 2008).

2. The just consequentialism is an ethical framework developed by James H. Moor in 1999. It comprises of the elements of core values and consequentialism to remedy the existing problems in the ethical frameworks. Moore posits that the routine moral theories are inadequate to understand and examine the moral dilemma that the current technology creates. In this framework, the ethical theories are developed on the basis of the consequences of the social policies which are developed within the constraints of justice. Therefore, this framework is names just consequentialism (Floridi, 2010).

 


According to this framework, there are two stages in the development and creation of moral theories. These stages are the deliberation stage and thee selection stage. In the deliberation stage, the people should deliberate about the social policies on the basis of justness and fairness. At this stage, the just policies can be selected on the basis of impartiality test. All the policies selected at this stage must qualify for this condition. The policies should not cause an unjustified harm to individuals and groups as well as they should support justice and the individual rights of the people. At the next stage, the bet policies suitable for the situation should be selected. The best policy is selected from the set of just policies by creating ranking for the policies based on their perceived benefits and harms (Floridi, 2010). At this stage, the policy-makers should weigh the relative consequences of just policies and the long-term impact of the policies which were generated at the deliberation stage. It can also be critiqued that there will never be universal agreement on a single moral theory because the reasonable people will disagree. However, the best moral theory should be selected on the basis of their relevance to certain core values in the moral system. In the selection process, all those policies should be eliminated which are unjust and the selection should take place (Spinello & Tavani, 2004).

This framework is essential in the present context of the technological advancements. With the technological developments, several policy vacuums are created and the present policies are unable to elucidate the moral justifiability of actions. Along with it, the malleability of the computers makes it easier to use them in a variety of novel and unexpected ways. Therefore, the existing policies remain ambiguous and inadequate to control the malicious intent of the existing policies. It is because these policies were developed when the technology has a limited and less versatile use. For instance, a company needs to market a set of CDs with extensive personal information which can be used for marketing purposes by the business organizations. The business enterprises will get benefits from the use the personal information as they will be able to market their product according to the personal preferences of the customers. However, the acquisition of such information will have an adverse impact on the privacy and security of the customers (Himma & Tavani, 008). This information can be used for malicious intent and compromise the security of the people being investigated. The people can also become vulnerable to other circumstances such as losing employment or inapplicability to insurance schemes. However, if it is concluded that no such harm can take place by the release of the CDS, it can have other negative consequences. By the impartiality principle, all other entities will also be allowed to release similar information. Therefore, this action can have serious consequences on the society (Moor, 1999).

 


3.
Computer and Software Engineering has become a prominent profession; however, it collides with the traditional professions. As the perception, role and activities of a particular profession are beginning to change, the legal and the social constraints applied on the profession have also changed. The impact of the behavior of these skilled professionals has changes, government and the political parties are interested in controlling the behavior of these groups. The concern for the ethical perspectives and society has resulted in the development of various legislations and regulating authorities. However, the intent of these organizations is not to create a monopolistic control over business but create a well-developed and well-defined professional discipline which is concerned with the well-being of the society as a whole. The major computing committees of the world are focused on the defining the practices of the software engineering, creating educational models and establishing the code of ethics and professional practices to establish ethical practices in the profession.

 


The role of these committees is important in the development of computing as a profession as it is emerging profession and the people participating in this profession have significant differences in the educational background, commitment and orientation towards services. The IEEE Code of Computing Committee was developed on 1972 as Engineering was considered as an autonomous profession. The code of ethics was developed at a later stage to give direction to the profession and create some shared goals for the society. Initially, the primary role of the IEEE society was to create legislations for social problems from scientific, literary and educational purposes to improve the financial well-being of the society’s members. In the later years, the code of ethics was amended and to include four articles. The first article was focused on the ethical and the moral guidelines, second article was focused on engineers at work, the third articles was focused on engineers and their clients and the fourth article was focused on the engineers and the society. The IEEE code provides compact and direct statements of values and guidelines (Kizza, 2016). It does not focus on the underlying ethical values of the code; however, the notion of honesty and serving the society is the basis of all the codes compiles in the framework. The ethical principles of honesty, privacy, confidentiality and professional competence serves as the basis of all the codes, the code does not comprises of normative ethical principles like confidentiality and  privacy. Several issues found in the recent computing society such as breach of intellectual property, professional review and nondiscrimination cannot be addressed through IEEE code of conduct. The earlier IEEE codes were directed at protecting the profession rather than the society which can be deduced that the fellow members were prohibited to criticize other members of the society. Although the professionals have to report if they are working on a harmful project; there was no code to guide what to do when someone else is working on a harmful project (Wheeler, 2003). The ACM code guidelines have more specific guidelines that the IEEE society. It is because the ACM code guidelines contain not only code of ethics but also a code of conduct. The code of ethics contains thee ethical principles and they are primarily aspirational, stating the vision, objective and mission of the profession. In contrast to it, the codes of conduct are more direct regarding the various issues at stake. Moreover, the breach of these codes of conduct can result in severe outcomes such as warning to exclusion. The ACM codes of conduct include several elements such as professional review, honor property rights and intellectual property rights which are found in the newer code of conduct. The ACM Code also includes details regarding the responsibility of the negative actions and the obligation of a person to mitigate the negative impact (Gotterbarn, 2002).

 

References

Chappell, T. (2017). Majority of Australia’s big business firms embracing artificial intelligence. The New Daily. Retrieved 3 April 2017 from https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/work/2017/01/18/artificial-intelligence-australia-big-business/

Floridi, L. (2010). The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. Cambridge University Press.

Gotterbarn, D. (2002). An Evolution of Computing's Codes of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Retrieved 3 April 2017 from https://csciwww.etsu.edu/gotterbarn/artge1.htm

Hendrick, J., & Wigens, L. (2004). Law and Ethics. Nelson Thornes.

Himma, K.E., & Tavani, H.T. (2008). The Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics. John Wiley & Sons.

Inman, L.M. (2012). Ethics: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory. Cengage Learning.

Jacobs, J. (2008). Dimensions of Moral Theory: An Introduction to Metaethics and Moral Psychology. John Wiley & Sons.

Kizza, J. M. (2016). Ethics in Computing: A Concise Module. Springer.

Moor, J. (1999). Just consequentialism and computing. Ethics and Information Technology 1, 65–69.

Spinello, R.A., & Tavani, H.T. (2004). Readings in Cyberethics. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Timmons, M. (2013). Moral Theory: An Introduction. Rowman & Littlefield.

Wheeler, S. (2003). Comparing three IS codes of ethics-ACM, ACS and BCS. PACIS 2003 Proceedings, 107.

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