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Discuss about the ICT Ethics for Deontology Theory.




The ethics is important in every aspect of life (Schwalbe, 2015). In addition to this the ethics are important for every filed and every type of profession and the field of information technology is no exception. In addition to this the ethics in a field or profession can be judge by certain rule of ethics. These rules are mentioned in the classical ethical theories. There are four theories of the classical ethical theories. The Utilitarian Theory, The Deontology Theory, The virtue Ethics and The Contact theory of ethics are the set of rules to judge an incident. There have been several cases has have raised a question mark over the ethical theories.

This report deals with such an issue. The report provides the discussions regarding the ethical issues related to the driverless cars.

The report contains the background of the ethical issue and the situation that is at hand at this moment of time. In addition to this the classical theories of ethics are also discussed and the violation of the theories are also discussed in the report.

Background of the Situation

There has been a huge improvement in the field of information technology and in addition to this there has been improvement in different sectors of the information technologies. Among the important ones are the advancement in the Artificial Intelligence. There has been a huge improvement in this field and using this technologies there has been the emergence of the self-driven driverless cars (Pendalya & Bhat, 2014). Various companies are looking to implement these cars into their businesses. The main pioneer of these cars have been Google. Although there are various other companies that are looking to introduce their product to the market with Google. But, there are some issues with the cars that has to be solved yet. And this has been raising a number of issues of the society and the people both ethically and unethically. In the article “Who is Responsible for the Self Driving Car Crashes?” released on May 1, 2016 by the Scientific American it has been said that, the on the valentine’s day there had been crash that included one of the driverless cars. Now, the driverless cars are very efficient but the issues are raised when there is a case of a accident. The main issue is if there is an accident who is the person that is to be blamed. There are huge damage due to an autonomous vehicle damage. The damage that was caused by the accident was not the first instances of accidents that were caused by the driverless cars. However this was the first instances in which the damage was caused by non-human error. Hence, there came the issues about the blame for the incident. The people who were to be blamed were the owner of the car, and also the programmers who programmed the AI. But technically the AI was not wrong and hence the case of ethics come up here in this situation. Hence, making the decision about who is to prosecuted becomes very difficult. In addition this the ethical issues that are raised in this situation would be violating the classical ethical theories:

The Utilitarian Theory

The theory basically involves the concepts of maximum utilization of the resources and the keeping the maximum number of people happy from in any kind of situation. In addition to this they are also making sure that everyone receives equal opportunity and also in equal utilization of resources (Chi et al., 2014). The case which is at hand does not fall in accordance to the theory. The AI or the machine that is implemented in the cars are affecting all the humans that concerned with the situation. In case of blaming the person responsible for the issues, the accuracy in identifying the offender has not been obtained. Hence, the Utilitarian theory is violated in this issue of ethics.


The Deontology Theory

The deontology theory involves the concept of providing the people with equal rights and being dutiful towards the common people (Paquette et al., 2015). According to the deontological theory in this issue the Artificial Intelligence that is used in the cars should be keeping in mind about the safety of the all the human beings that are involved with the situation. Hence, there should be no case of accidents in which the AI are involved but this not the case and hence, the deontology theory of the classical ethical theories are violated in this case.           

The Virtue Ethics Theory

The virtue ethics is concerned with the morality concept of a person (Hursthouse, 2013). According to the theory is believed that a person who is morally would generally not commit any kind of mistake or unethical behavior at the workplace or in their field of work in whichever they are implemented in. In the present scenario the driverless car cannot guarantee the safety of all the people that are around in case of an accident. There are ought to be some casualties and hence the AI might be designed to be morally correct does to serve the purpose to provide their duty to all the humans that are involved with the situation. Hence, the deontology theory is violated in this situation.

The Contact Theory

The Contact theory is involved with the justification and the morality issues of the situation. They also involve the concepts when something is created or developed so that it should not have any kind of constrains that are involved with the development of the system or in case of decision making of a situation (Magelssen et al., 2016). According to the contact theory the people should be receiving the correct judgment and only on the basis of their actions. But in the present situation it is very difficult to judge the offender. If the manufacturer is prosecuted then it would be harsh on him. In addition to this if the programmer is prosecuted it would be harsh on him. And hence, the contact theory is violated in this situation.


The following recommendations can be provided for the improvement of the technology and also for better implementation of it.

Improved AI: The sensors and the artificial intelligence that is implemented by the coders should be improved immensely so that this kind of accidents do not take place in the future.

Improvement in the policies: Some kind of policies should be implemented so the real culprit behind the accidents can be identified with the policies or the ethical codes and the common people do not suffer. In addition to this, the compensation policies should also be enhanced.

Testing before implementation: The cars should be tested thoroughly and safety measures implemented in the cars should undergo hardcore testing before being sent on road.

More precaution by the rider: In addition to all these the people should be thoroughly aware of the consequences before availing their ride.


For conclusion it can be said that, the report has been used to describe the recent issues about the driverless cars. In addition to this, the report also provides the details of the ethical theories and the instances on which the situation violates the theories. In addition to this some recommendations have also been provided for the improvement of the technology.



Broad, C. D. (2014). Five types of ethical theory (Vol. 2). Routledge.

Chiu, C. M., Wang, E. T., Fang, Y. H., & Huang, H. Y. (2014). Understanding customers' repeat purchase intentions in B2C e?commerce: the roles of utilitarian value, hedonic value and perceived risk. Information Systems Journal, 24(1), 85-114.

Guillén, M., Ferrero, I., & Hoffman, W. M. (2015). The neglected ethical and spiritual motivations in the workplace. Journal of business ethics, 128(4), 803-816.

Hursthouse, R. (2013). Normative virtue ethics. ETHICA, 645.

Magelssen, M., Gjerberg, E., Lillemoen, L., Førde, R., & Pedersen, R. (2016). Ethics support in community care makes a difference for practice. Nursing Ethics, 0969733016667774.

Paquette, M., Sommerfeldt, E. J., & Kent, M. L. (2015). Do the ends justify the means? Dialogue, development communication, and deontological ethics. Public Relations Review, 41(1), 30-39.

Pendyala, R. M., & Bhat, C. R. (2014). Activity-Travel Behavior Impacts of Driverless Cars. In 93rd Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

Richtel, M., & Dougherty, C. (2015). Google’s driverless cars run into problem: Cars with drivers. New York Times, 1.

Schwalbe, K. (2015). Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.


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