Cyber Ethics assignment


Pick one item and answer the questions.

Category 1: emerging technology

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • AI assistants (ex. Amazon Alexa, Google Nest Mini, etc.) **
  • Smart platforms (ex. Smart Healthcare/AI, Smart Cities, Smart Buildings, Smart Policing, etc)

Category 2: Issue

  • Privacy **
  • Intellectual property
  • Social impact

Category 3: ethical approach

  • Ethical egoism
  • Kantianism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Social contract theory

Submission Questions

  1. Introductory Questions:
  2. What emerging technology have you selected?  What are the characteristics of this technology?  What are some common examples where this technology/emerging field of practice is being illustrated in society today?

(Guidance: Be specific and provide details to ensure that the reader understands both the issue and the example.)

  1. What issue are you focusing on? Define your issue. Provide details about the way that this issue intersects with the emerging technology/field of practice that you have selected?

(Guidance: Be specific and provide details to ensure that the reader understands both the definition of your issue and the application to your emerging area of technology.)

  1. What ethical frame are you applying to your assessment of these technologies and issues? Define your ethical frame and explain why it is appropriate to apply to these topics.

(Guidance: Be clear and specific.)

  1. Main Assignment:

Apply your ethical frame to respond to the following statements and questions:

Framing Statements

  • Technology is coming to the forefront that may offer benefits to society in one area, but also may have consequences that are unappealing in others.  There could be a series of trade-offs that are required to receive the intended benefits of these technologies.  Understanding the trade-offs (the aspect of “what you give for what you get”) is critical for determining appropriate use of any solution. (e.g. the convenience vs. privacy debate).
  • Decision-makers are often not reflective of the populations that will be impacted by a specific technology .(e.g. policing adoption of shot-spotter technology in low-income neighbourhoods)
  • Decision-makers may not have the knowledge in technologically-driven domains to fully understand the impact of the decisions they are making. (e.g. concerns that governments may lack a full understanding of the issues presented by technology and therefore are unable to create legislation and regulatory requirements to fully address these)
  • Often it is only the most vocal (and typically polarized) actors are heard during the process of the debate on these issues.  Many times there is a silent majority that does not engage in a conversation on these (and other important) issues.
  • Unintended consequences could emerge from new technologies that are counter to their original promise. (e.g. the fear of self-driving cars increasing traffic as opposed to decreasing congestion since individual ownership models are still most prevalent in our society)
  • Dependence on technology puts significantly more importance on the need to have secure and resilient cyber-platforms. (e.g. concerns over the hacking of core infrastructure, including transportation systems and power grids).

Prompting Questions

Using your selected ethical frame, answer the following questions:

  1. What are the trade-offs at play with your selected technology related to your selected issue?  Clearly identify the benefits offered and the “costs” that are being either explicitly or implicitly being asked of users?
  2. Are the companies/actors engaged transparent about what these benefits and costs are?
  3. Is there an active public discourse on the “what you give for what you get” question? Is this balanced? What have you observed from the discussion/debate?
  4. How are governments (ideally focus on Canada) dealing with these issues?
  5. On the basis of the trade-offs that are being asked for, and using your ethical frame, what is your degree of comfort with this technology?
  6. Are there critical gaps in the discourse? Are the voices of those potentially effected being heard? Why or why not? If there are voices missing, who are they?
  7. What conditions would you have around this technology to increase your degree of comfort?
  8. Do you think society is ready to adopt this technology? Why or why not?

Submission Requirements

  • Your submission must be turned in as an attachment on Blackboard, and must be one of the following formats: .doc., .docx, .rtf, or .pdf.  (If your file cannot be read, it cannot be marked). ✔
  • Your submission is to be formatted on standard letter paper, with 1 inch (2 cm) margins all around. ✔
  • Your paper must be written in 12pt font (either Times New Roman or Arial) and be double spaced. ✔
  • External sources (which you will need to use), must be properly formatted using either MLA or APA formatting.
  • A full reference list of the sources used in your paper must be included.
  • Length Guidelines:

Introductory Questions – Each of these questions should be one paragraph in length (approx. 1 page)

Main Assignment – 800-1000 words total (approximately 4 pages double spaced)

  • You do not need to include a title page.

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