"Living a fully ethical life involves doing the most good we can." - Peter Singer
"Common sense is not so common." - Voltaire
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Friday, December 30, 2016

Programmers are having a huge discussion about the unethical and illegal things they’ve been asked to do

Julie Bort
Business Insider
Originally published November 20, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

He pointed out that "there are hints" that developers will increasingly face some real heat in the years to come. He cited Volkswagen America's CEO, Michael Horn, who at first blamed software engineers for the company's emissions cheating scandal during a Congressional hearing, claimed the coders had acted on their own "for whatever reason." Horn later resigned after US prosecutors accused the company of making this decision at the highest levels and then trying to cover it up.

But Martin pointed out, "The weird thing is, it was software developers who wrote that code. It was us. Some programmers wrote cheating code. Do you think they knew? I think they probably knew."

Martin finished with a fire-and-brimstone call to action in which he warned that one day, some software developer will do something that will cause a disaster that kills tens of thousands of people.

But Sourour points out that it's not just about accidentally killing people or deliberately polluting the air. Software has already been used by Wall Street firms to manipulate stock quotes.

The article is here.
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