Computers will face that fork in the road when a decision must be made between one path not being as bad as the other. Choosing among bad outcomes based on making moral decisions could be part of what engineers must grapple with in designing driverless cars for example. This comes down to designing and deciding what is the right set of constraints and algorithms that best resolve life and death conflicts for a machine. Can machines be programmed to make ethical decisions? Nowadays, when computer systems select from among different courses of action, they engage in a kind of decision-making process. The ethical dimensions of this decision-making are largely determined by the values engineers incorporate into the systems, either →
The impressionable years seem to come earlier and carry on into early adulthood. Those photoshopped bodies showcasing ideal body types plays on the psyche, of how people see themselves and internalize it. Is it moral to make fantasy the reality, that wearing the same will make you feel like a million. Or, does recognition of one’s own reality set in, that you’ll never measure up to the image of the perfect world. Is it dishonest or unethical to influence consumers with false images of perfection in order to sell? Is there anything altruistic or of social value in shaping perceptions? The potential harm these photos in media popularizing the “perfect” body type through retouching can bring has not been lost →
Meeting Scheduling. It used to be easy and quick, especially if there’s an automated system involved. But it has become the bane of my existence. It seems that lately the people I’m scheduling meetings with have needed to reschedule. Sometimes more than once. And the back-and-forth emails to try and find a common date fill multiple pages of my inbox. I’m not sure people understand this, but when someone asks to reschedule a meeting the message they I receive is that I am less important, less valuable, or less respected than some other opportunity that has just come up. I’m sure it’s unintentional, but it is an ethics issue for me. It’s a lack of respect and integrity. And it’s frustrating as hell. If →
My mom periodically sends me ethics articles. Today’s article was absolutely unbelievable. (Thanks, Mom!) According to a Fox News Article Published 2/14/2016 a Spanish government worker got paid for six years without showing up to the job. He collected an annual salary of $42,000 for supervising the construction of a waste water treatment plant. The water company building the plant thought the man was a government worker. And the government thought he was a water company employee. They caught him when he became eligible for an award for 20 years of service. The man was penalized $30,000 the maximum amount allowable under Spanish law. Aside from the fact that $30,000 is the maximum allowable under Spanish law (wouldn’t that be nice →
You do not trust any of your staff to talk to clients because you do not know how they will respond to client requests for additional work. This scenario involves accountability and reliability, which either build or destroy trust. What would you do in this situation?
I heard a popular morning show’s DJs asking the question Why are you up so early. To my shock and amazement I heard a caller tell them she was up early because she had to terminate two people before 7 am.
2015 was a terrible year. But there were significant lessons learned about the ethics of insurance companies and my own physical limitations after suffering a retina detachment.
A quick segment in the news last week (June 18) mentioned that Brian Williams is going back to the anchor desk as a “breaking news anchor” on MSNBC. It struck me as odd that a news reporter who embellished the news (his experience on a helicopter in Iraq) would be allowed back on the air, let alone trusted to report breaking news. Who would ever believe what he has to say, especially if the breaking news being reported requires us to take action or move to shelter? Brian Williams’ fall from grace is a direct result of social media. A New York Times article says that twelve years ago soldiers tried to correct Mr. Williams’ story without success. Social media →
I recently saw a report on 60-minutes revealing fraud by flood insurance companies. Some flood insurance companies changed reports their engineers wrote after inspecting homes during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, then tried to force the engineers to sign affidavits saying they agreed with the insurance companies’ final reports. Engineers reported that the homes were structurally damaged due to Sandy and flooding, but homeowners received responses from the insurance companies stating there was no structural damage to their homes. Several homeowners contacted the engineers who inspected their homes and learned the reports the engineers submitted were different than the ones the homeowners received from their insurance companies. Here is the link to the article if you want to read the →
Last week as I was walking into the mall I overheard someone on the cell phone saying “I don’t wanna be a snitch, but….” Well, of course that caught my attention! Who wouldn’t be a little curious, right? Ok, so maybe it’s me and my ethics focus, but I couldn’t help it. I started wondering what this caller was snitching about. Of course, my curiosity went unsatisfied – although tempting it is just not appropriate to walk up to someone and ask what they’re snitching about, even if they are talking on a cell phone loud enough to wake the dead in a very public place…!