Science and Engineering Ethics 2 (1):25-42 (1996)

This essay warns of eroding accountability in computerized societies. It argues that assumptions about computing and features of situations in which computers are produced create barriers to accountability. Drawing on philosophical analyses of moral blame and responsibility, four barriers are identified: 1) the problem of many hands, 2) the problem of bugs, 3) blaming the computer, and 4) software ownership without liability. The paper concludes with ideas on how to reverse this trend.
Keywords accountability  bugs  computer ethics  liability  moral responsibility  standard of care
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DOI 10.1007/BF02639315
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References found in this work BETA

Why Corporations Are Not Morally Responsible for Anything They Do.Manuel G. Velasquez - 1983 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 2 (3):1-18.
The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit.S. Turkle - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:520.
Political Ethics and Public Office.Dennis Frank Thompson - 1987 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Explaining Explanations in AI.Brent Mittelstadt - forthcoming - FAT* 2019 Proceedings 1.
Mind the Gap: Responsible Robotics and the Problem of Responsibility.David J. Gunkel - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 22 (4):307-320.
The Concept of Accountability in AI Ethics and Governance.Theodore M. Lechterman - forthcoming - In Justin Bullock, Y. C. Chen, Johannes Himmelreich, V. Hudson, M. Korinek, M. Young & B. Zhang (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of AI Governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Philosophy of Technology.Maarten Franssen - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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