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Nov 30, 2013 (4 years and 1 month ago)

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History of Computer Ethics

1940’s to the Present


Bruce Seger

bseger@bridgeport.edu


1940’s and 50’s

1.
Norbert Wiener
-

early 40’s created new
field known as cybernetics
-
the science of
information feedback systems.

2.
His view was that the integration of
computer technology into society would
constitute the second industrial
revolution.

2

1960’s

1.
Donn Parker an executive in California
began examining unethical and illegal
uses of computers by computer
professionals.

2.
Learned that once people entered a
computer center, ethics left the building.

3.
Published Rules of Ethics in Information
Processing.

3

1970’s

1.
Joseph Weinzenbaum created
ELIZA, a computer generated
Rogerian psychotherapist to
conduct initial interview with
patient.

2.
Alarmed that there was a growing
tendency among scientists and
the general public that humans
were mere machines.


4

1970’s Continued

1.
Walter Maner, college professor began
using computer ethics to refer to the field
of inquiry dealing with ethical problems,
aggravated, transformed or created by
computer technology.

2.
He also wrote a starter kit in computer
ethics to have colleges start to teach the
subject.

5

1980’s

1.
As a result of information technology,
computer enabled crime, disasters
caused by computers, invasions of
privacy via computer databases and
major lawsuits regarding software
ownership had occurred.

2.
We then had some of the major players
emerge in cyberethics.

6

1980’s Continued

1.
James Moor (Dartmouth) published
“What is computer ethics?”

2.
Deborah Johnson of Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute published Computer
Ethics.

3.
Sherry Turkle of MIT wrote The Second
Self, the impact of computing on the
human psyche.

7

1980’s Continued

1.
Judith Perrolle, published Computers and
Social Change: Information, Property,
Power.

2.
Maner assistant, Terrell Bynum emerges
and assists Maner in publishing the
aforementioned Starter Kit.

8

1980’s Continued

1.
Both later collaborate to convene the first
international multidisciplinary conference
on computer ethics.


9

1990’s

1.
This decade established Worldwide
Conferences by World renowned thinkers
such as Simon Rogerson of De Montfort
University (UK).


10

Definitions

1.
Walter Maner
-

The field which examines
“ethical problems aggravated,
transformed or created by computer
technology.”

11

Definitions Continued

1.
Deborah Johnson
-

field is one which
studies the way in which computers pose
new versions of standard moral problems
and moral dilemmas. Exacerbating old
problems and forcing us to apply ordinary
norms in uncharted realms.

12

James Moor

1.
A field concerned with policy vacuums
and conceptual muddles regarding the
social and ethical use of information
technology.

13

Moor Continued

1.
Policy vacuum
-

computers give us new
capabilities and these in turn give us new
choices for action. Often there are no
policies for conduct in these situations or
policies seem inadequate.

14

James Moor

1.
Conceptual Muddle
-

along with policy
vacuum there is a conceptual vacuum.
Even it the ethics seem clear initially
often times upon reflection there is a
conceptual muddle.

15

More Moor

1.
He also saw computers as logically
malleable.

2.
Computers can be shaped and molded to
do any activity characterized in terms of
inputs, outputs, and connecting logical
operations.

16

Moor

1.
Two stages

1.
1
st

is computer introduction, where computer
technology was developed and refined.

2.
2
nd

is technological permeation where
technology gets integrated into everyday
human activities, etc.

17

Donald Gotterbarn

1.
In the 1990’s he approached defining
ethics as a branch of professional ethics,
concerned primarily with standards of
practice and codes of conduct of
computing professionals.

18