IT ethics report

write a 100-200 words discussion and that’s it.

case: deathbywire.docx 

my report: death_by_wirereport.docx 



The article was a nice read on these by-wire systems for various vehicles, but I wished it had elaborated more on the specifics of how these systems work, as well as the problems and deaths that have arisen because of malfunctions or other problems with the systems.  To me it seems this is a less extreme version of self-driving cars we see on the news often these days.  I like the idea of these by-wire systems to slightly control only certain aspects of driving or flying of commercial and private use vehicles, but the article was vague and does not give much information as to how it all works.  I assume it’s like the cars we hear about that can park themselves or brake when you’re too close to a vehicle in front of you.  What have you all taken from the article? 


I agree that I didn’t really walk away with that much of an understanding of the systems, except that they augment certain safety features. I think that this was kind of silly, personally, because the author assumed two very questionable things. For one, he/she used the TTA as proof that mechanical backups would become nonexistent, even though its difficult to imagine why there could be no mechanical backups for computerized systems as there are multiple reasons any electronic system could fail. Also, I kept thinking through the entire article that people are pretty good at causing accidents because of things like poor judgmenet, distracted driving, drunk driving, etc…. a computerized system can’t suffer from so many of the human ills that cause accidents. It seems that the few errors that may cause injury or loss of life would be outwighed byt the accidents that can be avoided by counteracting their bad behavior. I think it is necessary to ensure that there are mechanical backups, to standardize the requirements for these systems and backups in order to establish safety and to give a framework for assessing liabilities when these failures do happen. But to simply exclude the idea because something can go wrong is inane to me. A defibrulator or life support machine can fail, causing injury or loss of life, but they save many more lives than they take, so we keep them around but have very clear rules on when and how to use them. Why should these systems be any different?

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