Is there an ethics of algorithms?

Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):251-260 (2011)
We argue that some algorithms are value-laden, and that two or more persons who accept different value-judgments may have a rational reason to design such algorithms differently. We exemplify our claim by discussing a set of algorithms used in medical image analysis: In these algorithms it is often necessary to set certain thresholds for whether e.g. a cell should count as diseased or not, and the chosen threshold will partly depend on the software designer’s preference between avoiding false positives and false negatives. This preference ultimately depends on a number of value-judgments. In the last section of the paper we discuss some general principles for dealing with ethical issues in algorithm-design
Keywords Algorithm   False negative   False positive   Image analysis   Medical technology
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-010-9233-7
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References found in this work BETA
Matteo Turilli (2007). Ethical Protocols Design. Ethics and Information Technology 9 (1):49-62.
David B. Resnik (2004). The Precautionary Principle and Medical Decision Making. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (3):281 – 299.

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