Accountability in a computerized society

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



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Citations of this work

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.
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Artificial Moral Responsibility: How We Can and Cannot Hold Machines Responsible.Daniel W. Tigard - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (3):435-447.

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References found in this work

The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit.Sherry Turkle - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:520.
Why Corporations Are Not Morally Responsible for Anything They Do.Manuel G. Velasquez - 1983 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 2 (3):1-18.
Political ethics and public office.Dennis Frank Thompson - 1987 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
The limits of correctness.Brian Cantwell Smith - 1985 - Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 14 (1):18-26.

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