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With a growing application of Artificial Intelligence and evolution of machine learning, the designers of these algorithms need to ensure human safety, individual privacy and (above all) control. 

What Is Tech Ethics, Anyway?

Black Pepper Software’s Sam Warner — simplified this great topic, saying ethical software:

  • causes no negative social impact
  • doesn’t make the world worse to live in

The more integrated a piece of technology becomes into the way we do business, the more the potential ethical conundrums posed by that technology become apparent. Ethical business practices need to grow and evolve in step with technology. While new devices and advances may make the day-to-day operations of running a business easier, they also create challenges that the ethical business person must contend with.

One of the largest impacts technology had on business ethics was felt when peer-to-peer file sharing came on the scene. People suddenly had a way to obtain software for free, and initially, the law struggled to keep up. Although anti-piracy laws are now firmly in place, businesses looking to cut costs may still struggle with ethics when it comes to the use of the software. Most software has terms of service agreement that users are required to agree to, and ethical businesses must adhere to these. For instance, online services may require that only one employee at a company have access to an online service, otherwise, additional licenses or memberships need to be purchased.

And in the case of privacy, it has become a much larger concern in the modern technological age. Business ethicists are still learning and debating how much privacy people are entitled to in the digital age, as are lawmakers. For instance, many employers had taken to the practice of requiring potential employees to provide them with the password to their Facebook pages. This opened up the door to potential privacy issues, not to mention discriminatory hiring practices. In 2012, a law was passed in California to prohibit this particular breach of privacy; but in some jurisdictions, the decision whether or not to ask for this information is still an ethical, rather than a legal matter.

There are some ethical issues that are connected to digital technology such as trust, knowledge, privacy and personal autonomy. These issues should take on a  critical concern especially when these technologies are financed for profit. 

Attention should be raised as to the extent that a firm’s inclination to show concern for customer privacy is marginalized when it is business operations model heavily relies on using predictive analysis for its advertising purpose.

Hence, the importance to learn about business ethics in tech should be a priority. A very good platform to get started with is STEMacademy.io. It’s a virtual STEM Academy that provides hands-on project-based learning for learners to prepare them for a successful career in the 21st Century workplace. You should visit the https://stemacademy.io/about-us/ to learn more about what they do.

Finally, ethics are not just important but crucial to turning these powerful algorithms in favour of humans. Machines learn ethics through code that it is programmed for. Hence, the author of these so-called AI algorithms should not take this lightly by any means. Where we are today is a result of evolution that took millions of years. If you compare that with the evolution of the areas in AI, we are not even a century old since the first computer was invented. Even The Internet is only 3-decades old. So, you can imagine the pace of innovations in the world of AI. 

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