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INTED 2020

INCORPORATING DIGITAL ETHICS THROUGHOUT THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

Michael Collins (TU Dublin) presented the first Ethics4EU peer-reviewed paper at INTED 2020.

The media is reporting scandals associated with computer companies with increasing regularity; whether it is the misuse of user data, breach of privacy concerns, the use of biased artificial intelligence, or the problems of automated vehicles. Because of these complex issues, there is a growing need to equip computer science students with a deep appreciation of ethics, and to ensure that in the future they will develop computer systems that are ethically-based. One particularly useful strand of their education to incorporate ethics into is when teaching them about the formal approaches to developing computer systems

There are a number of specific processes and methodologies that incorporate these stages in different ways into their approaches. Some take a linear approach to these stages, whereas others take a more iterative and/or incremental approach. These models include the Waterfall Model, the V-Model, the Spiral Model, and the Agile family of models. For each of these models this paper will present a way to include ethics in the Specifying stage, and well as threaded throughout the model, and as an explicit stage in a final review process at the end of the implementation stage. 

These formal models are understood (and used) by computer companies all over the world, and therefore are a natural means of incorporating ethics into software development in a manner that would not seem overly arduous or unwieldy to developers. These techniques are also taught in the computer science departments of universities all over the world, it is therefore vitally important that lecturers incorporate an ethical dimension into their systems development teaching, and we believe that these newly refined models provide them with a simple means of achieving this task, and this will make a new generation of software developers ethically-aware.

The full paper “INCORPORATING DIGITAL ETHICS THROUGHOUT THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS” by D. Gordon, M. Collins, A. Becevel and W. O’Mahony will be published in the INTED 2020 Proceedings within 2020 and it will be available for reading on IATED (https://library.iated.org/view/GORDON2020INC).

Paul Gibson visits TU Dublin

On 19th February, Paul Gibson (Institut Mines-Télécom) visited TU Dublin to have a face-to-face meeting about one of our main deliverables: the online teaching resources repository.

With his contribution, the Project now has a first rudimental picture of what our educational “bricks” are going to look like.

Our first draft of an educational “brick”

The educational resources will be organized around the concept of a “brick”, a relevant subtopic of Digital Ethics and will include templates for assessments and case studies.

Launch event in Dublin!

On the 21st of November TU Dublin welcomed the Ethics4EU partners and stakeholders to the launch event for the project.

After the welcoming from Prof Michael Devereux (TU Dublin), Dympna O’Sullivan (TU Dublin) gave an overview of the project to the attendees clarifying the objectives and introducing the expected outcomes of Ethics4EU.

Afterwards, the stakeholders were engaged in a Round Table Activity in which they were asked to identify Digital Ethics issues relevant to their own industry. Facilitators lead discussions on 3 questions:

  • What ethical concerns exist in their digital projects and enterprises?
  • What ethical questions do developers need to ask themselves when developing software technology?
  • What types of skills are  needed by graduates in relation to digital ethics?

In the end a panel  responded to round table activities and questions from stakeholders.

First Transnational Meeting in Dublin!

On the 20th of November TU Dublin welcomed the Ethics4EU Partners for the first of the six scheduled Transnational Meetings.

The main focus of the meeting was to plan the work for the first two intellectual outputs of the project:

  • A paper that identifies gaps in computer science lecturers’ knowledge of ethics
  • A paper that will help develop a common understanding pf pan-European values in ethics in technology

European Conference on Digital Footprint

Brendan Tierney (TU Dublin), Gianluca Coppola (DLearn), Damian Gordon (TU Dublin)

On the 24th October, our team members Gianluca Coppola (DLearn), Brendan Tierney and Damian Gordon (TU Dublin) participated to the European Conference on Digital Footprint in Brussels.

The conference was co-organised by the Lifelong Learning Platform, the European Digital Learning Network (DLearn) and the DIGIT project partner.

The aim of the conference was to discuss on What is role for education in teaching safe and responsible behaviour online?

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Damian Gordon and Brendan Tierney (TU Dublin) during their intervention on the Ethical implications of data management
Antonella Tozzi and Gianluca Coppola (DLearn)