Ethics and Technology

Your final assignment has 3 sections:
Section A- Discussion of a use case. Select 1 of 2 questions Maximum 3
pages (40%)
Section B – Discussion of academic paper. Mandatory question. Maximum
1.5 pages (35%)
Section C- Definition of ethical terms. Select 1 of 2 questions Maximum 1
page (25%). Total: 3 questions
Assignment Instructions
Read the questions carefully. Start your answer by answering the question in a concise way. Then include additional background and related info as you see fit.
Note the limit for each section (less is also fine).
In your answers, please relate to the class discussions, class presentations,
and reading material.
You must answer all sections of the question chosen (for example, if you
choose to answer question number (1), you must answer sections (a) and (b)
to receive full points)
For each concept/term you mention, include a definition of that concept, in
your own words.
You are required to answer the questions by yourself, without the help of
anyone else. Any sign of collaboration between two students, judged according to your written answer, will result in a penalty according to IDC policy.
Failure to comply with the instructions will result in a drop in the grade.
Submission format:
PDF document in Moodle, font David/Arial, size 12 spacing 1.5, Margins standard. Do not write any comments in the Header or Footer.
Please be sure to divide your answer into clear paragraphs.
Good Luck!
  Section A: Discussion of a use case. Answer 1 question out of 2 (40%)
Choose one of the following use cases and analyze the technological phenomenon in terms of the ethical challenges it poses to us. In your answer, refer to:
1. The four ethical considerations we must ask towards the adoption of new technology.
2. Examine the extrinsic and/or intrinsic ethical concerns that exist in this case.
3. Choose one of the stakeholders’ perspectives. Explain whether the adoption
of the technology is ethical according to one of the ethical frameworks discussed in class (deontology, consequentialism, or ecological).
Use cases (Choose 1):
1. China announced last December that by 2025 the government would be able
to control weather conditions in an area that will exceed 40 times the size of Israel. The technology will freeze water and produce artificial sediments or stop rain. This technology is not new and was already tested in 2008 when China used it to make rain in the week before the Olympics in Beijing.
2. In recent weeks, Twitter decided to block a person with high social status from their network. In an official post, they stated that they permanently suspended this account due to the risk of further incitement of violence. The decision comes after a violent incident that happened the same week and received encouragement and support from the same account. Twitter decides to block the user for several hours but then decides to permanently suspend it.
Section B: Discussion of academic paper (35%)
1. In Pacey’s article “Technology: practice and culture” the author claims that the snowmobile is not an example of neutral technology.
a. Explain the term “neutral technology” and why Pacey claims this technology is not proof that technologies are neutral.
b. How does Pacey propose to analyze emerging technologies? How can this analysis contribute to our understanding of their impact on the social?
Section 3: Definition of ethical terms. Answer 1 question out of 2. (25%)
1. In class, we discussed the concept of “Situated technology” and explained it
in the case of OLPC (One Laptop per Child), originated from MIT.
a. Explain the term Situated technology and why this case demonstrates
ethical difficulties in adopting new technologies.

b. Add your own example that portrays Situated technology (technology or case-study that we didn’t discuss in class) and explain how this case presents ethical difficulties in adopting the technology.
2. “Collingridge Dilemma” is a challenge we face when developing new technology.
a. Explain the term and give 3 examples of your own.
b. Choose one of the examples above and check how it corresponds with
intrinsic and/or extrinsic concerns.
1. Friedman, B. (2010). Value sensitive design.
2. Jonas, H. (1973). Technology and responsibility: Reflections on the new tasks
of ethics. Social Research, 31-54.
3. Pacey, A. (2014). Technology: practice and culture. In Ethics and emerging
technologies (pp. 27-36). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
4. Winner, L. (2014). Technologies as forms of life. In Ethics and emerging
technologies (pp. 48-60). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
5. Winner, L. (1997). Technology Today: Utopia or Dystopia?. Social Research
Vol. 64, No. 3, Technology and the rest of culture (FALL 1997), pp. 989-1017


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