DRAFT: The ITx Rutherford 2019 Programme may change without notice
As software becomes more prevalent in our everyday lives, it’s important to bear in mind the ultimate goal for all technology which is to make human life easier. As technology becomes more powerful, so does the possibility for it to cause harm to others.
Software engineers are at the coal face developing this technology, so they need to consider the ethical implications of the software that they are creating. Software can cause harm through bad intentions, but also through omission or ignorance. Software is used by people of all generations, all ethnicities, all genders and all religions; it should be fair, safe and trustworthy to use.
Other professional careers such as medicine, law and engineering all have a strong ethical component, with peer oversight and ramifications for those that fail to think through their choices. Perhaps it is time that we had similar regulation covering the development of software.
Recent examples of software ethics in the media include the Dieselgate emissions cheating software implemented by multiple vehicle manufacturers, Uber’s ‘greyball’ program to avoid the oversight of law enforcement, and the ongoing discussion about gaming loot boxes and their relationship with gambling. This presentation will discuss those examples, what software developers can learn from them and what we can do to improve the world.
Manager, Software Applications, Tait Communications
Carey has more than 15 years experience as a software developer, working on a variety of applications from line-of-business to telematics, on the desktop, mobile, web and cloud.
Carey started by working as the sole software developer at Holcim, a cement, concrete and aggregates company. Based at the Christchurch head office, he was responsible for building intranet applications for monitoring cement silo stock levels, health & safety incident reporting and business automation tasks.
Carey currently works for Tait Communications as the manager of the software applications team, building the software to configure and report on radio communication networks.
Carey has volunteered for several years as an in-school presenter for FutureInTech and ITP's TechHub programmes, sharing his experiences in the software development world.