Assignment Description:

The goal of the final assignment is to allow you to apply both the techniques for ethical thought that we have developed and the independent research you have done over the course of the semester to a specific, real-world project. Ideally, this will be a project of personal or professional significance: you’ve been encouraged to pick a topic that interests, frustrates, or inspires you, or which you think might be directly relevant to your planned future career.

The final project can assume many forms. The only fixed requirement is that you produce something that engages with an important ethical issue (or issues). This might be an issue that we covered in class (such as government surveillance) or one of the many that we did not have time to explore (such as video games).

One form the final project could take is that of a traditional academic paper. You should incorporate the research that you’ve been doing all semester and you are welcome to gather additional sources as necessary. You should also strive to ground the paper within the context of the course material. For example, you may have been researching computer viruses with a specific interest in the Stuxnet virus and its (alleged) development and use by the United States government. Your paper could provide a brief description and, more importantly, an analysis of the ethical issues associated with the use of such viruses. Another option for a paper would be to write a thought piece essay in which you reflect in greater depth on a topic that we discussed in class or that you have encountered in your life or work. For example, you might develop your thoughts on the problems/questions associated with the management of intellectual property in the digital era, and provide a synthetic discussion of the research you’ve done as well as the various readings and discussions that we have had on this topic.

You could also choose a more design-oriented project. Please note that design in this context means “imagine”; you need not construct the technology/system/product that you design. Rather, you simply need to identify the problem it is meant to address and outline the key features of your solution. You should use the research you’ve done to inform your project. For example, you might decide to design a video game that has some unique feature that you think is ethically significant, or teaches/explores some ethical issue. You do not need to build the game, or even flesh out all of its details. Describe it using broad strokes, and focus more on the creativity of your approach or solution than on the specific technical issues. (You may even imagine products or technologies that do no yet quite exist.) What kinds of design projects might you imagine?

a web site
a unique design for/change to an existing system (such as email, or social networking)
a new product (something along the lines of the OLPC project, for example)
some hybrid system of hardware, software, institutions, etc.
a piece of legislation • a personal or organizational statement of ethical principles
a university department/course/curriculum • additional research/studies
Details & Desiderata:

The final version of your project will be the rough equivalent of a 5-6 page paper. I say rough equivalent because these project may take very different forms. We can talk about individual ideas and options in class or during office hours. At the very least, however, your final deliverable should include the following:

A brief (2-3 paragraph) introduction of the ethical principles that you are trying to teach, embody, reflect, or otherwise convey, and why you think that they are important
A sufficiently detailed description (or visual depiction) of your design that conveys the connection between your ethical goals and the end product
Some discussion of what you think the challenges or limitation of actually implementing your design in the real world.
A good paper will be concise, coherent, and tightly argued. As is appropriate, refer back to the themes, arguments, interpretations raised in class or in the other readings you chose. Your project should not simply be an opinion piece: your opinions should be well-informed by your research and reflective with the course readings. It would be inappropriate, for example, to argue that people should not be concerned about privacy online because “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” — or at least it would be inappropriate to do so without engaging with the arguments raised by Daniel Solove. As such, both papers and design projects must cite the resources you’ve annotated throughout the semesters.

You will be presenting your projects to the class during the last two weeks of the semester. By present, I mean a 2-3 minute overview of your planned project. Obviously you will need to prepare to discuss your projects prior to the final delivery date of December 14. If you have questions, please ask Jennifer or one of the AIs; we are happy to help.

#IMPORTANT : This is a final paper which needs to be connected to those previous paper i wrote and the topic should be the same. I provided two of my previous work to help you. My research question is “Is it ethical to have robotic technology to accompany elderly people instead of actual human being?” and the topic is about robotic technology with elder people.