Alexander Pretschner: “Software Can Do Wrong: On Ethics in Agile Software Engineering”
"Alexander Pretschner talks about ethics in agile software engineering."
- Speaker: Alexander Pretschner, Technical University Munich & bidt Bavarian Research Institute for Digital Transformation
- Moderator: Carlo Ghezzi, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
About the Event
May 16, 2023
5:00 – 6:00 PM
Software can do wrong, as prominently witnessed by Cambridge Analytica and defeat devices in the automotive industries. But what is wrong, and who is responsible? As software continues to permeate our lives, this question, also at the core of the ongoing debate about regulation of AI in Europe, becomes increasingly relevant – for engineers, for companies, for educators, for regulators, and for society as a whole. One prominent approach today is the formulation of codes of conduct. Unfortunately, a common perception is that these catalogs of values specifically fail to provide useful guidance to engineers. This is because the respective values tend to conflict with each other (for instance, privacy vs. transparency), and because software and software engineering are fundamentally context-specific, which makes the existence of a universally applicable set of values very unlikely. As a consequence, ethical deliberations need to be embedded into software development activities in a project-specific manner, and not just for AI-based systems. As agile development methodologies fundamentally rest on the concepts of short-term planning, empowerment, incrementality, and learning, they turn out to be particularly well suited for embedding ethical deliberations into the development process. In this talk, we first argue why this is the case. In a second step, we present our schema for ethical deliberation in agile processes, the result of a long-standing cooperation between software engineers and (business) ethicists at the Bavarian Research Institute for Digital Transformation. We will close by discussing the applicability in industry and education.
Here you can download the slides: Download the slides.
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