STS-UY 2144 – Ethics & Technology Final Assignment – 5 Short-Answer Questions
(Worth 30 pts)
INSTRUCTIONS: This assignment is composed of five short-answer questions (worth five points each) concerning two ethics cases, each with a set of short-answer questions. If you define a concept or theory you learned in class, cite the assigned reading that concept is from. You are welcome to cite other primary sources (academic, news sources, etc.) for an example or to make a point. Ground your understanding of the concepts & theories in what we covered in the learning materials. The last five points are for formatting, spelling, grammar, proper citations & following the instructions.
FORMATTING: The font should be Times New Roman (12-point) & with normal margins (1”). Make sure you cite all scholarly & journalistic references you use as sources of information following the STS-UY 2144 citation style guide.
Case #1: “Emotion Recognition & Smart Cities” by Irina Raicu (2022)
A large U.S. city that prides itself on its uptake of innovative technologies has deployed “smart” light posts with cameras at various locations within its boundaries. Representatives of a technology company contact city leaders and propose that they be granted access to video recordings captured by those cameras, in order to use emotion-recognition AI and generate reports that would give city administrators an ongoing real-time understanding of their constituents’ sentiments. The underlying footage would not be shared with other entities, and city leaders would be presented with aggregated reports that don’t identify any particular individuals from the videos.
(1) Select an ethical perspective/theory (utilitarian ethics, duty ethics, virtue ethics, justice ethics, care ethics) to use to discuss the usefulness & appropriateness of the “smart” light posts. Make sure you define the ethical theory you use & demonstrate the usefulness or appropriateness of the “smart” light posts using the principles of the ethical theory you selected.
(2) Select an ethical perspective/theory (utilitarian ethics, duty ethics, virtue ethics, justice ethics, care ethics) to use to discuss the usefulness & appropriateness of the emotion-recognition AI. Make sure you define the ethical theory you use & demonstrate the appropriateness of emotion-recognition AI using the principles of the ethical theory you selected.
(3) How could the proposed use of “smart” light posts with cameras & emotion-recognition AI in this case be damaging to someone or to some group, or unevenly beneficial to people? What ethical theory would have issues with how these

technologies distribute harms & benefits? Explain your answer using the basic principles of the ethical theory you selected.
Case #2: “Unintended Effects” by Nabilah Deen (2015)
Jack has been working as a project engineer for a mechanical energy technology firm for a few years now, and has recently been promoted to review projects for in-need communities overseas. He has been put in charge of managing the current company’s charity projects, and determining how to distribute the funding for them.
Some of the projects are pretty straightforward in their mission and material requirement, but for one project, Jack isn’t sure whether the company should be funding it. The project’s mission is to provide new solar panels for an East African community but the project data suggests it is more practical to just install better lighting inside the homes. Jack wonders whether to bring up his doubts with his boss. Based on the company’s research on the community, the community desires better lighting system for their homes, and the solar panels would be an expensive and high maintenance project. Not to mention, there was a previous project that (when followed through) resulted in equipment being stolen from the same region to exchange for money.
Jack understands their local sponsor would gain a great advantage in featuring solar panels in the community. It would also foster a good business partnership between the two companies. However, Jack feels it is his responsibility to provide the community with a more simple and efficient solution to their problem, without diving into a large project that could possibly lead to negative side effects.
(4) Is Jack’s company wrong to provide technology to the community when they don’t need it? How are the tech companies involved exploiting the needs of the communities to look good in the public eye for doing “charity” work? How do actions like this violate the principles of duty ethics?
(5) What stakeholders are involved? Who could be harmed if Jack ignores the desires of the community members? Using utilitarianism explain what option would produce the most good and do the least harm for as many stakeholders as possible.


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