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Computers, ethics and society

Individual course

Max amount of FITech students: 15

Characteristics of computer as a tool and the computing field. Theories and frameworks of moral psychology, ethics, business ethics, and social informatics. With the help of these theories student is able to create alternative courses of action for a moral conflict in the computing context and give arguments for the chosen course of action. Student understands impacts of applications of computing and information systems for the society (e.g., artificial intelligence, privacy, databases, security, intellectual property rights).

Course contents

  • Computer ethics and social values
  • Impacts of applications to society
  • Structure of moral conflicts and the moral decision making process
  • Normative ethical theories
  • Normative theories of business ethics
  • Professional ethics (e.g., code of ethics) especially from the viewpoint of computer professionalism

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes of this course are two-fold: There are micro-level learning outcomes with respect of individual level moral decision-making in computer ethics issues and macro-level outcomes with respect of analysis of social impacts of digitalisation.

After successfully completing this course, the student

  • understands the nature and characteristics of computer (e.g., invisibility factor) that makes computer a powerful tool and that explains emergence of digitalization in our societies.
  • understands issues of professional ethics (e.g., code of ethics) especially from the viewpoint of computer professionalism.
  • understands the structure of moral conflicts and the moral decision making process.
  • is able to explain the main ideas of normative ethical theories (e.g., deontology, utilitarianism) and normative theories of business ethics (stockholder theory, stakeholder theory, and social contract theory).
  • is able to create alternative courses of action for a moral conflict in the computing context and give arguments for the chosen course of action.
  • understands impacts of applications of computing and information systems for the society (e.g., artificial intelligence, privacy, databases, security, intellectual property rights).
  • is also able to produce a social or socio-technical analysis of a selected topic in essay form and he or she is able to present to others and discuss it with the other students.

Course material

See material

Completion methods

Opening lecture online in real time. The rest of the course in Moodle, includes scheduled activities. There will be real-life exercises for those in Vaasa. The course can be completed also remotely.

  • Learning diary
  • A Moodle exercise (deadline of the last exercise 28.2.2023)
  • Summary of an article
  • A social or socio-technical analysis essay

More information in the University of Vaasa study guide.

You can get a digital badge after completing this course.

etiikka, yhteiskunta, tekoäly, yksityisyydensuoja, tietokanta, tietoturva, IPR, teollisoikeudet, tekijänoikeudet

Responsible teacher

University of Vaasa
Tero Vartiainen, Professor

Further information about the course and studying

Åbo Akademi
FITech ICT contact person

Contact person for applications

FITech Network University
Fanny Qvickström, Student services specialist
Start here
Start here
Category:
ICT Studies
Topics:
Digitalisation,
Smart systems,
Software engineering
Course code:
TITE3410
Study credits:
5 ECTS
Price:
0 €
Course level:
Teaching period:
10.1.–28.2.2023
Application start date:
07.11.2022
Application deadline:
2.1.2023
Host university:
University of Vaasa
Who can apply:
Adult learner
Teaching method:
Online
Teaching language:
English
General prerequisites:
Some understanding in management of information system requirements and understanding of what digitalization means in practice
Course suitable for:
IT and software professionals who have to make ethical IT decisions, or design e.g. AI applications that control processes related to people
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