The Ethics of Digital Voice Assistants

In 2019, there were a staggering 3.25 billion digital voice assistants in use across the globe, a figure that is predicted to rise to 8 billion by 2023. These assistants, which include Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and more, are not just computers; they have voices and personalities, and we develop social relationships with them just like we do with real people. However, the way they are currently designed, voice assistants enable and even encourage certain stereotypes and social behaviors in their users. This paper explores the ethicality of digital voice assistants and their effects on those who use them and suggests ways designers can approach their development to make sure such socially detrimental effects are mitigated.

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Pay to Play: The Ethics of Video Game Economics

Video games provide endless hours of fun for people of all ages, races, and genders. Gamers may not realize, however, that certain elements of their favorite form of entertainment may pose a serious threat to their wallets—and even their mental health. Game developers employ various techniques to manipulate users into purchasing items in the in-game store, including lockouts, reward removal, and loot boxes; considering virtue ethics and computer scientists’ ethical code emphasizes the need to remedy this exploitation.

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Limits to Social Media Engagement: An Ethical Approach

User engagement levels of social media platforms have seen a steady increase over the past decade. Software engineering practices are responsible for drawing users in and retaining their attention for extended periods of time through the use of extensive user profiling algorithms. These practices have created detrimental consequences for consumers. This article explores the ethicality behind such practices by analyzing software engineering applications.

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On the Use of Encrypted Data by Law Enforcement

Recent events have sparked a national debate about the government’s access to encrypted personal data from smartphones and the role technology companies have in solving crimes. This paper will discuss the ethical implications associated with a particular case from San Bernardino, California, and the reactions of the FBI and Apple Inc. An in-depth analysis of this case will provide the basis for arriving at a moral conclusion.

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The Future of Location-Based Services and the Implications of User Privacy

Location-based services (LBS) have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. These services employ the use of real time GPS data to help facilitate many of our everyday tasks such as identifying nearby points of interest, locating restaurants, and providing other travel-related information. Moreover, LBS are used in more serious situations like those of fraud prevention and emergency locating. However, as this technology continues to progress, concern has been raised over its ethical implications. In particular, many are worried about its threats to user privacy. This paper works to identify these potential threats and outlines ways in which security can be improved without compromising our privacy.

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Can AI Replace Doctors? Someone Asked Them

1/25/2019 Profile article M. Scudellari, “AI Won’t Replace Us, Docs Say”, Dec. 20, 2018. [Online] IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News. Available at: https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/ethics/ai-wont-replace-us-docs-say [Accessed 24…

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