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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Computer Engineering Cases

Case studies on ethics for computer and software engineers

  • Open Source AI: To Release or Not To Release the GPT-2 Synthetic Text Generator

    An AI Ethics Case Study

    Concern is high over possible misuses of new AI technology which generates text without human intervention.

  • To Ship or Not to Ship

    A quality assurance engineer must decide whether or not to ship products that might be defective.

  • Copyright Concerns

    A computer startup company risks violating copyright laws if it reuses a code that is the intellectual property of another company.

  • Misinterpretation Mishap

    Full transparency might prevent a project leader from closing a deal with a valuable client. Should he still clarify the situation to his client?

  • Going Public

    A technical sales engineer feels pressure to falsify a sales report in order to prevent the delay of her company's IPO.

  • A Breach in Security

    When a computer filled with personal data gets stolen, a data company must decide how to manage the breach in security.

  • Onerous Favorites

    Employees of a computer hardware company are angered by a manager that demonstrates favoritism.

  • A Violation of Privacy

    A computer engineer is asked to divulge private medical data for marketing purposes.

  • Trouble with Training

    In this ethics case, a woman is displeased with her work role at a computer hardware company.

  • May the Truth be with You

    A new hire at an electronics startup struggles to decide between telling the truth and maximizing the company's profit.