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Business report providing an ethical analysis of a project management case study.


Submit your report at the Assessment section of Moodle. Refer to the Course Description for information regarding late assignments, extensions, special consideration, and plagiarism. Note that all academic regulations can be accessed via the university’s website especially statutes 5.3 and 6.1,

Assessment weight

15% (45 marks)

Learning Outcomes

This assessment task relates to the following learning outcomes:

K1. Research and discuss underpinning theories of ethical philosophy and apply these in to a range of scenarios in an IT workplace environment.

K2. Interpret the principles of the Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics and synthesize them into daily IT practice.

S2. Utilise professional presentation and communication approaches in a range of IT workplace settings.

A1. Construct written and verbal arguments in a variety of formats on the evolving nature of ethical norms relating to new technologies.

V3. Value ethical decision making approaches when working as an IT professional.

CRICOS Provider No. 00103D

Professional IT Culture - Ethics Assignment 2016_27


Professional IT Culture

Faculty of Science & Technology

Case Study

An electric car company who have been successfully growing each year have been adapting their cars for self driving. For a few years now, the company has been collecting data from the cars sold. With little driver intervention, the cars have been driving successfully without incident. The company is now confident that the cars are ready for full autonomy, as both the simulations from the data sent back, and the long term road tests, have proven to be successful.

John an Artificial Intelligence (AI) consultant, specialising in machine learning, was commissioned to undertake this project. John and his company have been building and maintaining the AI components of these cars. John has been working closely with the client throughout the project, informing the car company`s CEO, and IT managers of all learning progress made by the cars. As these cars are now close to being released, John will need to sign off on the project before the cars can pass the road authority tests. This will make John responsible for the actions of the cars’ AI systems.

John has advised that time be spent modelling certain accident scenarios before the cars are released on to the roads. He is concerned with how the cars will deal with life and death situations, and what decisions the cars will make under certain conditions. John has suggested a number of possible scenarios and that more modelling around these scenarios are necessary. However, this extra time modelling the accident scenarios could put them behind, consequently releasing their cars on the market after their competitors. The company has instead opted for the modelling to be done after the cars have been released on to the roads.

John feels strongly that the cars not be released until the modelling has been performed, as people`s lives could be at risk. He has tried to explain the risks. But the CEO, and IT managers feel that the risks are negligible, naively believing that the cars` AI could handle these situations better than humans.


Prepare a business report of about 1500 words that gives an ethical analysis of the issues raised in the case study. In particular (at least), include in the report responses to the following sub-tasks:

a)Clearly state the ethical dilemma that confronts the Artificial Intelligence (AI) consultant.

b)Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to consequences alone. Consider consequences for both the AI consultant and the cars’ customers.

c)Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to a consistent application of principles alone. What duties does the AI consultant have in this scenario?

d)Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to the typical response of a caring person.

e)The ACS Code of Professional Conduct extends the meaning of the six ethical values with requirements that contribute to observing the values. Examine the code and identify requirements (using value numbers 1-6 and a requirement letter) that are relevant to this case study. Explain for each requirement identified how it should be applied in this case study

f)Provide a defence, on ethical grounds, for the AI consultant in passing the AI components of the cars while knowing that further modelling could prevent possible consequences in the case of an accident

g)Having completed your ethical analysis provide advice as to how the AI consultant could solve his ethical dilemma. Summarize your reasons.

CRICOS Provider No. 00103D

Professional IT Culture - Ethics Assignment 2016_17


Professional IT Culture

Faculty of Science & Technology


The description of the six values is amplified in the ACS Code of Professional Conduct:

At least three additional resources should be used in the preparation of your report.

Standards Required

1.The structure of the business report should be as described in the source at:Additional headings should be used within the body of the report as appropriate.

2.The introduction section should clearly indicate the issues being discussed and provides an overview of how it is intended to address these issues.

3.The body section of the report should contain an evaluation of the ACS values against each of the philosophical theories in turn. The discussion should show an analysis of research undertaken that is synthesised with your own ideas. Writing should be validated with concepts from other people’s work.

Gather these references from various sources such as the Internet, assigned text books and readings etc.

4.The conclusion should be in your own words and should summarise your findings from the body.

5.All uses of source material (including paraphrasing) should be acknowledged with both in-text citations and corresponding entries in the reference list. APA format is to be used.

6.Adhere to academic writing standards such as correct grammar and spelling. Demonstrate signposting in your writing.

University of Wollongong. (n.d.). The Structure of Business Reports. Retrieved on 4 August, 2015.

CRICOS Provider No. 00103D

Professional IT Culture - Ethics Assignment 2016_17



Professional IT Culture

Faculty of Science & Technology


Marking Scale




1 ……. 3 ……. 5



Report structure and contents of executive summary




Quality of introduction and conclusion




Analysis - Interpretation of the ethical delimma




Use of ethical approaches and models




Application of the ACS Code requirements




Analysis beyond the specified sub-tasks




Proposed resolution of the dilemma




Choice and use of resources, referencing accurate




Writing skills – spelling/grammar accuracy, ease of reading,


use of signposting




Total Mark [45 marks]




Weighted Total [15%]





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