The Killer Robot

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The Killer Robot Powered By Docstoc
					The case of the
 Killer Robot
  Richard Epstein

     As retold by
  Netiva Caftori
   Oct. 2004
When software engineering and
   computer ethics collide
                    The news
u   A robot operator, Bart
    Matthews, was killed
    by his robot, Robbie
    CX30, while at work.
u   A programmer, Randy
    Samuels, who wrote
    the faulty code was
    indicted for
u   Silicon Techchronics is
    Randy’s employer.
        What really happened?
u   The robot
    malfunctioned &
    crushed its
    operator to death
u   Blood all over
u   Decapitated head
u   Num-lock key light
    not on
u   Numeric key pad
             Who is at fault?
u   The programmer
    who made a
    careless mistake?
u   The designer?
u   The robotics
u   The company?
u   The operator of the
u   The robot?
        Robbie CX 10 & 20 were
u   The robotics division chief, Johnson, put
    pressure on the project manager Reynolds
    to finish the project by January.
u   Johnson hired 20 new programmers in
    June against Reynolds’ will, by shifting
    resources. Robbie CX 30 had to succeed.
u   Johnson only knew manufacturing
    hardware. One cannot speed software
    coding by adding more programmers.
u   Robbie CX 30 was a step ahead in
u   Johnson: Perfect software is an oxymoron.
        Programmer personality
u   Randy’s home page:
    freedom for
u   A hacker type
u   Enormous stress
u   Programmer was a
    prima donna: could
    not accept criticism or
    his own fallibility
u   Helpful but arrogant
u   Under pressure to
    finish project on time
    A good programming team
u Needs to have a whole array of
  personalities types including:
u An interaction-oriented person

u Someone who keeps the peace and
  helps move things in a positive
u Task-oriented people, but not all

u A democratic team

u Egoless programming
            Team dynamics
u   The project was controversial from the
u   Jan Anderson, a programmer, was fired
    after she attacked project manager
    Reynolds on his decision to use the
    waterfall methodology versus the
    prototype methodology.
u   Reynolds was replacing a dead project
    manager as a cost saving measure instead
    of hiring someone from outside the
    company. He never worked with robotics
          More explanations
u   The earlier Robbie models processed
    transactions. Robbie CX30 was to
    interact with its operator, therefore
    the interface cannot be designed as
    an afterthought. Thus, a prototyping
    model is preferable where the users
    can use a prototype robot while in
    the design stage.
    Software development life-cycle
        Water fall methodology
u   Requirements
u   Analysis
u   Design
u   Coding
u   Testing
u   Implementation
u   Maintenance

u   No standard
              Quality control
           or quality assurance
u Dynamic testing
u Static testing

u Unit testing: Black and white box
u Integration testing

u   Prof Silber attested that test results
    were inconsistent with actual killer
    code test results
    When is the software good
u Errors can happen in any stage
u Design stage: 2 alternatives:

Waterfall & prototyping
u Testing

u User interface

u The complexity of the task of
  building real-world software
u Enormous stress
        The company-Sili-Tech
          Two environments:
Worker-friendly:         u   Worker-unfriendly:
  Chip Creek facility.       Silicon Valley plant.
  Prevent repetitive     u   Workers criticized
  strain injuries.           for novelties.
Special training for     u   No exercises or
  employees.                 training
Well designed                encouraged.
  workstations.          u   RSI frequent
Frequent breaks.         u   More compensation
                  Law suits
u   The wife of the
u   The indicted
u   More possible
Why was Randy Samuels indicted?
u   Sili-Tech promised to deliver robots that would
    cause no bodily harm.
u   So Randy was not legally responsible for the
    death of the robot operator.
u   Waterson, the president of Sili-Tech has
    contributed large sums to the re-election of judge
    McMurdock, who indicted Randy.
u   Functional requirements specify the behavior of
    the robot under exceptional conditions. Operator
    intervention may be needed.
u   Exceptional conditions were not mentioned in
    training of operators.
               The characters




                 Prof Gritty
Prof Silber
E-mail was not secure at Sili-Tech
        It was found that:
u Cindy Yardley faked the test results
  of the Killer code
u Johnson told Cindy that the robot

  was safe and all will lose their jobs if
  the robot were not shipped on time
u Randy stole some of his software,

  but admitted he had bugs in his Killer
               Ethical issues
u   Email privacy
u   Professional ethics:
    delivering bug-free
u   Plagiarism-
u   Honor
u   ACM code of ethics
         Five ethical tests:
        by Kallman & Grillo
u The mom test: would you tell your
u The TV test: would you tell your
  story on national TV?
u The smell test: does it smell bad?

u The other person’s shoes test: would
  you like it if done to you?
u The market test: would your action
  make a good sale pitch?

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