SOC10236 Applied Ethics And Sustainability : Essay Fountain


You are required to select one of the five topics listed below and clearly define one focused and specific ethical question relevant to your chosen topic which you will analyse in both assignments 1 and 2.

The five topics are

  1. Media, advertising or journalism (including social media);
  2. The operating, investing or financing activities of multinational business organisations;
  3. The taking of human or non-human life;
  4. Artificial intelligence, robots, or any new technology;
  5. Equity, diversity, multiculturalism, immigration (in the workforce or society).


  1. Select one of the five topics.

    By carefully following the extensive guidelines provided in the Study Guide  clearly and concisely define one specific ethical question relevant to one of the five topics in

  2. Explain why your specific ethical problem is important and worthy of your analysis?

  3. Identify and fully reference 6 key facts relevant to the analysis of your ethical question.

  4. Analyse the ethical act central to your ethical question using act utilitarianism by forecasting three important positive and three important negative consequences.
  5. Provide an ethical conclusion which compares expected positive with negative consequences including an estimate as to whether net utility will rise or fall.


Artificial intelligence

1. Should Artificial Intelligence require legislation to be implemented to avoid serious consequences?

2. Importance and need of analysis of ethical issue

Various research studies are being conducted regarding the ethical issues associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI), because it is important for humans to control artificial intelligence in short-term. In the era of artificial intelligence, it is essential to seek ethical adjustment (, 2019). AI is a replication of human thinking and behaviours but, when technology reaches a certain level, question arises whether these artificial creations be given life or let them be enslaved by humans, and to have them emotions to replace human work (Alsedrah, 2017). As development of AI could have serious consequences, it is essential to utilize ethical controls and to improve them. At this point of time, it is doubtful that AI legislation be implemented. From the point of view of legislative efficiency, it is not easy to meet actual needs so, there is requirement of thinking about and adapting a judicial point of view (Das et al., 2010). With the use of Marx’s dialectical theory, it has been found that behind production of a particular thing, there must have two sides i.e. while enjoying the positive role of thing, its negative influence cannot be ignored, particularly considering the development of science and technology. In addition to it, one cannot ignore the guidance and education provided by people while using AI, which is an interdisciplinary science closely associated with computer science, physics, psychology, linguistics, logic as well as philosophy (Perez et al., 2019). However, it has become an independent system now, it is still a young and pioneering discipline with a highly comprehensive character which requires exploring in different ways.


3. Facts relevant to the analysis of ethical question

AI and legal issues for the purpose of analyzing ethical issue are;

  • Legal issues related to smart trip planning is that, navigation system has become highly accurate and it can now be used through computers, mobiles and other devices and have brought convenience to our lives. Through AI technology, people can plan trips easily and quickly. Even though, AI technology applies to navigation, there are still various factors that affect proper functioning such as poor signaling and intelligent judgment errors or failure of navigation and operation (Bostrom & Yudkowsky, 2018). So, the application of AI in navigation involves security issues and, who should bear liability and how to protect the rights of victims (Accenture , 2019).
  • In medical field, surgical robots are being used, however, they are not perfect enough to complete the operation on their own, and doctors give instructions to these robots. It has been proven that robots have better surgical results and efficiency as compared to humans but, they also involve a lot of risks as well(Frankish & Ramsey, 2014). In case of failure in surgery by an intelligent robot, it is considered as medical accident. So, negligence of machinery or technology might become a legal issue (Ma et al., 2018).
  • With the fiercely increasing e-commerce competition, majority of e-commerce vendors are using AI. Through understanding of big data, data related to past behaviors of the customers could be collected to analyze their preferences. In addition, customer chat, intelligent customer service robots provides great benefits to the businesses(BEALL, 2018). On the other hand, proper concern and paying attention to fake and shoddy quality of goods, is also essential. When e-commerce vendors use AI systems to recommend products, the responsibility for recommending counterfeit or fake products should also be taken by them, which raises serious moral ethical concern (Bossmann, 2016).

4. Analyse the ethical question using act utilitarianism

With Utilitarian ethical theory, it can be analyzed if the action is right or wrong through the motivation behind the act. Its purpose is to act in a manner to achieve best possible consequences.

Positive Consequences

  • AI eases the process and functioning such as easier and quicker smart trip planning due to which, people prefer to adjust with the security issues related to them(Drew et al., 2018).
  • The assistance of AI systems enhances the accuracy and precision of procedures such as the use of surgical robots for operations due to which, rarest of the rare possibilities of accidents could be neglected(D. Luxton et al., 2016).
  • AI systems benefit the businesses in various ways so, risks associated with it could be eliminated by being aware and by paying proper attention (Blaisdell, 2019).

Negative Consequences

  • The use of AI system is increasing day by day due to which, laziness among humans is increasing (MacCarthy, 2018)
  • Increasing use of AI systems increases risks of security due to which, important data and information of people get leaked many a times(Bostrom, 2003).
  • The accidents caused due to use of AI systems result into medical emergencies such as by using surgical robots and automatic driving(Violino, 2018).

Ethical Conclusion

The positive consequences exhibit that AI systems have been proved to be highly beneficial. It has eased the overall processes; quicken the process and enhanced accuracy and precision in functioning. On the other hand, negative consequences exhibit that there is less probability of legal issues arising due to AI systems.

Therefore, ethically, the net utility shows that positive consequences outweigh the negative ones, however, legislation and legal systems should be implemented for proper and legal use of AI systems.



Accenture , 2019. Responsible AI and Robotics. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Alsedrah, M.K., 2017. Artificial Intelligence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

BEALL, A., 2018. It’s time to address artificial intelligence’s ethical problems. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Blaisdell, R., 2019. Ethical issues in artificial intelligence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Bossmann, J., 2016. Top 9 ethical issues in artificial intelligence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Bostrom, N., 2003. Ethical Issues in Advanced Artificial Intelligence. Int. Institute of Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics, pp.12-17.

Bostrom, N. & Yudkowsky, E., 2018. The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. In Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence. New York: Cambridge University Pres.

Luxton, D., Anderson, S.L. & Anderson, M., 2016. Chapter 11 – Ethical Issues and Artificial Intelligence Technologies in Behavioral and Mental Health Care. Artificial Intelligence in Behavioral and Mental Health Care, pp.255-76.

Das, P.P.K., Rao, P.D.C. & Sahu, P.K.K., 2010. Artificial intelligence lecture notes. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Drew, J., Tysiac, K. & White, S., 2018. Ethical implications of artificial intelligence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Frankish, K. & Ramsey, W.M., 2014. The Cambridge Handbook of Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

MacCarthy, M., 2018. The ethical challenges of AI. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Ma, L., Zhang, Z. & Zhang, N., 2018. Ethical Dilemma of Artificial Intelligence and its Research Progress., 2018. IOP Conf. Series: Materials Science and Engineering.

Perez, J.A., Deligianni, F., Ravi, D. & Yang, G.-Z., 2019. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019]., 2019. Artificial Intelligence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

Violino, B., 2018. The ethical challenges of artificial intelligence. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 29 March 2019].

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