Ethical Software Engineering and Ethically Aligned Design - Introduction to the Special Theme
by Georgia Kapitsaki (University of Cyprus) and Erwin Schoitsch (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)
Software creation makes our daily lives easier, tackling different aspects of our daily activities (e.g., work, leisure, mobility, communication, smart homes, digital governance of public authorities, etc.). Applications are linked with several ethical issues and require ethically aligned design, with software as key factor, covering a wide range of domains, from healthcare to military systems. In order to fully benefit from any type of application, the alignment of software applications, embedded into systems and systems-of-systems, with ethical values and principles is of tremendous importance. Constructing software and systems in an ethical way is linked with many specific societal values, including individuality, equality, and democracy. Approaches and mechanisms that assist in producing ethics-aware software and systems are vital, in order to protect the main rights of the end-users and all other affected entities.