Ethical Implications of Computational Modeling

TitleEthical Implications of Computational Modeling
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsFleischman, AR, Wallace, WA
JournalThe Bridge
Date Published04/2017
PublisherNational Academy for Engineering
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number0737-6278
AbstractComputational modeling involves the use of computers to scale up mathematical models.1 Computational models play a critical role in a number of application areas. For example, agricultural engineers use them to control invasive species (Büyüktahtakin et al. 2014), and climatologists use them to predict changes in the Earth’s climate over time (Edwards 2010). In tennis the “Hawk-Eye” instant replay system is used to resolve challenges to refereeing: unlike instant replay used in most sports, it employs a computational model to track the ball using multiple camera angles and makes a prediction about whether a ball was in or out (Collins and Evans 2008). In each of these cases, computational modeling carries important ethical implications, as modelers have tremendous power to influence both perceptions and behavior, particularly when models are not transparent (Fleischmann and Wallace 2005).