fast food restaurants use robotic devices W r i t i n g

fast food restaurants use robotic devices W r i t i n g

a) select one topic from the list by Prof. Baase that is listed
“Possible topics for the final paper”;

b) write about something that interests you.

The final paper should be at least 10 pages long, double spaced,

MLA format, include page numbers. If you wish to write longer, that is fine.

Reference pages do not count as part of the 10 pages.

You should use at least 6 different sources/references.

– Introduction/overview of topic and issues to be discussed;
– Background, description, and/or history of the issue;
– What issues are involved; different points of view;
– Your own comments/perspective ;
– Summary;
– List of references used;

Discuss pros and cons of the subject you are writing about.
If you have a formed opinion on the subject, present it and
explain how what ideas you have to resolving/improving the issue.

Do not write a historical article, for ex. how DARPA was
developed. You should have present a discussion.

Please use your own words when writing. Plagiarism is severely
punished and reported to university authorities.
Do not cut and paste from pre-written articles or copy
previously published articles.


Identification and biometrics.
A company announced plans to sell an identification chip that is implanted under a person’s skin. About the size of a grain of rice, it could contain personal information and emit a radio signal that identifies the person. Discuss beneficial uses, potential problems and abuses, and appropriate guidelines for use of such a chip and other identification technologies, including various biometrics.

Describe applications, from remote consultation to remote surgery. Benefits, possible problem areas (privacy, errors, loss of personalized care).

Health information on the Web.
Research and report on Web-based health information sites, including such issues as benefits, reliability of the information, privacy protections, techniques being developed to rate or accredit sites, impact on medical care. Patients of some healthcare providers can access their own records online. Describe an example. How does it affect medical care?

Computerized medical record systems.
Many large HMOs have implemented computerized patient record systems. Report on one or more such systems, focusing on benefits, privacy risks and protections, how well it is accepted by doctors and staff, and other relevent issues.

Privacy on the Web.
What’s happening now? Recent abuses and improvements. Describe and evaluate Web site policies and technical and policy privacy protections provided by the market, and current proposals for government regulations.

Personal data privacy regulations in other countries.
Report on personal data privacy regulations, Web site privacy policies, and law enforcement access to personal data in one or more countries, e.g. the European Union.

Computers in law enforcement.
Issues include benefits to crime fighting, invasion of privacy, problems caused for innocent people because of errors in databases. Describe cases where the computer system has been very helpful in catching a criminal, and describe cases where it has caused serious problems. An activity for this project could include a ride-along in a police car.
Another possible activity is to interview someone who runs or supervises the use of local law enforcement computer systems. What databases do they access? How do they prevent unauthorized access? Have errors in NCIC been reduced?

Government surveillance of communications.
How are arguments about Echelon and Carnivore affected by the terrorist attacks in 2001?

Children on the Internet.
There are several problem areas: availability of material not appropriate for children, contact with people who seek to abuse children, and privacy risks from game sites that ask children for extensive personal and family information (for marketing purposes). How serious are these problems? What is being done about them? Evaluate various solutions. Do benefits for children on the Net outweigh risks? Can we arrange to have the benefits without the risks?

Electronic commerce.
Implications for the economy, for privacy, etc. Which industries will benefit? Which will be hurt? How will daily activities be affected? Are there significant social benefits or detriments from electronic commerce?

More Electronic commerce.
There are many more specific topics. For example, Smart Cards: uses, benefits, privacy implications and protections in a particular application or industry. Another example: Several companies are working on technology for micropayments on the Net. What will the impact be (on the structure of businesses, physical store locations, communities, etc.) if we can easily make small purchases on the Net? What are the privacy and security issues?

Automated systems.
Study progress, safety, and social issues related to an automated system such as automated highways and self-driving vehicles.

Safety-critical applications.
Find a local application to study. Or study the Air Traffic Control system, which uses antiquated computers that break down often. Another idea: the Ariane 5 rocket which exploded because of a software problem. Investigate the safety measures used in software for other rockets. Nancy Leveson’s book _Safeware_ is a good reference.

Use of computers in restaurants.
Investigation and discussion of the issues such as customer service, impact on employment, food safety, ambiance. Visit a restaurant with self-service ordering terminals. Some fast food restaurants use robotic devices for food preparation; report of one. (This could be part of a paper that looks at the impact of computer automation in two or three industries or consumer services.)

Censorship of the Internet.
Some aspect not covered in the text, or study some issue in more detail. Some possibilities: filtering Internet terminals in libraries, control of the Net in other countries. (For historical background on libraries: Louise S. Robbins, Censorship and the American Library: The American Library Association’s Response to Threats to Intellectual Freedom, 1939-1969, Greenwood Press, 1996.)

Copyright on the Net.
What’s being done to protect intellectual property (music, movies, etc.) and encourage sales on the Net? Describe current controversies about digital rights management.

Free software.
What’s happening with “free” software? What is the impact of Linux and Apache, for example? What are the implications for consumers? For big companies like Microsoft?

Computer crime.

Government surveillance of the Internet.

The terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001 led to laws reducing restrictions on government surveillance of the Internet. Before that, the Clinton administration proposed massive monitoring of major computer networks by the government to protect their security. Is this a good idea? What are the pro and con arguments?

Are Web issues really new?
Choose two other technologies or innovations, such as radio, telegraph, railroads, or electricity, and find out what ethical, social, and legal issues and controversies arose about them. Compare the problems and issues to current problems and issues about the Web. What solutions developed? How well do those solutions fit the Web?

Computers and the environment.
How are computers used by nature researchers and organizations. Describe applications that help protect the environment. Describe aspects of computers that cause environmental problems. What do environmentalists think of computers?

Political activism on the Net.
How has the Internet helped or hurt political groups outside the mainstream? How is it used by major political parties and candidates? What is the impact? How do/should current regulations about political campaigns affect individuals and small organizations that set up Web pages to support/oppose candidates and issues?

Voting on the Internet.
In a few states, some people vote in the 2000 presidential primary elections on the Internet. Will most political elections be held on the Internet in the future? Discuss the problems of maintaining secrecy of each person’s vote while preventing election fraud. What other issues are relevant? How are the states planning to handle these issues?

Violence in video/computer games.
What is the impact on children? There haven’t been many serious studies yet. You could use studies on the impact of violence on television for background. Interview people who write and publish computer games to find out their policies and views about violent games.

Use of computers in schools.
How are they used? Are they really helping to teach or to babysit? Visit an elementary school or middle school and observe how computers are used. Interview a teacher and a few students. For background, find some of the many research articles on the effectiveness of computers in education.

Distance learning.
What are the common uses? What will be the impact on universities? On adult education? Is cheating a problem?

Monitoring of employees’ Web use and e-mail.

What policies are employers using? Perhaps study a few large businesses in your area. A useful part of a project on e-mail privacy could be collecting and evaluating (or writing) sample policies for different kinds of employers (e.g., for your university, covering students, faculty, and staff, and for a software company in a highly competitive business).

Computing and network access in other countries. For example, how are computers used in rural, poor areas of Africa? How do politics restrict access in Vietnam? Choose one country to study in depth or compare a few.

Cyberspace communities.

What makes a “community”? How do cyberspace communities handle decision making, dealing with troublesome members, etc.? Find one community to study in depth, preferably one that you are a member of or have a special interest in. Possibilites: an online game community; the Open Directory Project, etc. (Please respect the community’s privacy guidelines and ask permission if quoting members.)

Science fiction and prediction.

Find several science fiction stories published at least 30 years ago that are set in the present time or near future and describe computer and communications technologies. Report on how closely their view of the technology corresponds to what is actually available. What social benefits and problems did they anticipate?

What will the world be like 50 years from now?

How will electronic communications and commerce affect the power of centralized governments? Everyday life? What will happen as computers are connected to the human body? Deep Blue beat Garry Kasparov at chess in 1997. Will human intelligence be of less value in the future? Several experts have written books addressing these issues. You could read two or three and evaluate their predictions.