From Classroom to Boardroom: An Internship Experience in FinTech; Ethical and Policy Challenges in Autonomous Vehicle Decision-Making

Megerssa, Janco, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Forelle, MC, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

As autonomous vehicles become more prevalent in transportation, complex ethical dilemmas arise, particularly in emergency decision-making situations. In this research, the intersection of technology, ethics, and societal impact is explored, with the question: "How does programming autonomous vehicles for decision-making in emergency scenarios raise ethical concerns, and what is the resulting influence on public policy and legal frameworks?" The STS research study explores the relationship between AV technology and societal norms using the framework of Social Construction of Technology (SCOT). Through a mixed-methods approach that incorporates ethical analysis, examination of policy and legal frameworks, discourse and qualitative analysis, the study aims to uncover the nuanced interactions between ethical decision-making and the broader implications of AV programming. The importance of this work lies in the fact that it stresses the importance of incorporating ethical considerations into technology development and regulation. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of incorporating these ethical and societal dimensions into engineering practices, enabling a more holistic approach to technological innovation.

For the technical piece, banking is explored. The banking sector is currently grappling with an increasing demand for secure and swift software solutions, a critical component in maintaining a competitive edge in today's market amongst large tech companies. Leveraging computer science principles, I contributed to developing a robust backend system using modern frameworks and tools. The design process involved an analysis of the existing systems, followed by the iterative development of new features, utilizing Agile methodologies, and emphasizing a user-centric approach. Through this initiative, the company would be able to better manage and enhance its system's efficiency and utilize automated processes to improve the customer’s experience. Moving forward, it is essential to focus on creating and maintaining automated processes, coupled with extensive testing to ensure that users have a seamless experience with the company's systems.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Autonomous Vehicles, Ethical Decision-Making, Public Policy, Technological Innovation and Adaptations, Societal Impact

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman

STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook

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