- software is everywhere, sometimes doing things we don’t expect.
- the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, turned out that software inside the cars had been running the engines in such a way as to cheat on emissions tests
- While possible for manufacturers to use software dishonestlya a more common problem is software that’s used to enable sloppy designs
“A lot of times, you see systems that would be much easier to control if somebody had been thoughtful about the mechanical design,” – Chris Gerdes, professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University
- ME (or other physical) Designers will leave the problem, assuming the control software will make up for it
- software has mostly helped improve complex systems – would be impossible to go back to purely mechanical designs
software is a very necessary part of modern manufacturing. But it’s often added too late in the design process – Kara Pernice, VP Nielsen Norman Group
- hardware-software creation is disjointed
- Touch screens may strike customers as up to date, but they can also be a shortcut for manufacturers – skip the more careful — and time-consuming — process of “considering the human that’s going to use that technology in the end,”
- programming was the most common cause of medical device recalls last year.
- using new software on top of older systems is safe – “It would be so cost prohibitive to start from scratch,”
Columbia Law School professor Eben Moglen, who has championed transparency in software – the necessity for autonomous software systems to “explain themselves” to the people using them
- software has allowed manufacturers to cut corners and costs
- systems that don’t explain themselves to the human beings that interact with them are dangerous