It’s not every day you look online and see a controversial news article about a robot. But, according to Propublica, there is a new robot called da Vinci designed to perform operations, and was backed by students of the University of Illinois who were paid to promote it. Paul Levy, a former hospital executive mentioned seeing an add promoting the robot, but it had 12 students from the University featured on it.
Levy then went on to say that there was a note at the bottom of the add article stating that some of the members from the photo were compensated for the work they did for the company promoting da Vinci. When Levy checked the University’s code of conduct, he found that this against it, and would create a bad name for the University.
Not only is this a controversial subject, but it is something that needs to be reached by more of the public. With rapid growth in technological advancements happening all over our country, it’s difficult to keep everything in line and prevent unethical technology from being created. Maybe this robot isn’t such a bad thing to a lot of people who see it as something that benefits society, but there are also a lot of people who see this as something that will lead us in the wrong direction. Creating a world run by robots!
How does this relate to gatekeeping and gatewatching? Levy owns a blog site called “Not Running a Hospital”, and created a post about this subject called “Time to Fire Somebody” in which he picks apart all the wrong made by this advertisement. In the post, Levy states several University-wide restrictions on this act, and mentions that not all of the people in the photo were surgeons or even medical students. Since Levy had previously worked at a hospital, he has some major credibility in this field. The blog post is an example of gatekeeping. A news event that could have gone ignored was shared by an experienced hospital executive and opened to the public to discuss. The discussing of the events would be gate watching, because people who are interested in Levy’s blogs or career would most likely be into this controversy and discuss (or argue) about what could fix this dilemma. To me, this is a good example of citizen journalism. Someone who cares about the ethical status of medical research, and students following by their University’s code of conduct went out of the way to read the fine print and raise awareness on the issue.