November 09, 2005
When software bugs attack
Here is an important caveat from the article:
Many people believe the worst bugs are those that cause fatalities. To be sure, there haven't been many, but cases like the Therac-25 are widely seen as warnings against the widespread deployment of software in safety critical applications. Experts who study such systems, though, warn that even though the software might kill a few people, focusing on these fatalities risks inhibiting the migration of technology into areas where smarter processing is sorely needed. In the end, they say, the lack of software might kill more people than the inevitable bugs.
This is presented as an all-or-nothing argument. It is probably rare that smarter processing is so crucial that those using the technology should not insist on being skeptical and really trusting the software they use. This evokes Sean Eddy's note in PLOS Comp. Bio. about ``inter-disciplinary'' research: which should not be construed as the gathering of people from different disciplines, but individual people learning and eventually confident of doing research in multiple disciplines.Posted by anoop at November 9, 2005 09:42 AM