Microsoft President Brad Smith who stumped the crowd at the GeekWire Summit — our annual technology conference in Seattle — with a simple question. “What is the biggest software-related issue to impact the economy in Puget Sound in 2019?”
“Software in the cockpit of an airplane, software that the pilots couldn’t turn off,” Smith said.
Smith was referring to the multi-billion dollar fallout from Boeing’s faulty 737 Max software that resulted in two crashes killing 346 people. Boeing’s manufacturing center is based in Renton, Wash. The company has announced more than $8 billion in costs related to the accidents and the damage to airlines and suppliers extends far beyond that.
The flights reportedly crashed because software tried to push the noses of the aircrafts down repeatedly, due to inaccurate flight data, and the pilots were not able to address the problem in time.