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Silicon Prairie Initiative on Robotics in Information Technology


Silicon Prairie Initiative on Robotics in Information Technology Engineering Ethics – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Silicon Prairie Initiative on Robotics in Information Technology

Silicon Prairie Initiative on Robotics in
Information Technology
  • Engineering Ethics

The meaning of ETHICS
  • The discipline dealing with what is good and bad
    and with moral duty and obligation.
  • A set moral principles or values
  • A theory or system of moral values
  • The principles of conduct governing an individual
    or group
  • Moral of or relating to principles of right or
    wrong in behavior

Professional Ethics
  • Lessons learned at home, in school and churches,
    mosques, synagogues, or temples may not provide
    enough explicit advice about professional
  • If everyone's individually-learned lessons were
    sufficient, why would we need lawyers?
  • Professional ethics involves obligations to many

Ethics in Engineering Design
  • Engineering work affects public health and
  • Engineering can effect business practices and
  • Personal ethics how we treat others day to day
  • Professional ethics deals with problems at an
    organizational level.
  • Two corporations
  • Corporation and government
  • Corporation and groups of individuals the public

Ethics and Design
  • Ethics problems are like design problems
  • Open-ended, non-formulaic
  • No unique, correct answer
  • Both apply a large body of knowledge to the
    solution of the problem.
  • Both involve the use of analytical skills.
  • Both use heuristics for the search.

Ethics in Engineering Design
  • Design is a social activity
  • Design involves PEOPLE
  • design team members
  • clients
  • manufacturers
  • Designing means accepting responsibility for
    creating a design for PEOPLE to use.

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The Prime Directive
  • The prime directive in American engineering
    ethics is that Engineers shall hold paramount the
    safety, health and welfare of the public in the
    performance of their professional duties.

Code of Ethics of the National Society for
Professional Engineers.
Engineering Societies
  • Set design standards
  • Set ethical standards addressing conflicting
    obligations and their resolution
  • Provide mechanisms for helping engineers
    investigate and evaluate ethical behavior
  • A Professional Society's Code of Ethics addresses
    standards of behavior with respect to
  • clients
  • the profession
  • the public
  • the law

IEEE Code of Ethics
  • We, the members of the IEEE, in recognition of
    the importance of our technologies in affecting
    the quality of life throughout the world, and in
    accepting a personal obligation to our
    profession, its members and the communities we
    serve, do hereby commit ourselves to the highest
    ethical and professional conduct and agree

IEEE Code of Ethics
  • To accept responsibility in making engineering
    decisions consistent with the safety, health, and
    welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly
    factors that might endanger the public or the
  • To avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest
    whenever possible, and to disclose them to
    affected parties when they do exist

IEEE Code of Ethics
  • To be honest and realistic in stating claims or
    estimates based on available data
  • To reject bribery in all its form
  • To improve the understanding of technology, its
    appropriate application, and potential
  • To maintain and improve our technical competence
    and to undertake technological tasks for others
    only if qualified by training or experience, or
    after full disclosure of pertinent limitations

IEEE Code of Ethics
  • To seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of
    technical work, to acknowledge and correct
    errors, and to credit properly the contributions
    of others
  • To treat fairly all persons regardless of such
    factors as race, religion, gender, disability,
    age, or national origin
  • To avoid injuring others, their property,
    reputation, or employment by false or malicious

IEEE Code of Ethics
  • To assist colleagues and co-workers in their
    professional development and to support them in
    following this code of ethics.

Is it OK for me to be working on this project?
  • Design of a cigarette lighter
  • Design of cigarette-making machinery
  • Design of large scale ovens and their specialized
    buildings in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Design of nuclear weapons
  • The answer It depends.
  • We can only hope that we are prepared by our
    upbringing, our maturity, and our ability to
    think and reflect about the issues.

  • A heuristic is anything that provides a plausible
    aid or direction in the solution of a problem.
  • Heuristics are usually unjustified and
    potentially fallible.
  • Engineering design is the use of heuristics.
  • Heuristics are used to cause the best change in a
    poorly understood situation within the available