IFToMM and Ethics

2023-10-05 15:00 - 16:00 UTC +02:00 (CEST)
Giuseppe Quaglia
Teun Koetsier
  • Ethical questions and impact on IFToMM topics
  • Ethics in engineering education

Roughly every 20 years our technological knowledge doubles. It means that in the past 20 years just as much new knowledge was generated as in the entire preceding history of mankind. Traditionally a mechanical engineer considered a relatively small number of aspects of a machine. Things have drastically changed. We now also take the impact on the environment of the building of a machine or of it use into consideration. Moreover, machines are no longer isolated entities, they are connected. They are also smart. Decisions that used to be made by humans are now transferred to machines.

It has always been the idea that engineers help to create a better world. In the talk I will argue that in engineering and in particular in engineering education we should, of course, do what we always did and zoom in on the many technical aspects of machines. However, we should also always consider the broader impact of the machines we build and ask ourselves whether we are indeed contributing to a better world. We have to ask ourselves ethical questions. The exponential growth means that things are moving nowadays so fast that we cannot allow ourselves to sit back and wait and see. We must anticipate now. It is imperative that also IFToMM faces this development.

Short Biography of Speaker

Teun Koetsier (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) is a historian and philosopher of mathematics with a specific interest in the history of machines. In 2019 he published 'The Ascent of GIM, the Global Intelligent Machine, A History of Production and Information Machines'. GIM is the successor of the Internet of things. It is in fact a giant robotic machine that covers the globe. It is no science fiction. It exists and grows and gets smarter and smarter.

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