The overall technology ethics landscape covers three key areas:

  1. professional guidelines (e.g., codes of ethics) that help define intended behavior by professionals in the field;
  2. the impact of (and response to) professional behaviors in the context of those codes of ethics; and,
  3. the ethical/societal impact of technologies themselves.

These are interdependent aspects, with each influencing and/or being influenced by the others.

IEEE TechEthics was crafted primarily to address the ethical and societal impact of technology. The objectives of the program are to:

  • serve as a central, trusted resource on technology ethics for IEEE, the general public and other audiences
  • drive robust discussion, debate and conversation about ethics and the societal impact of technology across all technical areas and in its various dimensions, from professional and business decisions to design considerations and more
  • consider differences (cultural, philosophical, regional, etc.) in these conversations
  • partner across IEEE and with outside parties to ensure full coverage of all possible voices and capture the various opinions and trends
  • develop, curate and disseminate content (videos, papers, educational material, etc.) in support of the ongoing conversation around the societal impact of technology
  • introduce frameworks that explicitly consider critical, non-technical dimensions of technology ethics
  • when applicable, build consensus and develop standards
  • empower the technical community to implement methodologies and products resulting from our consensus-building efforts, with an eye toward delivering values-driven, ethical innovation that will define the modern marketplace, and
  • inform educational efforts aimed at the profession and other key stakeholders.

Since IEEE does not directly fund research, we instead seek to accelerate the generation of ideas, facilitate the vetting of those ideas, and, where applicable, drive consensus around those ideas. The IEEE TechEthics program achieves this through event production, content development, audience engagement and other activities.

2018 IEEE TechEthics Ad Hoc Committee

Dominik Boesl (Chair) - KUKA Robotics

Mark A. Vasquez (Program Manager) - IEEE

Greg Adamson - University of Melbourne

Raja Chatila - Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics

Bernie Cohen - Neurological Monitoring Associates

Missy Cummings - Duke University

Boris Gramatikov - Johns Hopkins University

Joe Herkert - North Carolina State University

Ryan Jenkins - California Polytechnic State University

Raj Madhavan - Humanitarian Robotics Technologies

Laura Specker Sullivan – Harvard University

Wendell Wallach - Yale University


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