The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: "Ethical Considerations in the Design of Emerging Technologies: Engineering Management Takeaways and Resources"


Friday, October 30, 2020 - 10:00am


Dr. Woodrow W. Winchester, III, PhD, CPEM, Director, Engineering Professional Programs, University of Maryland




As evidenced in the increasing number of controversies surrounding the implementation and deployment of emerging technologies (i.e. autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) such as artificial intelligence (AI) technologies), the ethical considerations in the design of these technologies are complex and not well understood.  IEEE has recognized this challenge; and, through its Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (The IEEE Global Initiative), has released Ethically Aligned Design: A Vision for Prioritizing Human Well-being with Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, First Edition (EAD1e).  Via an analysis of this document through an engineering management (EM) lens, this talk identifies and discusses specific design takeaways in embedding ethics within engineering management work methods and practices.  The offered takeaways suggest that: (1) Cross-functional and interdisciplinary collaborations in design are critical, (2) Engaging ethical centering design and development methods are vital, and (3) Appropriate frameworks for accountability are needed in safeguarding vulnerable and marginalized populations.  Moreover, resources to assist the engineering manager in enacting these takeaways are also presented and described.  It is the author’s conjecture that the thoughtful implementation of the proposed takeaways by engineering managers in the design and development of emerging technologies could lead to more ethical, equitable, and accountable deployments.

Woodrow W. Winchester, III, is currently the Director of Engineering Professional Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).  Prior to joining UMBC, Woodrow served as the Director of Engineering Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Woodrow is a Certified Professional Engineering Management Professional (CPEM) with over ten (10) years of project engineering and management experiences.  Woodrow is also the Director of Professional Development & Continuing Education for the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) and is a regular contributor to the ASEM Blog.  Selected as a member of the second cohort of the IAspire Leadership Academy, Woodrow is an advocate for more equitable, inclusive, and consequential approaches to technology design and deployment.  As a thought leader, Woodrow has published works in influential practitioner-oriented publications such as INCOSE Insight Magazine, ACM Interactions, and Fast Company Magazine.  He is currently under contract with CRC Press to write Inclusion by Design: Future Thinking Approaches to New Product Development.  View more by visiting his public LinkedIn profile.