I currently serve as the Managing Director at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Currently, my main area of research revolves around Value Sensitive Design (VSD), its philosophical foundation as well as its potential application to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and Industry 4.0
Designed for Death: Controlling Killer Robots
In Designed for Death, I aim to not only produce a realistic but also an optimistic guide for how, with human values in mind, we can begin to design killer robots. Drawing on the value sensitive design (VSD) approach to technology innovation, I argue that context is king and that a middle path for designing killer robots is possible if we consider both ethics and design as fundamentally linked. I try to move beyond the binary debates of whether or not to prohibit killer robots and instead offers a more nuanced perspective of which types of killer robots may be both legally and ethically acceptable, when they would be acceptable, and how to design for them.
Imaginative Value Sensitive Design: Using Moral Imagination Theory to Inform Responsible Technology Design
Safe-by-design (SBD) frameworks for the development of emerging technologies have become an ever more popular means by which scholars argue that transformative emerging technologies can safely incorporate human values. One such popular SBD methodology is called value sensitive design (VSD). A central tenet of this design methodology is to investigate stakeholder values and design those values into technologies during early stage research and development. To accomplish this, the VSD framework mandates that designers consult the philosophical and ethical literature to best determine how to weigh moral trade-offs. However, the VSD framework also concedes the universalism of moral values, particularly the values of freedom, autonomy, equality trust and privacy justice. This paper argues that the VSD methodology, particularly applied to nano-bio-info-cogno technologies, has an insufficient grounding for the determination of moral values. As such, an exploration of the value-investigations of VSD are deconstructed to illustrate both its strengths and weaknesses. This paper also provides possible modalities for the strengthening of the VSD methodology, particularly through the application of moral imagination and how moral imagination exceeds the boundaries of moral intuitions in the development of novel technologies.
Value-Oriented and Ethical Technology Engineering in Industry 5.0: A Human-Centric Perspective for the Design of the Factory of the Future
Although manufacturing companies are currently situated at a transition point in what has been called Industry 4.0, a new revolutionary wave—Industry 5.0—is emerging as an ‘Age of Augmentation’ when the human and machine reconcile and work in perfect symbiosis with one another. Recent years have indeed assisted in drawing attention to the human-centric design of Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) and to the genesis of the ‘Operator 4.0’, two novel concepts that raise significant ethical questions regarding the impact of technology on workers and society at large. This paper argues that a value-oriented and ethical technology engineering in Industry 5.0 is an urgent and sensitive topic as demonstrated by a survey administered to industry leaders from different companies. The Value Sensitive Design (VSD) approach is proposed as a principled framework to illustrate how technologies enabling human–machine symbiosis in the Factory of the Future can be designed to embody elicited human values and to illustrate actionable steps that engineers and designers can take in their design projects. Use cases based on real solutions and prototypes discuss how a design-for-values approach aids in the investigation and mitigation of ethical issues emerging from the implementation of technological solutions and, hence, support the migration to a symbiotic Factory of the Future.