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Philosophy Club Meeting Tomorrow to Discuss Ethical Problems in Engineering

Posted 11/13/2018
Submitted by Brian Skelly
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements

Come join us at this week’s Philosophy Club meeting Thursday, November 15th from 12:15 to 1:45 in 421 Auerbach Hall as Civil Engineer Matthew Skelly of Fuss & O'Neill, Inc, Manchester CT, presents on ethical problems in Engineering.

Matt will begin his presentation by presenting and discussing a short piece on the Trolley Problem, a classic thought-experiment testing the limits of our utilitarian sympathies. He will then move on to review the crash descriptions of several known occasions when autonomous vehicles have killed human beings.

The conversation will then turn to the sticky question of programming morality into autonomous vehicle guidance systems. This will take us back to a rehashing of the Trolley Problem, where we ponder the merits of causing a minor crash to avoid a major one. Or causing the death of the driver to save a school bus full of young children.

Already a major part of our technological landscape, autonomous vehicles are clearly here to stay. Our task is to figure out how to make optimal, humane use of them.

Matthew Skelly, PE, PTOE, is Senior Transportation Engineer at Fuss & O'Neill, Inc, 146 Hartford Road, Manchester, CT 06040, mskelly@fando.comHe currently teaches in the Civil Engineering program at the University. 

The University of Hartford Philosophy Club has an informal, jovial atmosphere. It is a place where students, professors, and people from the community at large meet as peers. Sometimes presentations are given, followed by discussion. Other times, topics are hashed out by the whole group.

Presenters may be students, professors, or people from the community. Anyone can offer to present a topic. The mode of presentation may be as formal or informal as the presenter chooses.

Food and drink are served. Come and go as you wish. Bring friends. Suggest topics and activities. Take over the club! It belongs to you!