Webinar: Ethics in drone design: from academia to industry?

February 17, 2021 | 10 EST
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What makes a “good drone”?  Are we in the drone industry making technology that will benefit society by enhancing human welfare, freedom, and fairness?  Or will drones facilitate mass surveillance, deepen widespread unemployment, and increase inequality?  This webinar will addresses some of the changes that this technology could facilitate – and how to design drones that may lead to more beneficial outcomes. 

Dylan Cawthorne, Associate Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, the first researcher to explicitly utilize value sensitive design (VSD) to design, build, and test real drone prototypes. 

Two case studies will be presented: first, briefly, that of a humanitarian cargo drone to be operated in the Amazon region of Peru, and second, a blood sample transportation drone to be used in Denmark. 

The speaker has developed an ethical framework for the design of drones used in public healthcare contexts in connection with the second case study.  The framework is an applied ethics tool which enhances VSD and eases the conceptual phase for drone engineers, hopefully making it easier for them to consider ethics during drone development. This can lead to designs which represent new solutions to moral dilemmas, and allow the creation of win-win situations.  Ultimately, the aim is drones developed with society, for the benefit of society.