Top headlines

Lead story

Today’s engineering students will have a huge role in shaping what our world looks like tomorrow. That’s all the more true when it comes to cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence. So how do you prepare them for a future that we can only guess at – and that they’ll be building themselves?

Engineers’ training isn’t just about technical know-how. It’s also about ethics: navigating the social consequences and moral dilemmas that new technology might create. But ethics education often gets short shrift, write University of Michigan researchers Erin Cech and Elana Goldenkoff.

Many students are concerned about ethical questions, but that doesn’t mean they know how to handle them. And with so much material to cover in the classroom, some educators struggle to prioritize ethics training.

The good news, the duo’s research suggests, is that ethics training is effective when students and professionals do receive it. While engineers are certainly not the only people who need to think carefully about the ethics of new technologies, they are “the public’s first line of defense,” Cech and Goldenkoff point out.

[How faith and religion drive the world. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, This Week in Religion.]

Molly Jackson

Religion and Ethics Editor

Finding ethics’ place in the engineering curriculum. PeopleImages/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Are tomorrow’s engineers ready to face AI’s ethical challenges?

Elana Goldenkoff, University of Michigan; Erin A. Cech, University of Michigan

Ethics is often neglected in engineering education, two researchers write, despite mounting questions about how to responsibly design artificial intelligence programs.

Politics + Society


Health + Medicine

Ethics + Religion

Environment + Energy

Economy + Business

Trending on site

The Conversation Quiz 🧠

  • Here’s the first question of this week’s edition:

    Expected tax revenues from which product have fallen short of projections in several U.S. states?

    1. A. Cannabis
    2. B. Ozempic
    3. C. Cybertrucks
    4. D. Sports betting apps

    Test your knowledge