This massive open online course (MOOC) discusses the concept of responsible innovation, its meaning and its significance, by addressing the societal implications of new technologies. It also shows how we might incorporate ethical considerations into technical innovations. The course is for all those interested in relationships between technological innovations, ethics and society. It is especially relevant for industry, public, and academic professionals working on developing innovative technologies, and for students following a traditional technical curriculum who are interested in key value questions attached to their studies.
This edX course provides a good, useful introduction for anyone interested in RRI. It uses lectures, reading material and interactive discussions to address RRI-related themes such as ethics, understanding and analysing risk, and how innovations come about.
Contents of the course:
The first part of the course focuses on ethical questions/framework and concerns with respect to new technologies.
The second part deals with (unknown) risks and safety of new technologies including a number of qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods.
The last part of the course is about the new, value driven, design process which take into account our societal concerns and conflicting values.
Case studies (ethical concerns, risks) for reflection and discussions during the course include – among others- nanotechnology, self-driving vehicles, robots, AI smart meters for electricity, autonomous weapons, nuclear energy and CO2capture and coolants. Affordable (frugal) innovations for low-income groups and emerging markets are also covered in the course. You can test and discuss your viewpoint.
What you'll learn
Understand the urgent need to include ethical questions with respect to (new) technology.
Know various ways/instruments to analyze risks of new technologies, both forward looking as backward looking (causes of accidents)
Understand various types of innovation (like radical, niche, incremental, frugal ) and the conditions for success
Know how to deal with unknown risks (deep uncertainty) when it comes to new technologies
Are able to critically reflect on new technologies from an ethical and risk perspective (case studies).
Understand the concept of responsible innovation and Value Sensitive Design (VSD) and the implications for the design process