The perceived sustainability of organisations themselves can constrain innovation and the use of wider boundaries in engineering. When moving from one regime to the next in terms of innovations in practice, it is not sufficient just to challenge the technological paradigms; the institutions and the governance arrangements that deliver the supplanted practices are also likely to need to be changed as well (Brown et al, 2011). In the water industry, the stationary design and operational assumptions, related to historically slowly changing external drivers (Milly et al, 2008) and the continuing investments underpinning the large technical systems (asset management) provide inevitable conditions for ‘technological entrapment’ (Walker, 2000) or ‘lock-in’ to perpetuating their use as the perceived ‘common-sense’ approach; one enshrined in institutional cultures, such as held by the Environment Agency in England (Palmer, 2000).
The increasing concern for the value dimension of engineering is, at least in part, a result of the attention that the media has given to cases such as the Challenger disaster, the Kansas City Hyatt-Regency Hotel walkways collapse, and the Exxon oil spill. As a response to this concern, a new discipline, engineering ethics, is emerging. This discipline will doubtless take its place alongside such well-established fields as medical ethics, business ethics, and legal ethics. The problem presented by this development is that most engineering professors are not prepared to introduce literature in engineering ethics into their classrooms. They are most comfortable with quantitative concepts and often do not believe they are qualified to lead class discussions on ethics. Many engineering faculty members do not think that they have the time in an already overcrowded syllabus to introduce discussions on professional ethics, or the time in their own schedules to prepare the necessary material. Hopefully, the resources presented herein will be of assistance.
The movie The Thirteenth Floor suggests a future where simulated worlds with sentient inhabitants are created by computer game consoles for the purpose of entertainment. The movie The Matrix suggests a future where the dominant species on planet Earth are sentient machines and humanity is treated with utmost Speciesism . The short story " The Planck Dive " suggest a future where humanity has turned itself into software that can be duplicated and optimized and the relevant distinction between types of software is sentient and non-sentient. The same idea can be found in the Emergency Medical Hologram of Starship Voyager , which is an apparently sentient copy of a reduced subset of the consciousness of its creator, Dr. Zimmerman , who, for the best motives, has created the system to give medical assistance in case of emergencies. The movies Bicentennial Man and . deal with the possibility of sentient robots that could love. I, Robot explored some aspects of Asimov's three laws. All these scenarios try to foresee possibly unethical consequences of the creation of sentient computers. [ citation needed ]