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The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
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The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project
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The Failure of the "Google Glasses" Project is a Reconfirmation of the Importance of the Subject of "Engineering Ethics"/Artificial Intelligence; A Utopia or Wasteland?

Published: Saturday, December 2, 2023

Specialists in the fields of philosophy and engineering in a one-day conference hosted by Khatam University, while addressing the challenges that have arisen for both fields affected by technological advances as well as neglecting its moral and philosophical foundations, emphasized the need for interdisciplinary interactions and communications in the fields of engineering and philosophy.

 

According to the public relations and the website of Khatam University, the first "Philosophy and Engineering Conference" was held in cooperation with the Iranian Philosophy and Wisdom Research Institute, Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology, and the Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and with the speeches of prominent academic figures from these two fields, on Thursday, November 30th. The ceremony was held in person and online at Khatam University in Tehran.

 

At first, Dr. Abdollah Shamisa, the director of the department of electrical engineering of Khatam University and the executive secretary of the conference presented a report on the measures taken to hold this event and said: “For years, there has been a concern in the minds of engineers and philosophers that the development of engineering and technology has been very fast, and on the other hand, philosophers have been discussing the topics of discourse for centuries. These concerns reached the point where these two areas needed to have more interaction with each other and enter the interdisciplinary borders and use each other's experiences.”

 

He further added: “Regarding the recent conference, I must say that everything started a few months ago; When we were in a meeting with Dr. Khaki Seddigh and he brought up the main idea of this topic and this was the beginning of the interaction of experts in the fields of philosophy and engineering.”

 

Engineering is not only about designing and building a structure but also managing organizational processes

 

In the following, Dr. Majid Ghasemi, the president of Khatam University, as the speaker of the opening ceremony of the philosophy and engineering conference, spoke about the importance of moralities from the perspective of philosophy, engineering and management.

 

Stating that the foundation of engineering science is mathematics and the fourth foundation of mathematics is philosophy, he said: “There are two areas which have been developed under the field of philosophy; one is economics and the other is management. For example, the American economy is based on the output and input table of Leontiev, who was a Russian economist. The further we come, the more we see that many modern economists have been philosophers before.”

 

The CEO of Pasargad Bank went on to explain the theories of the field of management, including classical, neoclassical and modern approaches, and more importantly, he listed the theories and theoreticians of each approach and stated: “Engineering is not only about planning to build a structure, but also managing organizational processes. This is the situation in which philosophy gains importance.”

 

Dr. Ghasemi further enumerated the criticisms of these approaches and referred to the emergence of issues such as human resource management and leadership theories at the end of the 20th century. He then compared the management principles and processes of the 20th and 21st centuries and said: “Neglects of theorizing in the field of management were noticed in the 21st century.”

 

Besides, he paid attention to the perspective of Islamic philosophy on human in the view of people such as Ibn Sina, Mulla Sadra, Morteza Motahari and Javadi Ameli, as well as the view of Western philosophers such as Epicurus, Descartes, Kant, Marx and Sartre.

 

Engineers should be manifestations of God's names and attributes

 

In the continuation of this conference, Ayatollah Seyed Mustafa Mohaghegh Damad, the head of the Islamic Studies Department of the Academy of Sciences, in a speech entitled "Theology of Engineering" said that in Islamic philosophy, the world's circulation is based on the names and attributes of truth, and everything in the universe exists in either the names of God or his attributes. Among the attributes of God, 3 have been considered as parts of engineers’ attributes. These three qualities were mentioned to be: destiny, guidance and mastery.

 

He added: “According to the Qur'an, the world is built and governed under the shadow of destiny, guidance and mastery. Destiny means measurement and in other words engineering. That is, the world was created under an engineered system.”

 

Ayatollah Seyed Mustafa Mohaghegh Damad added: “The second attribute is guidance, which means that a particle in the world in front of us is created to arrive at another point and is moving from that starting point to the final point. It means that the world has a purpose and God has considered perfection for every creature, which in the case of humans, we call this perfection and guidance. This is where Islamic philosophy has blossomed in the world and has been noticed by the West; and according to it, human is free in making decisions and choices.”

 

The head of the Islamic Studies Department of the Academy of Sciences added: “The third attribute is mastery, which means that God's engineering and craftsmanship are accompanied by mastery and deep thinking. Mastery means that every particle is made so orderly and firmly to reach its final perfection.”

 

He then stated that one of the important issues in Islamic wisdom is the issue of the ultimate and purposeful cause in the world system, and perhaps it can be said that the point of distinction between the divine view of the world and the non-divine view is this idea of the purposefulness of the particles of the world, and manifested the 3 mentioned divine attributes. He emphasized: “Iranians have had the art of building and all these big buildings and bridges have remained since ancient times and have stood firmly in place for centuries and have resisted any earthquake, including Pasargad and Persepolis.”

 

Ayatollah Mohaghegh Damad said: “Believers are the ones who, after learning engineering knowledge in the society, take responsibility for the construction and organization of the world. they are manifestations of God's names and attributes and do everything for satisfying God and his creations.”

 

Engineering is inherently philosophical in nature

 

In the continuation of the "Philosophy and Engineering Conference", Dr. Ali Khaki Seddigh; a professor at Electrical Engineering Faculty of Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology, in a lecture titled "Engineering and Philosophy: A New Interaction in Higher Education", raised the question "Why should there be interactions between engineering and philosophy?" and said: “After the industrial revolution, engineering flourished in the Islamic world, which was a mixture of 3 characteristics: individual creativity and innovation, artistry and religious beliefs.”

 

While enumerating examples for each of these 3 characteristics, he emphasized why philosophy and philosophical understanding can be beneficial for engineers. As engineering is inherently philosophical in nature, the philosophical understanding of engineers can help improve the quality of designs and understand challenges.

 

Presenting a model for quality improvement and better communication between engineering and philosophy, Dr. Khaki Seddigh said: "Engineering should ask for help from the field of philosophy, while philosophy itself is considered one of the key soft skills for engineering and science."

 

This professor of Electrical Engineering Faculty of Khajeh Nasir Toosi University of Technology also asked another question, "Why can the study of engineering sciences be important for philosophers?" and said: “Engineering can have 2 uses for philosophers: the first is to raise new and practical questions in philosophy studies and the second is to change attitudes towards the field of philosophy. Some of the achievements of engineering for philosophy are: general theory of systems, mathematical modeling of systems for analysis and design, the concept of transfer of paradigms in engineering and the application of Thomas Cohen's theory in the analysis and design of control systems.”

 

Engineering sciences are aimed at answering question of "how"

 

 In the following, Dr. Hossein Sheikh Rezaei, a member of the scientific faculty of Wisdom and Philosophy Research Institute, in a speech entitled "Engineering Methodology", pointed out the important differences between scientific research in engineering sciences and scientific research in basic sciences and said: “One of these differences is that in engineering sciences and in technological research, our goal is not to describe, explain, predict and control phenomena in nature, but to describe, explain, predict and control phenomena in technological contexts.”

 

He added: “In other words, the subject of study in engineering sciences is ‘physical-technological phenomena’ and its purpose is to produce knowledge ‘focused on’ these phenomena in such contexts. Such knowledge should ultimately enable us to use it in technological designs. According to this formulation, engineering sciences are aimed at answering questions of the "how" type such as how to make a tool or technological artifact that has a certain function and how to implement the process of making this tool or artifact on an industrial scale.”