In the past, technology was only considered from the perspective of its beneficial use to humans. The likelihood of technology getting causing harm in society was not considered until at the turn of the century when technology started to advance at a faster rate than ever before. Some technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology have raised concerns regarding how they are going to affect society in the future. Engineers have the best knowledge about the capabilities of their inventions. They also are in the best position to determine the far-reaching effects of the technology they invent. Prevention of misuse of technology is often left to the legislators and regulatory bodies. The advancements taking place in technology will soon not be containable using conventional measures. Only the engineers have the power to tame technology and can only do so if they adopt a comprehensive set of ethics.
Engineers should consider the second and third-order effects of their inventions before they [inventions] can be sanctioned for use by society. Professional engineers should also assume culpability for the use of their machines in ways causing harm to the public good. They should not just innovate, but take leadership in determining and directing the society towards the most ethical use of their inventions. Engineers should learn to consider not only the technical aspect of their invention but also the societal impact the invention is bound to have. At the back of their minds, engineers should know that they have a social contract they ought to adhere to. In exchange for being an esteemed member of the engineering profession, they should work towards technology that benefits society in terms of health, welfare, safety, among others.