The issues involved are sufficiently important that courses are now moving out of the philosophy departments and into mainstream computer science. And they affect everyone. Many of the students attracted to these courses are not technology majors, and many of the topics we discuss relate to ethical challenges that transcend the computer world.
Humans have always had a complex relationship with technology. Automobiles, for instance, changed the nature of life in America, where we live, how we work, what we can do with our leisure time. But they have also brought us traffic jams and contributed to global warming. The impact of information technology may be equally profound, and these are things we need to think about and study.
In the hospitality industry, you are surrounded by alcohol all the time, ... There is the social aspect to it the winding down after a service, working irregular hours, working under high pressure and the culture of drinking is enormous in the UK, with an explosion of binge drinking and of young women drinking.
I went to a Jesuit school as an undergraduate, and that helped me gain a deep appreciation for philosophy. The general mentality of most engineers is that if we can invent something, we should. It's not that simple. At Heathrow airport they are debating the use of new X-ray technology that electronically disrobes a person and shows their naked image. Government power is something that's easy to abuse, and many people are raising questions about invasion of privacy.