DE News Roundup: November 2, 2018

MIT launches Moral Machine, Hexagon acquires Bricsys, ANSYS launches new app store, more

MIT launches online experiment to add human perspective on AI training for self-driving cars, Hexagon buys Bricsys, known for DWG-compatible BricsCAD, ANSYS launches new app store, and more.

MIT launches the Moral Machine

How would you as a human being make difficult moral decisions in your driving, such as killing two passengers on your car or five pedestrians you do not know? Would another driver make the same choice? Perhaps more important, when autonomous cars go on the road, how would the AI make these decisions? You may find the answer by operating The Moral Machine.

MIT recently launched the Moral Machine, described as a “platform for gathering human perspective on moral decisions made by AI.” Apparently, it was a huge hit; it went viral. By MIT’s own count, it has collected “40 million decisions in ten languages from millions of people in 233 countries and territories.” It's housed in a website, where you can go into the Moral Machine and answer the questions posed to you, or design your own scenarios to test others' decision.

Researchers published the first set of findings in a paper titled “The Moral Machine experiment,” Nature: International Journal of Science, October 2018. It includes charts and figures explaining the participants’ choices, such as deciding between the probability of sparing pedestrians and sparing passengers.

The Moral Machine is still running at

Hexagon acquires Bricsys

Last week, Hexagon, a company that caters to engineering, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors, acquired Bricsys, known for its DWG format. The format, the de facto standard for construction documents, engineering drawings, and building blue prints, is also associated with another software giant, Autodesk.

In that sense, Autodesk and the significantly smaller Bricsys are rivals, both with products and technologies that let you draw and write DWG files. Hexagon’s acquisition could boost Bricsys’s R&D efforts and sales, putting it in a much stronger position to compete with the larger company Autodesk.

Bricsys uses Open Design Alliance’s (ODA’s) technology to read and write DWG. ODA is a member-supported technology consortium that maintains and updates its DWG-capable software developer kit.

For more on this, read contributing editor Randall Newton’s report on DE 24-7.

ANSYS launches new app store

Simulation software maker ANSYS launches a new version of its app store, populated with simulation apps priced from $0 to $10,000.

The catalog includes some free apps, such as 7th Fast + More, an app for analyzing fasteners, bolts, screws, and rivets; and an acoustics analyzer, an app to perform acoustic, vibro-acoustic, contained fluid or immersed structure analyses.

ANSYS is among the leading simulation software makers exploring app-style simulation to attract non-engineers and designers. Whereas a full-scale general purpose simulation program takes time and dedication to learn and use, apps are guided workflows and easy steps so those with limited simulation software experience can put it to use immediately.

Another simulation software maker pursuing the same strategy is COMSOL, which includes an application builder function in its Multiphysics simulation program.

AMUG 2019 opens for registration

AMUG (additive manufacturing user group) conference for 2019 is now open for registration. It's set to be in Chicago, from March 31-April 4, 2019. It will includes workshops, keynote talks, networking events, and an exhibit floor with vendors' products on display.

Though attended by many leading AM hardware and software makers, the conference is for the users, by the users, as the organizers states.

To register, go to

Discovere launches Introduce a Girl to Engineering

Discovere is launching Introduce a Girl to Engineering, to kickstart “a growing movement to inspire girls’ futures so they learn they have a place in engineering a better world.” The day is set for February 21, 2019.

Formerly known as National Engineers Week Foundation, the organization helps unite, mobilize, and support the engineering and technology volunteer communities. It also offers outreach grants.

To register to become part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering day, go to

For more engineering industry news, go to DE 247, at

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About the Author

Kenneth Wong's avatar
Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at [email protected] or share your thoughts on this article at

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