A dangerous master : how to keep technology from slipping by Wendell Wallach

By Wendell Wallach

We are living in an age of remarkable technological capability. From nanotechnology to man made organisms, new applied sciences stand to revolutionize complete domain names of human adventure. yet with extraordinary capability comes extraordinary possibility: drones can bring a bomb as with no trouble as they could a brand new cellphone; makers and hackers can 3D-print weapons in addition to instruments; and supercomputers can short-circuit Wall road simply as simply as they can Read more...

summary: we are living in an age of notable technological power. From nanotechnology to artificial organisms, new applied sciences stand to revolutionize complete domain names of human event. yet with outstanding strength comes impressive danger: drones can bring a bomb as with ease as they could a brand new phone; makers and hackers can 3D-print weapons in addition to instruments; and supercomputers can short-circuit Wall highway simply as simply as they could deal with your portfolio.One factor those applied sciences cannot do is solution the profound ethical concerns they increase. Who will be held dependable once they get it wrong? What accountability do

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By November, the WHO declared “482,300 laboratory confirmed cases” of H1N1, which included 6,071 deaths. There was fear among health officials that either the deadly avian flu would mutate into a form that transmitted from human to human, and thus spread rapidly, or that the H1N1 virus would mutate into an extremely deadly strain. If fewer people contract avian flu, the prospect of a human-to-human mutation occurring is lowered. So the initial focus was upon preventing infection through the culling of flocks that have contracted bird flu; providing protective clothing and other safety measures for poultry workers; and education regarding hygiene and food preparation for communities likely to eat infected chickens or other bird species.

Large science projects, particularly those like the LHC that are funded by public money, have always been a lightning rod for criticism. Everyone—from science detractors, to kooks, to those who argue the money could be spent better elsewhere—seems to have an opinion as to why such projects are not worthwhile. This is especially true for experiments in theoretical physics whose results may lack any immediate application. Yet even while their theories are difficult to understand, the physicists involved with the LHC have been successful at convincing government leaders of the research’s importance.

For example, the availability of technological enhancements, such as growth hormones in sports, can expand dangerous experimentation and cheating, exacerbate inequalities, and disrupt industries. Collectively, all these concerns increase opportunities for tragedies in which a newly deployed technology is complicit. Not only is it increasingly difficult to assess the risks of emerging technologies; even having realistic conversations can be a challenge. In emerging fields of research, endless speculation and hype foster the illusion of inevitable progress on both laudable and anxiety-provoking fronts.

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