What are Technology Ethics?

Technology Ethics is a field concerned with the relationship between technology and humans from the perspective of well-being, values, how technological advancements occur and what the social impact of technology advancement might be.

Technology Ethics should apply to all types of technology and seeks to first understand then determine and resolve moral issues related to technology, its design, development and deployment. Essentially Technology Ethics is a program to ensure technology is developed and used for the common good and benefit of humanity. We would also like to add the environment to the concerns of Technology Ethics which is often overlooked.

Brian Patrick Green (Santa Clara University) notes, “Technology ethics is the application of ethical thinking to the practical concerns of technology.

The reason technology ethics is growing in prominence is that new technologies give us more power to act, which means that we have to make choices we didn’t have to make before.

While in the past our actions were involuntarily constrained by our weakness, now, with so much technological power, we have to learn how to be voluntarily constrained by our judgment: our ethics.”

With regard to what might constitute technology that has ethical implications, Jessica Baron released a list of top technologies to look out for from an ethical perspective. These include:

Pet Cloning: For $25k-$50k you can clone your cat or dog.

DIY neurohacking: At-home neurostimulation devices.

Behavioural biometrics: using body movements to judge whether you’re really you.

5G: will require new regulatory frameworks.

Datafication of children: Parents are the biggest violators of their kids’ privacy.

Insect allies: genetically modified insects that can deliver viruses to plants.

Sidewalk Labs: monitor traffic, pedestrians, weather, pollution, building occupancy, and sewage.

Autonomous translation: AI that can perform real-time translations of human speech.

Pharmaceutical seeding trials: Pharmaceutical recruit physicians to lead small studies on new drugs or devices and then publish the results.

“Sarco” suicide machine: The 3-D printing schematics for a suicide machine