Ethics in Tech

We need this all the more now. An emphasis of ethnics in technology. Why? Because as much as the advancement of technology is super exciting in the potential for humans and the environment, fact remains is that it is unable to govern itself.

In a time when the doomsday picture of AI taking over the world is no longer a far-fetched fantasy, the recent press release ‘Killer Robots:’ Russia, US Oppose Treaty Negotiations’ by Human Rights Watch indicates that humanity is doggedly on the road to self-destruction.

Meanwhile all over the world, leading tech brands including Microsoft and Amazon, are profiting from government contracts to provide technology used for “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that is prohibited under international law” – as evidenced in US concentration camps (and many, many others) all over the world.

The DARPA Insect Allies program – that creates genetically modified insects to deliver viruses to plants for growing crops for more resistant genes to climate change and human interference, could also be a biological weapon if not properly monitored.

Autonomous vehicles, pet-cloning, behavior biometrics, etc. At every single junction of these inventions and capabilities, lie dozens of ethnical questions of what the system settings should me? What is the right decision-process tree to adopt? Who controls the usage of such, and when should the plug be pulled?

A recent piece in The Guardian – Maths and tech specialists need Hippocratic oath, says academic suggests that ‘Mathematicians, computer engineers and scientists in related fields should take a Hippocratic oath to protect the public from powerful new technologies under development in laboratories and tech firms.’

The author quotes Hannah Fry, an associate professor in the mathematics of cities at University College London describing the ‘ethical blind spots’ of scientists and researchers who lived in maths departments and computer science departments; who have never been asked to think about ethics, never been asked to consider how other people’s perspectives of life might be different to theirs, and ultimately these are the people who are designing the future for all of us.

I couldn’t agree more with Hannah Fry.

IT Bytes Back Says:  Although ethnics in tech comes tailing behind momentous advancements in technology today, it has never been a bigger priority if we hope to keep the balance of Pros and Cons of Technology, safely on the Pros’ side.