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

By Wendell Wallach

We are living in an age of impressive technological power. From nanotechnology to man made organisms, new applied sciences stand to revolutionize entire domain names of human event. yet with impressive strength comes outstanding danger: drones can carry a bomb as with no trouble 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 can Read more...

summary: we are living in an age of outstanding technological strength. From nanotechnology to man made organisms, new applied sciences stand to revolutionize complete domain names of human event. yet with remarkable power comes impressive possibility: drones can bring a bomb as without difficulty 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 could deal with your portfolio.One factor those applied sciences cannot do is solution the profound ethical concerns they bring up. Who will be held in charge once they get it wrong? What accountability do

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Extra info for A dangerous master : how to keep technology from slipping beyond our control

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The July 1945 Trinity test of the first nuclear weapon in the New Mexico desert is the most famous example. Prior to the test, key physicists working on the Manhattan Project speculated as to whether the explosion would set off a chain reaction in the earth’s atmosphere. Calculations determined that an extinction level event would not happen, and yet the frightening prospect could not be absolutely ruled out. According to reports, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, whose sense of humor bordered on the macabre, offered to take bets on whether a fire in the atmosphere would occur and, if so, would it consume just New Mexico or the entire world?

Many of the risks are either unrecognized by policy planners or go unaddressed. Claims that all human problems will soon be solved technologically sound dangerously naïve. Techno-enthusiasts run the risk of indulging in a facile disregard for the lessons of history. This disregard is supported by a rather circular argument in which technology makes tools available to transcend all the limits placed upon past generations. Thus, the lessons of history do not apply to present-day challenges because a technological solution can be forged to solve each and every problem.

Free and open scientific discovery naturally leads to new technological possibilities. When a new form of weaponry appears possible, it will probably get the necessary funding for development long before military planners reflect upon its strategic value. Scientists and engineers get lost in the challenge of figuring out how to succeed in almost any conceivable venture. ” For the past ten years, I have chaired the Technology and Ethics (T&E) study group at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics.

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