Future technologies: The matter of emergent ethical issues in their development.
Ethical issues in technologies are usually identified when a technology has already been developed. Little consideration is given to ethical issues as they emerge from technologies being developed. This can be disadvantageous on a number of fronts, not least because an opportunity to avoid or correct any pitfalls as future technologies and applications come to life could have been avoided. Needless to say, a better understanding of ethical issues as future technologies emerge can be beneficial to influencing the design and eventual implementation of future technologies. Arguably, projecting any future, let alone that of technologies is challenging. However, borne out of a project with a mandate to look at emerging technologies and ethical issues in ICT applications (ETICA) especially in Europe, this paper outlines how the ETICA project has began carrying out this mandate by initially developing a conceptual framework of future technologies with a view to outlining subsequent emerging ethical issues. This outline is undertaken by looking at likely future technological developments that are expected to materialise in the next 10 to 15 years in Europe. Although a European landscape and perspective offers a starting point in projecting future technologies and their ethical issues, the ETICA project hopes that its findings will resonate to some degree at a global level where good practice might be learnt and shared because future technologies and their ethical issues will no doubt be cross-cutting just as present and already existing technologies are. This paper and ETICA’s work is relevant for the conference because it not only aims to discuss likely future technological development but goes a step further to look at the subsequent ethical issues that are likely to arise as well. The awareness of ethical issues as future technologies are being developed is equally important because developers become alert and sensitive to users needs not only as they plan the technologies but also during the process of development right up to implementation. Such awareness has the potential to avoid or lessen major ethical pitfalls when a technology is fully developed and in operation
Citation : Stahl, B.C., Rogerson, S. and Wakunuma, K. J. (2009) Future technologies: The matter of emergent ethical issues in their development. Computation World: Future Computing, Service Computation, Adaptive, Content, Cognitive, Patterns, ComputationWorld 2009; Athens; 15- 20 November 2009, pp.603-607.
ISBN : 9780769538624
Research Group : Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility
Research Institute : Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)