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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Emerging technologies: Ethics and morality

Elfren Cruz
The Philippine Star Global
Originally published May 7, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

These emerging technologies will decide the future of humanity because they can be used by the elite class or populists for good or evil. There is no doubt that there will be immense benefits from these new forms of technology. The main issue has been termed as “distributive justice” by some thinkers. This refers to the determination of access to the benefits of technological change.

There are those who believe that the benefits of emerging technologies will worsen the plight of the poor. The World Bank and the International Labor Organization have already warned that millions of jobs will be wiped out by new technologies. As new labor devices are invented, the power of capitalists will grow and the power of labor will diminish. The number of billionaires will increase while the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to widen. Stephen Hawking, the world’s most famous scientist, has even said that artificial intelligence could lead to the extinction of humanity.

By contrast, the optimists believe that emerging technologies, if properly used, could eliminate poverty and abolish suffering. Stuart Russell of UC Berkley said: “Everything we have of value as human beings, as civilization is the result of intelligence and what artificial intelligence ( AI) could do is essentially be a power tool that magnifies human intelligence and gives us the ability to move our civilization forward in all kinds of ways. It might be curing disease, it might be eliminating poverty. I think it certainly should be preventing environmental catastrophe. AI could be instrumental to all those things.

The article is here.