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Monday, May 22, 2017

The morality of technology

Rahul Matthan
Live Mint
Originally published May 3, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

Another example of the two sides of technology is drones—a modern technology that is already being deployed widely—from the delivery of groceries to ensuring that life saving equipment reaches first responders in high density urban areas. But for every beneficent use of drone tech, there are an equal number of dubious uses that challenge our ethical boundaries. Foremost among these is development of AI-powered killer drones—autonomous flying weapons intelligent enough to accurately distinguish between friend and foe and then, autonomously, take the decision to execute a kill.

This duality is inherent in all of tech. But just because technology can be used for evil, that should not, of itself, be a reason not to use it. We need new technology to better ourselves and the world we live in—and we need to be wise about how we apply it so that our use remains consistent with the basic morality inherent in modern society. This implies that each time we make a technological breakthrough we must assess afresh, the contexts within which they could present themselves and the uses to which they should (and should not) be put. If required, we must take the trouble to re-draw our moral boundaries, establishing the limits within which they must be constrained.

The article is here.