Moral And Ethical Issues In Science And Technology Pdf

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Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values has announced its inaugural list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for The Reilly Center explores conceptual, ethical and policy issues where science and technology intersect with society from different disciplinary perspectives.

Artificial intelligence AI and robotics are digital technologies that will have significant impact on the development of humanity in the near future. They have raised fundamental questions about what we should do with these systems, what the systems themselves should do, what risks they involve, and how we can control these. Then AI systems as subjects , i. For each section within these themes, we provide a general explanation of the ethical issues , outline existing positions and arguments , then analyse how these play out with current technologies and finally, what policy consequences may be drawn. Many such concerns turn out to be rather quaint trains are too fast for souls ; some are predictably wrong when they suggest that the technology will fundamentally change humans telephones will destroy personal communication, writing will destroy memory, video cassettes will make going out redundant ; some are broadly correct but moderately relevant digital technology will destroy industries that make photographic film, cassette tapes, or vinyl records ; but some are broadly correct and deeply relevant cars will kill children and fundamentally change the landscape.

Scientific Ethics

While the ethics of technology is analyzed across disciplines from science and technology studies STS , engineering, computer science, critical management studies, and law, less attention is paid to the role that firms and managers play in the design, development, and dissemination of technology across communities and within their firm.

Although firms play an important role in the development of technology, and make associated value judgments around its use, it remains open how we should understand the contours of what firms owe society as the rate of technological development accelerates.

We focus here on digital technologies: devices that rely on rapidly accelerating digital sensing, storage, and transmission capabilities to intervene in human processes. This symposium focuses on how firms should engage ethical choices in developing and deploying these technologies.

In this introduction, we, first, identify themes the symposium articles share and discuss how the set of articles illuminate diverse facets of the intersection of technology and business ethics. Second, we use these themes to explore what business ethics offers to the study of technology and, third, what technology studies offers to the field of business ethics.

Each field brings expertise that, together, improves our understanding of the ethical implications of technology. Finally we introduce each of the five papers, suggest future research directions, and interpret their implications for business ethics. Mobile phones track us as we shop at stores and can infer where and when we vote. Algorithms based on commercial data allow firms to sell us products they assume we can afford and avoid showing us products they assume we cannot.

Drones watch our neighbors and deliver beverages to fishermen in the middle of a frozen lake. Autonomous vehicles will someday communicate with one another to minimize traffic congestion and thereby energy consumption. Technology has consequences, tests norms, changes what we do or are able to do, acts for us, and makes biased decisions Friedman and Nissenbaum The use of technology can also have adverse effects on people.

Technology can threaten individual autonomy, violate privacy rights Laczniak and Murphy , and directly harm individuals financially and physically.

Technologies have embedded values or politics, as they make some actions easier or more difficult Winner , or even work differently for different groups of people Shcherbina et al. Technologies also have political consequences by structuring roles and responsibilities in society Latour and within organizations Orlikowski and Barley , many times with contradictory consequences Markus and Robey As emphasized in a recent Journal of Business Ethics article, Johnson Johnson notes the possibility of a responsibility gap: the abdication of responsibility around decisions that are made as technology takes on roles and tasks previously afforded to humans.

Within the symposium, digital technologies are conceptualized to include applications of machine learning, information and communications technologies ICT , and autonomous agents such as drones. How ought organizations recognize, negotiate, and govern the values, biases, and power uses of technology? How should the inevitable social costs of technology be shouldered by companies, if at all?

And what responsibilities should organizations take for designing, implementing, and investing in technology? This introduction is organized as follows.

First, we identify themes the symposium articles share and discuss how the set of articles illuminate diverse facets of the intersection of technology and business ethics. For some it may seem self-evident that the use and application of digital technology is value-laden in that how technology is commercialized conveys a range of commitments on values ranging from freedom and individual autonomy, to transparency and fairness.

Each of the contributions to this special issue discusses elements of this starting point. They also—implicitly and explicitly—encourage readers to explore the extent to which technology firms are the proper locus of scrutiny when we think about how technology can be developed in a more ethically grounded fashion. The articles in this special issue largely draw from a long tradition in computer ethics and critical technology studies that sees technology as ethically laden: technology is built from various assumptions that—either implicitly or explicitly—express certain value commitments Johnson ; Moor ; Winner This literature argues that, through affordances—properties of technologies that make some actions easier than others—technological artifacts make abstract values material.

These issues have taken on much greater concern recently as forms of machine learning and various autonomous digital systems drive an increasing share of decisions made in business and government. The articles in the symposium therefore consider ethical issues in technology design including sources of data, methods of computation, and assumptions in automated decision making, in addition to technology use and outcomes.

A strong example of values-laden technology is the machine learning ML algorithms that power autonomous systems. ML technology underlies much of the automation driving business decisions in marketing, operations, and financial management. The data upon which algorithms learn, and ultimately render decisions, is a source of ethical challenges.

For example, biased data can lead to decisions that discriminate against individuals due to morally arbitrary characteristic, such as race or gender Danks and London ; Barocas and Selbst One response to this problem is for companies to think more deliberately about how the data driving automation are selected and assessed to understand discriminatory effects.

An alternative approach is to frame AI decisions—like all decisions—as biased and capable of making mistakes Martin The biases can be from the design, the training data, or in the application to human contexts. It is becoming increasingly accepted that the firms who design and implement technology have moral obligations to proactively address problematic assumptions behind, and outcomes of, new digital technologies.

There are two general reasons why this responsibility rests with the firms that develop and commercialize digital technologies. First, in a nascent regulatory environment, the social costs and ethical problems associated with new technologies are not addressed through other institutions. We do not yet have agencies of oversight, independent methods of assessment or third parties that can examine how new digital technologies are designed and applied.

This may change, but in the interim, the non-ideal case of responsible technological development is internal restraint, not external oversight. An obvious example of this is the numerous efforts put forth by large firms, such as Microsoft and Google, focused on developing principles or standards for the responsible use of artificial intelligence AI.

Smith and Shum A second reason that new technologies demand greater corporate responsibility is that technologies require attention to ethics during design , and design choices are largely governed by corporations. Design is the projection of how a technology will work in use and includes assumptions as to which users and uses matter and which do not, and how the technology will be used.

Engineers and operations directors need to be concerned about how certain values—like transparency, fairness, and economic opportunity—are translated into design decisions. Because values are implicated during technology design, developers make value judgments as part of their corporate roles.

Engineers and developers of technology inscribe visions or preferences of how the world works Akrich ; Winner This inscription manifests in choices about how transparent, easy to understand and fix, or inscrutable a technology is Martin , as well as who can use it easily or how it might be misused Friedman and Nissenbaum Ignoring the value-laden decisions in design does not make them disappear.

Philosopher Richard Rudner addresses this in realm of science; for Rudner, scientists as scientists make value judgements; and ignoring value-laden decisions means those decisions are made badly because they are made without much thought or consideration Rudner In other words, if firms ignore the value implications of design, engineers still make moral decisions; they simply do so without an ethical analysis.

Returning to the example of bias-laden ML algorithms illustrates ways that organizations can work to acknowledge and address those biases through their business practices. Kim and Routledge ; Kim ; Selbst and Barocas Explainable and interpretable algorithms require design decisions that carry implications for corporate responsibility.

If a design team creates an impenetrable AI-decision, where users are unable to judge or address potential bias or mistakes, then the firm in which that team works can be seen to have responsibility for those decisions Martin forthcoming.

It follows from these two observations—technology firms operate with nascent external oversight and designers are making value-laden decisions as part of their work in firms—that the most direct means of addressing ethical challenges in new technology is through management decisions within technology firms.

The articles in this special issue point out many ways this management might take place. Tae Wan Kim and Allan Scheller-Wolf present a case for increased corporate responsibility for what they call technological unemployment : the job losses that will accompany an accelerated pace of automation in the workplace.

One of the central insights discussed in the pages of this special issue is that technology-driven firms assume a role in society that demands a consideration of ethical imperatives beyond their financial bottom line. How does a given technology fit within a broader understanding of the purpose of a firm as value creation for a firm and its stakeholders? The contributions to this special issue, directly or indirectly, affirm that neither the efficiencies produced by the use of digital technology, nor enhanced financial return to equity investors solely justify the development, use, or commercialization of a technology.

These arguments will not surprise business ethicists, who routinely debate the purpose and responsibilities of for-profit firms. Still, the fact that for-profit firms use new technology and profit from the development of technology raises the question of how the profit-motive impacts the ethics of new digital technology.

One way of addressing this question is to take a cue from other, non-digital technologies. For example, the research, development and commercialization necessary for pharmaceutical products carries ethical considerations for associated entities, whether individual scientists, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or for-profit companies. Ethical questions include: how are human test subjects treated? How is research data collected and analyzed?

How are research efforts funded, and are there any conflicts of interest that could corrupt the scientific validity of that research? Do medical professionals fully understand the costs and benefits of a particular pharmaceutical product? How should new drugs be priced?

The special set of ethical issues related to pharmaceutical technology financed through private capital markets include the ones raised above plus a consideration of how the profit-motive, first, creates competing ethical considerations unrelated to pharmaceutical innovation itself, and second, produces social relationships within firms that may compromise the standing responsibilities that individuals and organizations have to the development of pharmaceutical products that support the ideal of patient health.

A parallel story can be told for digital technology. There are some ethical issues that are closely connected to digital technology, such as trust, knowledge, privacy, and individual autonomy. These issues, however, take on a heightened concern when the technologies in question are financed through the profit-motive. A human resource algorithm that possibly diminishes employee autonomy may be less scrutinized if its use cuts operational expenses in a large, competitive industry.

The field of business ethics contributes to the discussion about the responsible use of new technology by illustrating how the interface of the market, profit-motive and the values of technology can be brought into a more stable alignment. Taken together, the contributions in this special issue provide a blueprint for this task. They exemplify the role of technology firmly within the scope of business ethics in that managers and firms can and should create and implement technology in a way that remains attentive to the value creation for a firm and its stakeholders including employees, users, customers, and communities.

At the same time, those studying the social aspects of technology need to remain mindful of the special nature—and benefits—of business. Business is a valuable social mechanism to finance large-scale innovation and economic progress. It is hard to imagine that some of the purported benefits of autonomous vehicles, for example, would be on our doorstep if it were not for the presence of nimble, fast-paced private markets in capital and decentralized transportation services.

Business is important in the development of technology even if we are concerned about how well it upholds the values of responsible use and application of technology. The challenge taken up by the discussions herein is to explore how we want to configure the future and the role that business can play in that future. Are firms exercising sufficient concern for privacy in the use of technology? What are the human costs associated with relegating more and more decisions to machines, rather than ourselves?

Is there an opportunity for further regulatory oversight? If so, in what technological domain? In addition, the articles in this symposium illustrate how the intersection of business ethics and technology ethics illuminates how our conceptions of work—and working—shape the ethics of new technology.

The symposium contributions herein have us think critically about how the employment relationship is altered by the use and application of technology. Again, Ulrich Leicht-Deobald and his co-authors prompt an examination of how the traditional HR function is altered by the assistance of machine-learning platforms.

Kim and Scheller-Wolf force an examination of what firms using job-automation technologies owe to both displaced and prospective employees, which expands our conventional notions of employee responsibility beyond those who happens to be employed by a particular firm, in a particular industry. Business ethics can place current technology challenges into perspective by considering the history of business and markets behaving outside the norms, and the corrections made over time.

There are a host of market actors impacted by the rise of digital technology. Consumers are an obvious case. What we buy and how our identities are created through marketing is, arguably, ground zero for many of the ethical issues discussed by the articles in this symposium. Recent work has begun to examine how technology can undermine the autonomy of consumers or users.

Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

In science, as in all professions, some people try to cheat the system. Charles Dawson was one of those people — an amateur British archaeologist and paleontologist born in By the late nineteenth century, Dawson had made a number of seemingly important fossil discoveries. Not prone to modesty, he named many of his newly discovered species after himself. For example, Dawson found fossil teeth of a previously unknown species of mammal, which he subsequently named Plagiaulax dawsoni. He named one of three new species of dinosaur he found Iguanodon dawsoni and a new form of fossil plant Salaginella dawsoni. His work brought him considerable fame: He was elected a fellow of the British Geological Society and appointed to the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Information Technology specifies to the components that are used to store, fetch and manipulate the information at the minimum level with the server having an operating system. Information Technology have a wide area of applications in education, business, health, industries, banking sector and scientific research at a large level. With the leading advancement in information technology, it is necessary to have the knowledge of security issues, privacy issues and main negative impacts of IT. To deal with these issues in IT society it is important to find out the ethical issues. Writing code in comment? Please use ide. Skip to content.


However scientists and technology developers or users have not remained immune to the growing ethical concerns of different kinds of people around the world in.


Introduction: Embedding Ethics in Science and Technology Policy—A Global Perspective

Science and Technology Governance and Ethics pp Cite as. Ethics is viewed mainly from the perspective of lay morality as it is evident in analyses of public debates and public perceptions research. In this respect, the most significant influence shaping the content and direction of ethics derives from cultural norms and social values. The incorporation of ethics in policy making takes two distinct but interconnected routes: one via official advisory structures and the other via lay debates. Additional influences on policy by civil society organisations and private sector lobbying activities are also evident.

Business and the Ethical Implications of Technology: Introduction to the Symposium

2. Main Debates

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4 Comments

  1. Yolette M. 01.06.2021 at 05:06

    Today, more than a dozen militaries employ unmanned aerial vehicles—drones—in combat operations around the world.

  2. Sidney C. 02.06.2021 at 03:40

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  3. Germain L. 02.06.2021 at 09:11

    PDF | The paper discusses the limitations of engineering ethics as This leads to a range of concerns for engineers, scientists and other.

  4. Erin S. 02.06.2021 at 15:27

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