We live in an age where a machine can target, shoot, and kill without the physical involvement of a human; guns can be printed in private homes; and supercomputers can conduct thousands of financial trades in milliseconds. From combat drones to nanotechnology, 3-D printers to synthetic organisms, our most recent inventions increasingly defy the norms for acceptable uses of technology. How do we regulate trades performed by an algorithm? Who should be held accountable when machines pull the trigger and kill people? What responsibility do we, as creators and users, have for the technologies we build?
In A Dangerous Master, ethicist Wendell Wallach tackles such difficult questions in a thoughtful reconsideration of our technological future. No doubt that scientific research and technological innovation are a source of promise and productivity, but there is also widespread concern that technological development is a juggernaut beyond human control. Wallach asks, in addition to the tasks individual technologies are developed for, what damage can they do, and what will it take to control them?
Here’s a Tech.Mic interview with Wendell: If You Don’t Fear a Robot Takeover, This Futurist Explains Why You Should.
Some related slides by Gerd (CEO of TFA):