How Emerging Technologies Are Changing Our Future
The 21st century is specifically known for its technological advancements. The scientific and industrial progress humans have made in this century is twice as much as our ancestors could make in the past century. We have evolved from telephones to mobile phones and from mobile phones to smartphones. Our houses are now converting to be “smart homes.” We even have found ourselves digital companions like Google and Alexa, which are only “Hello Google” or “Hi Alexa” away. Now we do not have to turn every stone to find a house because we have Google maps.
This is just a chunk of the advancement humans have made. The world goes beyond cellphones and smart homes. The other significant aspects we have shifted from are medicine, astronomy, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and the list goes on. Who would have thought that it will be possible for humans to tell the gender of a baby in a mother’s womb? Who would have imagined that heritable diseases can be cured when a fetus has not been developed in a fully formed baby? Living in this era seems magical.
However, we need to think about whether this development is actually benefitting us or taking away our freedom. Medically, scientifically, and industrially speaking, yes, this development will be of great help. The very evidence of it, as we have seen it, is in the year 2020. The COVID-19 threw us in dark times, but we have a vaccine for it within a year. A year is equivalent to a month if compared to the plague of the 19th century and the plagues before that. But what about the social impact of these emerging technologies?
The biggest question that has been raised on the rising power of technology is with regards to its impact on ethics, morality, and society. There are plenty of scholarly articles stressing the higher requirement of ethics in this fast-pacing society.
James H. Moore discusses in his paper “Why We Need Better Ethics for Emerging Technologies” that with the development in technology, especially related to gene mutation and biotechnology, many ethical questions have been raised. He claims that more ethical issues can be experienced as we advance more into this era. To cater to this, we need to acknowledge the role of ethics in society. And then, we should proceed on to making a more sophisticated ethical analysis.
The emerging technologies have provided us with great ease, saved numerous lives, and have become a source of support for some. On the other side, it has also put up moral questions about certain content and policies. These moral questions are intertwined in the complexities of technology. One way of going in the right direction with this advancement is to keep in view the ethical and moral questions that have become more complexed now.