News  |  ,   |  January 4, 2019

Digital Humans Need Digital Ethics

News article by Ben Bland.
Published by Hacker Noon.


2018 was a big year for ethics and rights, as new forms of technology and media clashed with what we consider acceptable behaviour in a human society. Now, with companies like ours [Sensum] building digital tools that are ever more personal, we need to continue to develop our notion of what it means to do the right thing.

We believe that a key component of the coming generation of AI-powered technology will be digital empathy. By plugging our physiological and behavioural data into smart systems, they will be able to understand our moods and learn to respond appropriately. We can look forward to this empathic technology bringing us richer, more rewarding human-machine interaction. But it also gives us plenty to be concerned about.

Below are some of the main issues that my team and I are considering a lot these days, as our species ventures into an unmapped landscape of increasingly smart, connected technology.

  1. Legislation vs Innovation: finding the right level of governance.
  2. Social Heuristics: doing ‘the right thing’ by default.
  3. Personal Data: new models for ownership & control.
  4. Transhumanism: extending rights beyond the flesh.
  5. The Business Dilemma: ethically profiting with other people’s data.

Addressing each in turn then [ . . . ]

About the Author

Ben Bland is Chief Operations Officer at Sensum.