Hot Topics: Technology

Blog Posts (3)

May 4, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – May 4, 2018

Bioethics/Medical Ethics Bioethics group to study technology behind ‘three-parent babies’ “Mitochondrial genome replacement technology involves combining the genetic material (DNA) of a couple – who would otherwise be unlikely to have healthy children of their own – with that of a female egg donor.” Ethicists Call for More Scrutiny of ‘Human-Challenge’ Trials “In an article […]
May 2, 2018

From Westworld to the Rest of the World: Time to Regulate the Mining of Third Party Data

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

You do not have control over your ideas, your passions, or even your DNA anymore. Your biological material and your ideas may be taken without your awareness of it.…

April 6, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – April 6, 2018

Image via Bioethics/Medical Ethics/Animal Ethics The Human Thing: When It’s Not About “Bioethics” “In the place of narcissistic and subjective dignity wrongly invoked by procreation militants, we need a return to the transcendent and objective dignity of human nature.” A Global Observatory for Gene Editing “Sheila Jasanoff and J. Benjamin Hurlbut call for an international […]

Published Articles (2)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 1 - Jun 2018

“Natural” Talents and Dedication—Meanings and Values in Sport Thomas H. Murray

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 5 - May 2018

From Frankenstein to Hawking: Which is the Real Face of Science? Jonathan D. Moreno

News (10)

May 1, 2018 12:03 pm

Federal appeals court hears CRISPR patent dispute (Science)

Here’s a double-negative brain twister with potentially huge financial ramifications and a Nobel Prize resting on the answer: For an invention to be “nonobvious”—and therefore patentable in the United States—should there be no guarantee of success when researchers embark on experiments that lead to the invention? That mind-bending question was the centerpiece of a case heard today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., over the lucrative patent portfolio surrounding the revolutionary genome editor commonly known as CRISPR.

April 19, 2018 9:00 am

Artificial intelligence must be 'for common good' (BBC News)

The Lords’ report said the UK has the potential to be a leader in developing AI and called on the government to support businesses in the field. It also recommended that people be educated to work alongside AI in the jobs of the future. It said that such education would “mitigate the negative effects” on jobs which are possible as AI develops.

April 12, 2018 9:00 am

Artificial intelligence reveals how U.S. stereotypes about women and minorities have changed in the past 100 years (Science)

How do you measure the stereotypes of the past after the past is gone? You could read what people wrote and tally up the slurs, but bias is often subtler than a single word. Researchers are now developing artificial intelligence (AI) to help out. A new study has analyzed which stereotypes are still holding fast—and which are going the way of the floppy disk.

April 10, 2018 9:00 am

Facebook's facial recognition violates user privacy, watchdog groups plan to tell FTC (USA Today)

Already under siege over loose privacy controls and Russian manipulation, Facebook is about to be challenged on another issue: facial recognition. The Electronic Privacy Information Center and several other consumer groups plan Friday to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking for an investigation into the network’s use of facial recognition technology.

April 9, 2018 9:00 am

Facebook Decides Now's Not a Great Time to Harvest Patients' Medical Data (Fortune)

According to CNBC, the company was as recently as last month talking to the likes of Stanford Medical School about setting up a data-sharing agreement for a research project with a focus on heart disease. “This work has not progressed past the planning phase, and we have not received, shared, or analyzed anyone’s data,” Facebook told CNBC, which reported that the plan was put on hold following the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, and the subsequent revelations about Facebook’s data-sharing practices.

April 7, 2018 10:34 pm

Facebook: ‘Malicious actors’ used its tools to discover identities and collect data on a massive global scale (The Washington Post)

Facebook said Wednesday that “malicious actors” took advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide.

April 2, 2018 1:53 pm

False-positive results released by direct-to-consumer genetic tests highlight the importance of clinical confirmation testing for appropriate patient care (Nature)

There is increasing demand from the public for direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, and the US Food and Drug Administration limits the type of health-related claims DTC tests can market. Some DTC companies provide raw genotyping data to customers if requested, and these raw data may include variants occurring in genes recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics to be reported as incidental/secondary findings. The purpose of this study was to review the outcome of requests for clinical confirmation of DTC results that were received by our laboratory and to analyze variant classification concordance.

March 29, 2018 9:00 am

Facebook says you 'own' all the data you post. Not even close, say privacy experts (LA Times)

“Facebook’s terms of service are quite obviously of no value to consumers,” said Sam Lester, consumer privacy fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C. “Consumers had no knowledge that a controversial data mining firm was accessing their personal data.”

March 20, 2018 9:00 am

AI diagnostics need attention (Nature)

Many in the field complain that too many developers are not taking the studies far enough. They are not applying the evidence-based approaches that are established in mature fields, such as drug development. Many reports of new AI diagnostic tools, for example, go no further than preprints or claims on websites. They haven’t undergone peer review, and might never do so. That would verify key details: the underlying algorithm code, and analyses of, for example, the images on which the model is trained, the physicians with which it is compared, the features the neural network used to make decisions, and caveats.

March 19, 2018 9:00 am

AI researchers embrace Bitcoin technology to share medical data (Nature)

He and his colleagues are building a system that allows people to share their medical data with researchers easily and securely — and retain control over it. Their method, which is based on the blockchain technology that underlies the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, will soon be put to the test. By May, Hadley and his colleagues will launch a study to train their AI algorithm to detect cancer using mammograms that they hope to obtain from between three million and five million US women.