Hot Topics: Technology

Blog Posts (4)

July 23, 2018

Ethics of War AI: Keep the Humans in Charge

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In 1967, the original Star Trek premiered “A Taste of Armageddon” wherein the U.S.S. Enterprise visits a planet that has ended the destructive nature of war.…

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 (20)

August 8, 2018 9:00 am

These tiny, stretchy speakers and microphones let your skin play music (Science)

If you’re prone to forgetting your headphones, new wearable technology that could turn your skin into a speaker should be music to your ears. Created in part to help the hearing and speech impaired, the new “smart skin” could be embedded into the ears—or into a patch on the throat. A similar device, described in the same study, acts as a microphone, which can be connected to smartphones and computers to unlock voice-activated security systems.

August 3, 2018 6:35 am

Ancestry, 23andMe and others say they will follow these rules when giving DNA data to businesses or police (The Washington Post)

Ancestry, 23andMe and other popular companies that offer genetic testing pledged on Tuesday to be upfront when they share users’ DNA data with researchers, hand it over to police or transfer it to other companies, a move aimed at addressing consumers’ mounting privacy concerns. Under the new guidelines, the companies said they would obtain consumers’ “separate express consent” before turning over their individual genetic information to businesses and other third parties, including insurers.

July 18, 2018 5:42 am

Editing human embryos 'morally permissible' (BBC News)

Should we or shouldn’t we be allowed to modify human DNA in future children? An inquiry into the ethical issues surrounding genetically altering a human embryo has found there is “no absolute reason not to pursue it”. But appropriate measures must be put in place before it becomes UK law, said the report – which calls for further research both medically and socially. Inquiry chair, Prof Karen Yeung, said: “The implications for society are extensive, profound and long-term.”

July 6, 2018 6:00 am

Online gene test finds a dangerous mutation. It may well be wrong. (SF Gate)

There are no systematic studies of how often the direct-to-consumer results and third-party analyses are wrong. In one small study, Ambry Genetics — a lab certified to do medical testing — looked at 49 samples sent in by physicians whose patients had been told that they had disease-causing mutations by third-party interpreters. Ambry found that 40 percent were wrong. In addition, some genetic variations classified by second companies as threatening actually were benign.

July 5, 2018 9:00 am

Massive data leak could affect nearly all American adults, security researcher says (Mercury News)

Exactis, a Florida-based marketing and data-aggregation firm, leaked detailed information on individual adults and businesses, a security researcher says. While the exact number of individuals affected isn’t known, the leak involved about 340 million records on a publicly available server.

July 5, 2018 7:56 am

Ageing Japan: Robots' role in future of elder care (Reuters)

Robots have the run of Tokyo’s Shin-tomi nursing home, which uses 20 different models to care for its residents. The Japanese government hopes it will be a model for harnessing the country’s robotics expertise to help cope with a swelling elderly population and dwindling workforce.

July 4, 2018 8:00 am

From apps to avatars, new tools for taking control of your mental health (The Washington Post)

Digital therapeutics are here — and they’re changing the landscape for people battling mental illness.

July 3, 2018 9:00 am

California Just Passed the Strictest Online Privacy Bill in the Country (Slate)

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, will require technology companies that collect user information to disclose the type of data they collect, details on the advertisers or other third parties with which they share data, and allow customers to opt out of having the data collected about them sold. The new bill also gives customers the option to request companies delete personal information collected on them—like data on how many kids a person has, their buying habits, location information, or other non-publicly available data. Companies that do peddle user data have to offer the new privacy options for free and won’t be allowed to degrade service if a customer opts to no longer have their data sold.

June 25, 2018 9:15 am

Google’s A.I. Can Predict Death Of Patients With 95% Accuracy (FossBytes)

Google’s work in artificial intelligence is moving at a remarkable pace in the health sector. In a recent breakthrough, Google decided to compete with hospital’s old machines to predict a patient’s death and came up with astonishing results, subtly hinting us about the future of A.I.

June 21, 2018 9:00 am

Police Use of Facial Recognition With License Databases Spur Privacy Concerns (The Wall Street Journal)

Thirty-one states now allow police to access driver’s license photos in facial-recognition searches in addition to mug shots, according to the Center on Privacy and Technology at the Georgetown University Law Center. Roughly one in every two American adults—117 million people—are in the facial-recognition networks used by law enforcement, according to a 2016 report by the center.

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