Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies

The overall aim of the research programme is to develop a comprehensive philosophical understanding of the socially disruptive technologies (SDTs) of the 21st century, and in particular their challenge to the very concepts and values that we normally appeal to in our moral thinking. These concepts and values form the basis of our current moral, political, and anthropological order. There is an urgency to this aim, as we need to develop new moral frameworks to guide these technologies for the betterment of humanity.

Our three focal points

In the programme we will focus on three clusters of emerging SDTs, which are: 

  • New digital technologies including robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, blockchain, social media, and quantum computing.
  • New bio- and brain technologies including gene editing, gene drives, synthetic biology, neurotechnology, advanced medical and food technologies, and technologies for human enhancement.
  • New environmental and sustainable technologies including energy technologies, water technologies, recycling and other technologies for the circular economy, climate engineering, and bio-based and low-carbon technologies.

People involved