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Technology presents us with many challenges. One of them, perhaps the most important, relates to ethics.
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in our lives.. Having devices that make our daily lives easier, starting with communication, is an advantage in terms of saving time and resources. In fact, we could say that from a computer we could almost manage the world: carry out banking operations, make purchases or tell our vacuum cleaner to start… And, of course, decide to save ourselves or save others.
On the other hand, this technology is getting smarter: we can use it with more conditionals. A very simple one: when the temperature in the house is below 18°, turn on the heating. One more step, that when our car detects that we have not put the seat belt on, it tortures us with an unbearable beep until we meet the standard.
Current technological challenges
Keep driving, One of the current challenges that drivers face is the generation of autonomous driving systems. In other words, the goal is for the day to come when the steering wheels, throttles and other classic parts of a car will get a better life. We will simply say our destination out loud and the car will take us. Now, what does this have to do with saving myself or saving others? We arrive.
To get us there, the vehicle will have to make a lot of decisions. Fastest or safest way? Toll highways or national highways? Go at the maximum authorized speed or a little below?… If a child crosses a red light and has not looked, crushes it or turns suddenly and has an accident? This last question was perhaps not intended.
Yes, technology will confront us with ethical dilemmas that may have existed before, but which did not “inconvenience”. I mean, given the previous zebra crossing situation, the reaction in normal driving would be almost instinctive one way or another. However, technology gives us the power to drink it at home in peace, on a summer evening, while having a drink on the terrace.
If we mark in the application associated with driving our car that our safety is paramount, the car will not drift. If we give more importance to the safety of others, the car will go out of its way. Of course, but I spoke of a child. We still want him to try to avoid the child, but not if the one crossing is our worst enemy.
A big step towards who we want to be
Do you realize what that means? It’s a huge step towards who we want to be. When this happens, I want to be generous with the other and save him; when that happens, I want to be generous with myself and save myself.
On the other hand, we could experience very great dissonance not only because of the difference between our self-concept and our actions, but also between our concept and our decisions made for the future.
Also, when reason or distance outweighs emotion or the circumstances of the moment, it is likely that, for example, food tends to be healthier and with fewer empty calories.
Now well, How would the programming fit in with the standard? Would we tell the app that controls our car to exceed the maximum allowed speed at some point? Let’s remember that we are drinking the take in a caipirinha and not in the middle of an uncrowded highway.
On the other hand, what if it was legislated? If the law required you to choose one of two options? What if each car brand programmed it directly, without realizing it, because we did not fall into this possibility?
save myself or save others
On the other side, the fact that we are doing more and more business in the technology business means that the degree or ease with which we can be controlled is increasing. Imagine an application installed by default in all cars that compares the authorized speed with the current speed. The speed cameras would be over and we could only be punished for transcending the norm in an instant.
In this sense, to what extent would it be tempting to transform certain recommendations into occult regulations? For example, could there not come a time when health care would not be given to a person who does not take care of his diet or exercise, that is, who does not take actively take care of their health?
Ultimately, there is an open debate on how technology will affect employment. Right now what we’re seeing is that the labor market is starting to pick up speed in terms of the pace of change. What classic professions are changing or even disappearing.
Will we be ethically prepared, also in this area, to face the new challenges? Are we going to prioritize the security that technology can give us in the face of the social crisis that can produce an even higher unemployment rate? How will we answer here the question of saving myself or others being saved?
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