An annual list of the top emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology is out. The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame says the 2016 list is designed to help people consider potential issues before controversial science or tech hits the mainstream.
This year’s list is:
- CRISPR/Cas9 – technology for gene editing.
- Rapid whole genome diagnosis – a way to record and catalog the genomes of newborns in order to improve disease detection.
- Hello Barbie – a new Barbie that wants to record conversations she has with your child.
- Digital labor rights – a discussion of the tension between anonymous workers and anonymous bosses.
- Head transplants – a procedure that one doctor has promised to develop by 2017.
- Disappearing drones – drones that deliver payloads and then disappear into thin air without any indication of who sent it.
- Artificial wombs – the potential to grow a human fetus outside of a woman’s body is creating concerns with women’s rights advocates.
- Bone conduction for marketing – Verizon already has the technology to transmit ads to your brain through your bones, as well as your skin.
- Lethal cyber weapons – a potentially lethal computer program capable of causing a real explosion.
- Exoskeletons for the elderly – technology that aids labor but postpones retirement.
The center says the goal of the list is "to promote the advancement of science and technology for the common good." Contributors include Reilly fellows, Notre Dame experts and friends of the center.
You can vote on the most compelling issue in need of discussion by clicking here.