Tag Archives: Ethics

Future Science: ‘Artificial Intelligence Everywhere’

December 4, 2020

Imagine a robot trained to think, respond, and behave using you as a model. Now imagine it assuming one of your roles in life, at home or perhaps at work. Would you trust it to do the right thing in a morally fraught situation?

That’s a question worth pondering as artificial intelligence increasingly becomes part of our everyday lives, from helping us navigate city streets to selecting a movie or song we might enjoy — services that have gotten more use in this era of social distancing. It’s playing an even larger cultural role with its use in systems for elections, policing, and health care.

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Technology Podcast: Concerns Over Facial Recognition Technology

Scientists have grave concerns over ethical and societal impacts of facial-recognition technology. In this surveillance special, we dig into the details.

In this episode:

03:24 Standing up against ‘smart cities’

Cities across the globe are installing thousands of surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition technology. Although marketed as a way to reduce crime, researchers worry that these systems are ripe for exploitation and are calling for strict regulations on their deployment.

Feature: Resisting the rise of facial recognition

17:44 The ethics of researching facial recognition technology

Despite concerns surrounding consent and use, researchers are still working on facial recognition technology. Can this sort of work be justified? We hear some of the debates going on in academia about this field of research.

Feature: The ethical questions that haunt facial-recognition research

25:02 What do researchers actually think?

Nature surveyed 480 researchers who have published papers on facial recognition, AI and computer science. The results revealed that many researchers think there’s a problem.

Science Podcasts: Covid-19 Vaccine Ethical Issues, Upcycling Plastic Bags

First up, host Sarah Crespi talks with Staff Writer Jon Cohen about some tricky ethical questions that may arise after the first coronavirus vaccine is authorized for use in the United States. Will people continue to participate in clinical trials of other vaccines? Will it still be OK to give participants placebo vaccines? 

Next, producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Bert Weckhuysen, a professor at Utrecht University, about a process for taking low-value plastic like polyethylene (often used for packaging and grocery bags) and “upcycling” it into biodegradable materials that can be used for new purposes. 

Emergency Medicine: When “Treating Everyone” Meets “Triage”, Patients And Healthcare Must Wait

From a STAT online article:

Emergency Room WaitingThe specialty of emergency medicine is firmly grounded in social justice and providing access to expert care to everyone who comes in. That means treating anyone, with any condition, at any time. And yet, embedded into emergency department operations is a system that might be perceived as unjust: the concept of triage. The emergency queue isn’t “first come, first served.” It’s nonlinear by design, since triage prioritizes the severity of illness. The severely ill or injured receive immediate attention. Everyone else, to various degrees, must wait.

There are situations when waiting feels immoral to me, not merely inconvenient. Being an emergency doctor means shouldering burdens for perceived injustices that we have little, if any, control over. Most of the beds were locked up with patients boarding in the ED, which means they are waiting for an inpatient bed to become available in the hospital.

Hospitals have high expectations regarding how quickly patients are seen in the emergency department, and my colleagues and I share that goal. But there’s less urgency when it comes to discharging patients from the hospital, which would unclog the backup in the emergency department — and its waiting room.

To read more: https://www.statnews.com/2019/11/25/waiting-feels-immoral-fairness-emergency-department-empathy/?utm_source=STAT+Newsletters&utm_campaign=507f0804a2-First_Opinion&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8cab1d7961-507f0804a2-150443417