2021 List

THE 9th ANNUAL LIST OF EMERGING ETHICAL DILEMMAS AND POLICY ISSUES IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR 2015

Click the links below to read more about each issue and get links to news stories and other resources.

Robot Abuse
Are we afraid of robots? Is that why we lash out? Or are we simply curious about what will happen when we hit something that can’t fight back?
Whatever the answer, humans have a long history of trying to destroy robots.

Digital twins
You can create a digital twin of just about anything, but it’s the digital twinning of humans that poses some interesting ethical issues.

Doomscrolling
In case the word is new to you, doomscrolling (also called doomsurfing) is the act of constantly consuming negative online content (or content that makes you feel bad), to the detriment of your mental health.

The tech battle for the Arctic
For well over a decade we’ve let glaciers melt, oceans acidify, natural resources be looted, and governance go unchallenged. But now the bill is due and the geopolitics of this space will be determined by technology – and who has the most.

Secret surveillance apps
From stalkerware to bossware, people are being monitored more than ever. This is more relevant than ever now that more people are working and going to school from home.

The weaponization of data voids
There are people out there who are great at finding phrases that bring up very few search results. Then they create webpages that exploit them, redirecting people to sites with anything from ads and viruses to conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Dream-altering sleep tracking apps
A device that lets us influence our dreams could be useful. But let’s remember that as if now it’s unproven technology that could produce less-than-dreamy dreams.

CIVVL
A spokesman for the company clarified that Civvl isn’t evicting people, they’re just “connecting independent junk haulers or contractors with opportunities to clear out property.”

Selfie telemedicine
Patient selfies can allow physicians to collect more data, but there are accuracy and privacy issues to think about – and that’s just for starters.

Facebook
Now called “Meta,” the company has been involved in dozens of ethics violations, and shows no signs of stopping in the foreseeable future.