15. Technological Revolutions: Ethics and Policy in the Dark (2006)

By Nick Bostrom

Technological revolutions are among the most important things that happen to humanity. Ethical assessment in the incipient stages of a potential technological revolution faces several difficulties, including the unpredictability of their long‐term impacts, the problematic role of human agency in bringing them about, and the fact that technological revolutions rewrite not only the material conditions of our existence but also reshape culture and even – perhaps – human nature. This essay explores some of these difficulties and the challenges they pose for a rational assessment of the ethical and policy issues associated with anticipated technological revolutions.

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(01:22) 1. Introduction

(06:28) 2. ELSI research, and public concerns about science and technology

(16:29) 3. Unpredictability

(32:50) 4. Strategic considerations in S&T policy

(47:37) 5. Limiting the scope of our deliberations?

(01:04:59) 6. Expanding the scope of our deliberations?

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