Reilly Top 10: Robot priest and genomic app among 2018’s emerging ethical dilemmas

The John J. Reilly Center for Science and Technology and Values at the University of Notre Dame released its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology, including trends in genomics and robotics.

This is the sixth year in a row that the center has ranked 10 issues as a set of talking points to get people thinking about the ethics of potentially controversial technology. Officials say that this year’s list shows that many of the issues are already here.

The list was created by a team of Notre Dame undergraduate students participating in a course, “Man and Machine: Humanity, Technology and the Future.”

  • Making this list (in no particular order) are:
  • Helix – a digital app store designed to help read individual genomes.
  • Robotic Priest – Bless U-2 and Pepper have become the first robot priest and monk, respectively.
  • Emotion-Sensing Facial Recognition – Optimizing retail experiences by assessing consumers’ reactions.
  • Ransomware – This technology holds data hostage until users pay up and can be applied to an individual as well as a corporation.
  • The Textalyzer – A new tool in the battle against texting and driving tells police if a driver has been on his or her phone before an accident.
  • Social Credit Systems –  China is debuting theirs in 2020 and it will be a personal scorecard for every person and business rating in areas such as societal integrity and honesty in government affairs.
  • Google Clips – A little camera watches users all day and captures the most picturesque moments.
  • Sentencing Software – Americans are already being sentenced with the help of a mysterious algorithm.
  • Rise of Robot Friendship – A chat bot may be able to be created out of loved ones’ old texts and social media posts.
  • The Citizen App – A live crime reporting app may lead to vigilante justice, according to the Reilly Center findings.
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