Emerging technologies such as genetic technology, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data and nanotechnology can bring great convenience to humans while also posing great risks and challenges. As people enjoy the benefits created by technologies, they need to remain prudent and effectively cope with ethical challenges from emerging technologies.
Since these challenges are still complicated and unpredictable, utilization of the technologies is still surrounded by great uncertainties. For example, synthetic biotechnologies can produce new energies and disposable plastic which can address the problems that plague many countries. Meanwhile, the technologies can also be used to create viruses.
Moreover, incorrect statistics produced by big data may lead to ethical problems. To fend off these ethical risks, it is necessary for related departments to provide appropriate guidance and issue effective policies. For new technologies, a focus needs to be placed on both profitability and ethical practicality, since some people may violate ethical rules deliberately for personal gain.
Therefore, ethical professionals should develop regulations to cope with this problem. Efforts are also needed in combining self-examination of scientific researchers and communities with regulation and supervision of relevant authorities to effectively address ethical challenges in scientific research.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in People's Daily on May 27)