Opinion | The fast-evolving ethical conundrums of biotechnology

By Siddharth Pai

In the information technology world, we have seen an explosion of Artificial Intelligence, automation, blockchains and data science tools in the last few years. All of these technologies, while distinct in their approach, actually cross-pollinate each other. The world’s denizens—and their governments—have rightly started to worry about issues such as data privacy, control over fiat currencies, job losses and widening income disparities. I had written in this column earlier that governments started getting significantly more active in the regulation of this space in 2018.

Sure enough, this debate has continued into 2019. These questions are not simply for governments and philosophers; the world needs leadership and self-governance by technology giants in the formation of ethics to help us navigate turbulent times ahead. In my opinion, most attempts at self-governance came after the negative effects of new technologies were felt. The profit motive did not allow for Big Tech to pause before it rushed headlong into grey areas. Now that the world has begun to call them out, they claim to be in ethical introspection mode.

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