Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies: An Introduction

Jeroen Hopster et al.

Omslag 'Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies: An Introduction' (2023)

The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies research programme, of which Utrecht University is a member, recently released Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies: An Introduction. This book, edited by Jeroen Hopster, among others, shows how technologies can be socially and conceptually disruptive and investigates how to come to terms with this disruptive potential. Besides Hopster, Utrecht scholars Lorina Buhr, Cindy Friedman, Arthur Gwagwa, and Björn Lundgren contributed.

Four socially disruptive technologies

Technologies shape who we are, how we organise our societies, and how we relate to nature. For example, social media challenges democracy, artificial intelligence raises the question of what is unique to humans, and the possibility to create artificial wombs may affect notions of motherhood and birth. Some have suggested that we address global warming by engineering the climate, but how does this impact our responsibility to future generations and our relation to nature?

In Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies four technologies are studied: social media, social robots, climate engineering, and artificial wombs. The authors highlight the disruptive potential of these technologies and the new questions this raises. The book also discusses responses to conceptual disruption, like conceptual engineering, the deliberate revision of concepts.