Quantum Meta-Ethics Highlights

“The Ethics of Anticipation” with Professor Sheila Jasanoff
Understandably, reflections on the ethics of technology have tended to focus first and foremost on technology’s downstream consequences: the discrepant risks and harms that follow from innovation. Increasingly, however, analysts have come to see that distributive implications are built into technological design, well before it enters the market and people’s lives. In an interview with CISS Director James Der Derian, Professor Sheila Jasanoff revisist the notion of “anticipatory governance” from a political standpoint, asking what might an ethics of anticipation look like with regard to some of today’s most celebrated technological breakthroughs.

This quantum journey begins with a series of epiphanies and takes many detours with more than a few moral temptations and ethical dilemmas along the way. There is the risk of an apocalyptic end, like other great modern scientific discoveries from the great extinction at the tail end of the industrial age or the nuclear winter, should deterrence fail in the atomic age, or the proliferation of meta-verses in the waning years of the information age. There is then the potential for good, as well as evil.

We face global race to build the first quantum computer, a computer that could surpass classical computers and speed and scale, simulate complex problems, mitigate climate change and create super strong materials and optimize the flow of goods, resources and money. But the same technology could crack all classically encrypted messages, take surveillance, data mining and face recognition to Orwellian levels of omniscience, create super sensitive sensors and super powerful weapons in a global battle space, and produce an artificial intelligence that is superior to humans and knows it.

Quantum Meta-Ethics Workshops

 Q6 Symposium Ethics Sessions