In the past few decades, theorists and ethicists have attempted to introduce the topic on ethics in several technological discourses. However, the dynamic nature of inventions makes it difficult to agree on a specific standard; inventors release new technologies frequently, making enforcement troublesome. Nonetheless, technology aims to improve the efficiency of human activities, and as different devices emerge, society absorbs them at different rates. The different rates of adopting inventions present a challenge in predicting patterns of the use of technology and the consequent impact on society. In this vein, Sollie notes that rapid inventions can, at times, present ethical dilemas. Since inventors strive to complement human activities, there is a need to incorporate ethics in the development process to ensure that it does not jeopardize human nature.
Recent trends in technological developments that incline towards mimicking human nature present a significant ethical dilemma to society. For instance, some computer algorithms imitate the logical reasoning of the human mind. The use of technology may be vital in eliminating human error. Nonetheless, these developments portend negative consequences to humanity. Today’s technologies, for example, present high levels of uncertainty. When society lacks adequate information regarding new technology, it is difficult to create and enforce ethical standards. Hence, without the input from the developers, society cannot assist in the enforcement of ethics in technology.
Secondly, inventions may carry irreparable harm to humanity. Increased use of technology may replace the workforce with machines, consequently eroding human work culture. Although evidence confirms technology’s resourcefulness and accuracy, the potential to replace the workforce with devices will render many employees jobless. The most contentious issue regarding this observation is that capitalists will take this chance to increase their profits and reduce costs while laying off employees who depend on their work to earn a living. Going by utilitarian ethics, technology will effectively empower a few wealthy people to the detriment of the masses, which is a step in the wrong direction. To this end, inventors have an obligation to ensure that their technology is ethical and does not invade work culture.
While technology simplifies work, it also threatens to shift the power balance in favour of the upper social class, effectively destroying the society’s power dynamics. Technology has been linked with limiting the power and control individuals have. Also, adopting more complex technology presents danger to the society. Inadequate knowledge about new technology makes it difficult to formulate ethics and legal statutes to guide its use. It is, therefore, essential that technology development incorporates ethics in consideration of society’s work culture and safety.