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UTILITARIANISM AND BIOTECHNOLOGY – A LESSON FOR REGULATING EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

Regulating emerging technologies is analogous to shooting a rapidly moving target – almost impossible. Technologies such as Biotechnology, Synthetic Biology and Artificial Intelligence evolve on an exponential curve. They introduce numerous novel complexities, both legal and ethical. In the field of biotechnology, Canada took a utilitarian approach that enabled a coherent and equal application of the law on such an evasive field. But is that enough of a lesson to apply to regulating all emerging technologies?

DON’T HATE THE PLATFORM, HATE THE SPECS: THE CASE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT DRONES WITH LIMITED PURPOSE USES

The rising use of drones in general and by law enforcement agencies in particular understandably causes great discomfort. While surveillance and killer drones are robustly used by the military in foreign countries, enabling the NSA to surveil and attack terrorists by using a drone that is operated from thousands of miles away and flying over ten thousand feet in the air, the use of the same methods by the local Police Department in search for Marijuana fields seems less intuitively acceptable – and rightfully so. Luckily, for the most part, the drones used by local law enforcement officials cannot attack and do not possess the ability to surveil from such a significant distance and altitude. Rather, they use drones that are more similar to the ones used in movies or can be bought online for approximately $1000. So why do they still seem to pose a threat to our privacy? and how should Courts protect our privacy when their use is becoming more common?

THROWING THE BABY OUT WITH THE BATHWATER – THE CASE OF CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY AND DRIVERLESS CARS

The development and utilization of driverless cars are inevitable and closer to reality than ever. 11 states in the U.S. have already passed legislation related to driverless cars, a quick tour to California will enable you to see Waymo’s (Google’s driverless car project), being tested on public roads. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Uber, and Tesla consider it to be the future of the automobile industry. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla recently boldly predicted that within 10 years, all new cars will be self-driven. Whether accurate, it is safe to say that with that kind of “gun power” and investment, we will be passengers sitting in a driver(less) seat sooner rather than later. And yet, challenging issues relating to ethics, regulation, and policy remain to be answered before making these artificial chuffers an integral part of our lives.

A SEQUEL TO THE TRUMAN SHOW – WHO IS DIRECTING OUR LIVES

In the 1998 movie “the Truman Show”, Truman was born into a world created just for him. Guided by the director of the show, different actors manipulated Truman into friendships, love and life as the director saw fit. Every step Truman took was recorded, every conversation was scripted and live streamed, he had no privacy, no real interaction, he lived in an artificial world operated by humans. The Truman show was a movie about an imaginary reality show, or maybe it was a small piece of fiction that became reality?

A Computer Taking Virtual Trips, The 4th Amendment and The Warrants In Between

New technologies enable cybercriminals to upload and download child pornography, deal drugs and exchange illegal goods using virtual currency (such as bitcoin) without disclosing their location (imagine an encrypted Amazon for illegal drugs). Law enforcement agencies’ attempts to gather evidence over the internet and protect the public from new crimes often collide with the public’s rights, namely privacy. The legal frameworks assigned to strike this balance, such as the 4th amendment, are outdated and the judges applying them are reluctant to learn new tricks.

UNVEILING THE ALGORITHM – BIAS AND PREJUDICE IN GUISE OF TECHNOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY AND FAIRNESS

Sophisticated algorithms taking over simple, as well as complex, human activities are becoming increasingly common in all aspects of life. An algorithm does not get tired, distracted, bored or sick, it has better memory and almost unlimited resources to compile information. Scientists, programmers, and entrepreneurs recognized the potential of the exponential technological advancement in making … Continue reading UNVEILING THE ALGORITHM – BIAS AND PREJUDICE IN GUISE OF TECHNOLOGICAL EFFICIENCY AND FAIRNESS