science
Scientists Went to China to Create Controversial Human-Monkey Embryos

An international collaboration is claiming to have created hybridised human-monkey embryos in China. Disturbingly, the research could result in monkeys capable of producing human organs for transplants, leading to a host of ethical concerns. Read More >>

news
Health Care Workers in London Turned Over an Undocumented Immigrant Trafficking Victim to Police, Case Report Says

Doctors are getting increasingly entangled in anti-immigrant rhetoric—and, predictably, it’s having horrible consequences for their patients. Read More >>

google
Google Employees Call on Company to Kick Conservative Think Tank Head Off AI Ethics Board

Google announced the formation of a global council on technology ethics this week to some deserved trepidation. Sure, the company had amassed some highly qualified individuals to fill seats on this board—but Google’s track record of following its own internal ethics codes is less than spotless. Read More >>

science
China’s Social Ranking System Will Now Target Rule-Breaking Scientists

To tackle widespread scientific misconduct, the Chinese government has expanded its controversial social credit system to include infractions made by research scientists. The plan could scare some scientists straight—but the potential for abuse is very real. Read More >>

uncategorized
It’s Time to Plan for How Quantum Computing Could Go Wrong, Say Entrepreneurs and Physicists

Quantum computers that can crack our strongest encryption methods might be decades away – but a group of entrepreneurs and researchers think we better start talking ethics now. Read More >>

science
Reports of First Genetically Enhanced Babies Spark Outrage

Twin girls born earlier this month had their DNA altered to prevent them from contracting HIV, according to an Associated Press report. If confirmed, the births would signify the first gene-edited babies in human history—a stunning development that’s sparking an outcry from scientists and ethicists. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Breaks Silence on Aiding Law Enforcement Following Employee Backlash

During a company-wide meeting recently, Amazon addressed its relationship with US law enforcement agencies, including Immigrations Customs and Enforcement — its first direct response to employees concerns raised in June about the company’s often successful attempts to provide cloud infrastructure and facial recognition software for these government authorities. Read More >>

science
UK Ethics Council Says It’s ‘Morally Permissible’ to Create Genetically Modified Babies

The UK’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics says it’s acceptable to genetically engineer human embryos, so long as the interventions aren’t harmful to the future child or society as a whole. The council is taking a surprisingly progressive position on the matter, but we’re still a long way off from the birth of the world’s first designer baby. Read More >>

microsoft
Facebook, Google, and Microsoft Use Design to Trick You Into Handing Over Your Data, New Report Warns

Your favourite tech companies are trying to trick you into giving up your data, and a new study shows how they’re using design to do it. Read More >>

science
Scientists Kept Disembodied Pig Brains ‘Alive’ for 36 Hours – and It’s Testing Our Conceptions of Death

A neuroscientist from Yale University is claiming to have developed a technique that preserves the brain tissue of pigs for an extended period following decapitation. The brains are apparently not conscious, but the new technique is raising a number of important ethical issues. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Government Proposes Five Basic Principles to Keep Humans Safe From AI

A new report by the Lords Select Committee claims that Britain is in a strong position to be a world leader in the development of artificial intelligence. But to get there—and to keep AI safe and ethical—tech firms should follow the Committee’s newly proposed “AI Code.” Read More >>

robots
Experts Sign Open Letter Slamming Europe’s Proposal to Recognise Robots as Legal Persons

Over 150 experts in AI, robotics, commerce, law, and ethics from 14 countries have signed an open letter denouncing the European Parliament’s proposal to grant personhood status to intelligent machines. The EU says the measure will make it easier to figure out who’s liable when robots screw up or go rogue, but critics say it’s too early to consider robots as persons—and that the law will let manufacturers off the liability hook. Read More >>

science
People Are Really Great at Forgetting If Their Jeans Are Made Through Child Labour

We humans are plenty talented at seeing, hearing, and speaking no evil. But when push comes to shove, as a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research demonstrates, we’re also great at forgetting any evil existed at all—especially if that memory loss will make our buying choices a little less guilt-ridden. Read More >>

ai
Google Censors Gorillas Rather Then Risk Them Being Mislabelled As Black People—But Who Does That Help?

Two years ago, the object-recognition algorithm fueling Google Images told a black software engineer, Jacky Alciné, his friends were gorillas. Given the long, racist history of white people claiming the people of the African diaspora are primates instead of human beings, Alciné was predictably upset. As was his employer: Google. Read More >>