Ethical foresight analysis: what it is and why it is needed?

Minds and Machines 30 (1):77-97 (2020)
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An increasing number of technology firms are implementing processes to identify and evaluate the ethical risks of their systems and products. A key part of these review processes is to foresee potential impacts of these technologies on different groups of users. In this article, we use the expression Ethical Foresight Analysis to refer to a variety of analytical strategies for anticipating or predicting the ethical issues that new technological artefacts, services, and applications may raise. This article examines several existing EFA methodologies currently in use. It identifies the purposes of ethical foresight, the kinds of methods that current methodologies employ, and the strengths and weaknesses of each of these current approaches. The conclusion is that a new kind of foresight analysis on the ethics of emerging technologies is both feasible and urgently needed.
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