Atomically Precise Manufacturing and Responsible Innovation: A Value Sensitive Design Approach to Explorative Nanophilosophy

International Journal of Technoethics 10 (2):1-21 (2019)
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Abstract

Although continued investments in nanotechnology are made, atomically precise manufacturing (APM) to date is still regarded as speculative technology. APM, also known as molecular manufacturing, is a token example of a converging technology, has great potential to impact and be affected by other emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and ICT. The development of APM thus can have drastic global impacts depending on how it is designed and used. This paper argues that the ethical issues that arise from APM - as both a standalone technology or as a converging one - affects the roles of stakeholders in such a way as to warrant an alternate means furthering responsible innovation in APM research. This paper introduces a value-based design methodology called Value Sensitive Design (VSD) that may serve as a suitable framework to adequately cater to the values of stakeholders. Ultimately, it is concluded that VSD is a strong candidate framework for addressing the moral concerns of stakeholders during the preliminary stages of technological development.

Author's Profile

Steven Umbrello
Delft University of Technology

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