Ethical and societal challenges of the approaching technological storm

Study 25-07-2022

Supported by the arrival of 5G and, soon 6G, digital technologies are evolving towards an artificial intelligence-driven internet of robotic and bionano things. The merging of artificial intelligence (AI) with other technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) gives rise to acronyms such as 'AIoT', 'IoRT' (IoT and robotics) and 'IoBNT' (IoT and bionano technology). Blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality add even more technological options to the mix. Smart bodies, smart homes, smart industries, smart cities and smart governments lie ahead, with the promise of many benefits and opportunities. However, unprecedented amounts of personal data will be collected, and digital technologies will affect the most intimate aspects of our life more than ever, including in the realms of love and friendship. This study offers a bird's eye perspective of the key societal and ethical challenges we can expect as a result of this convergence, and policy options that can be considered to address them effectively.