New Tools for Science Policy
Why we need Risk Innovation
Our imaginations have become dulled to the novel and creative alternatives that are desperately needed to ensure the responsible development of an increasing array of technology innovations. Without innovation in how we think about and act on risks arising from the convergence between emerging technologies, we will find ourselves entering an uncharted and unregulated risk Wild West.
About the Seminar
November 18, 2015 8:30am—10:30am
In today’s massively interconnected, technologically dependent and tightly-coupled world, emergent risks are increasingly impacting every aspect of our lives. Yet the tools we use to assess and manage them are, in many cases, hopelessly outdated. To make matters worse, our imaginations have become dulled to the novel and creative alternatives that are desperately needed to ensure the responsible development of an increasing array of technology innovations.
Fifteen years ago, nanotechnology was topping the emergent risk charts – and we’re still struggling to work out what the word means, never mind how to manage its potential impacts. Five years ago, synthetic biology hit the scene as a rising risk trend. More recently, gene editing has been causing a stir, together with artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, and advanced robotics. In all of these cases, the technologies potentially lie sufficiently far beyond the capacities of conventional risk analysis and governance that they push us into new territory.
Yet challenging as they are, these technologies are the mere vanguard of a much larger issue: converging technologies. Without innovation in how we think about and act on risks arising from the convergence between emerging technologies, we will find ourselves entering an uncharted and unregulated risk Wild West. Imagine for instance the cyber insecurities already emerging from convergence between digital systems and the Internet of Things. Or the consequences of using artificial intelligence-augmented biological design with cloud-sourced gene editing. Or how convergence between open-system natural language processing, data processors and 3D printing potentially accelerates boutique robot development. These and other many other convergences are creating opportunities for experimentation that are technologically thrilling, but are way beyond the boundaries of existing responsible communities and governance frameworks.
If we are going to successfully navigate this increasingly complex emerging risk landscape, it’s time to transform how we see, think, and act on risk within society.
Please scroll below for seminar video.
Visit http://riskinnovation.asu.edu for more information.
Professor and Director of the Risk Innovation Lab, School for the Future of Innovation in Society, Arizona State University
Andrew Maynard is a Professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, and Director of the Risk Innovation Lab – a unique center focused on transforming how we think about and act on…
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