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Ethics and technology

The Center for Applied Ethics participates in the ethical reflection on the impact of digitisation through teaching, research and transfer activities aimed at humanising technology and building fairer and more inclusive societies.  

Technological development is transforming society, from economy and politics to culture. This revolution opens up new opportunities and poses new ethical challenges related to human rights and dignity. Issues such as the right to privacy or transparency in the design and use of algorithms, the challenges posed by new technological contexts are very diverse and require new ethical reflections that the Centre for Applied Ethics assumes as part of its Mission.

Technological changes have speeded up in recent years with the emergence of artificial intelligence and robotics. The ethical challenges they pose are increasingly present in public and private organisations, with issues such as the use of data or of great social significance such as the change in relations between employees and employers.

In this context, the Center for Applied Ethics has developed a new research area linked to ethics and technology. This area is driven by the incorporation of new research profiles to the centre in recent years and the collaboration with the University of Deusto’s Faculty of Engineering, which is responsible for training future professionals and managers who will develop and implement new technologies.

The Centre for Applied Ethics and the Faculty of Engineering promote initiatives that incorporate ethical reflection into the Faculty’s teaching, research and knowledge transfer activities through the Technoethics project.

One of the first actions of Technoethics has been to include the 'ethical sense' competence as one that can be assessed as part of the Faculty’s Undergraduate and Master’s Final Year projects. This new competence encourages future engineers to take ethical issues into account when carrying out their research projects.

The Centre for Applied Ethics also participates in initiatives with a public impact. It has collaborated in the drafting of the Declaration of Human Rights in Digital Environments carried out by the University of Deusto. This declaration consists of 16 new human rights related to the emergence of technological phenomena and the generation of new digital environments.

Some of these rights include the use of algorithms, privacy protection, data use, the right to digitalisation, the guarantee of having a final human voice in decision-making, or issues related to economy, such as the consumers’ rights in digital commerce.

This declaration is based on principles such as the priority of human beings over all their creations, including technology, or equity and universal justice in the access, protection and enjoyment of goods and rights that help human beings have a dignified life.