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The ethics of new technologies

A collaborative book helps to better understand current changes, starting from the digitalisation of society and production

Technologies on a human scale and companies mindful of “social”, as well as “economic”, profit: these are now rather common approaches that, if not yet practised, are at least explored. Indeed, themes concerning technologies and better corporate culture are issues to be carefully considered, ideally with the help of an up-to-date, contemporary conceptual toolbox. This is why reading Etica digitale. Verità, responsabilità e fiducia nell’era delle macchine intelligenti (Digital ethics. Truth, responsibility and having trust in the era of intelligent machines), just published and curated by Marta Bertolaso and Giovanni Lo Storto, is of paramount importance.

The book, as explained in the first pages, stems from the belief that new technologies can and should be at the service of human beings, to improve their life conditions. The crucial issue, however, concerns the difficult balance between well-being and emancipation as defined by new technologies, and the risks these same technologies might pose. Digital technologies – the main topic of this work – are no exception: the available technologies can make a difference in the improvement of people’s life conditions, yet we find ourselves in a paradoxical situation whereby we live in a society at the height of its scientific and technological progress while also still facing huge and widespread social disparities. Disparities that, in fact, the digital era might exacerbate.

In their book, Bertolaso and Lo Storto have therefore attempted to build the balance that is lacking between technology, human beings, and the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the system in which we live. Thus, a multidisciplinary path takes shape, thanks to scholars, professionals, entrepreneurs, innovators and members of institutions, who, starting from the particular legal, economic and policy implications human beings have to deal with today, help readers to ponder on the importance of placing ethical values of humanity, responsibility and trust at the centre of this shared global development project we are all building together.

Etica digitale. Verità, responsabilità e fiducia nell’era delle macchine intelligenti is a good read, not to be undertaken lightly: it is indeed a fine toolbox that aims to accompany readers towards a better understanding of what is currently happening.

Etica digitale. Verità, responsabilità e fiducia nell’era delle macchine intelligenti (Digital ethics. Truth, responsibility and having trust in the era of intelligent machines)

Marta Bertolaso, Giovanni Lo Storto

LUISS University Press, 2021