technology globalisation

Time For A New Ethical Perspective On Humanity

10 March, 2021

The current stage in our history – rapid globalisation and technological innovation – demands an entirely new ethical perspective, writes the University of Oxford’s Toby Ord in this article from the World Economic Forum.

He outlines the existential risks we face, and says our interconnectedness means we share “not only our greatest knowledge and culture, but our greatest risks. We may go decades without seeing it, but our activities have a shadow-cost in risk that eventually comes due. And it is not limited to pandemics. Our newfound ability to share information across the world allows dangerous ideas – misinformation, warped ideologies, and hatred – to spread faster than any disease. These challenges of an interconnected world require new approaches to ethics – new ways of understanding our plight and coordinating our response. Ethics is normally viewed from the perspective of the individual: what should I do? But sometimes we step back to take in a broader perspective, and think in terms of the obligations borne by societies or countries. And in recent centuries, we have begun to adopt a global perspective, asking how the world ought to respond to a pressing concern.”

World Economic Forum, Toby Ord, 4 November 2020. Read the full article here.

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