Write and post on your digital portfolio a short essay (~750 words) inspired by one of the six prompts below. This should draw on material covered through the course and in the course readings. It should also utilize the course bibliography (posted on Canvas), which consists of websites, articles, papers, and books referenced in Films from the Future.
Your essay should communicate and defend well-informed views of your own on the development of beneficial and socially responsive and responsible science and technology within a specific area. It may be written in an informal style. However, you are expected to produce an essay that has a clear and focused narrative, that engages and informed the reader, and that acknowledges and references sources appropriately. You should base your arguments on evidence; and you should distinguish clearly between fact, assumption, and opinion. A more complete rubric will be posted on Canvas.
Select just one of the following six prompts:
- Scientists are planning to “grow” the first fully functioning human in a laboratory, without natural parents, within 20 years. What are the technologies they hope to use to achieve this, how plausible are they, and what are some of the biggest scientific, technological and social barriers they face? Is this a technology that we should be pursuing as a society, and if so, how do we ensure that it is socially responsible.
- New breakthroughs in genetic engineering are increasingly enabling scientists and entrepreneurs to design new organisms, and even alter the genetic makeup of existing ones. What are some of the most startling technological breakthroughs here, where does the divide lie between what is plausible, and what is fantastical, how might some of these capabilities change our lives over the next 30 years, and what should we be doing now to ensure these emerging technologies are developed and used responsibly?
- Artificial intelligence research is leading to rapid advances in what AI systems are capable of, to the extent that some scientists and technologists are concerned that we are potentially creating AI technologies that present new and challenging risks. What are the realistic promises and limitations of current AI research, how are advanced AI and robotics likely to impact our lives over the next 20 years, what are some of the biggest potential benefits and risks, and how can we ensure that the benefits far outweigh the risks?
- A growing number of organizations are investing in converging technologies, and what is being dubbed the “fourth industrial revolution”. To what extent is “convergence” between different domains of science and technology a driving force behind increasingly powerful technologies, and to what extent is it merely hype? How might convergence between different capabilities lead to novel technologies over the next 20 – 30 years; what are some of the social, political and technological challenges to ensuring the benefits far outweigh the risks; and what are some ways in which they might be overcome?
- For the first time in human history, we are getting close as a species to being able to intentionally alter and redesign the environment and the ecosystems we live in and are a part of. What are some of the emerging technologies that are important here; what are some of the social, ethical and moral issues they raise; and how might we begin to navigate toward a future where these technologies are used in socially responsible ways?
- Emerging science and technology are leading to unprecedented breakthroughs in how we no only prevent and cure illness, but how we might enhance human capabilities. What are some of the more realistic breakthroughs that promise to protect and improve human capabilities, what are some of the more pressing social and ethical issues these raise, and how can we help ensure new scientific and technological advances benefit as many people as possible, and are socially equitable and responsible?
You have the choice to choose one
The rubric is attached.
For the extra credit, I need to get the 5 points, you pick the easier
Every thing related to the extra credit is in another PDF file in the attachment