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Abuse of new tech is inevitable, so what can Microsoft do about it?


Staff member
Dec 17, 2013

Technology can enhance our lives in many ways. Sadly, its (inevitable) misuse can also do tremendous harm.
In and of itself, technology is neither good nor bad. It has no will nor moral guide save that which we, its makers, provide. Nuclear power, for instance, was developed with the promise of providing an unending energy source. Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan during World War II revealed other ways in which man is inclined to harness and deploy nuclear power. Modern threats from North Korea remind us that its harmful uses aren't reserved to the pages of history.

Wherever we apply our intellect to advance technology, our baser nature inevitably perverts its use toward harming humanity. Rather than confining our knowledge of biology and chemistry to the development of medicines and treatments for illnesses, we devote energy and resources to producing biological and chemical weapons. The morbid list goes on.

As Microsoft and other companies pursue new technologies that have the potential to profoundly affect humanity, like quantum computing, AI-driven surveillance and ambient computing (via always-connected technology), the question isn't "Will this technology be misused?" It's what failsafes, systems of accountability and policies will we proactively enact to mitigate the impact of their inevitable abuse?

Full story from the WindowsCentral blog...